The study of Abnormal Psychology is one of
the most interesting topics in Psychology. The different types of mental
disorders combined with symptoms, thoughts, and actions can make the observer
interested in learning more. Domestic violence on women with depression is a
huge concern in today’s society. Abuse can be anywhere from physical,
emotional, sexual and so on. Domestic abuse does not discriminate as it can
affect people of all backgrounds and all socioeconomic statuses.
Domestic violence is a form abuse and violence by an individual to
another in a family setting of a married couple or instances of
cohabitation. It is also known intimate
partner violence especially when the abuse is by a partner or spouse in intimate
relationship with the abused. Domestic violence can
either be physical or psychological, and in most cases, it’s critical to both
parties; the battered and the batterer. It can take different forms; bodily
harm, spoken, emotional, financial, religious, procreative and sexual abuse. It
ranges from understated, intimidating forms to matrimonial rape and vicious
physical abuse. In some instances, violent abuse leads to death or
disfigurement. Its occurrence is based on the abusers’ belief that the violence
is justifiable or will often, go unreported. In most cases it leads to intergenerational
cycles of abuse in the family members as they trust it’s an acceptable
In most cases of domestically
abused women, they tend to be trapped due to isolation, lack of economic
resources, a sense of fear and shame, or in order to protect their children. The results of
domestic abuse to the victim are far reaching; from physical disabilities, long-lasting
health issues, mental ailments, limited finances, and inability to forge
relationships. They may be plagued with emotional complications like post-traumatic stress disorder.
known as major depressive disorder, is a mental illness that causes a constant
sense of sadness and a lack of interest in the surrounding environment. It
negatively affects an individual’s way of thought, sense of feeling and how
they behave and can lead to a diverse array of emotional and physical issues.
As reported by National Mental Health Association, almost an eight of the women
population are affected by depression at least once in their lifetime. Over
fifty-seven million individuals in the U.S are affected by mental sickness.
About 50% of women that are depressed have a prior experience of trauma like
physical or sexual abuse. A study conducted by National
Institute of Mental Health, showed that 63% to 77% of assaulted women face depression.
Research conducted on U.S and Canadian women being treated for domestic
violence found that 17% to 72% were depressed and 33% to 88% had post-traumatic
stress disorder, PTSD (Warshaw & Barnes, 2003). The occurrence of domestic
violence on psychiatric patients was quite high at 78.3%.
Research done on over 36000 women, discovered that victims who had depression faced twice
the risk of falling victim to intimate partner violence. The victims likely
to face cases of neuroticism, sensitivity, obsessive-compulsive indicators,
nervousness and paranoia more than women who were not abused.
Women that have undergone a cycle
of depression are more likely to be domestically abused. There has been a
direct link on the severity of depression symptoms to the severity of abuse. New
Moms in abusive relationships are twice likely to suffer from postpartum depression. Genes,
abuse of alcohol and serious ailments are also contributing factors to higher
depression risks for women who face domestic violence.
Impact of Domestic Violence on women with depression
Domestic violence has a significant
far reaching effect on the welfare and health of a woman that extends even
after the relationship ends. Most often, people tend to focus on the physical
abuse while ignoring the psychological consequences attached to violence. Women
who are abused at home are most likely to have poor health and are at high risk
of developing other health issues (World Health Organisation 2000).
In an Australian research done on abused Victorian women in the 15 to 44 age brackets,
it was discovered that domestic violence was the key factor that lead to death,
incapacity and sickness (VicHealth 2004). Notably, one of the
devastating effect of Domestic violence is the inability for the women to
nurture their young ones and enhance their positive growth.
As earlier pointed out, the impact s of intimate
partner abuse is far reaching and extends past the physical injuries acquired
from the assault. Often times, abuse victims that are depressed end up having a
collection of effects such as mental illnesses, eating and digestive disorders,
lack of sleep and widespread long-lasting pain. Notably, some severe cases of abuse lead to
extreme mental issues like post-traumatic stress disorder .
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological
illness that follows a terrifying experience where there was a bodily injury or
threat of its occurrence. Post-traumatic stress disorder is often considered as
an anxiety syndrome. Indicators relating to PTSD may show after a month and in
most times, may develop three months or more after the occurrence of the
trauma. The shocking event may cause the
victim too much distress that the effects are uncontainable. A traumatic
experience where a victim’s life is threatened may lead to physical, mental and
expressive consequences that can take over their opinions, feelings, and behaviours.
PTSD is more prevalent in women as compared to men especially those that have
undergone sexual (PTSD
Statistics And Facts).
Numerous victims of marital abuse have difficulty in
undertaking the day to day activities due to the effect of violence. They often fail to go to work due to physical
injuries attained and need to visit a hospital. This leads to loss of their job
and income, hence, unable to exit the abusive relationships due to need of
sustenance. They often face humiliation that they are undergoing abuse, feel undeserving
to be loved and have a low self -esteem. These feeling of unworthiness leads to
their isolation from close family members and friends and avoidance of social
It is clear that violence acts
on women fundamentally cause physical and mental injury, and at times, acute
trauma signs. Most victims of abuse are exempted from developing the full array
of depressive indicators and disorders. How frequent, severe and the type of
post psychological issues a victim has is dependent on a number of factors such
as prior history of abuse and the social and cultural setting where the abuse occurred.
The category that the acute stress disorder (ASD) falls is easily traceable to
the specific experience undergone by the victim and their proximity to the
assault. Also, some of the posttraumatic
indicators, like recollections and invasive thoughts, contain certain memories
of the shocking experience and thus their major cause is easily prescriptible.
However, not all instances
may be traceable to the trauma. Some of the factors that are linked to the domestic
violence may foster an environment of continued assaults, in time, leads to lasting
and less specific psychological signs. Since domestic violence on women
undergoing depression is usually in an ongoing relationship, it may lead to a
change in the victim’s perception in terms of safety, intimacy, relations and
their ability to trust others. They tend to feel to lose their trust in their
capability to distinguish and avoid personal danger (Dutton, Hohnecker, Halle,
& Burghardt, 1994). These change in perceptions may in turn lead to adverse
mood situations and dysfunctional conducts (Koss, Figueredo, & Prince, 2001).
Several research outcomes point out that certain
features found in abuse victims are often linked to how severe the resultant
mental states are. Instances that are
life threatening and where there is use of violent force are linked to severe
cases of Post Traumatic disorder (Davidson & Foa, 1993). Also, the
regularity, harshness and chronicity of domestic abuse has been linked with
research studies on women with high levels of psychological symptoms and mental
distress, such as post traumatic disorder, anxiety and depression (Dutton, 1992).
Most abuse cases on women do not happen as a solitary incident but relatively as
a continuous acquaintance to recurrent types of abuse during an extended
While it’s clear that victims of domestic violence on
women can suffer from psychological health issues, existing with a mental sickness
would lead to them being more vulnerable to case of more abuse. Due to the ignorance of the society in
dealing with psychological issues, abuse victims tend to be overwhelmed in
handling emotional and emotional and mental traumas. These leads to suicidal inclinations,
abuse of drugs and psychotic occurrences that are triggered by violence and mistreatment.
of domestically abused women with depression
factors to be considered when handling victims of abuse are the trauma
condition and its impact. Foremost, a victim’s previous hostile events should
be considered when treating her for mental distress. Regrettably, studies have
found that doctors fail to screen a victim for history of abuse despite the
women’s willingness to respond to the queries (Briere & Zaidi, 1989). There
is also a tendency to overlook other types of maltreatment faced by an abuse
important that doctors treat each case of domestic abuse as an individual assessment.
They should focus on listing down the victim’s history as well as identifying
prior symptoms associated with that history. This helps the clinicians in
identyfing the specific treatment to administer or whether to conduct further
psychological tests. Notably, the tests should have measures that review an
array of symptoms present in most mental disorder and should be able to
evaluate posttraumatic anxiety, detachment and other indicators of psychological
trauma. This ensures that a doctor is able to determine what a vitim is
actually experienced, and hence, address the issue with the correct from of
treatment. Victims should undergo therapy and their abusers reported to the