Could unexplained symptoms be related to feelings of betrayal?

The Case:

  • Naomi is 39 and has been dealing with IBS for years
  • She was experiencing chronic bloating stomachs and diarrhea
  • We solved this issue once but it came back

The Investigation

Naomi seemed like a typical IBS case. We did some testing and were able to identify some intestinal infections and food sensitivities. These we were able to address through natural remedies and diet changes. She felt better than she had in decades.

It seemed like it her case was closed; her health mystery solved. But then, she started to experience flare-ups of her old IBS symptoms. Further testing gave us no clues – everything was clear and normal. There were no new life events or stressers either.

The only clue I had was that she seemed to hold on to so much fear around her symptoms coming back that I started to wonder if perhaps her emotions might be the culprit in this mystery.

I turned to the work of Debi Silber. She’s an expert (in fact she coined the term) Post Betrayal Transformation. Her work in helping women heal after betrayal has landed her on CBS, Fox, TEDx, and The Dr. Oz Show.

Redefining Betrayal

A lot of people think of betrayal as one person disregarding someone’s trust or loyalty. We often think of cheating spouses or self-serving business partners. Debi says that we can trust and believe in ourselves and suddenly find that we’ve betrayed ourselves or that our body has betrayed us.

Betrayal has a Physical Manifestation

When we experience betrayal, even if our mind is not identifying it as betrayal, we can feel the effects physically. It is similar to the way that stress (acknowledged or otherwise) can impact us in many ways. Often, betrayal can show up as a digestive issues. Think about how we describe the shock of betrayal  as ‘like I was punched in the gut’ and the connection seems much clearer.

Symptoms of Betrayal

We can’t always pinpoint our health issues to a feeling betrayed, Debi has created a list of symptoms to look for that might indicate that you’re suffering from post betrayal syndrome. She has also created a quiz (link below) that will help you determine the impact of a betrayal. Some symptoms include low energy, difficulty falling asleep, exhaustion, sadness, anger, stress, anxiety, and a hesitation to trust anyone.

Stages of Betrayal

Like grief, betrayal has stages. The first is the set-up stage. The second is shock. The third is survival. Stage four is moving on. And, the final stage is healing and rebirth. Debi goes into great detail in our interview about each stage. And, we relate each stage to the body-betrayal experience that Naomi was going through.

Stuck in Survival Mode

Many people get stuck at stage three and stay here for years, even decades. This is where serious health issues can develop. If we think about what we know about the ‘fight or flight’ response and stress, it makes perfect sense that we would experience the same adrenal strain by staying in the survival mode of a betrayal experience.

The Post Betrayal Transformation

Getting through the stages to healing requires a paradigm shift. Debi says that the only way forward is to face it, feel it, heal it. She encourages women to stop letting the betrayal define them but rather to see it as a part of what shapes them. Debi encourages her patients (through her 8-week program) to find the silver lining in their betrayal and use it to write their next chapter.

Mystery Solved

Naomi didn’t realize that she was suffering from post betrayal syndrome until we did some work looking at how she felt about the medical system and her own body. We’d already gotten to the root of her problem and solved it but the fear lingered and manifested the symptoms of her IBS all over again. Once she realized this, she was able to work her way through the steps and regain her regained health for good. And, we also used EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to reprogram her thought process around her body betrayal.

Eliminating Health Mysteries

For Naomi we were able to find that final missing piece of the health puzzle and help her reacquaint herself with good health. Could post betrayal syndrome be the missing clue for you or someone in your life?

Resources mentioned:

Thanks to my guest Debi Silber. You can connect with her on her website: https://pbtinstitute.com/

Or, on Facebook or Twitter.

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All information, content, and material on this podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.