Are Hallucinations Related to Betrayal Trauma Exposure?

Betrayal trauma theory proposes that one response to betrayal may be to keep knowledge of the trauma out of conscious awareness. Although this betrayal blindness may be beneficial for survival while the abuse is ongoing because it helps maintain crucial relationships, this distortion of reality can lead to subsequent psychological and behavioral problems. The current article presents three exploratory studies that examine the associations among exposure to betrayal trauma, dissociation, and hallucinations. The first study (N ϭ 397) examined the associations between exposure to medium and high betrayal trauma and dissociation. The second study (N ϭ 199) examined the associations between exposure to low, medium, and high betrayal trauma and hallucinations. The third study (N ϭ 566) examined the associations between medium and high betrayal child and adolescent/adult sexual abuse and hallucinations. Our results suggest that exposure to betrayal trauma increases the likelihood of both dissociation and hallucinations. These findings provide further evidence that the toxic nature of betrayal in traumas has lasting effects on both cognitive and perceptual processes— dissociation and hallucinations— having implications for therapeutic treatment for individuals who have experienced betrayal traumas and related outcomes.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280776251_Are_Hallucinations_Related_to_Betrayal_Trauma_Exposure_A_Three-Study_Exploration

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