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What mental health issues do sex abuse survivors often experience?

One of the most troubling and lingering mental health issues that can result from a sexual assault is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a pattern of symptoms people experience following a traumatic event.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common diagnosis for sex abuse survivors.

For so many, the memories linger long after the event occurred. After the trauma, the survivor may be haunted with recurrent and intrusive memories and nightmares and be fearful of it happening again. Many victims also report feelings of depression, anxiety, anger or sadness. Shame, guilt, self-blame, fear, helplessness, flashbacks and panic attacks may also occur. And then, there are untold physical symptoms of the trauma like eating disorders, insomnia, substance abuse, fatigue, headaches and immune system responses.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.