Is Domestic Violence a Consequence of PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder and domestic violence are intertwined with each other.

Domestic violence is considered as a widespread and prevalent kind of abuse. Grave threats, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, intimidation, monetary deprivation, and rape are some of the types of domestic violence.

Defining domestic violence

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Any situation wherein a partner wields strength and authority over his or her significant other on repeated events automatically falls under the category of domestic violence. Women are most likely to experience domestic abuse; however, it is not only women who suffer. Men can also be a victim of domestic abuse.

Domestic violence does not exclude gender or sexual preference. Regardless of who you are and who you love, there is a possibility that you might be a victim of domestic abuse. Children who experienced domestic violence are also said to become abusive to their partners in their adulthood.

The endless cycle

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Post-traumatic stress disorder is derived from numerous external factors. Domestic violence is a leading contributing factor. The cycle will start with a person or a child being repeatedly abused and which will cause to develop PTSD symptoms that could eventually lead to the abuse becoming the abuser.

By identifying the unpleasant cycle of domestic violence, the abused person can immediately get help so as not to be caught in the web of a spiral, abusive relationship.

Domesticviolence.org has identified the repeated abuse cycle as follows:

1.      Any act of abuse is done – can either be emotional, sexual, or physical

2.      The building of tension happens when the abuser gets irate while the victim has this need to calm down his/her abuser. In this phase, communication weakens between the involved parties, resulting in more tension build-up.

3.      In this making-up stage, the abuser:

  • Apologizes excessively
  • Swears not to abuse the victim ever again
  • Continually blames the victim for triggering the abuse
  • Denies the abuse happened, saying the victim was just exaggerating

4.      Lastly, the calm. Here, the abuser pretends that there was never any abuse. The promises of not doing the act again might happen. The abuser would also result in gifts while the victim starts to believe that there is hope the abuser has changed.

 

In an endless cycle, eventually, the stages of making-up and calming down get shorter and worse, the phase of abuse often, lengthens. Unable to cut ties with the abusive partner will then lead to chronic abuse that can result in the victim developing PTSD symptoms.

Researchers have proven that whoever suffered from PTSD which was caused by violence inside their homes is inclined to become an abuser someday. If this happens, the abuse will be repeated, in which the victim becomes the abuser; thus, creating a generation of PTSD-related violence that is difficult to end.

Ceasing the cycle

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Unfortunately, abusers who have PTSD as a result of domestic violence struggle with a chronic psychological condition that is complicated to diagnose and subdue. Exposure to severe violence that endured through time and is aggravated by the victim’s understanding of the abuse can exacerbate PTSD symptoms.

Domestic violence is currently more predominant than accident-related injuries, which is why removing oneself from such an abusive environment is advised. It can be extremely arduous, though.

To derail the cycle, victims of domestic abuse are encouraged to see a psychotherapist if there is a suspicion for delayed PTSD symptoms.