Recognizing common symptoms of childhood sexual abuse can help parents, caregivers, teachers, social workers, counselors and childcare staff alert the appropriate authorities and take proper steps to protect the welfare and safety of our children. Because of this, I want to take a quick look at 11 common psychiatric symptoms experienced by victims of childhood sexual abuse but please keep in mind that this is not a diagnostic guide or a substitute for professional consultation. I have tried to clump together common symptoms that bring people both children and adults to the therapy office due to past history of childhood sexual abuse but this is by no means a comprehensive list and any of those symptoms taken separately may have other etiologies. Depending on the age, specific nature of the sexual trauma and the temperament and coping skills of each person, the clinical presentation may look differently. If you have experienced any form of childhood trauma, abuse or neglect, you may identity with some of the behaviors and patterns discussed below.
11 Common Symptoms Experienced by Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Common Symptoms in Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse | HealthyPlace
Any intentional harm or mistreatment to a child under 18 years old is considered child abuse. Child abuse takes many forms, which often occur at the same time. In many cases, child abuse is done by someone the child knows and trusts — often a parent or other relative. If you suspect child abuse, report the abuse to the proper authorities. A child who's being abused may feel guilty, ashamed or confused. He or she may be afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, especially if the abuser is a parent, other relative or family friend.
Warning Signs of Child Molestation
Physical, psychological and behavioral symptoms experienced by adults sexually abused as children and the impact child sexual abuse has on its adult victims. Although there is no single syndrome that is universally present in adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, there is an extensive body of research that documents adverse short- and long-term effects of such abuse. To appropriately treat and manage survivors of CSA, it is useful to understand that survivors' symptoms or behavioral symptoms resulting from childhood sexual abuse often represent coping strategies employed in response to abnormal, traumatic events. These coping mechanisms are used for protection during the abuse or later to guard against feelings of overwhelming helplessness and terror.