What is bankruptcy trauma?
‘Bankruptcy trauma’ is distress experienced someone who has lost their business and livelihood in some way, shape or form. While trauma can be physical, it is often emotional and psychological. Going through something as distressing as bankruptcy disrupts the core self and can lead to a complete identity crisis of the mind, body and spirit. People who have gone through this trauma are at high risk of suicidal ideation and a study that appears online in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicates that financial strain is a significant risk factor for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. They analyzed data from 34,653 adults interviewed first in 2001–2002 and then in 2004–2005 as part of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related ConditionsTrusted Source. The researchers found that being in debt or facing a financial crisis, unemployment, past homelessness, and having lower income were each associated with suicide attempts. The researchers predict that people who have experienced all of these financial stressors could face a 20-fold higher risk of attempting suicide than individuals who have experienced no financial strain.
Going through a bankruptcy is not just about navigating a psychosocial crisis of identity, it is also about navigating shame and navigating uncertainty about finances. It is a horrific experience to go through and for some can lead to Post-traumatic stress symptoms.
When we experience trauma, we can become emotionally dysregulated as our anxiety and overwhelm increases. That arousal of emotions triggers our fight or flight mechanism, leading to panic/ fear driven emotions as our sympathetic nervous system becomes activated. When we become overwhelmed by this mechanism, we can often become frozen by it, dissociating, shutting down and feeling hopeless. Left unprocessed, traumas can also reshape our core self and make us unable to function. We might feel a host of emotions, some of which are explained in this diagram:
At Naked Bankruptcy, we deliver a structured and supportive 4-month coaching program to support the healing and recovery from such a trauma by teaching techniques to stabilize and deactivate that trauma response. Run by Adele Theron, a highly trained Trauma coach, this coaching approach helps you to pinpoint and project manage the triggers from that traumatic time which continue to live on in your day to day life. Whereas therapy focuses on the trauma itself, coaching focuses on strategies and tools to move forward. Coaching is a forward-focused approach which builds healing strategies to deal with those triggers that come up in your day to day life, teaching you to deal with them proactively.
This coaching approach is educational and builds insight, so you can learn how to support yourself to overcome the overwhelm mechanism using a host of techniques you will learn on the program. The program is not designed for people who have acute psychiatric conditions. Those conditions are better supported with medicalised support. If you want to check if the program is a good fit for you, book a Clarity call with someone on our team to talk through if the coaching approach is a good fit for your situation.