Child sexual abuse is a pressing issue in society today. Statistically, there has been a considerable increase in the number of cases related to juvenile sex abuse over the past decade. Most of the cases report the abuser to be a close family member or a family friend rather than a complete stranger.
A sexually abused child may develop severe mental health conditions and have major difficulties coping with as an adult. One of the most common disorders affecting survivors of child sexual abuse is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This involves the individual reliving the trauma all his/her life, thus leading to panic, stress and difficulties in living a healthy life in the longer run.
The individuals who were abused as a child normally suffer from a very low self -esteem. They continue to blame themselves for the events that occurred and hence have a rather demeaning view of themselves, leading to adjustment issues in the future.
They may also be diagnosed with clinical depression owing to the previous trauma. This hampers the everyday functioning of the individual. The individual may continue to relive the past traumatic events in the mind that further fuels their depression and contribute to the vicious cycle, eventually.
Most often, survivors of child sexual abuse have a rather impulsive nature owing to the hampered functioning of impulse-control. They have lesser control over their emotions, especially anger and are rather quick to act on it.
Because of all the complications, they might be less socially competent and thus fail to build firm peer relationships. They grow up to be adults with severe trust issues; they are hence, often side-lined because of their cynicism which leads to further depressive symptoms.
Genophobia or the fear of sex is another complication that they may experience as adults. They may avoid sex altogether or engage in sexual activities that are rather violent in nature. Some survivors may develop certain sexual fetishes that can be rather dangerous; the most common being ‘paedophilia’ or the sexual arousal involving prepubescent children.
The seriousness of the condition is often undermined. In treatment, various therapeutic techniques are used according to the need and age of the patient. Therapists work to promote positive thinking among the sufferers so that it becomes easy for them to accept their past and move on in life with a better outlook. With proper guidance and help, the individuals are able to overcome their mental health issues and live a wholesome life.
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