(Last Updated On: December 14, 2023)

SCARS 5 Coping Techniques For Traumatized Scam Victims

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.

SCARS 5 Coping Techniques for Traumatized Scam Victims – Navigating the Aftermath

Being scammed can be a deeply unsettling experience, leaving you feeling violated, confused, and unsure of where to turn. The emotional impact can be profound, leading to anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While the path to healing isn’t always linear, there are effective coping techniques you can embrace to navigate the aftermath and rebuild your sense of well-being.

Coping Techniques for Scam Victims: Healing Steps for Emotional Recovery

When you’ve been through the distress of a scam, healing isn’t always easy. The impact can be profound, affecting mental health, well-being, and the ability to navigate everyday life. But amidst the difficulties, there are steps you can take to support your emotional recovery. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, struggling with mental health, or awaiting treatment, here are some gentle yet effective coping strategies:

Coping Techniques 1: Reach Out in Crisis

First and foremost, if you’re in crisis, support is available. Call or text 988 or reach out through 988lifeline.org to connect with a trained crisis counselor at any time of day or night. Seeking help in moments of distress is a courageous step toward healing.

Coping Techniques 2: Acknowledge and Accept

The next step is acknowledging the trauma. Don’t minimize your experience or dismiss your emotions. Allow yourself to feel the anger, sadness, and fear; bottling them up will only prolong the healing process. Be kind to yourself and accept where you are in this journey. Healing takes time, and there will be bumps along the road, but remember, you are not alone.

Understand that where you are right now is okay. Healing isn’t a linear journey; it involves peaks and valleys. Offer yourself kindness and understanding as you would to a dear friend facing similar challenges.

Coping Techniques 3: Prioritize Self-Care

Trauma takes a toll on your body and mind. Prioritizing self-care becomes crucial for restoring balance and resilience. This includes:

  • Physical well-being: Aim for regular sleep, nutritious meals, and exercise. Even a short walk or gentle stretching can make a difference.
  • Emotional well-being: Explore healthy outlets for your emotions. Journaling, creative expression like writing or drawing, or mindfulness practices like deep breathing can help you process and release negative emotions.
  • Mental well-being: Limit your exposure to news or social media if it triggers anxiety. Instead, engage in activities you enjoy, rediscover old hobbies, or pick up new ones. Maintaining a regular schedule can provide a sense of structure and stability.

Nurturing Your Body and Mind

Taking care of yourself is an essential part of the healing process. Self-care varies from person to person, so explore different practices until you find what resonates with you.

  • Body Care
    • Prioritize adequate sleep and aim for a consistent sleep schedule if possible.
    • Safely spend time outdoors, soaking in nature’s calming influence.
    • Engage in physical activities you enjoy, whether it’s playing sports or simple exercises like stretching or walking.
  • Mind Care:
    • Express your feelings through writing or drawing; it can be a therapeutic outlet.
    • Practice deep breathing exercises to ease your mind and slow your heart rate.
    • Limit exposure to distressing news or social media content if it adds to your stress.
  • Exploring Interests and Finding Joy – Engaging in activities you love can be profoundly healing:
    • Develop a daily routine that works for you and factor in moments for relaxation.
    • Acknowledge and celebrate both small and significant achievements along your journey.
    • Seek connections and support from others.

Coping Techniques 4: Connect and Seek Support

Reach out to your support network. Talk to friends, family, or anyone you trust about your experience. Joining a support group specifically for scam victims can connect you with others who understand what you’re going through and offer valuable advice and encouragement. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if needed. Therapists can provide tools and strategies for managing PTSD symptoms and coping with the emotional aftermath.

Building Support and Connection:

  • Consider seeking help when you feel ready to take that step.
  • Join a SCARS support group or connect with an online community where you feel safe. Sign up at support.AgainstScams.org
  • Share your feelings with non-judgmental individuals who genuinely care about you.
  • If safe, communicate openly with your partner about your experiences.
  • Engage in social activities or volunteer work that align with your interests and values.

In times of crisis or when you simply need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to call or text 988 for immediate support in the U.S. or Canada.

Coping Techniques 5: Celebrate Small Wins

Healing is a journey, not a destination. Acknowledge and celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Every positive step counts, whether it’s waking up feeling slightly less anxious, enjoying a moment of laughter, or simply getting through the day without relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms.

This was not your fault and you are not alone. There are resources below available to help you cope and heal.

Remember!

By actively engaging in self-care, seeking support, and celebrating your progress, you can gradually navigate the aftermath of being scammed and rebuild your life on a foundation of strength and resilience. Remember, you are stronger than the trauma you endured, and brighter days lie ahead.

Also, healing is a unique journey for each individual. By practicing self-care, seeking support, and allowing yourself space for emotional recovery, you’re taking crucial steps toward reclaiming your well-being and resilience after experiencing the distress of a scam.

Coping Techniques For Traumatized Scam Victims

Coping Techniques For Traumatized Scam Victims

SCARS Resources:

PLEASE NOTE: Psychology Clarification

The following specific modalities within the practice of psychology are restricted to psychologists appropriately trained in the use of such modalities:

  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of mental, emotional, or brain disorders and related behaviors.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals to understand and resolve unconscious conflicts.
  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of trance in which individuals are more susceptible to suggestion. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of therapy that teaches individuals to control their bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Behavioral analysis: Behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on changing individuals’ behaviors. It is often used to treat conditions such as autism and ADHD.
    Neuropsychology: Neuropsychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is often used to assess and treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or diseases.

SCARS and the members of the SCARS Team do not engage in any of the above modalities in relationship to scam victims. SCARS is not a mental healthcare provider and recognizes the importance of professionalism and separation between its work and that of the licensed practice of psychology.

SCARS is an educational provider of generalized self-help information that individuals can use for their own benefit to achieve their own goals related to emotional trauma. SCARS recommends that all scam victims see professional counselors or therapists to help them determine the suitability of any specific information or practices that may help them.

SCARS cannot diagnose or treat any individuals, nor can it state the effectiveness of any educational information that it may provide, regardless of its experience in interacting with traumatized scam victims over time. All information that SCARS provides is purely for general educational purposes to help scam victims become aware of and better understand the topics and to be able to dialog with their counselors or therapists.

It is important that all readers understand these distinctions and that they apply the information that SCARS may publish at their own risk, and should do so only after consulting a licensed psychologist or mental healthcare provider.

Opinions

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of the Society of Citizens Against Rleationship Scams Inc. The author is solely responsible for the content of their work. SCARS is protected under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) section 230 from liability.

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