When people leave these groups there may be distress from several sources:
- The distress of losing community – sometimes in conjunction with the humbling experience of rejoining the larger community outside the group.
- The distress of having to come back to yourself, and no longer relying on the ethos and practices of the group.
- The struggle of integrating whatever was gained within the group into a life outside the group.
I have extensive experience within such groups, as well as extensive experience of leaving and integrating what was valuable from being in the group. Once outside the group it can be difficult to honor, nurture, and then integrate what was truly valuable in being a member of the group.