How Does Domestic Violence Affect You Mentally?

January 11, 2021 4:35 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Domestic violence is violence or abuse in a domestic setting, such as within cohabitation or marriage. Domestic violence is often used as a synonym for intimate partner violence, which involves a spouse or intimate partner in an intimate partner relationship.

The abuser often believes that the abuse is an entitlement, acceptable, justified, or unlikely to be reported. Victims often feel trapped by the abuser in domestic violence situations through isolation by their abuser from family and friends, lack of finances, fear, shame, cultural acceptance, and power and control. Victims can develop physical disabilities and chronic health problems as well as severe psychological disorders.

Domestic violence isn’t just limited to physical ailments. You might be familiar with the pop culture idea of a domestic violence victim—usually a woman with visible bruises—but most domestic violence is more insidious and invisible. Abuse of any kind can affect people on mental, physical and emotional levels. If you’ve been the victim of abuse, please seek domestic violence counseling in Yakima, WA.

Here is an overview of how domestic violence can affect its victims, and what can be done to help.

Depression and mental or mood disorders

Domestic violence doubles the risk of depression in victims. Whether it’s physical, emotional, sexual or verbal abuse, the link between domestic violence, depression and other mental or mood disorders has been well documented.

As if the abuse weren’t stressful enough, other factors can increase the risk of depression and other mental health consequences. For example, new mothers in abusive relationships are prone to developing postpartum depression, while those who have genetic predispositions, poor relationships with alcohol and substances and other illnesses are more likely to experience severe or significantly worsened symptoms.

At the same time, people who are depressed—particularly women—are more likely to become victims of domestic abuse. This points to a vicious cycle between depression, abuse and sinking back into depression once more. That makes it significantly harder for victims to recognize that they have a problem and get help.

Treatment and other help

Getting help for depression and other effects of domestic violence can be an almost insurmountable obstacle for victims. One of the first major steps to take is to leave the abuser. Because the constant battering of abuse detracts from the victim’s will to escape, it can be extremely difficult. They may fear retribution. They may have nowhere to go. They may fear that no one will believe them. However, once the victim gets away from the abuser, it’s easier for them to begin the healing process.

If you or a loved one have experienced domestic violence, they are at increased risk of depression. One of the most difficult parts of depression is its ability to convince sufferers that they’re helpless against their abuser. Helping victims reach out to shelters and mental health assistance can make the difference between escaping and being trapped in another cycle of abuse.

Remember, seeking help for depression and recovering from abuse is a good thing. Many parents are worried that seeking assistance for domestic violence will make them lose out on custody because they’re “crazy” or somehow unfit. On the contrary, working with a counselor can help you overcome symptoms like loss of concentration, apathy, insomnia and helplessness. Working with a qualified mental health counselor can help give you the perspective you need to escape the abuse, settle custody in court and take the first steps toward a new life.

If you need physical and mental abuse counseling in Yakima, WA, Apple Valley Counseling Services LLC is here for you. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.

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