Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of Sexually Abused Children

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It is most common in many Psychologically unstable teens, to have suffered sexual abuse as an infant or toddler; Causing them to behave in peculiar ways. Then as adults these teens, they cope with life in unhealthy patterns due to their lack of cognitive thinking. In many studies, girls who experience a rape or assault develop a disorder known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD,also common in war veterans). Sexually abused children are amongst the top suffers from eating disorders, depersonalization, Borderline personality disorders, depression, self-harm and suicidal behaviors and are more sustainable in entering in a physically abusive relationship. The sexually abused child’s Neurotransmitters, activate the Hippocampus (our memory) then send toxic chemical messages that processed the incident at the time. The brain either relives the incident in her unconscious behaviors and/or in the conscious behaviors that she makes. Sexually or even emotionally abused girls do not get the opportunity fully aid and mature through their development. Those who encounter constant abuse, especially if it is done by a family member; are known to have prolonged psychiatric symptoms. Once the brain learns a new way of thinking or a new pattern, it is hard to unlearn it. the brain processes that it has just encountered a dangerous life threatening situation, it now will find ways to shut the world out to protect itself and allow the survivor to cope also developing long term psychiatric problems. This is an big epidemic we face here in America it is common that more than half of our women population to have experience childhood sexual exploitation.

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Furthermore, the brains development is vital to our existence when discussing the components in what is a healthy child mental development. As a child, some of the best memories are made but for some children traumatic incidents such as rape, neglect, physical assault or any other harmful experiences triggers the brain to rewire itself as a victim. To illustrate, we could compare the physiological behaviors of two sets of children. Let’s say group A, are children who have not experienced any sort of childhood abuse and group B, are the children who have encountered abuse in some sort of way. A Developmental Psychologist has the job of observation and it is their job to watch subjected infants, all the way until they reach full maturity. A Developmental Psychologist would look at those children in group A and label them as Normally developed children. Primarily because there was the success in their developmental stages that plays a crucial role in a person’s character. There were no traumatic experiences that caused the children in group A to try and cope with an extremely painful overwhelming memory, such as those in group B. The children in group B suffer from misinterpreted patterns, where their brain was not able to fully process their traumatic incident, leaving many parts of their brain undeveloped. Therefore, many psychiatric cases are known to be linked with childhood abuse. The most common amongst those symptoms are those women who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In addition, children who have been emotionally or sexually abused act out in ways that carry negative behaviors and these behaviors carry out into their adult lives. In society, most do not understand or question why a person acts the way they do, they simply just judge the person as an abnormal individual. Children who have encountered abuse as a child, sexually or physically; they did not get the fair opportunity to have successfully gone through each of the Developmental stages of Psychology. There is a certain functional system in our brain that is responsible for memory, creating new memories and storing memory. The hippocampus, for example, is a sensor in our brain that processes new memories, when broken can result in mental dysfunctions such as Amnesia (the inability to create new memories). Also, the individual with a damaged Hippocampus, their Neurons receive wrong toxic messages that never become stored Long Term Storage (LTS) or even Short Term Storage. Now, what can be said about a girl who experiences sexual abuse at a young age? The neurobiological development of an abused child subjects many of those individuals to presume inadequate behaviors. When a child encounters chronic interpersonal violence, her psychobiological state becomes overbearing and the survivor now enters in a psychiatric state; especially if this happens in her earlier developmental stages. This can result in PTSD symptoms as well as other more predominant psychiatric disorders. Survivors of PTSD relive their painful experience through nightmares or even daily in their waking life. They can be easily retriggered and caused to reenter the fear they once thought they overcame. To further illustrate, a female child who encounters daily/regular sexual explorations develop low self-esteem. They will carry these negative self-thoughts into their adolescent years which may result in eating disorders and negative self-image. This could play a role in why this teen is so sensitive, or why she has now been diagnosed as Anorexia. This may also lead to a depression and because this adolescent already has a negative outlook on herself, it may result in other self-harming behaviors such as cutting or even suicidal contemplations. The result of this survivor is that she is most likely to continuously be hospitalized and even be prescribed medications to help control her behaviors.

Nevertheless, amongst the emotionally disturbed and mentally ill patients who suffer from personality disorders all have one thing in common; which is that they have been a victim of sexual assault as a child. In many domestic acts of violence cases, the perpetrator looks for passive victims such as women who obviously show symptoms of sexual distress. For instance; a young girl who had experienced a traumatic sexual encounter as a child may grow up with passive aggressive personalities, no confidence in self, perfectionist and of course low self-esteem. This girl, now as an adult, will find validations about self through society or in intimate relationships. Girls who have been sexually abused as children are more likely to find themselves in harmful dangerous relationships than girls who were able to have success in the developmental stages. In a psychiatric setting, it is obvious to observe and recognize the female patients who have been sexually disturbed. It is all about the way the brain is now encoded, and what her Neurons perceive as ‘sexuality is dismantled with a false sense of reality. For instance, those who acts out sexual or inappropriate behaviors, poor boundaries and carry herself in a childlike manner. this is not the case however for every girl who had experienced childhood abuse, but a majority. As well as having unhealthy sexual impulses, the survivor could also exhibit detachment behaviors and become irrepressible when attempting to aid in her treatment. The brain will always fight to survive no matter what gets shut down in the process. This is known as the flight, freeze or fight theory. As a child, the brain decides to freeze, depending on how old the child is and whether or not she is aware of who her violators are. Such as, we are studying a girl who was violated by her father, her response to the attack may have been to freeze. She would not fight him because as a little child she was taught to obey her parents or nor would she flee. Also depending on the age the child was violated plays a role in what her capabilities were in protecting herself. Her biological chemistry that was supposed to develop into normal survival skills have developed coping mechanisms in which she will always freeze in future traumatic situations. It all becomes a pattern.

Inconclusive details, children who have sexually abused do have to face psychiatric problems as a repercussion later in their life. There have been too many studies and too many stories of these survivors who have encountered sexual abuse as a child and there are far too many symptoms they must now live with for the rest of their life’s. it is very common and it is no longer a secret, in which the survivors never talk about or reports; because of fear. Women are becoming to be a lot more open about traumatic experiences not leaving it in the dark anymore. Voices of survivors are now being brought to the light and victims are being been able to get the treatment they need for recovery. it is just a shame that this is becoming such an unpreventable experience for children to have to go encounter. Children who were sexually abused as a child get an unfair disadvantage in life, restricting them from making healthy choices regarding their personal wellbeing and causing these children to now suffer from various mental disorders. A psychologist has one of the most amazing jobs in my opinion because they get to help these survivors learn new coping strategies and how to have a better and healthy life.

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