Mental health expert links online reputation crises and post-traumatic stress

By Jennifer Cunningham, Certified Reputation Repair Coach

SARASOTA, FL/ACCESSWIRE/March 30, 2022/ Many people who have been publicly humiliated experience a type of post-traumatic stress disorder, which requires its own definition. It may not be the same stress as a veteran, but it can be just as psychologically damaging. If you’ve been through a social media or mob-type lynching, you’re sure to know what I’m talking about.

If your situation is due to your own bad decisions, you might be in luck. “Huh? Lucky? I don’t think so. Let me explain. If you did something wrong and got caught, or made a bad decision that had unintended consequences, you can at least report those decisions. The human brain can figure out self-forgiveness. For example, if I run over my neighbor’s dog, I can apologize, offer to pay the vet bills, buy flowers. But what happens? What if someone says by mistake or intentionally that I ran over my neighbor’s dog? What if they post my name all over Facebook, Meta, whatever? I have no way to defend myself. I can Say I didn’t and those who know me will believe me.Those who won’t judge, hate or worse.

There is a beautiful quote, “a lie can go around the world before the truth puts on its pants”. In our social (often antisocial) world of media, we are all potential victims.

Net Rep staff hear stories like this every day. “Not a day goes by that we don’t have a discussion with our clients about the impacts on their personal lives – and not just their business – of negative online reputation information,” said David McMahon, Director Customer Services.

Thank goodness online reputation management companies such as provide the necessary technology content management service. Some may say, “Why should I pay to have my name cleared when I’ve done nothing wrong?” That’s a legitimate question, but consider the alternative: your name lives on forever and there’s nothing you can do about it. Whenever an employer, potential romantic partner, or business interest googles you, the story, whether true or not, is what they’ll see. You are automatically put on the defensive. Having to explain the situation, often without the proper context. It’s frustrating, humiliating. and eat away at our self-esteem.

When something as traumatic as a public whipping turns our lives upside down, we start looking for answers. Answers to questions such as “Why me, why now, how can this happen?” These questions are unanswered, especially if we had no responsibility in their appearance. So we continue to struggle and try to live our life as best we can. We’ll be fine for a while, and then we’ll see or hear something that reminds us of those terrible times. We can research ourselves online just to see if the damage is on the first page, or if the ORM is working and requires further research. Maybe we hear a comment, and we think they are talking about us. Or maybe friends are disappearing. The incident causes insomnia, relationship and work problems, substance abuse or constant rumination.

All of these situations are triggers.

If left untreated, the triggers can grab us by the collar and set us back ten feet when we’ve only advanced a few inches. That’s why recognizing and understanding our triggers is the first step to managing them. There are many articles and exercises to help understand triggers. Things like emotional freedom technique, tapping, and EMDR therapy, to name a few.

If you are someone who really wants to heal from your situation, keep looking for a cure. Meditate, exercise, walk. Talk to a therapist or coach. Keep a journal of your feelings and your progress. Research others who have taken over the reins. I invite you to read their stories.

Often hearing how others have recovered from their experiences is a good first step. Some examples can be found in Tedtalks by Catherine Bosley: My Naked Nightmare: A Lesson in Surviving Humiliation | TED TalkRead Warwick Fairfax Crucible Leadership: Embrace Your Trials to Lead a Life of Significance: Fairfax, Warwick: BooksJustine Sacco, How a Stupid Tweet Blew Justine Sacco’s Life – The New York Times (, So you’ve been publicly shamed, Jon Ronson. So You Have Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson ( and a small PDF gem, Fight slander, Fighting Slander: A Practical and Legal Guide to Stoping Defamation: Carroll, Nicholas: Books.

There are many examples of people who have been humiliated, some by their own bad decisions and others as innocent victims. No matter what disaster brought you here, it’s the actions you take to get out of it. If you are reading this article, you have taken a big step towards reputation recovery. You work or plan to work with ORM experts who can help you reinvent your image and show the world that you are authentic.


Jennifer Cunningham is a certified coach, having earned her Coach Training Alliance certification, which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation. She holds a Masters in Counseling and Conflict Management and has advised and coached hundreds of people on their careers and relationships. His current work focuses on the psychological consequences of reputational and professional humiliation. More information is at


Founded in 2015 by Adam Petrilli, is an award-winning pioneer and leader in Online Reputation Management (ORM). The company offers state-of-the-art ORM solutions for individuals and businesses, including reputation analysis, negative content removal, optimization and removal, brand promotion and protection, and life protection. private. Named the “Fastest Growing Reputation Management Company in the United States” in 2019 and 2020 by Inc. Magazine and “Best Reputation Management Firm” in 2019 and 2020 by Newsweek, among many other accolades, offers personalized strategies and support that build brands, support sales and enhance reputations. is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida with offices in Kansas City, KC, New York, NY and London, UK.

For information, visit www.netreputation.comFacebook at on at and LinkedIn at

Media contact:

Peter Bylsma
NetReputation, com Public Relations
[email protected]


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