Military Sexual Trauma - Topic Overview
There is no set reaction to MST. You
may feel fear, shame, anger, embarrassment, or guilt. You may have a response
right away, or it may be delayed for months or years. You may feel sad or
scared months or years after the assault.
After MST you
- Avoid places or things that remind you of
- Avoid your friends, family, and other
- Have trouble sleeping or have nightmares.
numb or feel nothing at all.
- Have relationship
- Think about death or killing yourself.
Some people try to deal with their feelings by pulling
away from other people, working all the time, or
using drugs or alcohol. They also may feel
depressed or have
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a sexual
assault is common.
What can I do?
After a sexual assault, many
veterans keep quiet. They worry what others will think of them, and that
talking about the assault will hurt their military careers. But the VA can
The VA has qualified MST counselors at every hospital. Many
Vet Centers also have an MST coordinator. This person can discuss treatment
with you and help you find the services that best fit your needs. Many VA and
Vet Centers offer services specific to men and women.
often is used to treat MST. Your doctor also may prescribe medicines that help
with symptoms. Treatment can help you cope with trauma and regain confidence
For more information, see the topic
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.