Rape is described as an unwanted sexual act that leads to penetration of the genital, vaginal, or anal cavity. In general, there are two main forms of rape. Unsolicited sexual penetration achieved by the use of violence or threat of force is referred to as forcible rape. Once the victim is knocked out or heavily intoxicated as a result of voluntary or involuntary ingestion of alcohol or narcotics, drug- or alcohol-facilitated rape happens. Rape can occur in both boys and men, as well as girls and women.
Rape affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. Rape is a traumatic experience for many people, and many of the victims suffer long-term effects.
Substance abuse can also be used to self-medicate traumatic emotions sometimes, or compulsive habits can be used to maintain control of one’s life. Sexual assault survivors often turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with or control feelings of uncertainty or to “numb” their distress — or they are just finding it hard to open up about the trauma experienced to family or friends. The comfort offered by these drugs is short-lived, and when alcohol or drug addiction becomes a habit, it can affect a person’s mental and physical health even more. It can be challenging to identify when alcohol or substance use has become a problem, and it’s much more difficult to recognize these habits in oneself. Understanding and knowing the warning signs of addiction will help you stop becoming addicted.
There are advanced services that can help you regain control of your life if you have been raped and are now struggling with an addiction. The dependence on these drugs will develop gradually, progressing from minimal use to more regular use and, ultimately, addiction. When the actual cause of their addiction — past trauma — is not known, they often discover that conventional substance abuse treatment is insufficient.
What is The Effect of Rape on Survivors
Each survivor’s response to sexual assault is different. These reactions can be influenced by the survivor’s personal style, history, and life background. Some people tend to show their feelings, while others will rather keep their emotions secret. Some people will warn you about the attack right away, while others will wait weeks, months, or even years before speaking about it. It’s important to value each person’s decisions and coping styles in the aftermath of a traumatic event. If an attack was successful or unsuccessful, and whether it occurred recently or several years ago, it can have an effect on everyday functioning.
Victims may be affected by a wide variety of reactions. When an individual is a victim of sexual assault, it has an impact on not only the survivor but also those around them. Many individuals in a victim’s life may be affected by the rape experience: friends, parents, acquaintances, infants, husbands, classmates, and coworkers.
One of the things that makes life so challenging for loved ones is not knowing what to say or do; however, there are methods to provide positive assistance as well as receive support.
The long-term effects of rape can be devastating because of how traumatic it is. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of rape:
- Anxiety and depression
- Phobias or fear that seem to have little to do with the rape
- Headaches, stomach problems, or recurrent colds or infections are examples of physical ailments that can be experienced.
- Relationship challenges
- Inability to put one’s faith in others
- Dissociation or, in some cases, drugs and alcohol may be used to numb the emotions.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD That Occurs After Rape, Assault or Abuse
The occurrence of rape, like other traumatic incidents, is a risk factor for the development of PTSD. Invasive symptoms (flashbacks of the occurrences), avoidance patterns (avoiding individuals or circumstances that remind the victim of their rape), detrimental changes in cognitions or affect (e.g., cognitions that the environment is an unsafe place), and hyper-awareness (e.g., being easily startled) are all symptoms of PTSD, as stated in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Following sexual trauma and abuse, PTSD is a common issue.
Sexual harassment of some kind is a traumatic experience. In reality, many survivors of sexual assault have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The issue is that a lot of them are either unaware of it or attempt to conceal it because they are afraid to admit what happened. As a result, they seek out other means of masking their feelings. Then there’s drinking and drugs.
According to the National Women’s Study, which surveyed 4008 women, the lifetime prevalence rate of PTSD caused by rape and sexual harassment was 32 percent and 30.8 percent, accordingly, compared to 9.4 percent caused by trauma not related to crime (e.g., motor vehicle accident).
Following a traumatic experience, it is essential to be conscious of the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The following issues are common among people living with PTSD:
- Shame and guilt are associated with the incident, even though those emotions are unfounded.
- Anxiety, anger, and depression, as well as mood swings, are both possibilities.
- Flashbacks, memories, nightmares, or hallucinations associated with the incident
- Usage of drugs and alcohol
- Intrusive signs, such as random thoughts, can dramatically alter a person’s temperament.
- Avoidance of thoughts or objects that cause recollections of the trauma
- Hypersensitivity and emotions that are quickly cause
- Having a negative effect on their ability to work on a day-to-day basis.
Increased irritability, numbness, rage, or drug abuse may be observed by family members and loved ones. Their family members may begin to fight or have more angry outbursts. People may become less social as a result of their fear of missing work or school if they leave their homes. When they want to chat, it’s critical to listen and guide them to get support.
Using EMDR To Treat Addiction, Trauma, and PTSD
EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is a new form of treatment for people who have experienced traumatic events. (EMDR) is an Information Processing Treatment that integrates aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, body-centered therapies, and experiential therapy. This is one of the best treatments for PTSD. EMDR is a safe and straightforward therapy strategy that helps you to speak about your issues in a relaxed and calm manner.
EMDR varies from other treatments in that it typically operates better, is less painful, and achieves results in only a few weeks.
To treat PTSD, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR involves the client remembering stressful events from the past or present while concentrating on a stimulus such as visual cues, auditory tones, or tactile stimulation.
This results in dual focus, which alters the transmission of traumatic memories and decreases anxiety when remembering the traumatic event. It has been proposed that PTSD is triggered by an inability to process trauma properly and that EMDR can assist with this reprocessing.
Just 10% of people treated with EMDR therapy had PTSD symptoms after treatment, compared to 88 percent of non-treatment control patients, according to an EMDR report by Rothbaum. EMDR is proving to be a successful treatment choice for PTSD, despite the function of eye movements being disputed.
If you’re having trouble talking about your past, EMDR is an excellent choice because it allows each person to work at their own pace to heal the emotional wounds that led to addiction. EMDR helps you to have control of your therapy process while still assisting you in letting go of pain and past encounters in a comfortable manner.
Getting Addiction Help For Individuals Who Survived Rape
Sexual assault survivors can recover from their trauma and potential substance abuse issues, and support is available. Reaching out for help is a sign of courage and the first step toward healing.
People who are dealing with drug abuse as a result of sexual abuse will benefit from counseling and group therapy sessions.
- Learn how to cope with their feelings and keep them in place. The survivors are taught safe coping strategies and techniques that can help them confront their emotions and deal with them in a more powerful and proactive manner.
- They will learn how to look after themselves. Many sexual assault survivors come from families where they were never taught how to live a safe and productive life. Rehab will assist them in learning self-care in a beneficial and healing manner.
- Where they can get assistance. The completion of rehab After detox, a dedicated rehabilitation service is available, ensuring that support is readily available at all times. Not only that but the wide variety of resources and support available, which includes everything from group counseling to meditation, provides fresh insights on how to seek treatment and new coping strategies for the future.
Do you like to know more about rape survivors’ addiction counseling? Please call us at 844-768-1084, our toll-free helpline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to see if we can assist you.
Inquire about insurance options for your care, and bear in mind that all of our calls are free and entirely confidential. Please find out how one of our professional counselors will assist you right now.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.