Domestic violence is a traumatic experience, and as such, it results in there being both short- and long-term effects that the victim undergoes.
It is a wound that can, with the right treatment and care, heal with time. Unfortunately, domestic violence cases are not always reported; victims do not always receive the treatment they need; individuals do not always allow themselves to fully go through the healing process, due to how painful it can be.
These are just a few of the things that can lead to the development of long-lasting effects.
The trauma that comes from domestic violence can affect someone for years, even decades, after the experience(s) occurred. Even after significant time has passed, that trauma can still be triggered by select triggers, as well as influence a person’s habits, routines, and overall lifestyle.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the long-term effects of domestic violence.
Long-term effects of domestic violence
While a ton of progress has been made in the field of understanding and better addressing domestic violence cases, there’s stil a long way to go. The majority of the discussion around abuse still revolves around dealing with the immediate crisis and short-term effects, when there are many harmful long-term effects to address as well.
1. Mental illnesses
People who have experienced domestic violence commonly suffer from a host of mental health problems both while they are actively in an abusive environment and long after.
Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicidal thoughts are all examples of mental health issues that can develop as the result of being abused.
2. Long-term health issues
When someone mentions domestic violence, we often picture injuries such as bruises, black eyes, sprained wrists, that are stemming from physical abuse. We don’t often take into consideration how domestic violence is more than just physical assault and the effects of it can span far past physical injuries.
Research now accepts that those who experience domestic violence are at a higher risk for developing cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, gut issues and a myriad of other illnesses.
3. Substance abuse and addiction
When someone doesn’t receive the care they need after suffering from domestic violence, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol is often the route that is taken. In an attempt to cope with the trauma they’ve gone through, substance use can quickly escalate to abuse or a full-blown addiction.
Those who have experienced domestic violence are at a significantly higher risk for self-medicating with drugs and alcohol than the rest of the general population.
4. Cycle repetition
People who experience being abused by a loved one typically develop a warped perspective of the world, themselves and intimate relationships. This trauma-based view can lead to the development of a variety of issues, including health conditions and mental illnesses that can not only alter brain chemistry, but change our thought patterns, choices and behavior.
In other words, an individual that doesn’t heal from the damage of a toxic cycle, will continue to be “stuck” in the cycle.
And a cycle that isn’t broken, doesn’t end.
5. Future generational trauma
The effects of trauma (domestic violence included) are not limited to just the two people in the relationship. If there are children in the household witnessing the trauma, especially frequently, lasting consequences can affect them, such as heightened levels of anger, aggression, withdrawal and addiction.
In addition, traumas that haven’t been addressed or healed cause a ripple effect of trauma-influenced conditions, illnesses, mindsets and behaviors down through the generations. This future generational trauma continues until someone breaks the cycle through true healing.
Start your healing journey today
If you or someone you love is suffering from trauma, a mental health condition, a substance use disorder or co-occurring disorders, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
Tapestry is a premier health treatment center with an evolved approach to behavioral healthcare that includes fostering a true community amongst the patients with the care providers, as well as offering highly individualized care.
We understand that a multifaceted approach is necessary in order to fully address and heal from the complexities of trauma, which is why our programs are client-centered, highly adaptable, and future-focused.
To speak with one of our compassionate staff members and learn more about how we can help you on your healing journey, call us today at 828-490-4032.