The study of Abnormal Psychology is one ofthe most interesting topics in Psychology. The different types of mentaldisorders combined with symptoms, thoughts, and actions can make the observerinterested in learning more. Domestic violence on women with depression is ahuge concern in today’s society. Abuse can be anywhere from physical,emotional, sexual and so on. Domestic abuse does not discriminate as it canaffect people of all backgrounds and all socioeconomic statuses.IntroductionDomestic violence is a form abuse and violence by an individual toanother in a family setting of a married couple or instances ofcohabitation. It is also known intimatepartner violence especially when the abuse is by a partner or spouse in intimaterelationship with the abused.
Domestic violence caneither be physical or psychological, and in most cases, it’s critical to bothparties; the battered and the batterer. It can take different forms; bodilyharm, spoken, emotional, financial, religious, procreative and sexual abuse. Itranges from understated, intimidating forms to matrimonial rape and viciousphysical abuse. In some instances, violent abuse leads to death ordisfigurement. Its occurrence is based on the abusers’ belief that the violenceis justifiable or will often, go unreported.
In most cases it leads to intergenerationalcycles of abuse in the family members as they trust it’s an acceptablebehaviour. In most cases of domesticallyabused women, they tend to be trapped due to isolation, lack of economicresources, a sense of fear and shame, or in order to protect their children. The results ofdomestic abuse to the victim are far reaching; from physical disabilities, long-lastinghealth issues, mental ailments, limited finances, and inability to forgerelationships. They may be plagued with emotional complications like post-traumatic stress disorder. Depression, alsoknown as major depressive disorder, is a mental illness that causes a constantsense of sadness and a lack of interest in the surrounding environment.
Itnegatively affects an individual’s way of thought, sense of feeling and howthey 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 womenpopulation are affected by depression at least once in their lifetime. Overfifty-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 likephysical or sexual abuse. A study conducted by NationalInstitute of Mental Health, showed that 63% to 77% of assaulted women face depression.
Research conducted on U.S and Canadian women being treated for domesticviolence found that 17% to 72% were depressed and 33% to 88% had post-traumaticstress disorder, PTSD (Warshaw & Barnes, 2003). The occurrence of domesticviolence on psychiatric patients was quite high at 78.3%. Research done on over 36000 women, discovered that victims who had depression faced twicethe risk of falling victim to intimate partner violence.
The victims likelyto face cases of neuroticism, sensitivity, obsessive-compulsive indicators,nervousness and paranoia more than women who were not abused. Women that have undergone a cycleof depression are more likely to be domestically abused. There has been adirect link on the severity of depression symptoms to the severity of abuse. NewMoms in abusive relationships are twice likely to suffer from postpartum depression.
Genes,abuse of alcohol and serious ailments are also contributing factors to higherdepression risks for women who face domestic violence.Impact of Domestic Violence on women with depressionDomestic violence has a significantfar reaching effect on the welfare and health of a woman that extends evenafter the relationship ends. Most often, people tend to focus on the physicalabuse while ignoring the psychological consequences attached to violence. Womenwho are abused at home are most likely to have poor health and are at high riskof 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 thedevastating effect of Domestic violence is the inability for the women tonurture their young ones and enhance their positive growth. As earlier pointed out, the impact s of intimatepartner abuse is far reaching and extends past the physical injuries acquiredfrom the assault. Often times, abuse victims that are depressed end up having acollection 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 toextreme mental issues like post-traumatic stress disorder . Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychologicalillness that follows a terrifying experience where there was a bodily injury orthreat of its occurrence. Post-traumatic stress disorder is often considered asan anxiety syndrome. Indicators relating to PTSD may show after a month and inmost times, may develop three months or more after the occurrence of thetrauma. The shocking event may cause thevictim too much distress that the effects are uncontainable. A traumaticexperience where a victim’s life is threatened may lead to physical, mental andexpressive consequences that can take over their opinions, feelings, and behaviours.
PTSD is more prevalent in women as compared to men especially those that haveundergone sexual (PTSDStatistics And Facts).Numerous victims of marital abuse have difficulty inundertaking the day to day activities due to the effect of violence. They often fail to go to work due to physicalinjuries attained and need to visit a hospital. This leads to loss of their joband income, hence, unable to exit the abusive relationships due to need ofsustenance. They often face humiliation that they are undergoing abuse, feel undeservingto be loved and have a low self -esteem. These feeling of unworthiness leads totheir isolation from close family members and friends and avoidance of socialactivities. It is clear that violence actson women fundamentally cause physical and mental injury, and at times, acutetrauma signs. Most victims of abuse are exempted from developing the full arrayof depressive indicators and disorders.
How frequent, severe and the type ofpost psychological issues a victim has is dependent on a number of factors suchas 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 tothe specific experience undergone by the victim and their proximity to theassault. Also, some of the posttraumaticindicators, like recollections and invasive thoughts, contain certain memoriesof the shocking experience and thus their major cause is easily prescriptible. However, not all instancesmay be traceable to the trauma.
Some of the factors that are linked to the domesticviolence may foster an environment of continued assaults, in time, leads to lastingand less specific psychological signs. Since domestic violence on womenundergoing depression is usually in an ongoing relationship, it may lead to achange in the victim’s perception in terms of safety, intimacy, relations andtheir ability to trust others. They tend to feel to lose their trust in theircapability to distinguish and avoid personal danger (Dutton, Hohnecker, Halle,& Burghardt, 1994).
These change in perceptions may in turn lead to adversemood situations and dysfunctional conducts (Koss, Figueredo, & Prince, 2001).Several research outcomes point out that certainfeatures found in abuse victims are often linked to how severe the resultantmental states are. Instances that arelife threatening and where there is use of violent force are linked to severecases of Post Traumatic disorder (Davidson & Foa, 1993). Also, theregularity, harshness and chronicity of domestic abuse has been linked withresearch studies on women with high levels of psychological symptoms and mentaldistress, such as post traumatic disorder, anxiety and depression (Dutton, 1992).
Most abuse cases on women do not happen as a solitary incident but relatively asa continuous acquaintance to recurrent types of abuse during an extendedperiod. While it’s clear that victims of domestic violence onwomen can suffer from psychological health issues, existing with a mental sicknesswould lead to them being more vulnerable to case of more abuse. Due to the ignorance of the society indealing with psychological issues, abuse victims tend to be overwhelmed inhandling emotional and emotional and mental traumas. These leads to suicidal inclinations,abuse of drugs and psychotic occurrences that are triggered by violence and mistreatment.Treatmentof domestically abused women with depressionThey keyfactors to be considered when handling victims of abuse are the traumacondition and its impact.
Foremost, a victim’s previous hostile events shouldbe considered when treating her for mental distress. Regrettably, studies havefound that doctors fail to screen a victim for history of abuse despite thewomen’s willingness to respond to the queries (Briere & Zaidi, 1989). Thereis also a tendency to overlook other types of maltreatment faced by an abusevictim. It isimportant 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 identifyingprior symptoms associated with that history. This helps the clinicians inidentyfing the specific treatment to administer or whether to conduct furtherpsychological tests. Notably, the tests should have measures that review anarray of symptoms present in most mental disorder and should be able toevaluate posttraumatic anxiety, detachment and other indicators of psychologicaltrauma. This ensures that a doctor is able to determine what a vitim isactually experienced, and hence, address the issue with the correct from oftreatment.
Victims should undergo therapy and their abusers reported to therelevant authorities.