Copyright © 2012-16 | Shelley L. Heusser

Shelley Heusser

Clinical Psychologist

BSocSc Psych. (UCT), BA. Hons Psych. (UCT), MA. Clin. Psych. (NMMU)

Practice No: 0445800  Reg No: 0112860

Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Sexual    trauma    suffered    in    childhood    has    lasting    psychological    consequences.    Some    individuals    experience severe   symptoms   or   long-term   suffering,   whereas   others   do   not.   However,   every   survivor   of   childhood   sexual abuse   experiences   deep-seated   pangs   of   shame   and   loathing   than   colour   their   interactions   with   themselves   and others. Survivors   of   childhood   sexual   trauma   are   at   high   risk   of   posttraumatic   stress   disorder   (PTSD). They   are   also   more likely   to   suffer   from   depression,   suicide,   and   drug   and   alcohol   addiction   later   in   life.   Childhood   sexual   trauma   may also    affect    one’s    ability    to    develop    and    maintain    relationships.    For    instance,    some    adult    survivors    may demonstrate high-risk compulsive sexual behaviors and promiscuity. The   emotional   distress   experienced   by   adult   survivors   of   childhood   sexual   abuse   may   also   be   related   to   their   use of   particular   coping   strategies.   Drugs   and   alcohol   are   used   to   protect   the   individual   from   negative   feelings   and thoughts,   but   these   coping   behaviours   add   to   more   distress   because   they   create   problems   in   one’s   environment, and never really allow one to forget about the trauma. Extreme   experiences   of   abuse   and   trauma   are   also   associated   with   symptoms   of   a   personality   disorder   known   as Borderline   Personality   Disorder.   Borderline   Personality   Disorder   is   characterized   by   chronic   patterns   of   instability in   relationships,   goals,   values,   and   mood,   non-fatal   suicidal   behavior   and   suicidal   threats,   and   other   impulsive behaviors that may be harmful (e.g., substance abuse, unsafe sex).  
Copyright © 2012-15 | Shelley L. Heusser

Shelley Heusser

Clinical Psychologist

BSocSc Psych. (UCT), BA. Hons Psych. (UCT), MA. Clin. Psych. (NMMU)

Practice No: 0445800  Reg No: 0112860