Male Survivors of Sexual Assault Face Unique Challenges to Recovery

Athletic man resting after a run outside

According to a Center for Disease Control (CDC) National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, one in six U.S. men have experienced sexual violence, and 17% of those men develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In my years practicing therapy, I’ve found male survivors face unique challenges to recovery, yet hesitate to get the help they need.

The question is why.

For one, we don’t hear much about male sexual assault survivors, although one study found sexual assault history was common among both women and men, reported by 25% of women and 16% of men surveyed. The research participants also faced similar long-term problems, regardless of gender.

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Raised by Anxious Parents? Here’s How it Might Be Affecting Your Mental Health

Mother and son strolling on green path in spring

In my practice, I see many clients who grew up in very anxious families. Parents may have suffered from generalized anxiety, social anxiety, agoraphobia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Often, these parents were never formally diagnosed with a mental health disorder, and it’s only after the fact, during adulthood, that clients are able to recognize and understand how anxious their parents were — and how it has affected their mental health, both during childhood and into adulthood.

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Recognizing Trauma vs. PTSD: A Quick Primer on Symptoms

traumatic stress vs. PTSD image

Imagine you have just had a car accident on the way home from work. Would you consider this a traumatic experience? What about if you left a country with oppressive government to find asylum in a safer country? Would you consider that traumatic?

There are different kinds of trauma you may experience. In the past, trauma meant experiencing events such as torture or abuse. But mental health professionals have come to see trauma as being more varied. How will you know if you or someone you love is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic stress? Clarification begins first with the definition of trauma.

The International Society for Trauma Stress Studies defines trauma as a set of mild to severe reactions to, “shocking and emotionally overwhelming situations that may involve actual or threatened death, serious injury, or threat to physical integrity.” Continue reading Recognizing Trauma vs. PTSD: A Quick Primer on Symptoms

Understanding the Lingering Impact of Trauma on Relationships

Why do some people become addicted?

“Someone who has experienced trauma also has gifts to offer all of us – in their depth, their knowledge of our universal vulnerability, and their experience of the power of compassion.”  – Sharon Salzberg, author and teacher.

– by Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC / Talkspace Therapist 

Understanding the Lingering Impact of Trauma on Relationships

It’s 7:10 PM and you’re anxiously waiting at the restaurant your partner has picked out for your weekly date night. You usually run a little late because you try on three different outfits before you leave, but tonight you arrived early for your 7 PM dinner reservation and have been waiting at the restaurant since 6:50 PM.

You want to show your partner that you’re committed to working on your punctuality. The server has stopped by several times to take your order, and you’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable as you wait for your partner.

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How to Exercise Your Way to Mental Health

How to Exercise Your Way to Mental Health

Sure, exercise can help improve your physical & mental health, while making you look & feel better than a sedentary lifestyle ever could, but it’s a lot of hard work.

It’s not easy to exercise your way to mental health. And we totally get it; you don’t need to tell us about the difficulty involved in finding the motivation to do some 50 sit-ups in the morning, or several sets of 42 squats right after work. But, you won’t get to experience all of the benefits of exercise without actually exerting yourself on a regular basis. Indeed, it is a harsh reality. Continue reading How to Exercise Your Way to Mental Health

You Need to Know These Facts About Veterans and PTSD

How to Help Veterans Deal with PTSD Live Better

“When the peace treaty is signed, the war isn’t over for the veterans, or the family. It’s just starting.” – Karl Marlantes

Our sense of security stems from knowing many of our bravest men and women are prepared to put down their lives to protect us. On the other hand, those who have witnessed the horrors of war inevitably have to cope with the impacts of those experiences such as post traumatic stress disorder [PTSD]. The first step towards taking care of these veterans is understanding how PTSD affects their community.  Continue reading You Need to Know These Facts About Veterans and PTSD

Coping With Sexual Assault or Picking Up the Pieces

Coping With Sexual Assault or Picking Up the Pieces

Sexual assault can shatter a person’s world into a million pieces – therapy can help put them back together.

There are many different types of sexual assault, which may or may not include physical contact. One of the most important but difficult things victims have to comprehend is that they cannot hold themselves accountable for the vile actions of other people. Just ask any therapist. Continue reading Coping With Sexual Assault or Picking Up the Pieces