Emotional Impact of Identity Theft

emotional impact
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emotional impact

Identity theft is a complex problem and it can affect the emotional stability of the victim and that of the victim’s family. At one point or another, victims of this crime may experience helplessness, anger, rage, betrayal, depression, isolation, vulnerability, and an inability to trust those around them. Feeling overwhelmed, experiencing a psychological pain of loss, and a loss of control over their life are common emotions. It is important to understand that identity theft is a life-altering crime.

In order to regain emotional stability, control over the situation, and balance in their lives, victims need to understand that these reactions and emotional changes are part of the healing process. It is perfectly okay to feel that way.

Recognize emotions. It may appear to the victim that their emotions are under control; however, the victim’s family may be at the other end of the stick. Emotions are easily controlled and recognizing them may help avoid familial confrontations with those who can be members of their support team. This awareness is an important step in regaining control of the situation.

Don’t forget the rest of your life. Identity theft can appear all-consuming; however, it is important for the victim to realize that there are aspects of their lives that have not been affected by identity theft. A great way to combat these emotions is to focus on the accomplishments you have had in the past and on your current goals and those for the future. Keep balance in your life. Do not let your identity theft case become all-consuming.

Be consistent and organized. There may be times when you will feel battered, and that you are bouncing around from company to company trying to resolve the problem. Some companies may even give you the cold shoulder, and even treat you as the criminal. It is important that you not lose sight of your own ability to overcome adversity. Also, do not take no for an answer. If someone turns you down, try again. Identity thieves don’t quit, why should you? Additionally, you need to make sure you keep track of conversations you have with any involved companies, and organize your paperwork. Such organization may enable you to feel more in control of what is going on during this process.

Be kind to yourself and set limits. You need to focus on your well-being. An emotionally healthy person leads to a healthy familial environment. You cannot allow the clearing process to become your full-time job. Do what is within reach, every day. There is always a tomorrow, but there is only one you.

Often times, seeking a support group, religious group, or other counseling options can prove beneficial. Sometimes it is reassuring to know that you are not alone. Remember, recovery and balance go a long way, however, in order to achieve them; you must become aware and fight back.

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Nikki Junker

Nikki Junker is Social Media Coordinator and Victim Advisor at The Identity Theft Resource Center. She specializes in Identity Theft on social networks and smartphones. She enjoys working one on one with victims of identity theft as well as researching and writing about preventative measures for consumers.