Domestic Abuse: Only Skin Deep?

Everyone knows that domestic abuse usually results in physical damage to the victim involved. Many times there’s lasting emotional trauma and long-lasting social effects as well. But is it also possible that in addition to physical and emotional harms, those who suffer from mental disorders are at a higher risk to become victims of domestic violence? Below is a list of the problems that a person involved in a domestic abuse situation may face.

Domestic AbusePhysical Damages

One of the most obvious results of domestic abuse is the physical harming of the victim involved. Many times, inner-home problems escalate from arguments to anger-fuel shouting matches and unfortunately end with violent displays of force. In extreme cases, the abuser may even use weapons instead of just striking to inflict harm on the person being abused. The people involved often wear the marks of such aggressive attacks.

These include bruises, cuts, scrapes, and contusions. More times than not, the victims of domestic violence incidents do not receive proper medical attention because the sufferer is afraid to speak out for fear of increased or prolonged suffering. Verbal threats of continued violence are often the greatest weapon an abuser can use, because it leaves the victim feeling powerless and trapped.

Long-lasting Emotional Trauma

In addition to surface-level wounds, many abused people become emotionally scarred due to domestic violence. The emotional trauma suffered through repeated sessions of abuse often lasts much longer than a bruise or a cut would. The victim is forced to subconsciously relive each and every time he or she has been a part of a domestic violence situation. Hurtful words leave mental scars on an individual and leave he or she feeling worthless and helpless. Name-calling destroys self-image and creates a false sense of an individual’s true identity. This emotional trauma can, and many times does, spill over into other aspects of a person’s life.

Social Effects

As we’ve just mentioned, the effects of domestic violence can spill over into an individual’s social life. Due to the emotional feelings created by domestic abuse, many victims’ social lives are severely crippled. Abuse causes many people to become reserved and closed off to those around them. They retreat to a life of solitude because they’re afraid to open up to others about the suffering they endure. Many times this fear is justified because of impending threats from the person abusing them.

Their lack of trust for people makes it difficult to make friends or build relationships. Self-image problems sometimes cause sufferers to have a lowered opinion of their self-worth, and they subsequently do not respect themselves. This in turn causes them to search for other avenues to find acceptance or fulfillment.  Domestic violence can (and does) have severe and lasting effects on the social life of the victim involved.

Mental Disorders Linked to Domestic Violence

There are many causes of domestic abuse. A recent study set out to prove the existence of a link between domestic abuse and mental disorders. The study set out to show that the connection between mental disorders and domestic abuse is multi-directional. This means that not only do people who exhibit mental disorders experience domestic abuse more frequently, but also those who are involved in domestic abuse situations tend to develop mental disorders.

Common mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolarity were among the leading mental conditions studied. Forty-one separate studies were conducted worldwide and then complied into a set of data that could be analyzed and quantified. The analysis of the test came back with results that proved the hypothesis that there is a link between domestic abuse and mental disorders.

Of the people studied, over sixty percent that experienced domestic abuse had a mental disorder. The findings showed that those who suffered from an anxiety disorder experienced the most domestic abuse. The second leading disorder resulting in domestic violence was depression. Other cases including schizophrenia, eating disorders, and bipolarity exhibited positive results linking them to incidences involving domestic abuse.

Women were found to have experienced some type of domestic abuse over fifty percent more than men, with anxiety being the leading medical condition among women. Many cases involved in the study showed that people developed mental disorders like depression and eating conditions after experiencing repeated domestic abuse.

While there are many problems that arise from a domestic violence situation, not all of them are visible to the naked eye or obvious to the common person. Mental disorders have a direct link to domestic abuse and many times result from domestic abuse. Due to this study, mental health professionals have been made aware of the correlation between mental disorders and domestic violence. As a result, they’re taking positive action to try to identify situations involving domestic abuse before they get completely out of hand.

Leave a Reply