Domestic Violence and PTSD

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Survivors more often than not experience trauma and, over time, if the trauma persists, it can develop into post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. PTSD can also develop after a very stressful event, even if it has not been reoccurring or recurring for a long period of time.

With this in mind let’s look into the connection between domestic violence & post-traumatic stress disorder below.

What is the connection?

Men and women who have been the victim of domestic abuse or violence are at high risk to develop PTSD because each violent experience can be considered a trauma. In fact, family violence is a leading cause of PTSD, according to Black Bear Rehab.

Women are even particularly susceptible to PTSD,  and considering they are the majority of domestic abuse victims, this statistic is most definitely eye opening.

According to National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 1 in 3 women experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, whereas 1 in 4 men experience something similar.

How it can impact a domestic violence survivor’s day to day life

Victims of abuse often struggle with everyday things that may remind them of the abuse they went through before. For example, considering what they went through and what they were surrounded by during the abuse, things like weather, certain foods, certain colors, and even certain personalities, can trigger them.

Additionally, triggers can unleash in many different fashions such as:  nausea, anxiety, or even disassociation (which means the act of separating yourself and looking at self as a third person). Triggers can also occur unconsciously in dreams/nightmares or during flashbacks. 

Because of domestic violence and the PTSD that comes along with it, many survivors also have said to have trouble concentrating, maintaining relationships, and just continuing to function within a normal daily life thereafter.

With all of this being said, happiness after domestic violence isn’t out of reach. One can undergo  extensive therapy and rehabilitation methods to address any post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma. Overcoming this difficult time and your life is definitely doable and definitely possible . 

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224, or visit the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. An expert will answer you call and help you figure out what steps you can take.

Sources: “The Connection Between PTSD and Domestic Violence” by Very Well Mind

“PTSD, Domestic Violence and It’s Tie to Post Traumatic Stress” by Art Therapy International

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