Religious/Spiritual abuse and trauma results from an event, series of events, relationships, or circumstances within or connected to religious beliefs, practices, or structures that experienced by an individual as overwhelming or disruptive and has lasting adverse effects on a person’s physical, mental, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. This type of trauma most often includes doctrine, teachings, and practices of a community that can foster physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harm due to their toxic or abusive messages. Most often the role of fear and shame is used to control and manipulate. Disconnecting from this type of environment can be extremely stressful. Separation cost someone their sense of security, community, or family, among other things.
Symptoms of religious trauma include but are not limited: confusion, doubt, anxiety, guilt, grief, substance abuse, nightmares, loneliness, and more.