Seeking treatment is can be a difficult decision for many. But is probably the strongest decision during a period of feeling helpless or fragility.
If the trauma causing the symptoms, is not treated, they can worsen and develop into the following patterns and problems:
Distressing memories or dreams
Loss of interest in what were meaningful activities
Lack of emotion, numbness, apathy
Increased anger feelings
Increased health problems
Feelings of detachment or separation from others and self
Restricted range of emotions, such as inability to receive or express loving feelings
The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse and rape can include many emotional, psychological and physical conditions. The experience of rape or abuse at any age, whether male or female can have devastating effects. Affecting every aspect of a person’s being and life. On their mind, their body, their behaviour, thoughts and feelings.
Deciding on getting treatment
For many rape victims, it’s easy to put off getting treatment because the memory of the event is so painful or so feared that it seems best to avoid it.
Some people even deny that the event occurred, or that it bothered them.
Unfortunately, evidence and clinical experience show that memories of traumatic events do not just fade away like other more trivial memories.
Traumatic memories stay with you until they are resolved in dreams or in therapy.
When dreams are recurrent and interrupted by sleeplessness. They can not serve the function of resolving the traumatic issues or memories
Putting off dealing with traumatic memories just makes the personal work you’ll have to do in therapy, more complicated and lengthy.
The treatment of rape and sexual abuse trauma involves re- experiencing the traumatic events.
In therapy, you should learn that you probably did the best you could have done to survive at the time.
Once traumatic events have been fully re-experienced in a controlled environment, such as therapy, they should not re-emerge in dreams. Or in waking thoughts to cause stress or further emotional trauma (flashbacks or intrusive thoughts).
Therapeutic interventions for rape or sexual assault victims involves the task of lessening the trauma of the emotional & psychological states of the victim’s persona.
Treatment of chronic or early childhood sexual abuse trauma is more complex. But perhaps even more valuable to any one suffering such emotional and psychological problems.
How long will the psychological effects of rape last?
The mental and emotional effects may last a lifetime. Therapeutic counselling and support can help reduce long-term effects and help a rape victim cope with feelings of isolation, shame, guilt, depression, or anxiety.
It’s important to get emotional and psychological support.
Contact a hospital, counsellor or psychotherapist, social worker or your doctor to find out about the resources available to you. You may benefit from a rape survivors support group. These groups offer a place where you can share your feelings with others who have had a similar traumatic experience.
Do not isolate yourself
Allow family members to provide emotional support. There are family counselling programs for family members who need help dealing with their concerns and increasing their ability to provide emotional support.
Crisis Point services can help you
Crisis Point’s services can help you and your family in overcoming the trauma of sexual crime and it’s effects on you and your family unit.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, it is important that you seek professional help.
Please note that therapy, conducted with a patient during a police investigation, is in itself classed as evidence. Any counselling notes can be used in any future court hearing.
The notes of each session, taken by the counsellor, could be used as evidence for or against the victim.
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