Experts agree that, not only is dissociation “uniquely associated” with sexual abuse, but it also causes the victim to have a greater chance of psychiatric problems later in life.
Drs. Cassandra L. Kisiel and John S. Lyons say the person who suffers with dissociation, has hindered functioning and they may suffer “serious psychopathology.”
Kisiel and Lyons also found that sexual abuse and dissociation were autonomous with self-mutilation and other psychiatric disturbances, as well as disturbed functioning.
Dissociation symptoms can include:
Feeling detached from life or people
Out of body experiences
Loss of time
Adult survivors of child sexual abuse often subconsciously attempt to re-enact their sexual trauma from childhood, and until they receive therapeutic help, they will most likely act out subconsciously by becoming an abuser or maintaining a victim-like nature.
Women who were victims of child sexual abuse are twice as likely to experience rape or other form of sexual assault as an adult. Female survivors might also find themselves in a relationship with a man who abuses them physically, or who physically or sexually abuses their children. Sometimes a survivor will re-create the unresolved trauma by forming friendships with people who abuse them or by taking a job with an abusive employer.
Although most men who were sexually abused as children do not become child molesters, they are more likely than women to re-create their childhood by becoming abusers themselves (instead of being a victim), or more likely to verbally, physically, and emotionally abuse others.
Women are more likely to take a victim role but many women sexually, physically, and verbally assault children
Higher Suicide Rates and Addiction
As much as forty-three percent of adults who were abused as children are more likely to attempt suicide. Female sexual abuse victims are highly likely to turn to alcohol and drugs. Substance abuse has been linked beyond dispute to child sexual abuse. After becoming sober, a number of people have remembered that they were sexually abused in childhood.
Around eighteen to twenty million Americans suffer from depression. Medical doctors attribute depression to chemical imbalances and prescibe pharmecuticals in record numbers, yet they wonder why researchers can’t find a cure for depression and other mental health issues. The field of medicine continues to search for physiological, or superficial reasons for depression, but depression is often anger turned inward on the person themselves.
Women are three times more likely to come down with depression than men. This may be because men are more likely to express their anger outwardly or onto others, while women usually hold anger inside.
Another contributing factor is that more women than men have been victims of child sexual abuse. The vast majority of people who have been sexually abused will experience a certain severity of depression during a period of their lives.
Dissociation May Worsen Effects of Sexual Abuse Reuters Health, New York, Source: American Journal of Psychiatry 2001;158:1034-1039, Tuesday July 17 1:37 PM ET
Sexual Abuse in Girls Leads to Later Substance Abuse, Suzanne Rustler, New York,(Reuters Health), Thursday October 12 5:32 PM ET, source: Archives of General Psychiatry 2000;57:953-959. Other source: Sexual Abuse in Girls Leads to Later Substance Abuse, Suzanne Rostler, October 12 5:32 PM ET, New York, Reuters Health