Resources

As a member of the Male Survivors Partnership, we are really pleased to be able to share a library of NHS Self-help guides that cover a wide range of issues including Post Traumatic Stress, Self Harm, Sleeping  and Eating Disorders.

There are 24 in total.

The library is available to download on both iOS and Android devices by searching for the following:

iOS – MSP Self Help

Android – Male Survivors Partnership Self Help

Flashbacks

Flashbacks are sudden memories of the past.  These can be extremely powerful and intense; they can sometimes feel like you are back in the exact moment and you are almost ‘reliving’ the experience.  When a flashback is happening we are unable to distinguish between the memory and the present time.

Flashbacks can be complicated; they can be of happy, sad, mixed or very distressing memories.  If the flashback you are experiencing is of a sad/distressing memory of your sexual abuse you make find the following coping methods helpful:-

  • Look around and in your mind or say out loud a list of items you can see in the room.
  • Hold something cold, like a piece of ice, or warm like a cup of coffee (making sure not to burn yourself).
  • Repeat whatever mantra your find helpful to yourself – I am safe and all is ok.  I am safe.
  • Use your 5 senses:  Nose – a comforting smell, Taste – a sweet, lemon, Hear – music that you enjoy, Touch – a piece of your favourite fabric, Sight – a picture/scene that gives you happy memories.
  • Safe place – imagine a place where you feel safe, take the time to think about that place and how seeing that in your minds eye makes you feel.
  • Breathing exercises.

Nightmares and sleep problems 

Past experiences can affect us whilst we sleep.

Nightmares can feel like the sexual abuse is actually happening to you again in your sleep and you make wake feeling really distressed, scared and confused.  You may also feel scared and anxious about going to sleep as you may fear having a nightmare.

Some things that you are able to do which may help you are:-

  • De-stress before bed, have a warm bath or shower, read a book and try to unwind.
  • It may help you to put the light on and to tell yourself you are safe and everything is ok.
  • Look around and in your mind or say out loud a list of items you can see in the room.
  • Have something by your bed that will comfort you.
  • Use your 5 senses:  Nose – a comforting smell, Taste – a sweet, lemon, Hear – music that you enjoy, Touch – a piece of your favourite fabric, Sight – a picture/scene that gives you happy memories.
  • Get out of bed and make your favourite drink.
  • Breathing exercises.

Self harm

Self-harm is a way of expressing and dealing with deep distress and emotional pain. It includes anything you do to intentionally injure yourself. Some of the more common ways include:

  • Cutting or severely scratching your skin
  • Burning or scalding yourself
  • Hitting yourself or banging your head
  • Punching things or throwing your body against walls and hard objects
  • Sticking objects into your skin
  • Intentionally preventing wounds from healing
  • Swallowing poisonous substances or inappropriate objects

Although you may find self harm helpful to you it is a negative coping strategy and can carry risk of infection and result in life-threatening medical problems.

If you are thinking about self-harming or are self-harming these techniques can help:

  • Leave the room where the object is that you intend to use to self harm or remove it from your sight.
  • Call or text a trusted person.
  • Draw on yourself, use henna tattoos or rub ice on the part of the body where you wanted to self harm.
  • Go for a walk.

You may also find the following websites helpful :-

https://www.victimfocus.org.uk/free-caring-for-yourself-after-sexual-violence
https://www.healthyyoungmindslsc.co.uk/information/professionals