Post Infidelity Stress Disorder: Subtle Symptoms & Quick Fix

Infidelity can have a devastating impact on individuals, causing emotional turmoil and psychological distress. The aftermath of cheating can result in a condition known as Post Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD), which can manifest as a range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and trauma.

PISD can make it challenging for individuals to trust again and can significantly impair their ability to form and maintain healthy relationships. In this article, we will explore the symptoms of PISD and its impact on the individual’s mental and emotional well-being.

We will also discuss various treatment options for PISD, including therapy and support groups, that can help individuals navigate through the aftermath of infidelity and heal from the emotional wounds it has caused.

Understanding how to treat post infidelity stress can be crucial in providing support and guidance to individuals who are struggling to cope with the aftermath of an affair and rebuild their lives. 

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What Is Post Infidelity Stress Disorder?

What is PISD? Post Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD) is a psychological condition that can occur after a person has experienced infidelity in their relationship.

This disorder can manifest as a result of the intense emotional trauma and distress caused by the betrayal, leading to PTSD cheating symptoms such as anxiety, depression, flashbacks, and intrusive thoughts about the infidelity.

Individuals with PISD may also experience difficulty in trusting others, struggle with low self-esteem, and have a heightened sense of insecurity in relationships.

The impact of infidelity and PTSD can be deeply disruptive to a person’s mental well-being and can have lasting effects if not adequately addressed.

Seeking therapy and support from mental health professionals can be crucial in navigating the complexities of PISD and working towards healing and recovery. 

It’s essential for individuals experiencing PISD to recognize the validity of their emotions and seek the help they need to process and overcome the trauma of infidelity. 

Is Post-Infidelity Stress The Same As PTSD?

Post-infidelity stress disorder (PISD) is a term used to describe the emotional and psychological distress that can be experienced after a partner has been unfaithful.

While PISD is not a formal diagnosis recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it is increasingly being recognized as a distinct mental health condition.

PISD shares many similarities with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a recognized mental illness that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a post traumatic infidelity syndrome.

Both PISD and PTSD can cause symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and hypervigilance. However, there are also some critical differences between the two conditions.

One of the main differences between PISD and PTSD is that PISD is specifically related to the traumatic experience of infidelity. At the same time, PTSD can be caused by any traumatic event. Additionally, PISD is typically characterized by a more intense and prolonged emotional reaction than PTSD.

Despite the differences between PISD and PTSD, both conditions can have a significant impact on a person’s life. If you are experiencing PTSD cheating symptoms, it is crucial to seek professional help. A therapist can help you to understand your symptoms and develop coping mechanisms for dealing with the emotional distress of infidelity.

Here is a table summarizing the key similarities and differences between PISD and PTSD:

DefinitionA term used to describe the emotional and psychological distress that can be experienced after a partner has been unfaithfulA mental illness that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event
DSM-5 diagnosisNot a formal diagnosisA recognized mental illness
Specific triggerInfidelityAny type of traumatic event
Emotional reactionTypically more intense and prolonged than PTSDCan vary in intensity and duration

If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be experiencing post traumatic infidelity syndrome or PTSD, please reach out to a mental health professional for help.

Can Infidelity Cause PTSD?

Infidelity can be a traumatic event that can cause substantial emotional distress and feelings of betrayal, leading to symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder after infidelity.

However, it’s important to note that infidelity is not an official diagnosis in the DSM-5, the manual used to diagnose mental health conditions.

Instead, the term “post-infidelity stress disorder” (PISD) is sometimes used to describe the symptoms that can arise after experiencing infidelity.

Symptoms Of Post Infidelity Stress Disorder

Infidelity can be a devastating experience for both the betrayed and the betrayer. For the crossed, it can lead to a range of emotional and psychological problems, including post-infidelity stress disorder (PISD).

PISD is not a recognized mental disorder, but it is a term that is used to describe the symptoms that people may experience after discovering their unfaithful partner.

These Symptoms of PISD can include:

  • Emotional distress: This can include feelings of sadness, anger, betrayal, humiliation, and jealousy.
  • Psychological distress: This can include symptoms such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress after infidelity, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Behavioral problems: This can include changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, and substance use.
  • Relationship problems can include communication, trust, and intimacy difficulties.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after discovering that your partner has been unfaithful, it is essential to seek help from a therapist or counselor. They can help you understand your symptoms, develop coping mechanisms, and decide about your relationship.

It is also important to remember that you are not alone. Many people experience PISD, and there are resources available to help you cope.

Post infidelity stress disorder test

While there is no official diagnostic test for post-infidelity stress disorder (PISD), there are several questionnaires that can help you assess whether you are experiencing symptoms consistent with PISD.

These questionnaires can be a helpful first step in understanding your emotional response to infidelity and seeking professional help if needed.

Here are two examples of PISD questionnaires:

  1. Partner Betrayal Trauma Test: This questionnaire measures the severity of betrayal-related PTSD symptoms. It asks questions about intrusive thoughts, nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance, and hyperarousal.
  2. Trust Scale Test: This questionnaire measures your level of trust in your partner before and after the infidelity. It asks questions about your feelings of security, intimacy, and vulnerability with your partner.

Please note that these questionnaires are not a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. If you are experiencing significant distress following infidelity, it is essential to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.

They can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and develop a personalized PISD treatment plan to help you cope with the emotional impact of infidelity.

Here are some resources that can help you find a mental health professional in your area:

How to deal with Post Infidelity Stress Disorder?

Dealing with Post Infidelity Stress Disorder can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. It is important to prioritize self-care and seek support from a therapist or counselor who specializes in infidelity and relationship issues.

Processing and expressing emotions surrounding the infidelity is crucial in the healing process. This may involve journaling, talking to a trusted friend or family member, or participating in support groups.

It is also essential to set healthy boundaries with the partner who engaged in infidelity, which may include seeking couples therapy or taking time apart to regain a sense of safety and trust. 

Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation, such as exercise, mindfulness practices, or hobbies, can also help reduce stress and anxiety. 

Developing a self-care routine and seeking professional help can aid in navigating the complex emotions and trauma associated with post traumatic infidelity syndrome. Taking the time to heal and prioritize one’s well-being is crucial in overcoming the challenges of dealing with infidelity. 

Five ways to manage post-infidelity stress disorder

Post-infidelity stress disorder (PISD) is a type of infidelity post-traumatic stress disorder that can develop after experiencing infidelity in a relationship. Symptoms of PISD can include flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, and emotional detachment.

These symptoms can be very distressing and can make it difficult to function in daily life. Here are five ways to manage PISD:

  1. Seek professional help. A therapist can help you understand PISD and develop coping mechanisms to manage your symptoms. Therapy can also help you to process the betrayal and to rebuild your trust in yourself and others.
  2. Practice self-care. This includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. Self-care can help to improve your mood and energy levels, and it can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.
  3. Avoid contact with the trigger. If possible, try to avoid contact with the person who betrayed you or with any reminders of the betrayal. This can be not easy, but giving yourself time to heal is essential.
  4. Join a support group. There are many support groups available for people who have experienced infidelity. These groups can provide a safe space to talk about your experiences and connect with others who understand what you are going through.
  5. Be patient. Healing from PISD takes time. Don’t expect to feel better overnight. Be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself.

Overcoming Betrayal Trauma: Healing Tips for Post Infidelity Stress Disorder

Betrayal trauma resulting from infidelity can be complicated to overcome, but with the proper support and strategies, healing is possible.

It’s important to acknowledge and validate the feelings of anger, hurt, and betrayal that come with experiencing such a breach of trust. Seeking therapy and support groups can provide a safe space to process emotions and gain perspective.

Exploring self-care activities like exercise, meditation, and hobbies can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Setting boundaries and communicating openly with your partner about your needs and expectations can also be essential to rebuilding trust.

Additionally, practicing forgiveness for yourself or your partner can be a powerful tool in moving forward. It’s crucial to remember that healing from betrayal trauma is a journey, and it’s okay to seek help and take as much worry time as needed to heal.

With patience, self-compassion, and the proper support, it is possible to overcome the stress and pain of infidelity and move forward toward a healthier, happier future.

Warning: The trauma of infidelity can evoke symptoms similar to PTSD

Infidelity can often have a profound and lasting impact on the betrayed partner, leading to a range of emotional and psychological symptoms that can be reminiscent of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The betrayal and loss of trust experienced in infidelity can lead to intense feelings of shock, disbelief, and emotional numbness, as well as intrusive thoughts and extreme emotional reactions.

This can result in a hyper-arousal response, including hypervigilance, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. The triggers associated with infidelity, such as reminders of the affair or specific locations and activities, can also lead to intense emotional and physiological reactions similar to those experienced in PTSD.

The distress and emotional turmoil caused by infidelity can have a significant impact on the betrayed partner’s mental and emotional well-being, making it essential for them to seek support and therapy to cope with the trauma and work through the healing process.

How long does post infidelity stress disorder last?

The duration to treat post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD varies depending on the individual and the severity of the trauma. Some people may experience symptoms for a few weeks or months, while others may struggle with PISD for years.

What are common post infidelity stress disorder symptoms?

Common symptoms of post-infidelity stress disorder (PISD) include intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, hyperarousal, avoidance, and emotional numbness.

Can I get PTSD from infidelity?

Yes, infidelity can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While PTSD is typically associated with war, accidents, or other life-threatening events, it can also be caused by emotional trauma, such as infidelity. If you experience symptoms of PTSD after cheating, it is vital to seek professional help.

What is a rumination after being cheated on?

Rumination involves repeatedly thinking about negative thoughts, memories, or experiences. PTSD after an affair, meditation can lead to intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares about the betrayal. It can also cause a person to question their self-worth and ability to trust others.

What are obsessive thoughts after infidelity?

Obsessive thoughts after infidelity are intrusive thoughts that pop up uncontrollably and hijack the way you think or feel. These thoughts and feelings can be about the cheating itself, the affair partner, or the betrayed partner’s self-worth and ability to trust others.

How does being cheated on change you?

It can lead to feelings of betrayal, sadness, anger, and worthlessness, and it can erode trust in others and make it difficult to form new relationships. In some cases, it can even trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How do I stop ruminating after cheating?

To stop ruminating after cheating, focus on self-reflection, communication, and rebuilding trust. Seek support from a therapist or counselor to navigate emotions and develop a growth plan.

What is the trauma of a cheating spouse?

The infidelity trauma includes emotional pain, betrayal, and shattered trust. It often leads to feelings of insecurity and anxiety and can impact the individual’s overall well-being and relationships.

How do you overcome infidelity PTSD?

Overcoming PTSD after infidelity requires a combination of professional help, self-care, and support from loved ones. Therapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can effectively address the symptoms and underlying trust issues of post traumatic infidelity syndrome. Engaging in activities promoting relaxation and well-being, like exercise, meditation, and spending time in nature, can also help heal.

Does infidelity pain ever go away?

While the pain of infidelity and PTSD can be intense and long-lasting, it is possible to heal and move on. With time, support, and professional help, you can overcome the emotional trauma and rebuild trust in yourself and others.


In the aftermath of sexually or emotionally infidelity, the emotional turmoil can be overwhelming. It’s an experience that shakes the foundation of trust and leaves scars that take time to heal. However, by acknowledging the pain, seeking clinical psychologist support, and focusing on self-care, it’s possible to rebuild a fulfilling life. Remember, healing is not a linear process, and it’s okay to have setbacks along the way. With time and effort, you can overcome the post infidelity stress disorder and emerge stronger, wiser, and ready to embrace a brighter future.

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