Domestic violence is a tragic and traumatic experience that leaves long-lasting scars. Though sometimes the damage of domestic violence is physical, the mental and emotional damage it leaves is just as significant. Studies have indicated that experiencing domestic violence, whether physical or psychological, significantly increases rates of depression among both women and men. People who have experienced domestic violence often struggle to cope in the aftermath, but if you are working to overcome past trauma, there are resources available to you. Early intervention through a depression treatment program can help you heal and reclaim your mental health.
Atlanta Center for Mental Health offers a variety of resources and treatments for those recovering from domestic violence. Our qualified and compassionate staff are prepared to guide survivors through treatment and offer a supportive environment for education, growth, and healing. To learn more, call 833.625.0458.
Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse
Regarding domestic violence, it is crucial to recognize the warning signs early and act to protect the person at risk. Usually, physical violence is preceded by verbal or psychological abuse that then escalates further as time goes on. Some abusive behaviors to watch for can include:
- Bullying or demeaning insults
- Threats of violence
- Controlling finances
- Isolating you from family or friends
- Controlling where you go and who you see
- Physical attacks
- Keeping you from eating, sleeping, or getting medical care
- Sexually coercive behavior
If you are experiencing any of these behaviors, seek help immediately. Call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline and seek support from friends, family, or other people you trust.
The Link Between Domestic Violence and Depression
The link between domestic violence and depression is well established. Numerous studies have shown that domestic violence is a significant contributing factor for depression, with people who have suffered abuse being several times more likely to develop depression. In addition, the link can also go both ways since those who have previously been diagnosed with a mental illness are more likely to experience domestic abuse.
If untreated, many survivors can internalize the verbal abuse and manipulation from their abuser. They may downplay their trauma or blame themselves for the situation. This can not only result in depression but also contribute to other mental health disorders such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance use disorders
Over time, these mental health challenges can take a persistent toll on a person’s mental health. Survivors can be prone to unsafe sexual behaviors, substance abuse, further abusive relationships, and even suicidal thoughts or actions. As a result, it is essential to pursue mental health treatment in the aftermath of an abusive relationship.
Overcoming Depression After Domestic Violence
The first step to healing from depression after domestic violence is to end the relationship. Your health and safety are the highest priority, and simply being out of the abusive relationship will likely improve your mental health. Following an abusive relationship, it is also vital that you seek out support. You don’t have to heal alone, and talking to friends, family, or a support group about your experience can be therapeutic in its own right. Doing so can also help break the hold of isolation that abuse and depression can inflict on survivors. You also should be prioritizing your own health. Physical and mental health are deeply connected, so simply focusing on your diet, sleep, and exercise can help fight back against depression.
Begin Healing From Domestic Violence and Depression at Atlanta Center for Mental Health
Everybody responds to traumatic experiences differently, and for many people, lifestyle changes are not enough to overcome depression after domestic violence. For these people, seeking professional counseling can be essential for recovery. In a depression treatment program at Atlanta Center for Mental Health, you will be cared for by staff who are well versed in treating survivors of domestic violence. Our staff will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan and build stable and long-lasting recovery foundations. Call 833.625.0458 or fill out our online contact form to learn more.