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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Common For Victims Of Sexual Assault | Deltona Personal Injury Lawyer

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Common For Victims Of Sexual Assault

Women who have been the victims of sexual assault can experience a wide range of reactions.

It is extremely important to note that there is no one pattern of response, according ot the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some women respond immediately, others may have delayed reactions. Some women are affected by the assault for a long time whereas others appear to recover rather quickly.

In the first few days and weeks following the assault, it is very normal for a woman to experience intense and sometimes unpredictable emotions. She may have repeated strong memories of the event that are difficult to ignore, and nightmares are not uncommon.

Women also report having difficulty concentrating and sleeping, and they may feel jumpy or on edge. While these initial reactions are normal and expected, some women may experience severe, highly disruptive symptoms that make it incredibly difficult to function in the first month following the assault.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) involves a pattern of symptoms that some individuals develop after experiencing a traumatic event such as sexual assault.

Symptoms of PTSD include repeated thoughts of the assault; memories and nightmares; avoidance of thoughts, feelings, and situations related to the assault; and increased arousal (e.g., difficulty sleeping and concentrating, jumpiness, irritability).

One study that examined PTSD symptoms among women who were raped found that 94 percent of women experienced these symptoms during the two weeks immediately following the rape. Nine months later, about 30 percent of the women were still reporting this pattern of symptoms.

The National Women’s Study reported that almost 1/3 of all rape victims develop PTSD sometime during their lives and 11 percent of rape victims currently suffer from the disorder.

If you were sexually assaulted and are experiencing symptoms that are distressing to you, or symptoms that are interfering with your ability to live a fulfilling and productive life, you should talk to a mental-health professional. Depending on the nature of the problems that you are having, a number of therapeutic techniques may be extremely helpful to you.

The treatment you receive will depend on the symptoms you are experiencing and will be tailored to your needs.

Some therapies involve talking about and making sense of the assault in order to reduce the memories and pain associated with the assault. Attending therapy may also involve learning skills to cope with the symptoms associated with the assault. Finally, therapy can help survivors restore meaning to their lives.

Unfortunately, statistics show sexual assault is fairly prevalent in our society today. Survivors of sexual assault can experience a wide variety of symptoms, but they do not have to suffer in silence. Mental-health professionals can offer a number of effective treatments tailored to the individual woman’s needs.

For more on medical and personal safety issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach personal injury attorney.

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