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Staring – A Stoic Tool To Aid Scam Victim Trauma And Emotional Regulation – 2024

Staring – A Stoic Tool To Aid Scam Victim Trauma And Emotional Regulation

An Emotional Control Technique that can be used when Triggered

Primary Category: Scam Victim Psychological Recovery

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The technique of “stopping and staring,” derived from Stoic philosophy, provides valuable support for scam victims by facilitating emotional and cognitive healing. This practice involves pausing to observe and reflect on one’s thoughts and feelings, helping individuals break negative thought patterns and manage emotions more effectively.

By creating a pause for reflection, it allows victims to reframe negative self-talk, view their experiences from different perspectives, and cultivate self-compassion. Additionally, integrating vagus nerve relaxation methods, such as deep breathing and mindfulness, enhances the technique’s effectiveness in stress management.

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Feeling Overwhelmed and Overloaded in the Initial Months After the Scam – 2024

Feeling Overwhelmed and Overloaded in the Initial Months After the Scam

Helping Scam Victims Understand How Overwhelming the Process of Recovery Can Be!

Primary Category: Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

After becoming a scam victim, individuals often face overwhelming emotional and psychological turmoil in the initial months, severely limiting their ability to manage daily tasks. Emotionally, victims experience intense feelings like anger, guilt, and fear, while psychologically, they may struggle with anxiety, hypervigilance, and depression. Neurologically, trauma can disrupt brain functions, leading to heightened anxiety and difficulties in rational thinking and memory.

To stay grounded and overcome feelings of overload, victims should acknowledge their emotions, seek support, practice mindfulness, set small goals, limit exposure to triggers, take care of their bodies, educate themselves about scams, stay connected socially, use technology wisely, and seek professional help if needed. Recovery is a gradual process requiring patience and small, achievable steps to regain normalcy and emotional stability.

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An Insight Into Coping with Emotional Trauma After Becoming A Scam Victim – 2024

An Insight Into Coping with Emotional Trauma After Becoming A Scam Victim

Helping Scam Victims Better Understand Emotional Trauma Coping and Avoidance

A SCARS Institute Insight

Primary Category: Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The experience of being scammed can leave victims feeling trapped in an emotional cage, where avoidance of uncomfortable emotions and triggers severely limits their ability to live fully. Avoidance manifests in various ways, including delaying or avoiding reporting the crime to the police, steering clear of financial matters, social interactions, online activities, and even conversations about scams, leading to increased anxiety and isolation.

This withdrawal provides temporary relief but ultimately reinforces the emotional cage, deepening the trauma. To break free, victims can engage in strategies such as gradual exposure to feared situations, mindfulness practices, seeking support from friends, family, or professionals, and focusing on self-care activities.

These steps help victims confront and process their emotions, reducing the power of triggers and expanding their comfort zones, allowing them to reclaim their lives and move toward healing and recovery.

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Self-Location Uncertainty And Scam Victims – 2024

Self-Location Uncertainty and Scam Victims

A Common Psychological Phenomenon that Many Experience Can Become Especially Pronounced After a Scam for Scam Victims

Primary Category: Psychology of Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Self-location uncertainty, a cognitive state marked by disorientation in time, space, and identity, can profoundly affect scam victims. This phenomenon, commonly experienced in everyday life through moments of confusion about one’s surroundings or a disjointed sense of time, becomes magnified in scam victims.

The aftermath of a scam can leave individuals feeling temporally and spatially disoriented, unsure of their environment, and distrustful of social relationships. Psychological impacts, such as heightened vigilance, paranoia, and an identity crisis, further exacerbate this uncertainty. Coping strategies, including professional therapy, grounding techniques, and support networks, are crucial for regaining stability and coherence.

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Getting Information Overload Online? – You Are Not Alone! 2024

Getting Information Overload Online? – You Are Not Alone!

Humans did NOT Evolve for the Online Life We are Living Now!

Primary Category: Scam Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Humans have evolved in environments with limited and manageable information flow, yet today we are constantly inundated with data from digital sources, leading to information overload/cognitive overload. This phenomenon occurs when the brain’s capacity to process information is exceeded, resulting in impaired attention, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities. Scammers exploit this vulnerability by using complex information to overwhelm and confuse individuals, making it difficult for them to discern essential details.

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Hypergamy Delusion and Romance Scams – A Fundamental Vulnerability – 2024

Hypergamy Delusion and Romance Scams

A Fundamental Vulnerability Shaping Relationship Choices and Leading to Relationship Scams

Primary Category: Psychology of Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Hypergamy, the tendency to seek a partner of higher socioeconomic status, influences relationship dynamics shaped by evolutionary instincts, cultural norms, and contemporary aspirations. It can play an important role in romance scams/relationship scams by leading individuals to make biased choices.

Traditionally observed more among women seeking stability and social mobility, hypergamy reflects desires for financial security and status enhancement. In contrast, men often prioritize youth and physical attractiveness, rooted in evolutionary cues of reproductive fitness.

Hypergamy manifests through curated social profiles that project wealth and success, influencing partner selection in online dating and online social interactions. However, this aspiration-driven paradigm also poses risks, as scammers exploit hypergamous triggers to manipulate emotions and perpetrate financial fraud.

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Talk Therapy For Scam Victims – An Introduction – 2024

Talk Therapy For Scam Victims – An Introduction

An Introduction to Talk Therapy for Scam Victims

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Author:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Talk Therapy or Trauma Therapy is critical for scam victims due to the profound emotional and psychological distress these experiences can cause. Scams often result in significant emotional trauma, including feelings of betrayal, shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Therapy specifically addresses these deep-seated issues by providing a structured and safe environment for victims to process their experiences and begin healing. Techniques such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) are particularly effective in helping victims manage their distress, rebuild self-esteem, and develop coping strategies. By focusing on the specific impacts of trauma, these therapies equip victims with the necessary tools to overcome the lasting effects of their ordeal, ultimately restoring their mental health and well-being.

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Boredom: A Potential Principal Cause In Online Scams & Scam Victims Vulnerability – 2024

Boredom: A Potential Principal Cause In Online Scams & Scam Victims Vulnerability

Understanding a Principal Vulnerability to Online Relationship Scams

Primary Category: Psychology of Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Boredom plays a significant role in driving individuals towards risky online behaviors, often leading to scams and financial fraud. The study “Sounds boring: the causal effect of boredom on self-administration of aversive stimuli in the presence of a positive alternative” by Yusoufzai et al. (2024) highlights that boredom, more than loneliness, compels people to engage in adverse online interactions.

Despite being aware of potential risks, the overwhelming desire to escape boredom prompts individuals to seek stimulation in unsafe ways. Scammers exploit this vulnerability, making boredom a key factor in online fraud.

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Thought Patterns That Sustain Depression – An Overview for Scam Victims – 2024

Thought Patterns That Sustain Depression – An Overview for Scam Victims

Helping Scam Victims Understand Depression and the Need For Help!

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Victims of relationship scams often experience profound emotional and psychological impacts, including depression, due to feelings of betrayal and diminished self-worth. Addressing the cognitive patterns that sustain depression is crucial for their recovery.

Almost all scam victims suffer from trauma, and while resilience varies, every victim should be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional to prevent worsening symptoms. There is no shame in seeking help; it is a courageous step towards healing. Mental health professionals provide a safe, non-judgmental space for victims to process their experiences, rebuild self-esteem, and develop coping strategies. Early intervention can mitigate long-term effects, helping victims regain control over their lives and well-being.

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Neurodivergent/Neuroatypical/Autistic Scam Victims And Manipulation In Relationship Scams – 2024

Neurodivergent/Neuroatypical/Autistic Scam Victims and Manipulation in Relationship Scams

Neurodivergent Individuals face special challenges in both Avoiding Scams and Recovering from the Trauma they produce

Protecting Neurodivergent Individuals with Strategies to Avoid Scams and Fraud and How to Recover from Them

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Neurodivergent individuals, including those with autism, are particularly vulnerable to scams due to unique cognitive and social challenges. Scammers exploit difficulties in social communication, trust, and decision-making, often targeting these individuals’ need for routine and connection.

Protecting neurodivergent adults requires tailored education about common scams, support networks to aid in decision-making, and practical safeguards like secure digital practices.

Recovery from scams should focus on specialized therapy to address trauma, rebuilding trust, enhancing executive functioning skills, and providing financial counseling.

By understanding these vulnerabilities and implementing comprehensive support, we can help neurodivergent individuals avoid scams and recover effectively if targeted.

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The Common Cognitive Distortions Of Scam Victims – 2024

The Common Cognitive Distortions Of Scam Victims

Helping Scam Victims Understand Cognitive Distortions and Irrational Thinking

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Cognitive distortions, prevalent in scam victims, are faulty thinking patterns that amplify negative perceptions and hinder recovery. These distortions, including ‘what if’ thinking, overgeneralization, and black-and-white reasoning, perpetuate anxiety and helplessness, leading to emotional turmoil.

Scam victims often engage in catastrophic hypotheticals, imagining worst-case scenarios that fuel distress and immobilize them. To manage these distortions, victims must recognize and challenge their validity, shifting focus from imagined threats to practical solutions.

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Perception Expectation And Perspective In Scam Victims’ Recovery – 2024

Perception Expectation And Perspective In Scam Victims’ Recovery

Helping Scam Victims to understand the impact that Perception Expectation And Perspective has on their present and future!

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Perception, expectation, and perspective intertwine intricately in the recovery journey of scam victims, profoundly influencing their emotional healing and resilience.

Perception shapes how victims interpret their experiences, directly impacting the expectations they hold for recovery and future interactions. A balanced perspective integrates both perception and expectation, fostering a constructive outlook that acknowledges the complexity of the healing process.

Victims who adopt a positive perspective view their ordeal as a learning opportunity, aligning their expectations with the reality of gradual healing and growth.

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For Scam Victims – Healing And Moving On When There Are Still Residual Feelings – 2024

For Scam Victims – Healing And Moving On When There Are Still Residual Feelings

Healing After a Fake Relationship Ends: Acknowledge and Honor Your Residual Feelings

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In the aftermath of a relationship, particularly one based on deceit like a romance scam, it is important to recognize and honor your residual feelings.

Although the relationship may have been built on falsehoods and lies, the emotions you experienced were genuine. Your emotions were hijacked, producing valid feelings despite the manipulation. Accepting these feelings is a vital step in your healing process. Residual feelings are the lingering emotions that remain after a relationship ends, reflecting the emotional investment you made.

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Limerence/Obsessive Love Disorder – When Your Hormones & Neurotransmitters Rule – 2024

Limerence/Obsessive Love Disorder – When Your Hormones & Neurotransmitters Rule

For Scam Victims, it was NOT LOVE – it was Limerence. But watch out that it does not turn into Obsession!

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Limerence, an intense and involuntary emotional state of romantic infatuation, can be manipulated by scammers to control their victims. This emotional hijacking involves the release of key neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which creates feelings of pleasure, arousal, and obsessive thoughts about the scammer.

Characteristics of limerence include intrusive thoughts, emotional dependency, idealization, fear of rejection, and physiological responses like increased heart rate and sweating.

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Desperation – One of Many Normal Scam Victims’ Responses To Fear – 2024

Desperation – One of Many Normal Scam Victims’ Responses To Fear

After a Scam Ends Fear Becomes a Dominant Emotion that can drive Desperation or Despair

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Desperation is a profound sense of urgency and anxiety that arises when individuals feel trapped in a hopeless situation, such as a scam victim’s experience. It is driven by fear, hopelessness, urgency, and isolation, leading to intense emotional turmoil, impaired judgment, and risky behaviors.

While desperation can motivate and inspire creativity, it more often results in impulsive decisions and increased vulnerability to further scams.

Recognizing desperation involves monitoring intense emotions, obsessive thoughts, behavioral changes, and physical symptoms like fatigue and sleep disturbances. Taking action includes seeking support, practicing self-care, breaking down problems, avoiding impulsive decisions, and considering professional help.

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Psychological Pain And Scam Victims Recovery – 2024

Psychological Pain And Scam Victims Recovery

Helping Scam Victims to Understand Psychological & Emotional Pain – Its Causes and Ways to Recover

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Visit ScamPsychology.org for more

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Psychological or emotional pain is a form of mental suffering that can feel as real and intense as physical pain. It often manifests as a heavy weight on the chest, a deep ache, or a sense of emptiness, with emotional experiences ranging from intense sadness and hopelessness to anxiety and anger.

This pain can also lead to physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, and muscle tension, disrupting sleep, appetite, and overall well-being. Psychological pain arises from various sources, including loss, trauma, mental health disorders, chronic stress, social rejection, and existential struggles.

Brain regions such as the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula, which are involved in processing physical pain, also become active during emotional pain. Neurotransmitter imbalances, stress responses, and changes in neural pathways further contribute to the experience of psychological pain.

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The Relationship Between Pain and Pleasure In Scam Victims – 2024

The Relationship Between Pain and Pleasure

How the Brain can Confuse them and what this means for Scam Victims

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Humans have a complex relationship with pain and pleasure, with the brain often linking the two in unexpected ways. Activities like eating hot peppers or intense exercise can be pleasurable due to the release of endorphins and dopamine, which act as natural painkillers and “feel-good” neurotransmitters.

This extends beyond physical pain to psychological experiences, such as those endured by scam victims. During a scam, victims experience emotional highs and lows, manipulated by scammers to create a cycle of hope and despair, engaging the brain’s reward system. After the scam, the realization of being deceived leads to psychological trauma and chronic stress, mirroring the dynamics of physical pain.

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Are You A Serial Scam Victim? Do You Know One? – 2024

Are You One? Recognizing If You Are A Serial Victim

Some People Jump from One Online Relationship Scam to Another – Each One Another Scam! Technically, we refer to these as Serial Victims. they need Professional Psychological Support to Break Free from their Chains

A Scam Cycle of Abuse that Many Victims Fall Into for the Same Reasons that Domestic Abuse Victims Do!

Primary Category: Scam Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Previously published in 2022 on RomanceScamsNOW.com

About This Article

Serial victims of relationship scams often fall into a cycle of deception due to a combination of psychological and physiological factors. These individuals are particularly vulnerable to repeated scams because of attachment disorders, low self-esteem, fear of abandonment, and trauma.

Rebounding into new relationships quickly after one ends is a common behavior among these victims, driven by a need for emotional support, personal validation, and fear of loneliness.

Hormonal and neurotransmitter dependencies, such as those involving dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin, serotonin, and endorphins, further entrench this vulnerability.

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The Similarity/Attraction Theory And Relationship Scams – 2024

The Similarity/Attraction Theory And Relationship Scams

Another Example of How Our Own Psychology Heavily Influences Our Susceptibility to be Deceived!

Primary Category: Psychology of Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The Similarity/Attraction Theory posits that individuals are drawn to others who share similar characteristics, such as attitudes, values, interests, and backgrounds, creating a sense of comfort and predictability. This theory is linked to cognitive biases like confirmation bias, in-group bias, homophily, stereotyping, the halo effect, and similarity bias, that reinforce our natural preference for similar others.

Scammers exploit these biases in trust-based relationship scams by fabricating similarities to establish credibility and manipulate victims. By creating a sense of familiarity and emotional connection, scammers gain the victim’s trust and deepen their dependency.

Understanding these tactics and biases is important in recognizing and preventing scams.

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Do The Fake Names Scammers Use Play A Role In Luring In Victims? 2024

Do The Fake Names Scammers Use Play A Role In Luring In Victims?

Do Names Play a Significant Role in Aiding Luring and Grooming of Scam Victims?

Primary Category: Psychology of Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Common names make it easier for scammers to lure victims because they evoke familiarity and trust. Familiar names like “John,” “Michael,” “Sarah,” or “Emily” reduce initial skepticism and increase engagement since they are associated with real-life individuals the victim might know.

This sense of normalcy helps scammers blend in, making their fake personas appear legitimate and trustworthy. Additionally, common names are easier to remember and pronounce, which enhances communication and rapport building.

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Scam Victim Psychological Trauma And Weight Gain – 2024

Scam Victim Weight Gain And Psychological Trauma

The Somatic (Physical) Effects of Psychological Trauma are many and most of them are bad!

Primary Category: Psychological Trauma

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Psychological trauma, an emotional response to intensely distressing events, profoundly impacts both the mind and body. Originating from incidents such as crimes, accidents, or prolonged abuse, trauma triggers the “fight-or-flight” response, releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.

While adaptive in acute scenarios, chronic activation of this response leads to significant health issues, including cardiovascular problems, metabolic disturbances, and immune system compromise.

Elevated cortisol levels result in increased fat storage, particularly visceral fat, and altered insulin production, promoting weight gain and insulin resistance.

Historically, these responses ensured survival during physical threats and food scarcity by mobilizing and storing energy efficiently. However, modern chronic stressors misalign with these ancient mechanisms, leading to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and other health complications.

Addressing psychological trauma through holistic approaches that consider both mental and physical health is crucial for promoting overall well-being and resilience.

Psychological Trauma has many effects on the Human Body – Almost All of them are Bad! One noticeable effect is Weight Gain

Introduction to Psychological Trauma and Its General Impacts on the Body

Psychological trauma is an emotional Read More …

Labyrinth Walking and Spiral Walking Meditation for Scam Victims – 2024

Labyrinth Walking and Spiral Walking Meditation for Scam Victims

A Much Easier Form of Meditation for Scam Victims on their Journey of Recovery

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Labyrinth walking and spiral walking provide scam victims with accessible and profound methods for managing trauma, reducing stress and anxiety, and promoting recovery. Unlike complex forms of meditation, these practices offer a tangible and straightforward approach to mindfulness.

Labyrinths, with their single winding path leading to the center and back, offer a focused journey inward, while spirals provide a continuous inward journey with no dead ends. Both can be created physically or imagined, allowing flexibility in practice.

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Learning And The Challenges That A Scam Victim Faces From Trauma And Related Cognitive Effects – 2024

Learning And The Challenges That Scam Victims Face From Trauma And Related Cognitive Effects

Often Scam Victims believe that the aftermath of a scam is just that their feelings are a little out of control, but the betrayal trauma from these crimes can lead to serious mind/brain dysregulation and impairment

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Scam victims often endure profound trauma due to the betrayal they experience, leading to significant psychological impacts. Recovery requires professional support, including psychological education and therapy.

Cognitive overload is common among victims, hindering their ability to learn. Learning involves encoding, consolidation, storage, and retrieval of information in the brain, influenced by neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity. Trauma affects learning styles, impairing concentration, memory, and executive functions.

Cognitive dissonance exacerbates this, causing resistance to new information and reinforcing biases. Victims also face cognitive impairment, hindering logical thinking and comprehension.

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Being A Victim – Labeling Theory & What It Means For Victims Of Scams Or Anyone! – 2023 [UPDATED 2024]

Labeling Theory & What It Means For Victims Of Scams

When words evoke strong emotional responses they can mean many things, but most of them are not good. They can easily become triggers for unresolved and unmanaged trauma.

Authors:
• Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
• Vianey Gonzalez – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
Originally published in 2023 – updated 2024

About This Article

Labeling someone as a victim is simply a descriptive term, but how they react to it can reveal a lot about their emotional state. Some may accept it easily, while others might feel deeply ashamed, guilty, or even proud.

This internalization can lead to what’s called a victim mentality, where a person constantly sees themselves as helpless and blames others for their problems. This mindset can make it hard for them to recover from what happened. Overcoming this mentality involves accepting what happened, allowing themselves to feel their emotions, and seeking support from others.

It’s critical to understand that being labeled a victim doesn’t define a person; with the right help and support, they can move forward and rebuild their lives, reclaiming their sense of agency and resilience in the process.

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Residual Fear In Scam Victims – 2024

Residual Fear In Scam Victims

Helping Scam Victims to Understand Residual or Chronic Fear that can remain with them

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

After falling victim to a scam, scam victims often grapple with a multitude of fears, both rational and irrational, which are fueled by trauma, grief, shame, and self-blame. These fears, whether imagined or grounded in reality, are profoundly impactful and valid for the victims experiencing them.

Residual fear manifests in various forms, such as the fear of recurrence, vulnerability, trusting others, loss of control, emotional consequences, social stigma, and retaliation. Such fears can persist long after the initial shock of the scam, affecting victims’ daily lives, relationships, and overall well-being.

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Multitasking Creates Scam Victim Vulnerabilities – 2024

Multitasking Creates Scam Victim Vulnerabilities

The Process of Multitasking Divides Our Attention and Dramatically Increases Vulnerability

Psychology of Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In today’s modern era, multitasking has become ubiquitous, driven by technological advancements and societal shifts. While initially seen as a means to enhance productivity, research has revealed its detrimental effects on cognitive function and decision-making.

The concept of multitasking emerged in the latter 20th century, coinciding with the rise of personal computers and communication technology facilitating concurrent task performance. Its prevalence increased with the advent of smartphones and other mobile devices, embedding multitasking deeper into daily routines.

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Sleep Deprivation As A Scammer’s Control Technique And Its Effect On Scam Victims – 2024

Sleep Deprivation As A Scammer’s Control Technique And Its Effect On Scam Victims

Scammers use Sleep Debt as a way to Better Control Their Scam Victims

Psychology of Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Sleep deprivation, a tool wielded by scammers to manipulate and control victims, can exacerbate post-scam anxiety, stress, and trauma. Sleep deprivation, also known as sleep debt, disrupts cognitive function and mental well-being, amplifying vulnerability and emotional susceptibility to manipulation.

Scammers exploit this vulnerability by inducing exhaustion, confusion, and dependence, making victims reliant on the scammer for support and validation. Sleep deprivation impairs judgment, increases compliance, and heightens emotional vulnerability, allowing scammers to maintain control over victims.

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Indoctrination Of Scam Victims By Their Scammers? Yes! – 2024

Indoctrination Of Scam Victims By Their Scammers? Yes!

Indoctrination is often Poorly Understood, but Criminals use it extensively in conducting their Scams

Psychology of Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Scam victims often undergo a form of psychological indoctrination, a process of systematic manipulation aimed at shaping their beliefs and behaviors, though it’s not identical to traditional indoctrination methods. This manipulation occurs through various tactics such as control of information, social influence, emotional manipulation, and reinforcement, often within the context of a romantic relationship or financial scheme.

Scammers exploit victims’ vulnerabilities, instilling false beliefs like urgency, trust, loyalty, and more to perpetuate their scams. Gaslighting and negative indoctrination tactics further entrench victims, making them resistant to questioning the legitimacy of the situation.

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Entitlement Mentality And How Scam Victims Often Lose Their Path To Recovery – 2024

Entitlement Mentality And How Scam Victims Often Lose Their Path To Recovery

Helping Scam Victims Avoid a Problematic Mentality that can Stall their Recovery

Scam Victims Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In unpacking the Entitlement Mentality for Scam Victims we explore the complex psychological phenomenon of entitlement and its impact on scam victims’ ability to heal and move forward with their recovery. The article explores the origins of entitlement, its manifestation in scam victims, and its detrimental effects on mental well-being and interpersonal relationships within support groups.

Drawing on insights from psychology, neuroscience, and victimology, this highlights the role of cognitive biases and social dynamics in perpetuating entitlement and offers strategies for overcoming it.

By employing empathy, promoting realistic expectations, and challenging victim narratives, the article aims to empower scam victims to maintain their recovery journey with resilience and self-awareness.

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Understanding Psychological Trauma: Insights For Scam Victims From Carl Jung – 2024

Understanding Psychological Trauma: Insights from Carl Jung

Insights into Scam Victims’ Trauma

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Some information extracted from multiple sources

About This Article

Carl Jung’s analytical psychology offers profound insights into the nature of emotional and psychological trauma. According to Jung, trauma disrupts the delicate balance of the psyche, activating the unconscious and bringing forth repressed emotions and unresolved conflicts.

Jungian analysis emphasizes the importance of facing and integrating the shadow aspects of the personality to achieve wholeness and healing. In the context of scams and scam victims, Jung’s perspective highlights the psychological impact of deceptive schemes, exploring the deeper layers of the psyche to uncover underlying wounds. Understanding archetypal dynamics empowers individuals to become more discerning and resilient in navigating fraudulent schemes.

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Susceptibility To Deception/Scams/Fraud With Victims Who Also Suffer From Mental Disorders – 2024

Susceptibility To Deception/Scams/Fraud With Victims Who Also Suffer From Mental Disorders

Helping Scam Victims and their Families Better Understand the Impact of Deception, Scams, or Fraud on those with Mental Disorders

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Based on research by the United States National Institute of Mental Health

About This Article

Individuals with diagnosed mental disorders are not only profoundly susceptible to deception but can be even more vulnerable to scams or fraud. Mental disorders can significantly impact cognitive functions and decision-making abilities, potentially increasing susceptibility to scams.

This article examines the relationship between the top ten common mental disorders and vulnerability to deception, scams, and fraud, emphasizing affected brain functions. While it serves as an introduction to the subject, individuals are advised to consult their doctor for personalized guidance.

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Comparisons – The Dangers Of Scam Victims Comparing Their Suffering To Others – 2024

Comparisons – the Dangers of Scam Victims Comparing Their Suffering to Others

Comparing One Person’s Pain to another is a Form of Resentment, and it can be very Dangerous Psychologically for Scam Victims

Understanding Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Scam victims can often compare their suffering or victimization to others for validation, understanding, coping, a sense of community, and advocacy. However, this comparison can lead to resentment and envy, fueled by cognitive biases such as relative deprivation, negative contrast effect, and social comparison bias.

Resentment arises from perceived injustices and activates brain regions associated with emotional processing and social cognition. Envy, on the other hand, stems from feelings of inadequacy and activates neural circuits related to emotion regulation and reward processing.

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Substance Abuse Susceptibility And Scam Victims – 2024

Substance Abuse Susceptibility And Scam Victims

Helping Scam Victims Understand the Connection to Substance Abuse as a Coping Mechanism After the Scam

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Trauma, such as falling victim to scams, can lead individuals to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs as a means of coping with the profound emotional distress and upheaval caused by their experiences. The psychological toll of scams, including feelings of shame, guilt, and betrayal, can exacerbate underlying mental health issues, making individuals more susceptible to substance abuse.

In a support group setting, several strategies can be implemented to better help scam victims with substance abuse or to prevent it altogether. These include psychoeducation about the link between trauma and addiction, trauma-informed care, skill-building focused on healthy coping strategies, competent support and validation, relapse prevention strategies, and empowerment and self-efficacy promotion.

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‘Mental Defeat’ – The Unique Condition Of Giving Up – 2024

‘Mental Defeat’ – The Unique Condition Of Giving Up

A Complete Breakdown of Resilience – Beyond Denial and Resignation

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In the face of overwhelming adversity, mental defeat can be a profound human response, marking a breakdown in resilience and coping mechanisms. Whether triggered by encountering a superior force, falling victim to a scam, or experiencing betrayal, the shock of defeat can lead individuals to completely give up.

This reaction stems from our primal instincts and emotional responses, often leaving us feeling powerless and overwhelmed. The freeze response, similar to encountering a predator in the wild, can cause individuals to assume subservience, lasting far longer than the initial threat.

In scams, victims may experience a similar sense of resignation, compounded by feelings of embarrassment, anger, and vulnerability. Mental defeat represents a breakdown of resilience because it undermines our capacity to cope effectively with adversity, eroding self-efficacy, motivation, and belief in our ability to influence outcomes.

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Having An Identity Crisis Because Of The Scam And Loss – 2024

Having An Identity Crisis Because Of The Scam And Loss

Helping Scam Victims to Understand the Psychological Effects of Relationship Scams

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Experiencing a significant loss, whether it’s due to a romance scam, investment fraud, divorce, job termination, or business failure, often triggers a profound identity crisis. This crisis induces a deep sense of failure in individuals as they grapple with the disruption to their core beliefs, values, and sense of self-worth.

Victims of scams, in particular, face a unique challenge as they confront the betrayal of trust and the shattered illusions they held about love, intimacy, or financial security. This assault on their core beliefs leads to a range of emotional responses, from shock and disbelief to anger, sadness, and despair.

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Nightmares, Night Terrors, And Scam Victim Trauma – 2024

Nightmares, Night Terrors, And Scam Victim Trauma

Helping Scam Victims Better Understand Their Trauma

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Scam victims often find themselves haunted by nightmares and night terrors, grappling with the aftermath of betrayal and deception in the safety of their sleep.

These nocturnal disturbances serve as vivid manifestations of the trauma inflicted upon them, plunging them into a state of primal dread as they confront the specter of past experiences. Night terrors, characterized by intense fear and confusion, add another layer of complexity to the already fraught landscape of scam-related trauma, leaving victims disoriented and distressed upon awakening.

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EMDR Therapy For Scam Victims’ Trauma – A Part Of The Recovery Process For Many – 2024

EMDR Therapy For Scam Victims’ Trauma – A Part Of The Recovery Process For Many

Helping Scam Victims Understand A Form Of Effective Therapy That May Help Them

SCARS Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions from additional sources, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

About This Article

Scam victims often endure profound psychological trauma, experiencing symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Seeking effective treatment to address their trauma is crucial for recovery.

Emerging as a promising therapeutic approach, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy offers scam victims a path toward healing and restoration. EMDR therapy enables individuals to process traumatic memories and associated distressing emotions in a safe and structured environment.

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CPT – Cognitive Processing Therapy For Scam Victims’ Trauma – 2024

CPT – Cognitive Processing Therapy For Scam Victims’ Trauma

Helping Scam Victims Understand A Form Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy That May Help Them

SCARS Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions from additional sources, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

About This Article

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) specifically designed to address the needs of scam victims suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related symptoms.

Developed by Dr. Patricia Resick and colleagues, CPT helps individuals challenge and reframe unhelpful thoughts and beliefs related to their traumatic experiences. It consists of various components, including education about PTSD, stress management techniques, cognitive restructuring, exposure therapy, and skill-building exercises.

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The Unique Injury Of Betrayal Trauma On Scam Victims – 2024

The Unique Injury Of Betrayal Trauma On Scam Victims

A Cornerstone of Relationship Scams & Essential to Scam Victim Recovery

Understanding Scam Victim Trauma – Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Betrayal trauma, often experienced in relationship scams like romance fraud, inflicts deep emotional wounds on victims. It involves a profound breach of trust by someone close, triggering intense emotional responses and brain alterations. Victims experience a rollercoaster of emotions—disbelief, anger, sadness, and shame.

The relational aspect sets it apart from other traumas, impacting trust and self-worth.

Betrayal trauma impairs various brain regions, including the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, mirror neuron system, insula, temporoparietal junction, and striatum.

Victims struggle with empathy, emotional regulation, and social perception. This trauma disrupts reward processing, leading to anhedonia and social disconnection.

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Trauma And Grief In Scam Victims – What Is The Difference Between Them – 2024

What Is The Difference Between Trauma And Grief?

Helping Scam Victims Understand the Importance of Trauma and How to Prioritize It

Authors:
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

This article’s discussion sheds light on the intricate nature of trauma, emphasizing its dual impact as both a psychological and physical injury. Trauma disrupts normal brain functioning, leading to cognitive, emotional, and memory disturbances, while also causing changes in brain structure and chemistry.

This psychological toll manifests in symptoms like hypervigilance and mood disturbances. Moreover, trauma elicits physical responses such as headaches and muscle tension, stemming from the body’s stress response mechanisms. Recognizing trauma’s multifaceted nature underscores the importance of holistic approaches to healing and recovery, addressing both psychological and physical aspects to promote comprehensive well-being.

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