When people think about PTSD they typically think of war veterans. However, they aren’t the only people who suffer from this. I’m one of those folks. My PTSD is due to being emotionally abused by a domestic partner. There are others in this same position as well.
I suffered from emotional and verbal domestic violence after being with a man for six years. Although I didn’t realize this at first, as I look back I can see that it was that way from the beginning. However, it really hit the head when my daughter was born, and I received my MS diagnosis.
I understand that I’m not the only woman who’s gone through this. In fact, statistics show that a woman gets beaten or assaulted every 9 seconds in the U.S. today. I’m just “lucky” to have escaped by going to the hospital and deciding to use that as my “escape route.”
Oftentimes, when this happens, the result is PTSD. This is especially true when the abuser unleashes verbally upon their victim, as mine did. The worst of the symptoms from this type of PTSD is depression. I’m fortunate to have never experienced this, but I did experience feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Since my relationship with my parents has never been that good, I also felt abandoned because I didn’t have anyone to turn to. I obviously couldn’t turn to them, and I am an only child. In all honesty, I think that this is part of why I hung in there for so long. Don’t get me wrong. As with many abusive relationships, we also had our good times.
Although it’s never easy to “escape” from an abusive relationship, it’s important to do so for your own mental well-being. Once you do get away, take time to think about whether you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms of PTSD caused by domestic violence.
Some of the symptoms that I’ve either suffered with or am still suffering with include:
1. Strong feelings of fear, helplessness, guilt and anger
2. Flashbacks (suddenly remembering things from back then)
3. Easily startled and angered
5. Difficulty sleeping (Or is it my MS?)
6. Avoiding places that remind me of the trauma
7. Panic attacks
8. Feeling like I’m going crazy
I also have feelings of chronic pain, headaches, lower-back pain, difficulty remembering things, the inability to understand what I’m reading, and burning in my chest. My doctor is still unsure about what’s the real cause of these: MS or PTSD. Nevertheless, the point here is that if you are suffering from any of these symptoms, talk to your family doctor, so they can refer you to a psychotherapist. Of course, there are other symptoms too but this is a starting point.
Understanding another one of the many causes of PTSD demonstrates how we all have some things in common. How was your PTSD caused? Why not write about it and share your story with me? Doing so is relatively liberating. Try it and see.
Written by: Maria Hoffman (read more about me here)