Rice University

Is What I'm Feeling Normal

    If you have experienced sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking or other non-consensual interpersonal behaviors, it is not your fault. Shame, guilt, and self-blame are common feelings after an assault, either within your own thoughts or because of the words and actions of others, but it is not your fault.

    Survivors commonly experience a wide range of emotional, physical, and mental reactions to the trauma they have been through, such as:

    • Eating too much/not enough
    • Not caring for your hygiene needs
    • Sleeping too much/not enough
    • Depression
    • Desire to self-harm
    • Anxiety
    • Feeling isolated/wanting to isolate
    • Lack of enjoyment in activities
    • Shame/guilt/fear
    • Crying/inability to cry
    • Numbness/heightened sensitivity
    • Changes in sexual desires (no sex/more sex than usual)

    It is okay to feel any of these things. There is no prescribed set of reactions to violence; you may feel none, some or all of these, and your feelings may change over time. All of these reactions are common and normal. You may want or need help to cope with these thoughts or feelings, especially if they start interfering with your daily functioning. Rice encourages students to talk to someone. You can talk to friends or family, or to one of the resources on campus available to support students.