Domestic Violence and Mental Health

Those of us who have experienced domestic violence recognize the number of ways it affects our being. Domestic violence can cause an adverse ripple effect on the emotional and psychological state of a survivor. Panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety are often ignited by domestic violence and/or other severe forms of abuse. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services states that, “Suicidal tendencies, substance abuse and psychotic episodes can all be sparked by violence and maltreatment. In addition, children exposed to domestic violence are at risk for developmental delays, psychiatric disorders, school difficulties, aggressive behavior, and low self-esteem.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 2009:

  • 54% to 84% of battered women suffer from PTSD,
  • 63% to 77% of battered women experience depression, and
  • 38% to 75% experience anxiety.

Please take a moment to ask yourself today: Am I contributing to destroying the myths surrounding who this happens to and why? Do I take the time to share information about what domestic violence truly is and how I’ve been personally affected? Do I need more resources or education so that I can be equipped to intervene with confidence? As a survivor, am I struggling with anxiety, PTSD, or depression related to the abuse I endured?

If the answer to the last question is “yes” please be encouraged that you are not alone. There are a number of resources listed on this site that are national hotlines. Please consider reaching out for help. You deserve it. 

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