Mental Health & Relationships: Understanding Trauma Bonds

By Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

I am sharing this article because men on the spectrum are prone to being in abusive relationships. I experienced many of the things in my marriage that are discussed in this article.  I ended up in rehab for 60 days to recover from the effects of the experience. I often today fear getting into another relationship because of the experience.  – Greg

What Is a Trauma Bond?

A trauma bond is an attachment to an abuser in a relationship with a cyclical pattern of abuse. Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., coined the term in 1997. He defined it as an adaptive, dysfunctional attachment occurring in the presence of danger, shame, or exploitation in order to survive. The bond is created due to a power imbalance and recurring abuse mixed with intermittent positive reinforcement; in other words, good and bad treatment. The abuser is the dominant partner in the relationship and controls the victim with fear, unpredictability, and domination.

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Handling Disclosure as a Self-Advocate

We have talked about this in the support group I am in.  When I was dating my ex wife I told her about it. She never made the effort to understand asbergers and recently she told me her family told her to run from me when we were dating.   My goal was to have understanding in my behavior under anxiety situations.  If I had know this while working I could have saved a couple of jobs.  – Greg

by Ryan Walsh

As an autistic self-advocate, it is no secret that disclosing my autism to others has and always will be a complicated process throughout my life. There are many factors that go into how, when, why, and to whom I will disclose my autism, but they all have to do with the purpose for the disclosure and the anticipated response. I do believe there are times where disclosure is disadvantageous as a result of potential mistreatment. When I do disclose, I generally only share the information that is relevant to the individual I’m disclosing to. read more