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People who have been victims of domestic violence not only suffer physical abuse, but from emotional abuse as well, which may stay with them for their whole life. The trauma associated with domestic violence can be deep and takes time to heal even after the relationship with the perpetrator is over and there is no communication or contact between them.
Emotional harm is greater than physical harm
Women make up the significant majority of domestic violence victims. When they face violence within the home sphere, they experience a wide range of emotions like anger, sadness, powerlessness, fear, resentment, vindictiveness and much more. Physical violence not only harms their body, but their mind and spirit are equally wrecked as the memory of being physically subjugated scars them emotionally in a very deep manner and can take years to heal.
Some of the long term impact of domestic violence on women is mentioned below.
- Any kind of physical injuries like bruises, cuts or dislocated joints and bones.
- Many women suffer from hearing impairment
- Loss of vision is also another effect
- Miscarriage or premature childbirth
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- A feeling of fatigue and weakness
In certain cases, unreported domestic violence may result in homicide or murder which is the ultimate and most unfortunate manifestation of physical abuse gone too far, That is why it is important to seek help early on before things escalate too far.
The mental effects of domestic violence take much longer time to recuperate from than the physical effects. If the shock is severe, it can render women mentally unstable for life in extreme cases. Even if a woman recovers from it, the emotional scar may remain and might manifest in the future.
- Depression: This is one of the worst mental effects of domestic violence is depression. The good news is depression is often temporary and can be cured. Signs of depression include a feeling of hopelessness, sadness, weight gain or loss, sleeplessness, loss of appetite and a consequent lack of interest in whatever you love to do. This can affect one’s decision making ability and in extreme cases can render one suicidal.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: When you encounter any violent experience, then you are most likely to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The signs of this disorder include frequent flashbacks of the traumatic experience, nightmares and extreme anxiety. Women who face these kinds of traumatic experiences find it difficult to cope with their present situation for a while. Counselling and support from their loved ones can heal these problems fast.
I and my husband are very much depressed due to family problems. I cant see my husband in that condition. What should I do?
We use the umbrella term ‘mental disorders’ to refer to different behavioral, emotional, psychological problems. There are over 200 categorized forms of diagnosable mental ailments. An emotional disorder refers to the condition that affects your way of thinking, and how you feel or react to the things going on around you. It also affects your ability to get through everyday life.
Types of emotional problems-
The most common emotional problems that many people encounter these days include the following-
1) Anxiety disorders- Anxiety is a natural way of responding to stress. It is a feeling of apprehension and fear of what is about to happen next. For instance, most people or children feel nervous or anxious when going for a job interview or giving a speech on stage, or even on their first day to school. If the feeling of anxiety is extreme or persists for over 6 months, then you are most likely suffering from anxiety disorder. People having anxiety disorder respond to certain situations and objects/signs with fear and panic.
- Hormonal disorders
2) Mood disorders- Also known as affective disorders, these involve feelings of extreme happiness, prolonged sadness, or a constant fluctuation between the two. Sometimes the person with mood disorders may show signs of anger or apathy. This type of emotional disorder is more common in children than in adults.
- Environmental factors
- Biological abnormality
- Mood swings
3) Bipolar disorder- Bipolar disorder leads to extreme mood swings, which involve emotional lows (depression) and highs (mania). This type of emotional disorder can last for months/years or be lifelong.
- Biological abnormality (where the brain’s neurotransmitters stops functioning properly)
- Hormonal problems
- Maniac episodes involve signs like- high energy, loss of touch with reality, reduced need for sleep
- Signs of Depressive episodes include- low energy, lack of interest in everyday activities, low motivation
Coping with emotional problems requires help and affection from loved ones. Adopting the following measures/strategies can help you keep a good mental health.
- Having a positive attitude
- Staying physically active
- Socializing and helping others
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Getting adequate sleep
In addition to these, one should also ask for assistance from professionals/therapists. They can help you cope with such emotional disorders, so you can carry on with your daily activities.