Sexual abuse or assault causes lifelong damage to the individual with symptoms that are varied and universally common. Victims feel a deep sense of sexual shame, depression, anxiety, worthlessness, guilt, and difficulties with careers and relationships.
If not dealt with, the trauma associated with sexual abuse/assault can result in PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression and anxiety that could last a lifetime. Some of the possible symptoms of PTSD resulting from child abuse or sexual assault include:
- Suicidal tendencies
- Withdrawal from and mistrust or fear of adults and authority figures
- Hyper-sexuality and promiscuity
- Avoidance of sex and physical touch
- Problems with sleep or fear of going to bed
- Nightmares and/or flashbacks
- Addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling or food
- Eating or sleeping disorders
- Unusual sexual behavior
- Change to a gay or lesbian lifestyle
- Rage or anger issues
- Sexually abusing other children (35% of child sexual abusers were abused themselves as children)
- Phantom pain
These are the most common symptoms but there are many others. These behaviors are not the problem; they are most likely a symptom of the abuse or assault that has never been properly dealt with. SAVAnon can help.