Oddities Department

When tragedies do not come alone: ​​What do we do if PTSD is linked to sexual exploitation?

The importance of certain moments of the events and situations in which we live cannot be denied, so that this particular moment is largely a watershed in our psychological life, literally a point separating what preceded it from its aftermath just as the birth of Christ separated human history. Of course, among these most influential moments is the moment of sexual abuse of any type and source. Sexual abuse is also fundamentally linked to PTSD. In this article, we will learn about two aspects of a person’s psychological life and try to do a synergistic process for them together so that we explore the relationship between them.

PTSD: About the traumatic experiences that don’t leave you alone

Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD , or more commonly called PTSD . It is a psychiatric disorder commonly diagnosed in adolescents and adults, with noticeable presence in childhood. It can be defined as “a mental, psychological state of anxiety in which a person lives after a traumatic accident, and these events contain an actual threat to life; Such as dangerous accidents, natural disasters, wars and sexual assaults. ” The state of anxiety in which the mind lives and forces the person to make him feel permanent fear, dread and insecurity most of the time, and is accompanied in most cases by physical symptoms represented in continuous panic attacks.

How to distinguish the person suffering from post-traumatic stress

With four key words, individuals suffering from PTSD can be predicted and diagnosed, provided that symptoms persist for more than a month after the traumatic event.

  1. Exposure : the beginning from the moment the individual is exposed directly or indirectly to the traumatic event, whether the individual exposes himself to the situation or a family member and close associates, or even hearing about the painful events of others crudely.
  2. Remember and repeat : The symptoms of this stage are summarized in the mind’s forcing the individual to remember the traumatic event in any way, whether through dreams or flash back scenes. In addition to severe psychological frustration when exposed to any stimulus that resembles a traumatic event, and the physical symptoms that accompany this frustration such as panic attacks.
  3. Avoidance : The symptoms related to avoidance result from the psychological pain resulting from forced remembering, due to the anxiety and stress that the individual suffers. He isolates all events or situations that may remind him of the moment of the traumatic event.
  4. Negative adjustment : based on the above, the brain in agreement with all these crazy events adjusts some existing concepts to cope with the new situation, so it begins to change its image of itself – and most often it is negative – or change its beliefs about the world and distort them, such as that the whole world is unfair and unjust. security. These ideas are deeply entrenched and can only be changed by undergoing specialized psychotherapy.

What about is sexual abuse?

The term can be approximated to another more popular one, which is “sexual abuse.” The fact is that in the second decade of the twenty-first century we are still obliged to clarify and define sexual abuse because of the many misconceptions and overlapping existing among the largest segment of the citizens of the Arab world, the main reason for which is a sterile intellectual heritage that has spanned many years .

In short, according to international human rights organizations, sexual abuse is every sexual event that is not preceded by the word “yes” on both sides, not only that it is not preceded by “no” the rejectors, but for the sexual event not to be a violation that must be preceded by a clear and explicit “yes”. It falls under the heading of sexual abuse: all kinds of harassment, rape of all kinds, even unwanted courtship and closeness.

Why is the availability of “yes” so necessary?

The answer to the question lies in PTSD, and in particular the symptoms that occur at the time of exposure to trauma. What happens in reality when the brain is subjected to a great trauma is complete paralysis, with which it feels a complete loss of control over all matters and that it only has to cope and live with it even if it does not want to, and accordingly the school of psychoanalysis justified that the individual fell prey to PTSD, It is nothing but an attempt by the brain to repeat events over and over again in order to control them. This time may be the salvation, it may be my return to the traumatic scene, whether in the dream or in the imagination is my opportunity to control and change the course of events. On the other hand, this repetition helps to expend part of the tremendous psychological energy that was suppressed with the accident.

Applying this principle to the processes of harassment, abuse, and sexual abuse, we find that the victim’s brain is completely paralyzed at the moment in which it is exposed to the situation and is often unable to express rejection, and then begins a long journey of PTSD filled with self-blame, mentally reproducing the scene and avoiding Any triggers may be associated with it, so precisely why not saying “no” does not necessarily mean “yes”.

PTSD and sexual abuse: What Next?

In most Arab and Western societies, the victim is also blamed for what she went through, even if partly blamed in the most civilized and humane countries in the world. In fact, this blame – even if to a slight degree – harms the victim in an indescribable way, because mainly post-traumatic stress is closely related to the sense of guilt, and any factors that may enhance the sense of guilt may not have the consequences of it, it may lead to drug addiction, for example in order to obtain A lull in anxiety or – God forbid – suicide in search of comfort.

 Some tips can apply if you or someone close to you has suffered from PTSD

  1. Remember : the brain often blocks the traumatic event itself and maintains its excitement, so in therapy sessions or even individually, the victim must be encouraged to remember and list the details, according to the school of psychoanalysis, this remembrance helps to release a lot of the energy associated with the situation.
  2. Expression : If the recollection is related to the event itself, then the expression is related to the feelings and thoughts resulting from the event. Therefore, the victim should also talk about her feelings towards herself, the situation and the world, and express all these feelings openly.
  3. Acceptance : The acceptance of what happened is the most important and difficult part of the healing process, and in it we try to persuade the victim to first accept himself and make sure that he did not make a mistake, and secondly, accept the event itself and that any individual is exposed to the same situation with him.
  4. Skip : The last part of the process and with it, based on the previous steps, the victim is convinced that the best thing that can be done for himself is to overcome this crisis and start living life normally and not make him suffer a crisis that makes him withdraw from life completely.

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