Cases of harassment and abuse continue to rise with every breaking dawn. Abuse may take different forms, from sexual to physical, emotional, and many more types. These may occur at the workplace, home, or other settings.
Associated Mental Effects Of Abuse
The sad thing about abuse and harassment is that it takes a toll on the victim. Most victims end up with consequent psychological problems, such as depression, feeling of worthlessness, anxiety, and extreme fears of guilt. These feelings can lead them down a rabbit hole, and if left unchecked, they may end up with suicidal thoughts.
So, to prevent these, here are five essential tips to support your mental health after incidences of abuse and harassment:
1. Go Through Supportive Training
A training exercise is most useful in a job setting where sexual harassment cases are prevalent. If you fall victim to such an incident, you may undergo training to learn how to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. The training program may be carried out online, which will only take a little from your working time. You’ll conclude with an exam and afterward get a certificate of completion.
Such programs will help you familiarize yourself with various channels you can use to report any suspected cases of harassment and abuse, whether for you or any of your colleagues. Moreover, through the training exercise, you may prevent further cases of abuse or harassment in your workplace.
2. Accept What Happened
As a natural human instinct, the brain tends to shove traumatic experiences to the side to escape the reality of the event. However, ignoring your problems may only cause them to accumulate. And in the future, this can end up being disastrous.
Although difficult, accepting the reality of being a victim of abuse may help you protect your mental health. After all, acceptance is the first step to recovery. By admitting what you went through, you’ll be taking the bull by the horns. You’ll bring the feelings to the surface, which will help you develop a coping strategy to deal with the underlying negative emotions face to face.
3. Don’t Blame Yourself
Self-blame will only slow down your healing process especially if thoughts of shame and fault keep on looming over your mind. Always remember that the events that transpired aren’t your fault. The guilty party in this incident is the perpetrator, and you’re the victim.
You didn’t have control over their actions. However, you can control what happens next by taking gradual but progressive steps to recover from the traumatic experience. Start by shunning all the self-reproaching thoughts you may be experiencing to protect your mental health and ultimately heal faster.
4. Talk To Someone
As mentioned earlier, abuse of any kind can have an immense impact on your emotional wellbeing. In most sexual harassment cases, victims tend to shy away from talking about their ordeals as the topic is commonly associated with shame. This only worsens the situation as victims end up with depression, lowered self-esteem, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other psychological traumas.
It’s said that a problem shared is a problem half solved. Hence, you should talk to someone about your experience. You may seek counseling services from a professional psychologist, approach a trusted friend or family member, or join a support group.
Even when you think you’re strong enough to deal with the effects of abuse, talk to someone anyway. This will bring you more relief, and you’ll eventually gain some form of closure.
5. Use Your Experience To Help Others
Believe that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. You can use your experience to offer meaningful advice to people who’ve been in a situation like yours.
You could write blogs—build a website for abuse and harassment victims where you can share knowledge on how to handle and overcome such incidents. You may also volunteer in community support groups for victims of abuse. By sharing advice, you’ll bring yourself peace of mind and build your resiliency.
Harassment or abuse of any kind often has severe consequences to the victim’s psychological wellbeing if left unchecked. If you’ve been a victim, you should employ measures to support your mental wellness after an abusive event. You should accept the reality of the terrible incident, go through training, share your feelings with a trusted person, avoid criticizing yourself, and use your experience to help others in similar situations.
Ultimately, you’ll gain closure from the difficulty, boost your resilience, and protect your mental health and general welfare.