Bumisuka.com – Post Infidelity Stress Disorder Is a Wound caused by an affair. The issue of infidelity is a frightening specter for people who already have partners. Not a few news about betrayal committed by loved ones circulating on social media and even real life.
Infidelity can have very serious repercussions. This concerns psychological aspects that are manifested in various contexts, including sadness, disappointment, anger, even depression and hopelessness. In extreme cases, victims of infidelity can show indications of mental health problems known as post-infidelity stress disorder (PISD).
Post infidelity stress disorder (PISD) is a term used to describe the psychological scars resulting from an affair. Although PISD is not an official, independent diagnosis, it shares a pattern similar to that of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
1. Symptoms of PISD
It’s not uncommon for victims of infidelity to show emotional responses in the form of sadness, anger, or self-isolation. However, if the intensity of this attitude occurs continuously, this needs to be watched out for. It is important for anyone to be familiar with the symptoms of PISD which include:
- Often contemplating because of the infidelity of a partner.
- Experiencing trauma includes having painful memories, flashbacks, or nightmares related to the affair.
- Become numb or devoid of emotion.
- Doing avoidance by not wanting to remember the moments together with your partner.
- Experiencing anxiety symptoms such as constant worrying.
- Experiencing symptoms of depression such as feeling sad, empty, or crying a lot.
- Withdraw from the social environment and prefer to be alone.
- Susceptible to insomnia and have irregular sleep patterns.
- Trust problems arise in new people.
- Difficulty forming new relationships.
2. Who is vulnerable to PISD?
It should be understood that PISD can happen to anyone regardless of gender. While there are certain people who have a greater risk of experiencing PISD, namely:
- People who have experienced trauma or abuse in the past.
- People who have trust issues in relationships.
- People who have low self-esteem.
- People with a history of dependent personality disorder.
- People with negative views on almost all aspects of life, from themselves, others, to their environment.
- People struggling with a history of codependent or partner-controlled relationships.
3. Diagnose PISD
As mentioned earlier, PISD is not an official diagnosis. This condition is not contained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) mental health diagnosis guidelines.
Although not an official diagnosis, PISD is still being considered by mental health professionals. This is because the symptoms a patient exhibits can help maintain a nomenclature so that a collection of symptoms can be more easily understood and identified.
If a patient is very depressed after an incident of infidelity, that patient may be diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or PTSD depending on the symptoms. This is in line with research contained in Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress in 2021.
4. Treatment of PISD
After the diagnosis process has been successfully carried out, the next step is to determine the type of treatment. Patients with PISD may be recommended by doctors for several treatment options which consist of:
- Administering certain medications: This involves anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, or anti-convulsant medications.
- Cognitive restructuring: Involves exploring negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and replacing them with more adaptive ones.
- Application of therapy: Therapy can help to gather information related to the root causes of trauma in a comprehensive manner. The type of therapy that can be done is family therapy involving the support of other family members.
5. Coping mechanisms
Crying, disappointment, or even anger is a normal response when finding the fact that a loved one has committed betrayal. However, don’t let yourself get dragged into the problem.
People who have experienced PISD need to employ specific strategies to counteract the memory of that traumatic event. However, the most important thing is the determination to get out of the trap of painful flashbacks. The specific strategies in question include:
- Practicing self-care such as eating a healthy diet, minimizing social media exposure, engaging in physical activity, or spending time with family and close friends.
- If possible spend time keeping a journal, visiting a therapist, or having a heart-to-heart talk with trusted family or friends.
- Don’t blame yourself for the incidents of infidelity by your partner.
- Learn to make peace with reality and realize that it’s okay to not be okay.
Infidelity is a very difficult experience and can leave traumatic scars. The victim may feel angry, hurt, betrayed, lonely, insecure, and afraid of the future.
If you are currently having problems with infidelity, don’t blame yourself for what happened. Basically, a healthy relationship will not drag third parties into it. A good partner also does not have the heart to hurt the feelings of his partner by cheating.