#MeVsAnxiety is a weekly column that provides a safe space for people living with anxiety to share their experiences, anonymously.
The recent conversations on rape culture and sexual assault have revealed the daily dangers that women face around the globe.
In a recent survey by W&A, we sought to understand how sexual assault could affect women’s mental health by asking a series of questions. These are the results and responses:
1. What fears or triggers do you identify with the most, as a woman?
2. How do you manage these fears/ triggers?
3. Have you been diagnosed with any form of anxiety disorder?
Out of 10 responses, 70% indicated ‘Yes’, while 30% indicated ‘No’.
4. If yes, please state
*ADHD is not a form of anxiety disorder. *Depression is not a form of anxiety disorder.
5. Do you think being a woman increases your chances of dealing with anxiety?
Out of 11 responses, 54.5% indicated ‘Yes’, 18.2% indicated ‘No’, while 27.3% indicated ‘Maybe’.
6. What do you think an ideal support mechanism for women should entail?
7. What would you like to say to encourage fellow women out there?
The responses above are only a fraction of the daily experiences of several women, regarding sexual assault and its mental health implications.
We hope they have been able to remind you that you are not alone and that your feelings are valid. We also hope that you have been comforted by their words of encouragement.
Please remember to take care of yourselves by prioritizing your mental health and adopting healthy coping mechanisms. For some helpful tips, please check out this article.
Furthermore, if you or anyone you know has experienced sexual assault, please contact these organisations: Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Stand to End Rape (S.T.E.R) or Mirabel Centre.
Finally, if you deal with any form of an anxiety disorder (or suspect that you do) and would love to get some help, please contact Working & Anxious or Mentally Aware Nigeria.