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Dealing with Sexual Abuse Through PTSD Therapy

April 19, 2013

PTSD therapy can be one of the most effective tools for dealing with the consequences of sexual abuse. It’s normal to feel frightened, anxious, or disconnected following a traumatic experience such as sexual abuse or partner violence, but therapy can help. These feelings may be an indicator that you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Why PTSD Therapy?

What is PTSD?

PTSD is most frequently associated with former soldiers who have experienced trauma related to combat, but this disorder affects more than battle-scarred veterans. Any overwhelming and uncontrollable life experience can result in the onset of PTSD. It can occur even if you witnessed a traumatic event; symptoms could show up within days or may take years to manifest.

Sexual Abuse Survivors

The National Center for PTSD reports that approximately 1 out of 6 boys and 1 out of 4 girls are sexually abused in the United States. Survivors of this type of trauma may develop symptoms of PTSD and can benefit from PTSD therapy. Common symptoms include:

  • Sleep disturbances, including nightmares or the inability to fall or stay asleep
  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event through flashbacks
  • Avoiding reminders of the trauma or losing interest in normal activities
  • Physical reactions to memories or reminders of trauma such as pounding heart, nausea, or sweating
  • Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
  • Feelings of anger, irritability, shame, guilt, or mistrust

These are just a few of the symptoms associated with this disorder. Symptoms among children who have suffered sexual abuse may differ according to their age and developmental level. Signs of PTSD among children may include:

  • Acting out sexual abuse during play
  • Regressing in areas they have previously mastered such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking behaviors
  • Acting seductively
  • Suicidal tendencies among older children

PTSD therapy can offer help in coping with these symptoms and other feelings linked with the aftermath of sexual abuse.

What is PTSD Therapy?

Behavioral therapy is one of the most common treatments for this disorder. It helps survivors deal with the aftermath of sexual abuse by confiding their feelings in a trained mental health professional, rather than holding them inside. PTSD therapy can help you understand the trauma and how thoughts about the abuse cause stress and can worsen the symptoms of PTSD.

Getting Help

If you feel that you or a loved one may be struggling with issues related to PTSD, don’t hesitate to seek help. Early intervention leads to better outcomes. Untreated PTSD can interfere with meaningful relationships, your quality of life, and even your ability to function. A qualified mental health professional can provide PTSD therapy in a safe and therapeutic environment.

If you or a loved one in your life is suffering from PTSD or exhibits PTSD symptoms that prevent them from living a healthy, productive life, it may be time to seek PTSD treatment from a professional mental health center. We offer personalized treatment plans to help with PTSD and trauma.  Please call us at 1-888-205-2775. The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center is a full service mental health facility dedicated to helping individuals who suffer from mental illness find a path to living better.

Call Our 24-Hour Helpline and Speak to a Counselor Today.  888-205-2775
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