A In my clinical practice, about half the women I see have experienced a sex-related trauma. Myths and facts about rape and sexual assault Myth: After rape, you may feel uncomfortable with human touch. Feelings of guilt and shame often stem from misconceptions such as: Q Is it ever too late to resolve an issue around sexual trauma?
Avoid alcohol and drugs. It also interferes with treatment and can add to problems at home and in your relationships. Studies show that rapists choose victims based on their vulnerability, not on how sexy they appear or how flirtatious they are. In the clients I see, many of them have experienced sexual trauma in the form of a non-consensual encounter with someone they know e. Participate in social activities, even if you don't feel like it. A In my experience, one of the most important things I can provide my client is validation. If you're nervous system remains "stuck" in the long-term and you develop post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD , they can last much longer. But touching and being touched is an important way we give and receive affection and comfort. Prepare for flashbacks and upsetting memories When you go through something stressful, your body temporarily goes into "fight-or-flight" mode. And in America, it is no longer a secret that sexual assault is all too common on our college campuses. Nurture yourself Healing from sexual trauma is a gradual, ongoing process. Consider joining a support group for other rape or sexual abuse survivors. In some Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries, that figure is even higher. Try to anticipate and prepare for triggers. What is important to note is that a person may experience distressing anxiety in response to a terrible event even without meeting all the symptoms of PTSD. Using stimulants, risky activities, or physical pain to feel alive and counteract the empty feeling inside of you. You may be tempted to withdraw from social activities and your loved ones. Q Can you offer any takeaway or tools for those outside of your practice who have suffered some sort of sexual trauma? Just remember that your attacker is the only one to blame. Q Mindfulness also plays a key role in your practice—how does this work? A Mindfulness is an incredibly powerful tool that is based on an incredibly simple practice: In the case of sex-related PTSD or trauma , it is an unwanted sexual encounter that is the trigger for these symptoms. Accept and reassure yourself that this is a flashback, not reality. Anything that combines rhythm and movement will work: You can even incorporate it into your walking or running routine by concentrating on the back and forth movements of your arms and legs.
Video about how to get over sexual trauma:
Intimacy After Trauma
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