For over twenty-five
years, we have been treating women who were victims of childhood sexual abuse.
Even when women come to us seeking help for general mental health issues, we
often discover there is an underlying cause for their problems—abuse that
occurred when they were young girls.
Sexual abuse is
very common. By conservative estimates, 17% of North American women and 5% of
North American men were sexually abused during childhood; prevalence rates run
as high as 45% of women and 16% of men in well-designed studies. The long term
consequences of abuse generally fall into the following categories, each with
some well-known symptoms.
- Fears, panic
attacks, sleeping problems, nightmares, irritability, outbursts of anger
and sudden shock reactions when being touched.
- Lack of
confidence, and self-respect and respect for one's own body may change.
that harms the body: addiction to alcohol and other substances, excessive
work or sports, depression, self-destruction and prostitution.
- Lack of
confidence in other people.
- Fear of loss
of control in relationships.
problems may occur, together with pain while making love, not wanting to make
love and problems in getting aroused.
pain while making love, menstrual pain, intestinal complaints, stomach ache,
nausea, headache, back pain, painful shoulders, in short all kinds of chronic
pain may occur. The pain is often inexplicable.
Eating disorders often
occur in sexually abused people. Read more about eating disorders on this
experience, it is not uncommon for a woman to begin counseling without clear
memories of abuse that occurred earlier in her life. Treatment involves
revisiting past childhood or adolescent experiences, putting a name to what
happened to her, and accepting she is not to blame.
If you are having any of these symptoms, you may need to speak with a therapist. Call the number at the top of this page or 937.223.3446 today.