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“PSYCHIATRIZING” SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS

7 January, 2012

The information in this blog was derived from a period of immersion in work with adult female sexual abuse survivors (hereafter referred to, for the sake of brevity, as ‘survivors’.  The information was published in three papers in the 80s and, although one or more of those works are referenced in just about every book and paper on the topic now, it has not led to the cessation of psychiatric ‘name-calling’ of survivors.*  I had hoped that the remarkably unique syndrome would ultimately place survivors with those dramatic symptoms in their own subsection of post traumatic stress disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.  Perhaps that will happen one day, but it’s been a quarter of a century without much progress in that direction.

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* It very much bothers me to see survivors labeled as having “borderline personality disorder” and other nasty names.  Combat veterans don’t get labeled that way.  Why survivors?  Dare I use the word “sexism”?

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2 Comments
  1. I would like to have hope but I really don’t believe there will be much progress made, at least not in our time…

    • At the very least, it is abysmally slow. The first publication of the research behind the topics in this blog were published in 1985 … 26 years ago. I had, at times, naively assumed there would have been more progress. The existence of the syndrome is well established now in the literature, there having been multiple studies since to confirm it’s existence. There really, truly ought to be a separate, specific PTSD diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual just for survivors.

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