Saturday, August 18, 2012

Emotional and Psychological Effects of Sexual Assault

This is a list that Heart Sees put together the other day, and it seems VERY relevant to those dealing with addiction and/or codependency/addicts. Sexual assault causes harmful emotional, psychological, or physiological effects that are more severe than the effects of other crimes. These effects include: Self-blame Shame, guilt, or embarrassment Anxiety, stress, or fear Shock Impaired memory, confusion, or disorientation Anger, hostility, or aggression Sexualized behaviors Loss of sex drive or sexual dysfunction (not being able to perform sexual acts) Interpersonal problems Denial Irritability Erratic mood swings Depression or despair Social withdrawal Sexual effects (ranging from avoidance to compulsive promiscuity) Decreased energy and motivation Numbing/apathy (detachment, loss of caring) Restricted affect (reduced ability to express emotions) Disturbed sleep, insomnia, or nightmares Flashbacks or panic attacks Headaches Difficulty concentrating Diminished interest in activities Loss of self-esteem Loss of security Loss of appetite, eating problems/disorders, or gastrointestinal disturbance Substance use and abuse (alcohol and other drugs) and other compulsive behaviors Feeling powerless Feeling uncomfortable being alone OCD Self-injury, self-mutilation (cutting, burning or otherwise hurting oneself), or substance abuse Suicidal thoughts Confusion of sex with love Extreme dependency Impaired ability to judge trustworthiness of others Body memories Feelings of alienation and isolation Hyper-vigilance (always being "on your guard") Exaggerated startle response (jumpiness) Hyper-arousal (exaggerated feelings or responses to stimuli) Rewriting PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). ~Heart Sees

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