May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so we’re turning our attention to one of the most common mental health issues affecting survivors of domestic abuse: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop in people who have experienced (either directly or indirectly) a scary, shocking, or dangerous event. We often think about PTSD in relation to combat veterans, but it’s also common among survivors of domestic violence and other types of abuse.
Everyone experiences trauma in their own way. If two people experience the same traumatic event, it’s possible for one of them to develop PTSD and not the other. Any traumatic event can cause PTSD, whether it was an isolated incident like a sexual assault, or long-term trauma like an abusive relationship. If you’re concerned you or someone you know may have developed PTSD, read on to learn more. Continue reading “Abuse and PTSD”
“Why did you stay in a abusive relationship?”
It’s such a common question asked of those who have either left or considered leaving abusive relationships. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. There are lots of factors that can keep people in unhealthy relationships including lack of money, fear, and isolation. Often, guilt plays a major role in why people stay or delay leaving.
What do we even mean by guilt?
One of the ways abusive partners get us to stay with them is by convincing us that its our fault when bad things happen in the relationship and that we deserve them. They do this using tactics like gaslighting, where they make you question things you know to be true, or act like you hurt them even though they’re the one being abusive.
Continue reading “Feeling guilt in your relationship? You’re not alone.”
You are worthy and capable of healthy relationships
That’s an empowering thought, and it’s 100 percent true. If you have a hard time believing it right now, don’t worry. It can take some patience and dedicated self-love to get there.
We recommend saying it aloud to yourself to help internalize it. Some words are the most powerful when they come from within ourselves. So give it a try! Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I am worthy and capable of building healthy relationships.” Continue reading “This simple exercise can help you build healthy relationships”
There is no easy fix for abuse.
“He promised he’ll change if I stay with him.”
“She needs me to help her become a better person.”
“Relationships are supposed to take work. If I’m patient and strong enough, we can work through this.”
It’s not uncommon to hear hopeful statements like these from people in abusive relationships. That’s because abusers know how to make their partners feel like they have a responsibility to stick around.
Continue reading “Why trying to fix an abusive partner doesn’t work”
Have you ever gotten a haircut that you really loved, only to have your partner tell you it makes you look bad? Or proudly shown your partner a project you worked really hard on, only to have them harshly criticize it? If so, you may have experienced emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse is domestic violence
When it comes to abusive relationships, people tend to think mostly of physical abuse like hitting or pushing. Since emotional abuse doesn’t leave bruises, it can be especially tough to spot. It’s important to identify emotional abuse because in many cases, it can lead to physical abuse as well. Continue reading “How to spot emotional abuse”