A report on Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Child Sexual Abuse in Florida revealed that between nine and 15 percent of Florida’s children have already been abused or will become victims of child sexual abuse before reaching adulthood. Child sexual abuse victims may experience immediate physical and mental consequences from the abuse, as well as long-term damage that affects health. One of the main forms of mental trauma that can result from child sexual abuse is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
According to the report on the impact of child sex abuse in Florida’s children, “researchers have identified PTSD as a ‘core manifestation’ of child sexual abuse.” PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by regularly feeling fear or dread. Triggers can bring back memories of the initial trauma which caused the PTSD, and flashbacks can cause intense physical and emotional reactions.
PTSD sufferers often experience anxiety, hyperreactivity to stimuli, depression, mood changes, nightmares and regular uncontrollable flashbacks. Many PTSD sufferers who developed post-traumatic stress disorder due to child sexual abuse are also more susceptible to bulimia or other eating disorders.
Psychotherapy and medication are common treatment options for PTSD, but a PTSD sufferer may never be fully cured and may simply learn to better manage symptoms. Therapy and other costs of care can be expensive. A child sexual abuse sufferer who needs help should be able to get necessary care to move on. Pursuing a civil case against institutions that facilitated the abuse could provide needed funds for care. A Florida child sexual abuse attorney can help pursue a claim for damages after child sex abuse occurs.