Seeing a Trauma Therapist After a Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence in which there is non-consensual sexual contact with another person; when this happens, you should seek the help of a trusted Palatine, Illinois trauma therapist. Sexual assault can also include groping, attempted rape, or any sexual touching that is not wanted. Studies have shown that sexual assault is never just for sex but instead for the perpetrator to try and gain a sense of power over their victims.
Receiving help immediately after a sexual assault is shown as invaluable and can even save lives. If you were sexually assaulted in the past and did not seek treatment, therapy is found to still be extremely helpful. There are therapists in Palatine, IL which specialize in handling the trauma caused by sexual assault. At the Lotus Wellness Center, our trauma therapists have helped many victims reclaim their lives back after suffering such a horrific experience.
Mental Health Issues
After someone is sexually assaulted, the victim believes their bodies are no longer their own. Victims feel terror, depression, shame, and guilt. Many victims often blame themselves for letting someone sexually assault them. Victims of sexual assault often face a variety of mental health challenges including:
Anxiety: Sexual assault survivors often feel anxiety that they will be attacked again. Some develop agoraphobia and are unable to leave their houses. Other survivors may develop panic attacks and seeing someone who looked like the person that attacked them could set off symptoms of physical anxiety.
Depression: Being attacked and feeling as though your body is no longer yours is something that is difficult to handle. Oftentimes survivors feel hopeless and despondent. By having these feelings, it can often lead to depression that can range from mild to debilitating.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is often described as depression, vivid memories of the attack, and anxiety. Sexual assault survivors may also experience flashbacks.
Sexual assault leaves not only psychological scars, but it can also leave long-lasting health problems. Sexual assault survivors experience cuts, bruises, broken bones, and damaged or torn genitals. They could also develop a sexually transmitted disease or become pregnant following the attack.
When Toxic Shame Teams Up with Anxiety and Depression
Depression and anxiety are hard to live with. Sadly, depression and anxiety are often accompanied by a feeling of shame, especially after a sexual assault. It is no surprise that the primary emotion in depression is sadness. And, in anxiety, the main emotion is fear. A Palatine, IL trauma therapist knows that many people with one of these disorders experience an overage and burden of both emotions.
People with major depression after sexual assault also experience anxiety symptoms, and the converse is true as well. People with anxiety experience significantly elevated symptoms of depressed mood. In these instances, feelings of fear and sadness may combine to produce a toxic mix of emotions.
What is Shame?
Shame is a third emotion that is often present in both anxiety and depressive disorders. Shame is most often considered a “secondary” emotion, which is one that forms in reaction to another emotion. Shame can be one of the most negative and debilitating feelings people experience because it combines with other negative emotions. Individuals frequently feel ashamed of their negative emotions after a sexual assault in addition to fear, sadness, anger, and hate. Indeed, shame often serves to reinforce those feelings.
Sometimes shame is confused with guilt. However, there’s a significant difference. Guilt generally arises from a negative assessment of your behavior. Shame, on the other hand, results from a negative assessment of yourself. Guilt is a feeling of doing wrong, while shame is a feeling of being wrong. Guilt can be a potent motivator to change your behavior for the better. But shame can have the opposite effect. It can make a person feel that change is hopeless because the problem is with a defect on yourself. That is why shame such a toxic emotion.
Who Experiences Shame?
Anyone who has struggled with anxiety and depression has likely struggled with shame as well. Shame is the emotion that causes a depressed person to feel too worthless to get out of bed. Or, it makes an anxious person avoid social gatherings for fear of drawing attention to their perceived shortcomings. Feelings of anxiety and depression are also tied to the role of the environment and your own internal patterning in these disorders. However, recognizing the role that shame plays in depression, anxiety, and other mental health or mood disorders can be a critical step to restoring hope for recovery.
In its milder forms of shyness and humility, shame is not always a harmful emotion. However, toxic shame shatters self-esteem and fuels negativity in depression and anxiety. Most people engage in negative self-talk from time to time. Yet, people with anxiety and depression tend to do it more frequently and often with debilitating effects.
Indeed, toxic shame can be an intensely destructive and debilitating emotion, especially if you experience anxiety, depression, or other emotional disorders stemming from sexual assault. A trauma therapist in Palatine, Illinois knows that cognitive-based therapies used in combination with other practices, such as mindfulness and self-care techniques, can help restore balance and calm to your life.
Therapy for Sexual Assault
After someone experiences sexual assault, they believe their life will never go back to normal. However, recovery is possible. Seeing a Palatine, IL trauma therapist who specializes in sexual trauma and the effects will be able to help aid in recovery. There have been different approaches to effectively help in the recovery after a sexual assault:
Exposure Therapy: This type of therapy is beneficial after a sexual assault resulting in one specific fear. For instance, if a woman is terrified to wear the same type of outfit she had on when she was attacked for fear that she will be attacked again.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This type of therapy can help sexual assault survivors appropriately adjust to a situation. For example, if a woman is assaulted by her date, she may avoid meeting new people and dating altogether. CBT can help her work through her fears and help to develop healthy friendships and relationships.
Ultimately, speaking with a therapist from the Lotus Wellness Center who understands sexual trauma can help after sexual assault. Your trauma therapist Palatine, IL patients trust will be able to find the correct treatment plan and work through your fears and traumas that stem from your assault.
How a Trauma Therapist in Palatine, IL from the Lotus Wellness Center Helps With PTSD
One of the most common forms of mental illness is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is classified as an anxiety disorder where the person who suffers from the condition develops uncommon responses in order to help them emotionally deal with a traumatic event. For some sufferers of PTSD, their inability to cope with the trauma is so severe that they become extremely sensitive to normal experiences.
Each sufferer of PTSD experiences their own triggers for the spike in anxiety they feel and, for many, those triggers can be simple, every day factors. There are ways that PTSD sufferers can use to help minimize the impact of the condition, including understanding their condition, understanding and recognizing their triggers, and knowing how to cope with their anxiety.
If you or a loved one suffers from PTSD, working with a Palatine, IL trauma therapist can help minimize the effect the condition has on your life. The following are some suggestions from the team at the Lotus Wellness Center. To learn more, call our office today.
In order to be successful in working through PTSD, it is important to fully understand what the condition is. Many who suffer from it don’t fully comprehend what is happening to them and that can actually cause anxiety to increase. Understanding what the disorder is, what the symptoms are, and understanding why your triggers cause the symptoms to kick in can help you gain control of your life again.
Some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Many PTSD victims relive the traumatic event that caused the PTSD over and over again. These memories can show up in many ways, including nightmares, as well as stark images in their mind that cause intense physical and emotional reactions, such as heart palpitations, panic attacks, and excessive sweating.
- It is not uncommon for PTSD victims to feel detached from their family and friends, losing interest in their daily activities. Many victims share feelings of being numb.
- A victim of PTSD will also do all they can to avoid situations and events that will trigger any memories of the traumatic event that caused the PTSD.
- A PTSD sufferer will often have difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and often feel irritable. Many also feel they are always on alert to whatever dangers may be lurking.
- Many PTSD end up developing other mental health issues including alcohol or drug abuse, anxiety, and depression. This is why treatment is so critical.
One of the worst things a PTSD sufferer can do is not talk to people about what they are going through. It is important to talk about your experience with family, friends, and other people who have gone through what you have gone through. It is not uncommon for someone who has PTSD to feel detached from everyone else, making it hard to share what you are dealing with. However, the more you talk about it, the less likely the trauma symptoms will increase.
Relaxation techniques can help ease the emotional and physical effects that PTSD sufferers have. There are breathing exercises and muscle relaxation techniques that work. Even just getting out and spending time in the fresh air can help. Activities such as mediation, music, stretching, swimming, walking, and yoga are also helpful. It is also important to make sure you are eating healthy, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep.
For more information on how a Palatine, Illinois trauma therapist can help you, contact the Lotus Wellness Center today!
Palatine Trauma Therapist FAQs
If you or a loved one have been affected by sexual assault, you may be seeking support and guidance from a Palatine, IL trauma therapist to protect your mental health. It can be daunting to embark on this journey, especially if you don’t know what to expect from therapy. To help make the process easier, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about trauma therapy. Learn more about how this therapy can help you, and then contact Lotus Wellness Center today to schedule an appointment.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is an emotional response to a frightening or life-threatening event. It can involve physical, psychological, and emotional pain. Trauma can cause an individual to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with the situation. Symptoms of trauma can include fear, anger, confusion, and anxiety. Trauma can also lead to depression, flashbacks, and nightmares. If the trauma is severe, individuals may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is important to remember that everyone experiences trauma differently and that there are resources available to help people process and heal from their trauma.
What Are the Symptoms of Trauma?
Common physical symptoms of trauma include fatigue, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, headaches, and other physical pains. Emotionally, individuals with trauma may experience overwhelming fear, guilt, shame, or anger. They may also experience flashbacks or intrusive thoughts, nightmares, an inability to trust others, and feeling detached or numb. Trauma can also lead to difficulty concentrating or being easily startled or agitated. It is important to remember that not everyone experiences trauma in the same way; everyone has different experiences and reactions to trauma. If any of these symptoms are interfering with your life and wellbeing, it is important to seek professional help from a Palatine trauma therapist.
How Do I Know if I Need Therapy?
If you have experienced a traumatic event, such as a sexual assault, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with life. It is important to seek out help if you are struggling with the aftermath of a traumatic event. A trauma therapist can provide support, guidance, and strategies to help you heal and move forward. Trauma therapy is tailored to your individual needs and can be beneficial in helping you to process the trauma and its aftermath. If you are unsure if you need therapy, reach out to a therapist to discuss your concerns.
How Long Can Trauma Side Effects Last?
Trauma can have long-term effects that linger for months or even years after the initial event. The length of time for trauma side effects to last will depend on the severity of the trauma, how the person was able to cope with the trauma and the treatment they received. It is possible for some symptoms to last for a lifetime if the trauma has not been properly addressed. Common long-term effects of trauma include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression, fear, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, difficulty forming relationships, and an inability to trust others.
How Can Therapy Help Me Heal?
Therapy is a safe and supportive environment where survivors can process their experience, manage their emotions, and find relief from the physical and psychological symptoms they may be experiencing. A trauma therapist can help survivors process their trauma and provide resources to assist with healing. Therapy provides an opportunity to explore and understand the long-term impact of traumatic experiences, reduce feelings of guilt or shame, and reconnect with positive memories or experiences. Through therapy, survivors learn how to identify triggers and develop coping strategies for managing uncomfortable feelings.
Contact a Palatine trauma therapist at Lotus Wellness Center today for help.
Palatine Counseling FAQs
If you’re considering Palatine, IL counseling services, you probably have some questions about mental health and how counseling can help. To help you on your journey to better mental health, we’ve compiled a list of the five most common questions people ask during their counseling sessions. We’ll go over each question and provide helpful answers to give you a better understanding of the counseling process. If you have more questions, contact Lotus Wellness Center for more information.
How Does Counseling Help Mental Health?
Through counseling, individuals are able to better understand and manage their emotions; it helps to provide clarity and solutions to problems that may be hindering mental health. It can also be beneficial in helping an individual develop coping strategies for stress and difficult life events. By engaging in counseling, one is also able to build self-awareness, which is essential for maintaining good mental health. Counseling can provide the space and safety to express feelings and learn to reframe negative thoughts. With the help of a counselor, individuals can gain insight into their thoughts and behaviors, leading to improved mental health.
How Do I Know if Counseling Is Right for Me?
If you are feeling overwhelmed, struggling to cope with daily life, or having difficulty managing difficult emotions, Palatine counseling services may be right for you. The best way to determine if counseling is the right choice is to consult with a mental health professional. They will be able to evaluate your situation and help you decide what type of treatment is best for you. Other signs that counseling might be beneficial include feelings of hopelessness, persistent feelings of sadness or anger, and changes in sleep and appetite.
When Should I Seek Counseling?
There are many reasons why someone might seek counseling, such as:
- Struggling with depression or anxiety
- Experiencing overwhelming stress or grief
- Dealing with relationship problems
- Suffering from low self-esteem or feeling lost
- Feeling stuck in life and wanting to make changes
- Overcoming an addiction
- Coping with physical or mental illness
- Working through childhood trauma
It is important to assess your needs and find the right fit for you. The goal of counseling is to address issues in a safe and non-judgmental environment. A qualified counselor will be able to provide personalized advice and techniques that can help you better manage your mental health.
How Often Do I Need to Go to Counseling?
The frequency of your counseling sessions will depend on your individual needs and the type of treatment you are receiving. Generally, it is recommended that counseling sessions occur weekly or bi-weekly, depending on how severe the issues are. However, some people may require more or fewer sessions based on their unique circumstances. You and your counselor will discuss a treatment plan that works best for you and decide how often sessions should take place. You may find that you need to attend counseling for a short period of time or that you need to continue for months or even years. No matter what, it is important to keep up with your appointments and actively participate in therapy.
What Will Happen in My First Counseling Session?
Your first counseling session is an important time to get acquainted with your therapist and learn more about the counseling process. During the session, you will be asked questions to assess your mental health needs, including your symptoms, history, current lifestyle, relationships, and goals. Your therapist will use this information to create a plan for your treatment. You may also be given an assessment or a psychological test to help them better understand you. This is a safe space for you to discuss anything you feel comfortable sharing with your therapist and ask any questions you may have.
Contact Lotus Wellness Center today to schedule your first Palatine counseling session.