Trauma: a deeply distressing experience or injury.
Deeply distressing damage caused by authoritarian and dogmatic indoctrination that results in terror, helplessness, or horror, and a distorted view of self, identity, and worth. These repressive religious environments are often coupled with emotional, mental, physical or sexual abuse. The traumatic impact is long-lasting and invasive, altering the trajectory of emotional development and the social functioning of an otherwise healthy person.
Leaving the flock adds enormous stress, as well as feelings of abandonment and alienation. The adjustment to a new life without their social system can be a shock. Sheltered people who’ve been taught to fear the secular world often struggle to find the independent thinking, confidence, and resilience needed to rebuild their lives.