The Mental Health Effects of Incest

Mental Health Facilities in Charlotte, NCResearchers struggle to identify just how many people are victims of incest. However, what researchers do know is that a large reason that incest is not talked about or treated is because of the intense shame that the victims feel. There is also extreme pressure to keep the abuse a secret for fear of disturbing the family dynamic or drawing criticism or anger from relatives. Instead of getting the help they need, victims are often humiliated into silence. This shaming of incest victims can result in numerous mental illnesses and associated disorders. If you're looking for the best mental health facilities in Charlotte, NC, look no further than Legacy Freedom. Call today to learn more.

It is believed that most occurrences of incest happen between young females and older males but that is not always the case. There is a smaller percentage of men who report being abused as children by both older male relatives and female family members. The exact numbers and statistics are nearly impossible to track, and many times the victim is disregarded because there were no physical signs of harm.

There are many forms of incestuous abuse. These include sexual intercourse, oral sex, prolonged kissing, sexually suggestive language, petting and looking. Adults who have endured these experiences as children often struggle with their mental health as a result of this early childhood trauma. Resulting mental health issues from incest include:

  • PTSD
  • Difficulty forming relationships
  • Substance abuse
  • Disassociation issues
  • Sexual addiction
  • Self-harm
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders

These disorders impact everyday life for the victim, regardless of how much time has passed since the abuse ended. Many victims develop unhealthy coping mechanisms as a way to suppress the memories or the feelings associated with the abuse. These can include dysfunctional self-soothing behaviors, sexual dysfunction, emotional incontinence, affective dysregulation, and somatoform dissociation.

Incest survivors who seek treatment in adulthood are often met with a confusing set of challenges relating to the events that occurred. Many victims still feel guilty talking about the events and feel like it is their duty to protect their abuser. Even more, victims report feeling confused about the actual timeline of events and the reality of what happened. In many cases, the abused was made to feel needy or was made to feel that the abuse was their fault, resulting in an inability to access the memories of the abuse accurately to help facilitate the recognition of the events for the therapeutic process.

Therapies like inner child therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy have proven effective for patients who suffered extreme sexual trauma as children. Utilizing these alternative therapies in conjunction with traditional talk therapy and group therapy helps create a healing environment. At Legacy Freedom, we combine alternative therapies and conventional treatments to create a holistic approach to mental health treatment.

Outpatient Mental Health Facilities in Charlotte, NC For Anxiety

Our expert staff knows that talking about the abuse you have experienced at the hands of a trusted family member is a traumatic experience. Our goal is to help you overcome the shame and guilt you feel and help you heal and recover from this abuse. Together with your care team you will create a plan of care that is focused on you and your needs, not your mental health issues. Whether you struggle with eating disorders, depression, PTSD, or any other mental health problem as the result of your abuse, Legacy Freedom of Charlotte can help.

Call or click to connect with one of the top mental health facilities in Charlotte, NC!

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