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Religious Trama Syndrome

Brother Jeff

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The Spook of Kryasst who is also somehow magically Him magically caused me to read two glorious articles posted to the main blog concerning Religious Trauma Syndrome and the understanding of it. The author, Dr. Marlene Winell, knows the pain RTS and she understands how it can inflict tremendous suffering on those afflicted. She is working hard to get it recognized as a legitimate psychological condition so it can be much better treated by the mental health community.


I've known for a long time that my experiences with the fundamentalist Christian cult hurt me in countless was and that being sucked into the cult at the age of 19 was the worst thing that ever happened to me. So many of the symptoms outlined below fit me to a tee.


Symptoms of RTS include:




  • confusion
  • black & white thinking
  • difficulty with decision making
  • negative beliefs about self-efficacy and self-worth
  • perfectionism




  • Depression
  • anxiety
  • grief
  • loneliness
  • difficulty with pleasure
  • loss of meaning




  • Loss of social network
  • family rupture
  • social awkwardness
  • sexual difficulties
  • behind schedule on developmental tasks




  • Unfamiliarity with the secular world
  • “fish out of water” feelings
  • difficulty belonging
  • information gaps (evolution, modern art, music, etc.)


Causes (etiology)


  • Authoritarianism coupled with toxic theology


When Dr. Winell speaks it's as if she is speaking directly to me, explaining to me why my life has been the way it has. But more importantly, her work as pointed the way to healing!


My suffering from RTS explains my "floating" between Christian belief and atheism for so many years. Also explained is my annoying tendency to pull my websites down instead of sticking with them. Her work also explains to me why I pulled a fun and successful site down in 2004. That's ancient history now, but I do still regret it.


I could go into a lot more detail, but suffice it to say that Dr. Marlene Winell's work has been well, a... revelation to me! I have read her articles and am working on reading and working through the exercises in her book. If I can ever get the money together, I would love to attend one of her "release & reclaim retreats.


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