Domestic abuse can cause life-changing experiences and change the way individuals perceive potential partners. In some cases, the abuse causes mental trauma as well as emotional or an existing mental problem triggers the act of abuse.
Bridges Domestic Violence Center notes that adults who experienced physical abuse have an overall higher risk of developing mental illness. Examining the possible links between mental illness and domestic abuse may uncover some startling information about their roots.
1. Post-traumatic stress disorder
Some individuals may enter into a relationship and already suffer from PTSD. Soldiers, law enforcement workers and even those who suffered a particular incident that triggered this type of mental illness may lash out because of untreated PTSD, which may increase instances of domestic violence. Those who experience domestic abuse are much more likely to develop symptoms of PTSD.
2. Repeated patterns of abuse
Domestic abuse often creates a pattern of behavior between the abuser and the abused. Over time, the abused may develop a mental illness related to the expectations he or she has regarding their partner’s behavior. For example, individuals who expect abuse may develop an anxiety disorder or depression related to the punishment they know they can expect.
3. Existing mental illness and domestic abuse
Those who suffer from anxiety and depression may experience domestic abuse more often because these mental illnesses can affect self-worth and self-perception, such as when an abused partner feels he or she deserves the abuse.
Domestic abuse that stems from or causes mental illness can affect every member of the household and increase the risk of perpetuating future violence as children learn physical violence is the answer to marital problems.