Therapy for Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it’s important to understand the connection between the sexual trauma as a child and the PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other conditions that can show up later in life.
The childhood brain is not able to incorporate the experience, so it basically almost creates a short circuit and wires the brain around the fact that it can’t handle it. It creates a distortion, and as that person grows up and matures, that distortion doesn’t fit reality anymore. You may be wondering “how come this person who’s supposed to be taking care of me also does these awful things to me?”. Or if the perpetrator was not your caregiver, you may be wondering “why did you let this happen to me?” A child’s brain cannot process or incorporate these conflicts.
The shame around the trauma alters your body chemistry. While going through this experience, there are different hormones that get released in the body that shouldn’t be there at those levels. As the brain grows in the presence of these hormones, it matures with a distortion in order to make sense of the experience. But that won’t necessarily work as the person matures.
It’s common that as the person grows older, they turn to harmful coping mechanisms like drugs or alcohol to deal with the distress that they feel. Without treatment, childhood sexual abuse survivors may find it difficult or challenging to have close relationship or partnerships later on.
While you may feel alone, statistically as many as 3 out of 5 men have experienced some form of sexual abuse in their childhood.
You don’t have to handle it on your own.