Domestic Abuse and Depression Symptoms Compared
The symptoms for both depression and domestic abuse are eerily similar. Following are several symptoms of depression(D) and then my interpretation as symptoms of domestic abuse.
- difficulty concentrating (D) coincides with the abuser’s use of repeated interruptions during conversations and when the victim tries to do something for anyone other than the controller.
- difficulty remembering details (D) coincides with the abuser’s continual remaking of history and insistence that their memories are correct and the victim’s are wrong.
- difficulty making decisions (D) coincides with the abuse victim’s knowledge that nothing they do will be “right” so decision-making becomes tough and anxiety provoking.
- fatigue and decreased energy (D) coincides with the unending stress caused by living with an abusive person.
- feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness (D) are also ideas a controlling person reinforces in the victim so control is easier to maintain.
- feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism(D) are the resulting feelings an abuse victim undergoes due to the abuser’s control of them.
- insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping (D) are also signs of stress abuse victims experience.
- irritability, restlessness (D) can evolve after sleep disruption, anxiety, and other symptoms of domestic abuse.
- loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex (D) are usually present in abuse victims because the controller limits their pleasurable activities, and sex with an abusive person is not “fun”.
- overeating or appetite loss (D) along with substance abuse or addictions of any kind can become coping mechanisms used by victims.
- persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease with treatment (D) are physical symptoms of anxiety and stress stress caused by abusive relationships.
- persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings(D) are hallmark signs that a victim feels “with no reason” since the abusive partner denies those feelings should exist in the victim because they “have it so good.”
- thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts (D) also plague many victims of domestic abuse who are ever-increasingly hopeless as to find a solution to their relationship problems and may hear their abuser say “We’d be better off without you. You’re a terrible mother!” or similar statements.