Rape and mental health

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Over the years, the number of reported cases of rape has been few compared to the actual. Survivors of rape prefer to bear the burden alone due to stigma. They blame themselves for the incidence, they believe they could have prevented or stopped it from happening.

This trauma usually have a great impact on them psychologically. For some it will last only for a while but for others, it can be for a lifetime.

About Rape

When an individual is forced into sexual intercourse against his/her will, it is called rape. It can occur between different age groups. Nowadays we hear more of adults and elderly having forced sexual intercourse with children and teenagers. They take advantage of their ignorance, some teenagers will be coerced into this by peers without knowing what it was actually about.

Rape is becoming more rampant in our environment although most of the survivors do not like to report or talk about it. Caregivers need to have good rapport with their children. These children need to be educated on their reproductive parts. Caregivers should be sensitive enough to the physical, emotional, social and psychological needs of their children.

Most of these rape cases are from very close and trusted relatives and friends. Its psychological impact may last a lifetime and it can affect all aspect of the survivors’ life. You need to know that a previous episode of rape can always lead to another.

About Mental Health

Your mental health has to do with your psychological well-being. It is the way you feel, think or act. It is your state of mind. It affects the way you relate with people, how you cope with stress and the way you go about your day to day activities.

Rape has a huge impact on the survivor’s psychological well-being ranging from immediately after the act and this can last for some time. It affects the way they see and feel about themselves. It can also impinge on their reasoning. They have a sense of guilt and withdraw to themselves. They feel ashamed to talk about it, on the contrary the way out of this is to talk about it.

Impact of rape on mental health

The effect of rape is usually noticed immediately after the act. Some of these survivors may feel anxious and scared while some feel shocked and numb. They feel dirty and have a low self-esteem. They can also exhibit self-blame.

As time unwinds, they feel depressed and withdraw to themselves. They also avoid social relationship. They feel worthless and may have suicidal thoughts. Some of the long term psychological effect may include restlessness. The thought of the incidence and flashback of the occurrence makes them feel agitated and restless. They can also have issues with sleeping. This can go a long way to affect their normal daily activities.

Measures needed to recover from this psychological impact

Survivors of rape need to realize that they need help and should therefore seek help. They need to talk to someone about the experience and how they feel. There are professionals who are trained in mental health, they will take you through some processes that will bring about healing psychologically although this may take some time. These survivors need to realize that they can live their normal life, this can be achieved by having a good self-esteem.


The psychological impact of rape on the survivor can go a long way to affect his/her normal functioning immediately and later in life. This can in one way or the other affect a nation if no intervention is taken to stop this. Survivors of rape should please seek help in other to heal up this psychological wound.

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Dr Kay
About Dr Kay 58 Articles
As a physician, I love to give answers to several questions bothering people, educating them on how to be healthy, breaking down what their present condition is all about and counselling them on how to manage their condition.


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