Minimizing Trauma after Sexual Assault for Victims

Category : Getting Help

Minimizing Trauma after Sexual Assault for VictimsWhether your sexual assault happened last week or last year, it isn’t too late to seek help. Many people who need help for trauma often cope with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even addiction, and it can be quite impossible to recover from these combined problems with help. It can also be difficult to accept help, but it is a vital step to ensure that you live again with a sense of normalcy. You should know that there is hope, because specialized treatment is available. If you face addiction and/or PTSD after surviving sexual assault, there is no time like the present to accept help.

Symptoms of PTSD

Everyone will react differently to surviving traumatic experiences. For instance, some people will put on a strong front to give the impression that the assault did not bother them. This false sense of bravery may distance the survivor from the traumatic experience, but it will not soothe the symptoms of the experience. On the other hand, other survivors will retreat from the world and cling to any comfort they find. This approach puts up a wall between survivors and those who may hurt them, but it can also keep out the people who truly care. This approach also neglects the symptoms of trauma and may overwhelm survivors quite easily.

If someone develops PTSD in response to sexual assault, she may exude any of these symptoms:

  • Denial or disbelief
  • Anger and mood swings
  • Guilt and shame
  • Self-blame
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • Feeling disconnected from reality
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety and intense fear
  • Flashbacks, both at night through night terrors and during the day which may stem from mundane actions
  • Being easily startled, leaving you feeling edgy or agitated
  • Exhaustion, despite sleeping more

Even if you have would never consider abusing drugs or alcohol, these symptoms may drive you to seek relief through abusive substances. The longer you wait to seek professional care, the longer sexual assault will dominate your life and the lives of your loved ones.

Treatment for Sexual Assault

Family members and close friends can help you, so allow them to carry you through this difficult phase. Avoid treatment that makes you uncomfortable, but recognize that accepting help can teach you to cope with trauma. You may never forget your experiences, and no one would insist that you do. However, with help you can learn to cope with the deluge of emotions that keep you from living as you did before the incident. You may eventually rise above this terrible assault and regain control over your life, but you will need help.

Help for Sexual Assault Survivors

A fair amount of treatment options can help you overcome sexual assault, and our counselors will treat you with the utmost respect. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline, or have one of your family members call on your behalf, to locate the professional care that could save your life.