Person talking about PTSD after domestic violence with their therapist

Symptoms of PTSD After Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can cause serious mental health issues, like hypervigilance, a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you or someone you care about is suffering from domestic violence, don’t wait to get help. The effects of domestic violence can have serious long-term consequences. 

PTSD after domestic violence can present itself in various ways, not just hypervigilance. Someone who has developed PTSD from domestic violence and abuse may also experience depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. It’s essential to get help as soon as possible. Call 844.875.5609 to speak with someone from the caring and compassionate team at Promises Behavioral Health about the link between emotional abuse and PTSD and our PTSD treatment programs across the United States. 

Types of Domestic Violence 

Domestic violence is a traumatizing ordeal that comes in many forms. There are five different types of domestic violence currently recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice: 

  • Physical abuse – Any form of physical violence or unwanted touching, as well as denying medical care or forcing drugs and alcohol on the victim 
  • Sexual abuse – Coercive sexual behavior or unwanted sexual contact, including marital rape, forced sexual acts, or demeaning sexual behavior 
  • Emotional abuse – Using criticism, manipulation, name-calling, or third parties—such as children, friends, or relatives—to weaken the victim’s self-esteem or self-worth 
  • Economic abuse – Making the victim financially dependent—such as by withholding access to funds or forbidding employment—on the abuser to maintain control over the victim 
  • Psychological abuse – Using fear, intimidation, threats to the victim or loved ones, forced isolation, and other tactics to cause psychological damage to the victim 

Unfortunately, many victims of domestic violence suffer multiple forms of abuse. Most people expect their romantic partner to be trustworthy. However, when an intimate partner becomes violent and physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive, that trust is shattered. 

About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition caused by trauma. The traumatic event may be a one-time occurrence or ongoing, as is often the case in domestic violence. PTSD causes the victim to have the following: 

  • Recurrent memories or thoughts of the trauma
  • Recurrent dreams depicting various aspects of the trauma 
  • Dissociative symptoms such as flashbacks or a feeling that they are outside of their body 

PTSD is ubiquitous in victims of domestic violence and can lead to long-term problems in mood, thinking, and functioning. It can also lead to co-occurring conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders. 

Co-Occurring Anxiety 

Intimate partner violence causes a person to feel uncertain and unsafe. Many people who suffer at the hands of an intimate partner develop anxiety in response to the tumultuous environment their partner has created. Many people worry constantly about when the next attack is going to come. Even the smallest detail, such as a slightly overcooked meal or not responding correctly to a question, can trigger a violent outburst—which causes victims to suffer from anxiety. 

Co-Occurring Depression 

Due to repeated violence, degradation, and emotional abuse, many victims of domestic violence suffer from depression. Major depression is when a person feels helpless, hopeless, fatigued, and sad most days of the week. This is extremely common in victims of domestic abuse who feel trapped in their situation and cannot see a way out. 

Co-Occurring Substance Abuse 

Many victims of domestic violence turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain and stress of their situation. This can often lead to alcohol dependence and subsequent health problems. In some cases, an abuser may force the victim to ingest harmful drugs or alcohol to gain control over them. 

Heal from PTSD After Domestic Violence with Promises Behavioral Health 

Domestic violence is a crime that is often hard to recognize. If you or someone you care about is suffering from domestic violence, help is available. It starts by recognizing the signs and acknowledging the reality of the situation. You deserve to be treated with respect. Start by respecting yourself and getting help. Contact Promises today at 844.875.5609 to learn more. 

Scroll to Top