Understanding Your Experience

I'm feeling so many different emotions about this experience. Is this normal?

Reactions to a traumatic experience such as sexual assault vary from person to person. The following are examples of both physical and emotional reactions that a survivor might experience.

Physical Reactions:

  • Aches and Pains: headaches, backaches, stomach aches
  • Sudden sweating, heart palpitations
  • Changes in sleep patterns, appetite, interest in sex
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Easily startled by noises or unexpected touch
  • More susceptible to colds and illness

Emotional Reactions:

  • Shock
  • Disbelief
  • Embarrassment
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Denial
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Self-Blame
  • Concern for the rapist
  • Lack of concentration resulting in academic difficulties