Healing Dissociation Caused by Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

The impact of drug-facilitated sexual assault on survivors and their experience of dissociation can be a significant barrier to fully resolving trauma and healing. This has been an on-going battle in my own recovery.

Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that can have long-lasting effects on survivors. When the assault involves the use of dissociative drugs to facilitate the attack, the trauma can be even more profound, and survivors may experience a double dissociation effect, one from the drugs and one from the events.

Dissociation is a defense mechanism that helps survivors disconnect from their feelings, thoughts, and surroundings to avoid overwhelming emotions. It is a normal reaction to trauma, but it can also be a significant barrier to healing, especially when the drugs used also cause disassociation.

The effects of drug-facilitated sexual assault can last long after the event itself, and survivors may experience flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression. They may also struggle with their sense of self, feeling disconnected from their bodies and their emotions. It can be challenging to navigate these feelings, but there are ways to heal and reclaim your sense of self.

One of the most important steps in healing from drug-facilitated sexual assault is to seek support from a trauma informed mental health professional. They need to have a through understanding of the mechanisms of “date rape” drugs. A therapist can help you work through the trauma, develop coping strategies, and provide a safe space to process your feelings. Additionally, support groups for survivors of sexual assault can be helpful, as they provide a sense of community and understanding.

Self-care is also crucial in the healing process. This may involve creating a routine that prioritizes rest, exercise, healthy eating, and activities that bring you joy. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and yoga, can also help survivors connect with their bodies and reduce dissociation.

It’s essential to remember that healing is a process and that there is no timeline for recovery. Survivors may experience setbacks, and it’s important to practice self-compassion and patience with yourself. Healing from drug-facilitated sexual assault requires a commitment to self-care, therapy, and self-exploration.

Reclaiming your sense of self after trauma can be a challenging journey, but it is possible. By seeking support, practicing self-care, and committing to healing, survivors can learn to manage their dissociation and live a fulfilling life. You deserve to feel safe, connected, and whole, and there is hope for healing and recovery.