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My Friend Sexually “Abused” Me, Can This Cause Trauma?

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When I was around the ages, 5 or six, I had a friend named Jackie. I do not know her background, or why she was like this but, she would sexually “play” with herself in front of me. I was young and didn’t know this was wrong so when she told me to do it to myself too, I did. She would also touch me back but, I do not recall touching her in any way. This happened continuously until I moved to a different state and I am no longer in touch with her at all. I am quite ashamed and embarrassed but, I want to know if this event could cause trauma or PTSD. I suffer from anxiety and depression if you needed to know and I seem to have the symptoms of PTSD such as insomnia and nightmares, ect. For a while I never thought about it as bad and even forgot it happened but, suddenly this year, I remembered and wanted to know if it has affected me. Thank you.

My Friend Sexually “Abused” Me, Can This Cause Trauma?

Answered by on -


It’s difficult to know how this experience influenced you, if at all. In some respects, you may be the only person who can fully answer this question. It could have influenced your development of anxiety, depression and other symptoms, but it’s difficult to tell based on so little information. I would need to interview you at length to know with certainty. This is the type of problem requiring a professional, in-person evaluation.

Arguably, it doesn’t necessarily matter what may have caused you to develop the disorders you have described. What matters the most is eliminating your symptoms. There’s no reason to suffer with treatable mental health issues. Don’t wait any longer. Consult a mental health professional. The sooner you do, the sooner these symptoms can be resolved and you can move on with your life. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

My Friend Sexually “Abused” Me, Can This Cause Trauma?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2019). My Friend Sexually “Abused” Me, Can This Cause Trauma?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 26 Apr 2019 (Originally: 29 Apr 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 26 Apr 2019
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