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. 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 life 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.
Addiction: Sexual assault survivors are more likely to use drugs than those who have not been assaulted. Alcohol and drugs are used to help numb the pain from the assault but more often than not, repeated usage of alcohol and drugs creates a dependency which leads to addiction.
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 results. 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.
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 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.