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Mina
Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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How do you recover after being raped

Customer Question

How do you recover after being raped?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mina replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I am very sorry to hear that this happened to you. I can only imagine the trauma that you have suffered and I understand that you still feel greatly affected by it. It is well known that sex assaults can cause significant effects to a person as that person's views, beliefs and ideas about the world, people and themselves can change immensely. Would you like to tell me a bit more about your experience, without going in to any painful details (to protect your confidentiality as well) how long ago this happened and what kind of therapy you had?Also, how are you feeling this period of time?are you coping with things?do you have a family, do you work?some answers to those questions can be quite beneficial to understand how this has affected you and what type of therapy you need.

Looking forward to your responses

Thanks

Mina
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

HI

 

It happened in 1990, was 18 (now 39). At the time i couldn't cope with what had happened, couldnt talk to anyone, so i buried it. Managing to almost completely pretend as if nothing had happened. Then after the death of my mum in 2006 i had a nervous breakdown. (diagnosed with Avoidant Personality Disorder). The assult came out about 2007 under hypnosis. Done by a separate Psychologist. And has been causing real anxiety since. ie i rarely go out on my own and can get very anxious around men. All i want is to stop feeling frightened.

I have two sisters and live with my partner who are all lovely but i've never been able to tell them. None of us talk about emotions! I know i've got to deal with it but the thought of reliving it terrifies me.

I still don't remember all of it, even under deep hypnosis there were things i couldn't describe, ie what he said when he threatened me. Or the actual of assult, as all i remember is looking around or staring up at the moon, so i didn't have to think about what was actually happening.

So during the therapy i suffered alot with dissociating myself from the therapy because i couldn't cope. Still experience times of dissociation now where i just shut down or slip in to a more agressive personality. Can be very embarrassing to do in public and confusing for other people to understand. I don't know how to deal with all this.

Expert:  Mina replied 3 years ago.
I see. I am sorry to hear about that. it does sound complicated. The fact that you have not told your family and partner, do you think it has to do with the avoidant tendencies you have?possibly feeling scared of their reaction, what they will think of you?All these concerns would be very normal. What I am thinking however is that you describe yourself having symptoms of PTSD which is Post traumatic stress disorder. This can happen to victims of abuse, rape, any sudden life threatening event. The fact that you avoid men, you avoid talking about it and you feel anxious and on alert as well as dissociate yourself, are all symptoms of PTSD. I wonder why the psychologist that brought this up in the surface did not treat you for this or refer you for an assessment and treatment of PTSD?

CBT- Cognitive Behavioral therapy is a well known therapy model that works well with PTSD and it takes about 10-16 sessions during which the patient is guided to reconstruct certain thoughts and beliefs that emerged after the incident. It can also involve reliving exercises during which the patient talks about the incident being conscious but with the safety of being wit the therapist, is able to remember more and more about it and process the memories that are brought by this exercise.

I am not sure ho w you feel about this but this is a very effective model. It sounds like you were not adequately supported after your revelation and you are on your own which makes it a lot harder to overcome. I would definitely encourage you to look for a therapist in your area that specializes in PTSD so you can put this experience behind but after having processed it.

Please feel free to share any feedback on these thoughts.

Thank you

Mina
Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience: Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
Mina and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi

 

Thankyou for your thoughts. I'd wondered about PTSD.

 

Just to clarify about the psychologist who did the hypnosis. (As he was nice.) He was working for the Job Centre at the time and was only supposed to deal with problems related to returning to work. He did try to help but it really wasn't his job and he passed it over to the NHS therapists that i was seeing at the time anyway. Who unfortunatly were much less understanding.

 

Thanks again

Expert:  Mina replied 3 years ago.
Fair enough:)

At least now you may feel that you have a direction and that you can find a specialist on PTSD if you wish to engage in therapy

Thank you for accepting and for the bonus

All the best

Mina

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Mina
Mina
Mental Health Professional
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Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults