Thursday, December 31, 2015

PTSD Upon Exit (QF: The View from Here)

This series of posts results includes excerpts from information shared with a journalist in August of 2015 who had questions about the Quiverfull Movement as it related to the Duggar Family.
Find the Index of all posts HERE.
Finally, what struggles have you seen from the women who leave QF? Do they have PTSD? And are/were any of them in danger from the people they have left behind?

Response Part One:

Psychological studies in clinical settings demonstrate that members who have just exited a high demand group or cult show low levels of self interest (healthy narcissism) and high levels of both anxiety and dissociation. The patterns that I’ve seen and the symptoms that former members describe correspond with these clinical findings, though they have not been formally assessed or measured. For those who have practiced speaking in tongues, I’ve seen a great deal of what is called “floating,” though it can happen with anyone in response to a trigger or a sense of helplessness, or even from some repetitive activity like vacuuming or driving on the highway.

Everyone I speak with discusses their triggers, as the experience of spiritual abuse, thought reform, and the exit or expulsion from a group does traumatize people on many levels. The specialized language used in QF/P, the music, the daily demands and practices can provoke the sense of threatened safety. When vulnerable and while healing, triggers actually serve to help to keep them safe from real and perceived harm.

Everyone differs, and not everyone remains affected or disabled by trauma, though many people who experience these symptoms develop PTSD. It appears from early research that SGAs and those who suffered traumas in childhood apart from QF/P require more therapy, because their childhood trauma robbed them of the development of effective coping skills in early life. Many people seek out involvement in QF/P to help shield them from the traumas in life as well, and those resurface for them as they are faced with the additional challenges of exiting.

If unable to find a therapist who is knowledgable about cultic abuse and thought reform, a trauma therapist makes for the best alternative.

~ Cynthia Kunsman
The view of Quiverfull from my vantage
 August 2015