“Providing the Care You Deserve”
Adult Symptoms of Childhood Sexual Abuse
The impact of childhood sexual abuse on adult survivors cannot be overstated. The after-effects of childhood sexual abuse permeate every area of a person’s life. The sexual abuse survivor winds up making many choices based upon their reaction to the abuse rather than based upon current circumstances. Research indicates that sexually abused subjects report higher levels of general psychological distress and higher rates of both major psychological disorders and personality disorders than nonabused subjects.
Sexual abuse survivors report higher rates of substance abuse, binge eating, somatization (physical symptoms). Adult survivors of child sexual abuse experience poorer social and interpersonal relationship functioning, sexual dissatisfaction, dysfunction, including high-risk sexual behavior. A greater tendency toward revictimization through adult sexual assault and physical partner violence is also seen. Abuse of all types was more frequent in those from disturbed and disrupted family backgrounds.
Long-term Affects Of Childhood Sexual Abuse
It becomes very difficult to love oneself. One cannot accept themselves and are often very ashamed of themselves. One may have unrealistic expectations and be terribly unhappy with their lives.
Relationship to Body
Your relationship to your body is most often affected. You may not feel at home in your body or you may dislike your body. Some people will find themselves physically hurting themselves or fantasizing about hurting themselves. The body may also be a vessel of pain so many survivors of abuse will have many illnesses.
One may feel out of control and have difficulty managing their emotions. One may not understand themselves and what they feel and experience. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are often overwhelmed by a wide range of feelings. Individuals may experience exaggerated emotions and reactions.
An individual who has been abused as a child may have unrealistic expectations of their partner in a relationship. They will often have difficulty trusting others. One may feel lonely even though in a relationship. It is hard for to get close to others or to allow others to get close to you.
Psychological Symptoms of Sexual Abuse
A link between physical abuse and sexual abuse during childhood and/or adulthood and chronic pain syndromes has been established. In general, abused women report greater health care system utilization, increased drug and alcohol problems, and higher levels of psychological distress. A history of abuse also appears to be strongly associated with certain chronic pain states, specifically pelvic, head, and gastrointestinal pain.
Survivors may have suffered on their own as a child, but they should recognize that many people are willing and able to help now. Healthy connections with safe and supportive people can help someone overcome the hurt. One must be careful that some of these coping strategies do not lead to further health problems.
Toronto Psychotherapy for Childhood Sexual Abuse
As a compassionate and experienced Toronto Trauma Therapist I will sensitively work with you to recover from your past. The prevalence and seriousness of childhood sexual abuse has gained wide recognition over the last three decades. Research shows that trauma-focused treatments are efficacious. Many individuals feel a sense of betrayal, feelings of powerlessness. Some individuals engage in self-destructive behaviours or unhealthy romantic relationships.
We will work together to establish a healthier sense of self and help you move into the future with more confidence and hope. You may need to heal from feelings of guilt, self-blame, and shame for what happened. How you relate to yourself and your environment with have to be examined to make sure there are no residuals from your past that interfere with your current functioning and quality of life. Depression, anxiety, ptsd, and any other symptoms will need to be tackled. How one relates to oneself and others will need to be understood exploring trust, comfort, flexibility, etc.
You may feel unworthy, unlovable, damaged. Therapy will assist you to reorganize your thoughts and feelings that interfere with relationships, socially and professionally. You may have exaggerated fears and negative thoughts about yourself and your future. Our work will be helpful in restructuring your mindset.