1. Personality Change- Child previously outgoing and friendly becomes withdrawn and fearful
2.Fear of the Dark /Nightmares- Incest often occurs in the cover of night and nightmares often serve as the gateways for fears to emerge
3. Unusual Play Behavior- Watch for any behavior that is unusual and mimics any aspect(s) of sexual acts
4.Early Masturbatory Behavior-Children that are masturbating before puberty may be acting out sexual abuse
5.Unusual Bathroom Behavior-Children resisting defecation, hiding behind tub, child experiences anxiety around going to the bathroom
6.Inability/Difficulty Swallowing Pills- Often the body’s instinctive resistance to any oral behavior that reminds it of oral sexual activity
7.Vaginal Infections, Rashes – Physical or psychological signs of possible incest
8.Bruising /Cuts- Bruising may be a sign of force used in sexual activity. “Cutting” is a severe response to the overwhelming mental harm of incest. The abuse victim may cut themselves to cause pain that diverts them from the greater pain of the incest abuse.
9.TMJ/Jaw or Mouth Pain- These symptoms can result from the pain of oral incest
10.Religious Zealousness- The incest victim may find a refuge from their trauma in seeking God usually in an obsessive manner
11.Alcohol/Drug Abuse- Alcohol and drug abuse is very common in incest victims. They use these drugs to numb themselves from the awful realities they face.
12.Suicidal- All too often, the victim of incest will feel so trapped that suicide seems to be the only way to escape the agony being forced on them
13. Body Issues- A victim often never feels at home in their own skin. They may try to cover their body with large size clothes or more layers of clothing to hide any suggestion of sexuality. They may neglect their body in an attempt to show contempt for its use by the abuser.
14. Eating Disorders in the form of bulemia or anorexia often result from incest because they involve taking control over the body that was denied them during incest.
15. Phobia’s of all types can be the result of incest and have been triggered during the incest experience.
16. Desire to change one’s name-results from feeling tainted and dirty and wanting to start over brand new
17. Blocking out Time Periods- If a person does not have memories from a period of their childhood, it may be that they are repressing trauma that resulted from incest
18. Feeling Different from Others/Misfit
19. Feeling that You are Carrying a Secret
MEDICAL CONDITIONS THAT OFTEN RESULT FROM CHILDHOOD INCEST
1.Depression- Often found in persons that are experiencing incest or have been incested in the past. Feelings of despair, emptiness and low self-esteem
2. Obssessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)- Behaviors taken to the extreme where the mind cannot seem to get a sense of completion. A person may wash their hands over and over until they are red and raw because they aren’t getting a feeling of reassurance that enough has been done. Other common behaviors that often become obssessive or compulsive are cleaning to get rid of germs, checking locks over and over trying to get a sense of safety and having a magic number that requires you to complete tasks that number of times.
3.ADD- Attention Deficit Disorder makes it difficult for a person to maintain concentration on a task
4.Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)- The trauma of incest often results in this disorder which was originally identified with the aftereffects of combat. A person suffering from PTSD is easily startled and easily overwhelmed due to the impact of the traumatic events they have endured. Their stress levels are generally much higher than a person who hasn’t been traumatized and they may experience flashbacks of the trauma.
5.BiPolar- Also known as Manic-Depressive- This condition results in a person’s mood fluctuating from high (manic) to low (depressive) states. This can be a quick fluctuation or a long and extended change from one phase to another.
6.Anxiety Problems- Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are commonly experienced by those who have experienced incest. Anything that reminds them of the traumatic experiences or raises their safety alarm will bring on these attacks of anxiety.
7.Personality Disorders/Borderline Personality Disorders- Includes multiple personality disorder