I wanted to share some excerpts from this article from Penrose Hospital magazine because it is so appropriate for female survivors of sexual abuse. It is always helpful just to get confirmation that we aren’t losing our minds and that others have the same struggles we do but even more importantly, that there is help!
COPING WITH LIFE'S CHALLENGES “When stress becomes overwhelming, it could make you overly alert and extremely sensitive to your surroundings - or hypervigilant. Many people who are hypervigilant may have post-traumatic stress disorder. They’re often on guard, trying to spot potential threats and prevent their traumatic experiences from recurring.
Women are more likely to become hypervigilant if they have experienced trauma such as:
Child abuse or neglect
Physical symptoms like sweating, a faster heart rate and shallow, rapid breathing can lead to exhaustion. Emotionally, you may feel anxious, irritable and unable to stop worrying. And it can make it hard to cope with the people in your life, enjoy work, focus fully, or sleep peacefully.
‘It’s time to do something when your ability to cope isn’t enough and when stress is lasting longer and interfering with daily life.’ Laura Tully says, a behavioral specialist at Centura Health Physician Group. ‘Start by talking to your primary care provider, who can help you decide whether to see a therapist or psychiatrist.
You can also try:
Cognitive behavior therapy
The sooner you get help, the sooner you can recover. Hypervigilance is always treatable.’ she says.
Behavioral health services in Colorado are available at Centura Health Physician Group primary care offices for patients. To learn more, call 719-776-6850”