Religious Trauma Syndrome


"People who have not survived an authoritarian fundamentalist indoctrination do not realize what a complete mind-rape it really is."


- Dr. Marlene Winell, Leaving the Fold

What Is Religious Trauma Syndrome?

Religious Trauma Syndrome (a term coined by Marlene Winell) is the condition experienced by people who are struggling with leaving an authoritarian, dogmatic religion and coping with the damage of indoctrination.

It is a common experience shared among many who have escaped cults, fundamentalist religious groups, abusive religious settings, or other painful experiences with religion. The symptoms of Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS) are comparable to the symptoms of complex PTSD.

Some common symptoms:

  • Confusing thoughts and reduced ability to think critically

  • Negative beliefs about self, others, and the world

  • Trouble making decisions

  • Feelings of depression, anxiety, grief, anger, lethargy

  • A sense of feeling lost, directionless, and alone

  • A lack of pleasure or interest in things you used to enjoy

  • A loss of a community (family, friends, romantic relationships)

  • Feeling isolated or a sense that you don’t belong

  • And many other symptoms of PTSD including nightmares, flashbacks, dissociation, emotional difficulty, etc

You are not alone. There is help and healing. Call or email today to start your journey.