Long term effects
In the long term the child may also experience a number of effects as an adult. These may include:
- Depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping.
- Low self esteem.
- "Damaged goods" syndrome. i.e. negative body image due to self-blame. This may be intensified if physical pain was experienced during the abusive incidents.
- Dissociation from feeling.
- Social isolation.
- Relationship problems such as an inability to trust, poor social skills or a reluctance to disclose details about themselves.
- Self destructive behaviour such as substance abuse or suicide attempts.
- Sexual difficulties such as fear of sex or intimacy, indiscriminate multiple sex partners or difficulty in reaching orgasm.
- Parenting problems such as fear of being a bad parent, or fear of abusing the child or being overprotective.
- An underlying sense of guilt, anger or loss.
- "Flashbacks" and/or panic attacks.