Are you or a loved one suffering from the long-term effects of domestic abuse? You're not alone. At least one in three women and one in nine men will experience intimate partner violence at some point in their lifetime.
The effects of surviving even a few months of abuse can last for years. Many people don't know how to move past the domestic violence trauma.
Keep reading to learn about how emotional trauma lasts and some tips on how to get the right help. Let's get into it!
Heightened Stress Levels
The result of domestic violence can cause individuals to become overly alert and exaggeratedly sensitive to potential dangers. This can lead to:
- Poor concentration
- Extreme exhaustion
- Intense irritability
Those who have been exposed to repeated or acute traumatic experiences may have difficulty controlling their emotions. They may also be prone to erratic behaviors as they attempt to cope with their increased stress levels.
To help mitigate the effects of heightened stress levels, domestic abuse survivors should seek out counseling and individual therapy to help them better manage their emotions and stress.
Depression and Misery
Depression is an extreme and sometimes crippling feeling of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness. The symptoms can be either physical or psychological, but can also manifest through changes in behavior.
Those who suffer from domestic abuse may feel isolated, withdrawn, and unable to gain satisfaction from activities that used to bring them joy. They may feel like their life is out of control and that nothing can make it better.
Not only can this depression prevent individuals from addressing their trauma, but it can also negatively affect their social lives, relationships, and work life, forcing them into further distress and misery.
Difficulties in Developing Healthy Relationships
It can be extremely difficult for survivors to develop healthy relationships because of the trauma they have experienced. They may fear intimate bonds and mistrust others due to the trauma they have experienced.
Furthermore, it may be hard for them to express themselves in a clear and coordinated manner. This can lead to miscommunication and more relationship difficulties.
Additionally, they may also struggle to recognize and set healthy boundaries in relationships, making them more susceptible to being victimized again. This can lead to unhealthy dynamics and further distance themselves from any potential partner.
The Feeling of Guilt or Disgrace
This feeling of responsibility and self-loathing can be extremely difficult to overcome. A survivor may feel guilty for:
- Not being able to stop the abuse
- Bringing it upon their family
- Allowing abuse to happen in the first place
This guilt can be so consuming that even after the abuse has ended, victims may still struggle with it. Additionally, it can also be further exaggerated by the abusers' attempts to place the blame on the victims.
The culprit may also convince them that they are somehow responsible for the abuse. This can prevent the victim from seeking help, perpetuating the cycle of violence and abuse.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by a traumatic event. Health and mental health effects due to prolonged exposure to violence can manifest as PTSD which can lead to all sorts of other issues like panic attacks and substance abuse.
It can take many years for someone to find the necessary healing and resources to help them cope with their trauma and the PTSD that comes along with it. However, there are various approaches to treating PTSD including:
- Creative expression
- Relaxation techniques like yoga
PTSD can be incredibly difficult to overcome, but with the help of therapy, medication, self-care activities, and support from friends and family, victims can work towards recovery. This is a real issue that should never be dismissed.
Experience Difficulty in Sleeping
Feeling a general sense of unrest can trigger the body's natural stress response, causing physical and mental symptoms that can disrupt the sleep cycle. Insomnia can be a long-term effect of trauma due to hormone and neurotransmitter misregulation.
Stress hormone, such as cortisol and adrenaline, remain elevated long after the traumatic event. This decreases serotonin levels and makes it difficult for the body to relax during sleep.n levels and make it difficult for the body to relax during sleep.
Those who've experienced domestic violence trauma may need to practice self-care and use mental health services to help regulate their sleep cycle.
Lack of Trust
Victims of violence often experience feelings of suspicion, doubt, or lack of confidence in the people and circumstances around them. This lack of trust can be detrimental to the victim's psychological health, withdrawal, or hostility.
Remaining in an abusive environment can make it more difficult to maintain healthy relationships, To begin healing from the trauma of domestic violence, it is essential to start building a sense of trust in the world and those around you.
While this is a hard challenge to take on, it is crucial to reclaim your life and feel a sense of safety and security.
Domestic violence trauma has been known to have a crippling effect on victims' self-respect. It creates a sense of fear and worthlessness, leaving them feeling ashamed and hopeless.
This can significantly lower their self-respect and their feelings about themselves. Victims may feel like their opinions don't matter and that they do not deserve love and respect from others.
This can further damage any existing self-esteem, leaving them feeling like victims of their mistreatment.
Victims often experience a range of emotions such as rage, frustration, anxiety, shame, guilt, and fear. Over time these feelings can become so intense that they create a sense of emotional numbness.
Additionally, victims may start to feel emotionally disconnected or empty. They may also experience intrusive thoughts, such as re-living certain experiences or fears of being hurt again that can contribute to their emotional numbness.
It is important to remember that emotional numbness is an adaptive response to trauma, and it can eventually be healed with professional support and assistance.
The Impact of Domestic Violence Trauma
Domestic violence trauma has severe long-term effects on its victims that can last for years. To support those suffering from this trauma, it is crucial to reach out and get assistance through counseling, support groups, or legal services.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, do not hesitate to speak to someone and get help. Did you find this article helpful? Check out the rest of our blog now!