Dating Someone With PTSD: Depression, Anxiety, And More

Try different types of kisses, such as nibbling on your partner’s lower lip, using your teeth gently, or licking their lips. This will keep things interesting and your partner will definitely appreciate you for trying out different things. Pay close attention to your partner’s body language because everyone has different preferences when it comes to kissing.

You may blame yourself for what happened or believe that you’re “dirty” or “damaged goods.” Relationships feel dangerous, intimacy impossible. And on top of that, like many rape survivors, you may struggle with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Sexual trauma can leave us feeling like we’re unworthy of intimacy, pleasure and love.

Luvbites by Dr. Tara

Active listening is less about responding and more about attentively focusing on what’s shared. Listening to your loved one without judgment or pressure can go a long way in helping them. Our denial of our needs does not create a more just world. Food, shelter, safety and caring relationships are necessary to all. I can’t remember the first time I dissociated, but I remember one of the times that I did clear as day. Either way, though, we shouldn’t force ourselves before we’re ready.

Learn the triggers

The following content discusses dissociation, sexual assault, and victim blaming/shaming/socialization. If you’re navigating your trauma alongside a new fling or partner, there may come a time when you want to tell them about your experiences. “Speaking about a trauma reopens the door to that experience emotionally. Depending on how the other person reacts, create either an opportunity for healing or re-traumatisation,” Rose says. If you’re unsure about sharing, there are ways to tell how someone might respond beforehand.

It feels like if I bring it up, that I’m being selfish and not concerned with her feelings or needs. I guess I just wish we were making progress towards intimacy or understanding each other in that capacity. Many women fall under the pressures of today’s hookup culture; however, someone who wants a relationship with you will not mind waiting. Women tend to get attached more easily after sex than men, so if you really want a relationship, it is critical to wait until it feels right.

The mere smell of alcohol on his breath was enough to trigger me at times, so it was best if we remained sober. “I think it’s extremely important to go with your loved one to a therapy session so the mental health professional can walk you through your loved one’s PTSD. My now-husband was with me during one of my worst flashbacks. Despite me having explained thoroughly my PTSD symptoms to him, along with what tends to trigger me, he argued with me rather than recognizing I was having a flashback.

It also interferes with treatment and can contribute to problems at home and in your relationships. Participate in social activities, even if you don’t feel like it. Do “normal” things with other people, things that have nothing to do with the sexual trauma. Flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive memories are extremely common, especially in the first few months following the assault. If your nervous system remains “stuck” in the long-term and you develop post-traumatic stress disorder , they can last much longer.

Recovering from rape or sexual trauma step 1: Open up about what happened to you

Describe options for treating patients post–sexual assault who have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression that include community-based and culturally relevant practices. Sexual assault can also cause a person to decrease safer-sex practices. Following sexual trauma, a person may have difficulty becoming aroused, not find sex enjoyable, or experience distressing physical, emotional, or mental responses during sex. “I think there’s a need for people to be trauma-informed in all interactions,” says Julia Koerwer, a psychotherapist in NYC.

I made accusations about his lack of love when he didn’t. I held tight to assumptions that after just a little more time together, the nightmares would go away. Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Tri-County Women’s Centre.The impact of trauma on adult sexual assault victims.

As a partner, be prepared to hear these stories with empathy, understanding, respect, and confidentiality. With that in mind, here are seven tips for dating a survivor. After I came to terms with what happened to me, I decided that I should get some professional help to ensure that I take the necessary time to heal from something that I had blocked out of my memory so long. “That’s how you know these parts of your body need more self-care before you can allow someone else to touch you there,” Neves said. Before you have sex with someone else, you need to reconnect with your sexual self and get to know your own body again through self-pleasure. You don’t have to talk about it with this person immediately.

Once we were outside and able to see the source of the noise, we could enjoy the display together. Some triggers you’ll learn through direct communication, but others you may need to experience first-hand. When I see distress rising in his face, I can reach for his hand, but I remind myself not to feel offended if he stays silent. It was also important to remind myself that in the case of PTSD, time doesn’t heal all wounds.