How Rape Affects Your Mental Health for Life

Counselor in Charlotte, NCEach person who survives being raped experiences and processes the trauma of that event in different ways. For some, the effects of that experience can last a lifetime. For others, the aftereffects can be short term. The mental and emotional effects of rape should not be ignored after the physical signs and symptoms of the attack have resolved. Seeking counseling after a rape is crucial. However, many victims choose to ignore or disassociate from what happened. Avoiding the resulting trauma from a rape can lead to significant and severe mental health issues later on. If you need an affordable counselor in Charlotte, NC, that you can trust, call Legacy Freedom for help.

Rape Affects Your Mental Health Like So

Here is what you need to know about the most common mental and emotional effects of rape:

  • Dissociation - It is common after a physical attack for the victim to experience an inability to concentrate on schoolwork or tasks at work. Struggling with feeling present in everyday situations is common as well.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Having nightmares, anxiety, flashbacks or racing thoughts are signs of PTSD.
  • Depression - Withdrawing from friends, family members or partners is common after an attack. Suicidal thoughts or feelings may develop and should be treated as serious. Immediate attention from a professional should be sought.
  • Intense Feelings of Guilt - Many victims will blame themselves for the attack and develop a sense of unworthiness or express that they feel damaged.
  • Self-Medication - Using alcohol, drugs or food to cope with the feelings or trauma related to the attack. Excessive substance abuse and engaging in risky behaviors are common.
  • Severe Anxiety - Chronic panic attacks, avoiding social situations, experiencing hypervigilance, and feeling unable to leave home are common.
  • Explosive Anger - Outbursts of rage or anger when the event is mentioned or when they are confronted with new memories about the incident.

Sexual violence is never the fault of the victim. Understanding the definition of sexual assaultĀ is crucial for both victims and their loved ones. Sexual assaultĀ or rape is defined as fondling, unwanted touching, forcing the victim to perform penetration on the perpetrator or oral sex and penetration of the victim's body. This is not limited to just physical force. Force of any kind including threats, coercion, manipulation or action without consent are all considered sexual assault.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), one in six women and one in thirty-three men experience a completed or attempted rape in their lifetime. By coming forward and reporting rapes and sexual assaults, victims can help remove the stigma of shame and guilt associated with being a rape victim.

Affordable Counselor in Charlotte, NC You Can Depend On

At Legacy Freedom of Charlotte, we understand that talking about what happened to you isn't easy. We know you want to put the incident behind you and take back your life. Through our holistic approach to mental health care we can help you overcome your PTSD, anxiety, depression or any other co-occurring mental health issues and restore your sense of safety and security. Together with your care team you will create a plan that focuses on you, not your mental health needs. Helping you heal, mind, body, and spirit is crucial to your long-term success and well-being.

Our holistic approach utilizes traditional talk therapy in both one-on-one and group formats as well as access to a dietician and physical therapist to help you fuel your body through proper nutrition and exercise. Alternative therapies like equine therapy, acupuncture, and EMDR help you confront your trauma and then learn to set healthy boundaries and work through the memories of the attack.

Call or click to connect today with a highly trained anxiety counselor in Charlotte, NC!

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