In the United States alone, a report of child abuse occurs every ten seconds. One should not underestimate the effects of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Approximately 80% of abuse survivors who are 21 years old meet criteria for at least one psychological disorder. Moreover, those who have histories of childhood abuse often unconsciously seek out abusive adult relationships and the cycle of abuse lives on throughout the course of the survivor’s life. Such individuals may find it extraordinarily difficult to break these destructive tendencies.
Symptoms that often accompany individuals with a history of abuse include:
- Greater tendency toward alcoholism and drug abuse
- Increased likelihood of promiscuity and unstable adult relationships
- Emotional consequences such as depression and anxiety, including social anxiety and panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, which may include flashbacks, nightmares, and sleeplessness
- Fear of intimacy, social isolation, and shame
- Eating disorders
- Low self-esteem
Many survivors of emotional, physical or sexual abuse carry the burden throughout their lives, unable to separate themselves from the past. They neither understand nor believe that they can recover from abuse, even with the right help. However, they can benefit greatly by seeking help from a therapist: they can recover from past abuse, have a future full of hope and healing, and can develop healthy relationships and lead a constructive lifestyle.
Choose a psychologist or counselor who specializes in helping people recover from abuse. Such a psychologist understands the importance of developing a trusting alliance with you and uses proven techniques geared toward processing traumatic experiences and memories, releasing emotions, and integrating new belief systems and possibilities into your life.
Seeking help for issues that stem from past abuse requires courage. Your therapist should understand this and appreciate the boldness of your decision and the uncertainty you feel as you pursue a new direction for your life. In time and with the assistance of a non-judgmental and compassionate therapist who practices the most effective therapeutic interventions, you will begin to experience feelings of self-worth, confidence and well-being.
If you would like my help, you can schedule an appointment with me by calling my office at 904-687-6336 . I look forward to working with you.