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Childhood Sexual Abuse 

SNOMED Terms
 

  • Generalized anxiety disorder in remission

  • Obsessive compulsive personality disorder

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder


Goals
 

  • Develop an awareness of how childhood issues have affected and continue to affect one's family life.

  • Resolve past childhood/family issues, leading to less anger and depression, greater self-esteem, security, and confidence.

  • Release the emotions associated with past childhood/family issues, resulting in less resentment and more serenity.

  • Let go of blame and begin to forgive others for pain caused in childhood.


Behavioral Definitions

 

  • Reports of childhood physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse.

  • Description of parents as physically or emotionally neglectful as they were chemically dependent, too busy, absent, etc.

  • Description of childhood as chaotic as parent(s) was substance abuser (or mentally ill, antisocial, etc.), leading to frequent moves, multiple abusive spousal partners, frequent substitute caretakers, financial pressures, and/or many stepsiblings.

  • Reports of emotionally repressive parents who were rigid, perfectionist, threatening, demeaning, hypercritical, and/or overly religious.

  • Irrational fears, suppressed rage, low self-esteem, identity conflicts, depression, or anxious insecurity related to painful early life experiences.

  • Dissociation phenomenon (multiple personality, psychogenic fugue or amnesia, trance state, and/or depersonalization) as a maladaptive coping mechanism resulting from childhood emotional pain.


Diagnoses

 

  • Dysthymic Disorder

  • Major Depressive Disorder

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  • Dissociative Identity Disorder

  • Sexual Abuse of Child, Victim

  • Physical Abuse of Child, Victim

  • Neglect of Child, Victim

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder

  • Dependent Personality Disorder

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Here are some common effects:

Psychological Impact: Childhood sexual abuse often leads to various psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. 

Emotional Consequences: Victims of childhood sexual abuse may experience a range of intense emotions, including anger, fear, sadness, and confusion.

Physical Health Effects: Victims of childhood sexual abuse may experience physical health problems such as chronic pain, gastrointestinal issues, and sexual health issues. 

Impact on Development: Childhood sexual abuse can interfere with normal developmental processes, leading to delays or disruptions in various areas of functioning, including cognitive development, social skills, and identity formation.

Long-Term Consequences: The effects of childhood sexual abuse can persist into adulthood and have long-term consequences on the individual's life trajectory. 

Revictimization: Research has shown that individuals who have experienced childhood sexual abuse are at increased risk of being revictimized later in life, either through further instances of abuse or through other forms of trauma.

Spiritual and Existential Impact: Some survivors may grapple with existential questions or spiritual crises as they try to make sense of their experiences and reconcile them with their beliefs or worldview.

It's important to note that while childhood sexual abuse can have profound and long-lasting effects, recovery is possible with appropriate support, therapy, and interventions. Healing is a complex and individualized process, and survivors may find different approaches helpful in their journey towards healing and recovery. 

How does Childhood Sexual Abuse affect your life?

Here's a closer look at some of the ways childhood sexual abuse can impact an individual's life:

Physical Health: Some survivors may also engage in behaviors that jeopardize their physical health, such as substance abuse or self-harm.

Emotional Well-being: They may struggle with low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, and difficulty regulating their emotions.

Mental Health: Childhood sexual abuse is associated with an increased risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. 

Relationships: Survivors may struggle with trust issues, intimacy problems, and difficulties with boundaries. They may also have challenges in establishing and maintaining close connections with others.

Sexual Health and Intimacy: Survivors of childhood sexual abuse may experience difficulties with their sexual health and intimacy. 

Self-Identity: Survivors may struggle with feelings of worthlessness, shame, and confusion about their identity. 

Overall, childhood sexual abuse can have profound and long-lasting effects on every aspect of a person's life. However, with support, therapy, and appropriate interventions, survivors can begin the process of healing and reclaiming their lives.

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