Domestic Violence and Depression

Domestic Violence and Depression

A study led by Karen Devries, Ph.D., from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine followed more than 36,000 people over a period of time, examining intimate partner violence, depression and suicide attempts. Some of the findings include the following:

  • Women who are victims of domestic violence are at a higher risk of becoming depressed, almost double that of women who did not experience domestic violence.
  • Women who are depressed are at an increased risk of experiencing domestic violence, again almost double that of women who were not depressed.
  • There is a connection between domestic violence and suicide among women.

The study concluded that interventions to prevent domestic violence need to include a way to reduce depression.

About Domestic Violence

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, domestic violence is a pattern of threatening or controlling behavior imposed on a woman by an intimate partner without regard for her rights, feelings, body or health. This pattern of behavior my be physical, sexual or emotional and may include the following:

  • Battering and physical assault, such as throwing objects at the victim, pushing, hitting, slapping, kicking, choking, beating or attacking with a weapon
  • Sexual assault, such as forced sexual activity, including vaginal, oral or anal intercourse
  • Psychological abuse, such as forcing the victim to perform degrading acts, threatening to harm a partner or her children, attacking or smashing valued objects and pets or trying to dominate or control a woman’s life
  • Controlling behaviors, such as taking away her money, food, sleep, clothing or transportation

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these behaviors, the first step in breaking a pattern of abuse is to tell someone. Reach out to a nurse or doctor, counselor or social worker, a close friend or family member or a clergy member. You need to let someone know you are being abused so you can contact him or her in case you need to leave a dangerous situation.

About Depression

Depression has an impact on a person’s physical, mental, psychological, emotional and physiological health. According to the Mayo Clinic, untreated depression can result in emotional, behavioral and health problems that affect every area of your life. Complications associated with depression can include the following:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Work or school problems
  • Family conflicts
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Social isolation
  • Suicide
  • Self-mutilation, such as cutting
  • Premature death from other medical conditions

If a person does not seek treatment for depression, he or she can initiate behaviors that are more harmful and destructive.

Get Help for Depression

The sooner you can get help for your depression, the greater the likelihood is that you can recover. To be assured of confidentiality, as well as to receive answers to any questions you might have, call our toll-free number any time. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle depression and can provide you with options, information about insurance and resources. We are here to help.