Those who have experienced sexual abuse may continue to suffer after the experience, though the physical pain may be over. Not everyone reacts to assault the same way, which is understandable because everyone’s situation is different and everyone’s coping mechanisms will differ. The one factor that will be the same for every survivor is the ability to seek help, to know that counseling can and will help them learn how to find a way to not only survive, but thrive.
Common Emotional Responses To Sexual Abuse
Though every survivor experiences different emotions and reactions, it is not uncommon for them to feel disassociated from their bodies, feeling that their bodies are not their own. Others feel terror, shame, or even guilt. Unfortunately, it is very common for survivors to feel that they somehow caused their assault to occur. These feelings of fright and guilt can lead to different mental health conditions, perpetuating the suffering of these survivors. Some of the most common mental health issues associated with sexual abuse include:
- Post traumatic Stress Disorder – Some survivors experience their assault over and over again, in the form of PTSD. PTSD can cause very realistic flashbacks, disrupting the survivor’s life and possibly making them lose track of their surroundings so they feel they are experiencing the abuse again.
- Depression: The feeling of disassociation, or even the feeling that they’re not in control of their own bodies can reduce feelings of self-worth, and cause hopelessness and despair. These feelings can lead to long-term depression.
- Anxiety: Having experienced abuse once, many survivors fear being sexually abused again. Though a legitimate fear, this can be disruptive to normal daily activities as survivors may begin to fear people or situations that remind them of their abuse. For example, if the attack occurred in a dark parking garage, the survivor may come to fear all parking garages.
- Attachment Issues: It can be difficult for survivors to form healthy relationships, and to develop attachment issues. Though this can happen with any survivor, it is especially common in children. These issues can appear as an inability to create attachments, or an over-eager desire to form relationships and close attachments.
How Can Counseling Help Sexual Abuse Survivors?
Counseling is, arguably, the best and healthiest option for sexual abuse survivors to create, or get back to, healthy and thriving lives. Therapy is a safe place, a non-judgemental and an open zone that allows people to explore thoughts and feelings. It can be difficult for survivors to speak to friends and family about their assault, but being able to talk to someone who is removed from the situation can be freeing.
How can a Thriveworks McDonough sexual abuse recovery therapist help? Aside from providing a safe place for survivors to voice their feelings, and process their emotions, a Thriveworks Counseling therapist can provide healthy coping mechanisms and exercises to help survivors emerge from their overwhelm. Depending on the individual’s emotional response and mental health condition, our therapists are able to use different methods to help survivors overcome and work through their issues.
One thing that can be expected from seeking therapy at Thriveworks in McDonough no matter the therapist’s methods, is an opportunity for survivors to take back control of their lives. Survivors who feel they are drowning in their emotions, feeling detached from themselves, experiencing flashbacks, or relying on unhealthy substances will be provided with a way out, if they’re willing to accept guidance. They’ll have a way to overcome the pain and fear, to get back to fulfilling hopes and dreams, a way to create a life they actually want.
If you’re searching for sexual abuse counseling in Stockbridge, sexual abuse counseling in Locust Grove, sexual abuse counseling in Jonesboro, sexual abuse counseling in McDonough sexual abuse counseling in Griffin, or sexual abuse counseling in Fayetteville and other surrounding areas, call us today. We’re conveniently South of Atlanta GA. We accept insurance. Treatment for sexual abuse may be more affordable than you thought. 678-853-5849