“I can’t take it any longer,” she screamed, waking up in the middle of the night. Several years of abuse by her boyfriend, leading to the inevitable breakup, had taken a heavy toll on her. Experiencing feelings of anger, loss, confusion, and betrayal were overwhelmingly painful for her. It was tough to even imagine that her story would end with such a tragic turn. The man whom she trusted, ended up abusing her physically and emotionally.
Carmen, 28, (name changed) of Los Angeles was plagued with the thought of “now what?” when her violent, abusive live-in relationship of five years came to an abrupt end last year that compelled her to move to a shelter home run by a local charity. Dealing with physical injuries, brokenness, emotional scars, uncertainty and homelessness were probably some of the things she had never dreamt of. It was so bad that panic attacks became a regular feature with her. As fear, loneliness and boredom began to creep in, she felt as if life was all about wallowing in perpetual dreariness. Coming to terms with the fact that she had wasted all her precious years for a man who never loved her became unbearable for her. Depression became her identity; and she never realized that she was being sucked into this dark abyss of troublesome thoughts.
In a bid to escape from this reality, she took to some hallucinogenic drug, which another inmate in the shelter was using. A few shots made her feel light-headed and helped numb the pain around her. Each shot left her craving for more. Her brain began to depend on the drug to release the “feel-good” chemicals. Unfortunately, she ended up getting addiction to the drug that further aggravated her mental condition. Carmen is not alone in her misery, she is one of the thousands of women who’ve experienced domestic violence in the Los Angeles area. According to a 2015 report, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) received an average of 48,000 domestic violence-related calls, of which, they filed more than 15,000 reports and made 6,100 arrests for domestic violence.
Strategies to cope with emotional pain of domestic violence
Experiencing emotional pain due to bitter relationships is neither shameful nor an indicator that life is over. The bottom line is that some relationships work, while others simply don’t. There is no doubt that heartbreaks and trauma are unfortunate, regardless of the causes or the circumstances, but the truth is that one must learn to move on in life, instead of dwelling on it.
- Allowing bygones to remain bygones: Clasping onto regretful feelings and bitterness is futile. It is important to accept the past as there could be many valuable lessons to learn, but dwelling on it only prevents individuals from preparing themselves for the next exciting phase of life.
- Setting correct priorities: Understanding one’s purpose in life will keep an individual on the right path, away from futile thoughts and unwanted anxiety. Prioritizing goals is a guiding force which gives life a purpose and adds meaning.
- Staying occupied makes a difference: As the popular saying goes, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” a busy mind efficiently counters the feelings of despair and depression. Utilizing time in doing something gratifying is the first step to eradicate dreadful thoughts.
- Capturing the next moment: Life is too beautiful to let go. Making the best out of life by seizing the next moment is the best way to eliminate all worries about the future. What should matter is seizing the present moment in time, which is too precious to lose.
- Reclaiming lost self-esteem: It may seem hard to believe, but that is the only time-tested way to reclaim one’s crushed self-esteem. Emotional trauma may have annihilated the realization of individual talents and qualities in depressed individuals. However, it simply takes some uninterrupted focus to reignite the spark within.
Getting the joy back in life
Emotional health is as important as physical health. Domestic violence occurs across all age groups, ethnicity, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. A victim of domestic violence runs the risk of suffering from severe mental and physical health problems that continue to haunt even after the abuse has ended.
An early mental health diagnosis to get to the root of the underlying problem is the key to recovery and prevention. In wake of the growing number of people battling mental health problems stemming from extended domestic violence, each year, October is observed as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The event strives to make people aware about mental health disorders, which can arise as a result of domestic and sexual violence, and mobilize efforts to eradicate the associated stigma and shame, which prevent afflicted individuals from seeking professional medical intervention.
Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California offers a variety of customized mental health services and tailor-made psychotherapies based on the patient’s requirements. Get in touch with our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representatives for answers to your queries on mental health. Our world-class mental health treatment centers spread across California are known for their effective recovery programs, which have helped innumerable individuals regain control over their lives.