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5 Ways I Cope When Sexual Assault Stories on Social Media Are Triggering

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Sexual assault has been a trending topic on social media lately. This has empowered people to speak up about their experiences, however, it might open old wounds for others.

• What is PTSD?

I have experienced sexual assault and misconduct. Yes, you read that right — and it took years to heal these wounds. While I was able to get past this, being constantly reminded of it every day on social media has caused anxiety attacks and paranoia.

Unplugging from social media isn’t easy. After all, we use it to read the news, share memories and connect with others. It has become an integrated part of our daily lives. So, what can we do if sexual assault stories on social media are triggering?

1. Raise Awareness

While many people are sharing their stories about sexual assault on social media, I don’t think there has been enough awareness about how these stories may negatively affect others. Writing an article or blog post on how these stories bring up old trauma may help relieve anxiety, depression or other reactions we have to these stories.

2. Go to Therapy or Talk With People You Trust

Therapy often get things off our chest, figure things out and grow as human beings. Sometimes therapy isn’t realistic due to financial constraints or transportation. Finding a friend or family member you trust to talk with may help instead.

3. Unplug From Social Media

I know I just said unplugging from social media isn’t easy — and it isn’t. If you think you can do it, unplug as much as you can! Limiting yourself from social media to one or two times a day might make a huge difference.

4. Keep Busy

I think keeping busy is vital. It is not only a distraction, but it can keep you on top of things! Try getting the things done you’ve been putting off for a while. Maybe do something that makes you happy! This might help keep your concentration intact.

5. Listen to Music or Play an Instrument

Music can help heal emotional wounds. I think it can also ease anxiety and depression. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you listen too or even if you play an instrument. If it helps, It helps.

These suggestions can possibly help you cope when dealing with anxiety and trauma. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share as it may help somebody else. Just know that you’re not alone.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Getty image via monkeybusinessimages

Originally published: December 12, 2017
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