Anxiety In Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

anxietyAnxiety In Adult Survivors of Child Abuse: Spotting the Signs and What to Do About Them

Survivors of childhood abuse experience a lot of different impediments to their continued state of well-being. Stress and anxiety are the most common long-term effects of childhood abuse, based on a study by the American Counseling Association. The thing about anxiety is that it can be happening but the signs that point to it are varied and can be misconstrued as something else. So on that vein, what are the symptoms of anxiety and what can you do about them?

Intrusive Thoughts

Anxiety doesn’t always show up as physical signs. Intrusive thoughts can be sexual, aggressive, and even violent. What is troubling about them is that they tend to make you question yourself and plant the seeds of doubt on whether or not these intrusive thoughts are actually a  manifestation of the darker part of your nature. This is rarely the case. A good way to deal with this sign of anxiety is to meditate and do breathing exercises. It’s also good to vocalize these thoughts to someone that you trust (perhaps your therapist). This is important so that they may help you acknowledge that these thoughts are not an indicator of who you are.  

Dry Mouth

Xerostomia, otherwise known as dry mouth, is a rather common symptom of anxiety. It refers to a reduced or absent flow of saliva into the mouth which can induce a burning sensation, sore throat, difficulty speaking, and many other subsequent effects. Dry mouth isn’t a disease unto itself but is an effect of an underlying condition—in this case, it stems from psychological trauma. A good way to combat dry mouth, to start, is to seek treatment regarding your mental health. Another effective way to combat this troublesome symptom is to pay a visit to your dentist so that they may do a physical assessment of your Xerostomia. They may suggest you do a fluoride rinse prior to sleeping at night.

Lack of Sleep

Around 40 million Americans struggle with sleep disorders that are exacerbated by anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Anxiety can impact the amount of sleep you get and can disrupt your waking life, too. Lack of sleep can put your health in danger so it’s important to get this particular symptom addressed as soon as possible. A good way to combat lack of sleep is to reduce the amount of anxiety. You can achieve this by doing light exercise, playing soft music in the background during sleeping hours, and importantly, speaking to someone about your trouble with sleep. Having someone you trust to be aware of your sleeping troubles can help you keep track of your progress (or lack of it).

Identifying symptoms and dealing with anxiety can be challenging but it is not impossible. Empowering yourself and your support system about the common signs of anxiety and what to do about it can help lessen the impact over time. It may also help you bounce back a bit better after every bout of anxiety.  

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