Sexual Trauma: How Therapy can Help You Deal With Chronic Discomfort

Do you often experience belly aches, nightmares, or a foggy brain for no apparent reason?

Have you ever thought that your painful past might be to blame for your chronic discomfort?

chronic discomfort

While authentic physical ailments do exist, your mental state affects your physical state more than you might realize. It may seem like an abstract idea to connect your physical discomfort to your past trauma. Still, tracing it back may be more straightforward than you think.

Let’s examine some ways your body might be trying to communicate to you.

You’re Operating in Overdrive

When you go through a traumatic sexual experience, unique changes occur in your body and mind. When a tragedy occurs, the “fight or flight” response kicks in. Your autonomic nervous system switches into survival mode. This sends your senses into a heightened state of arousal.

Often, trauma victims become stuck in this state. You might be stuck, too. It may surprise you to learn that many chronic discomforts are expressions of past trauma.

Recovering from this type of trauma can be somewhat complex, but you are not alone in your healing. Therapy can help you to understand what your body is trying to tell you.

As a multidimensional being, your mind works in unison with your body. Finding resolution in one aspect often means accepting healing in the other.

Listening to Your Body

Your body may be sending you messages, telling you that you’re ready to move on from the traumatic experience. Yet, if you’ve not healed from it, your senses could be stuck in a heightened state of arousal causing you great discomfort.

While this state is effective for surviving the trauma, it’s not conducive to an ongoing sense of security and well-being. Remaining in such a heightened existence could cause a great deal of discomfort. Following are a few examples:

  • Brain fog or feeling of disorientation

  • Pelvic discomfort or pain

  • Belly ache or nausea

  • Digestive problems

  • Nightmares or insomnia

  • Feeling of being outside yourself

  • A “prickly” sensation when people physically get too close

  • Trembling or shortness of breath during sexual conversations

  • Cognitive issues (forgetfulness or impaired problem-solving skills)

  • Anger or unexplained rise in blood pressure during sexual conversations

  • Failure to perform during consensual sex or feeling a need to withdraw

How Therapy Can Help

A therapist specializing in nervous system dysregulation can effectively guide you towards recovery. Let’s look at how that can happen:

Freedom in Understanding

After living so long with physical discomfort, a therapist can address the core issues and help bring the truth to light. He or she will act as a sort of interpreter between you and your body.

Alone, it’s often hard to make the connection between a belly ache and a sexually traumatic experience. With a therapist, you can work together to put an end to the daily discomfort.

Become More Self-aware

Operating in a heightened state can force you to ignore your senses. This is an incredible exhausting way to function; however, a therapist will teach you how to practice self-awareness.

By understanding how your body communicates and responds to those mind/body interactions, you will experience a feeling of security and wholeness. Also, you will feel more tranquil and in charge of yourself.

Increased Intrapersonal Skills

Therapy can help you develop better relational and intrapersonal skills. In short, you will be more emotionally intelligent and understand your own feelings more adequately.

Whereas you may have pushed aside valid feelings in the past, you will now be equipped to address these feelings with surety. In understanding your emotions, you will be able to express yourself better, as well.

Boost of Self-confidence

Sexual trauma therapy can support maturing in realms of trust. You will experience more confidence and security both in yourself and in others, as well.

Doubting and second-guessing yourself might have previously been your standard. Therapy can help you establish new standards based on confidence and self-respect.

Chronic discomfort following sexual trauma needn’t be an ongoing burden. Seek help. You can find relief and release. Even when it’s difficult for you to understand, a therapist is trained to help you make sense of it all.