There are many emotional and psychological reactions that survivors of rape and sexual assault can experience. One of the most common is depression.

The term depression can be confusing since many of the symptoms are experienced by people as normal reactions to events in their life. Depression becomes something more than just normal feelings of sadness when the symptoms last for more than two weeks. If you experience five or more of the symptoms of depression over the course of two weeks you should consider talking to your doctor about your experiences.

Symptoms of Depression:

  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
  • Change in appetite with significant weight loss or gain
  • Loss of energy or persistent fatigue
  • Significant change in sleep patterns
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in activities previously enjoyed
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or inappropriate guilt
  • Pessimism or indifference
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Irritability, worry, anger, agitation, or anxiety
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Depression can affect anyone of any age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion. Depression is not a sign of weakness and it is not something that someone can make themselves “snap out of.”