Friday

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rape, And Sexual Abuse

The estimated risk for rape survivors developing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is 49%. The risk for those beaten or experiencing physical assault is 31.9%, whilst the risk for others who experienced sexual assault is 23.7%. Given these figures, it is no wonder women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, as they are statistically significantly more likely to experience sexual assault.

Post traumatic stress disorder is characterized by intense fear, a sense of helplessness, or horror. It can affect all areas of a person's life, their emotions, mental wellbeing, and physical health. And symptoms are generally worse in situations, like rape and abuse, where the trauma was deliberately initiated against those involved.

A person with post traumatic stress disorder may re-live the traumatic events, having flashbacks or other reminders and images that intrude on their waking hours, or in dreams and nightmares. These reminders may also trigger physical symptoms, such as heart palpitations or chills. Or emotional problems, like anxiety, depression, and dread.

People with post traumatic stress disorder may avoid any reminders of the trauma, whether that is people associated with the experience, or places, or even thoughts of the trauma. They can distance themselves from family and friends, and withdraw from everyday activities and things they used to enjoy.

Relationship problems are common for survivors of rape and sexual abuse. Some survivors avoid intimacy, others avoid sex, and some avoid both, and create patterns in their lives where those coping mechanisms are maintained. But sufferers of PTSD who did not experience any sexual abuse can also have problems in their relationships, or in social situations.

Another characteristic of post traumatic stress disorder is being on guard all the time, and suddenly feeling anger or irritability. There can be problems with sleeping and concentrating, and sufferers may be startled easily. Self destructive behaviours, such as gambling, risky sex, drug use, alcohol abuse, or other problems like dangerous driving, may be present. Depression, disassociation, or other mental health problems can develop.


Not all of these characteristics may be present in PTSD, and the degree to which one experiences them may vary also. And PTSD may not develop until months or years after the trauma. Particularly in relation to abuse in childhood, symptoms of PTSD can pass, then reappear later in life. This can make it difficult to recognize when PTSD is occurring, as survivors may not associate their current feeling and behaviours with pas events.

Each time symptoms appear, however, they provide an opportunity for healing. Post traumatic stress disorder can be treated, using a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

Whilst medications were not thought to help in the treatment of PTSD in the past, they have been found to be beneficial now, probably due to newer ones being available. The SSRI's (selective serotonin uptake inhibitors) zoloft and paxil are both approved by the FDA for treating PTSD. And newer antidepressants like effexor and serzone are also beneficial, and tend to be used when the patient does not tolerate paxil and zoloft, or those medications aren't effective.

There are 3 types of psychotherapy that can be used to treat PTSD. These are exposure management, cognitive therapy, and anxiety management. A combination of all 3 may be used, or one individually. Each person is different in what they will respond to.

In exposure therapy, patients confront, in a safe therapeutic environment, the situations, people, and memories associated with the trauma. People with PTSD usually avoid this very thing, but by working through the trauma in this way, exposure therapy is actually very effective at healing PTSD.

Cognitive therapy helps in the process of understanding how our thoughts affect our feelings, and provides ways of shifting negative thinking. Negative thinking can perpetuate a mental prison where joy and interconnectedness is no longer felt. Changing those dynamics can provide a new framework with which to process the trauma, and allow healing to occur.

In anxiety management, skills are learnt that help one cope better with the symptoms and triggers of post traumatic stress disorder. They can help reduce the intensity of the symptoms, though they need to be practised to be effective. Anxiety management techniques can be very helpful in controlling anxiety whilst doing exposure therapy. Some techniques used include relaxation, breathing techniques, assertiveness training, and positive thinking and self talk.

References:
1. ptsdalliance.org/about_what.html
2. ptsd.factsforhealth.org/whatmeds.html
3. nimh.nih.gov/publicat/anxiety.cfm

About the Author
For more articles on anxiety: http://www.articlehealthandfitness.com/categories/Conditions-and-Diseases/Mental-Health-Problems/Anxiety/ and depression: http://www.articlehealthandfitness.com/categories/Conditions-and-Diseases/Mental-Health-Problems/Depression/ click here. Rebecca Prescott runs the article directory, http://www.articlehealthandfitness.com

Tuesday

Do Words Really Hurt?

Have you ever been told by someone that you love or by someone of higher authority that words don’t hurt? Have you been told that as long as you are not being hit, that it is ok to be abused?

Well think again because "ABUSE" is abuse whether it is done physical, emotional or both and it affects women’s health just the same because both can leave lifetime scars that will and can hurt you in both your personal and professional life. The old myth has always been, if you are being physically abused to get out while those who were being emotionally abused were seemed to be told nothing! Is it a fact that words don’t hurt?


If that holds true, then does it only become physical abuse when a bruised body part becomes obvious to others? Well, what about an emotionally abused person? Does it only become emotional abuse when you have started to believe what you’re told?

Really there is no difference in how emotional and physical abuse affects the mind, body and spirit. Take these thoughts into consideration for a minute or two. A woman who is said to be going through physical abuse also goes through emotional abuse with every kick or hit that’s encountered. Ask them what were they feeling?

Most would tell you that person may or not used words but they surely felt hatred by the person who abused them. Now let’s go through the same process for the women who’s said to be going through emotional abuse. She too experiences physical abuse with every spoken word that strikes and attacks her mind, body and spirit.


Hi, my name is Angela Renee a wife, a mother of three and an infopreneur that works to assist all mothers especially those with newborns and pre-teens with every single aspect of their life as a woman, as a partner, and as a mother. At http://www.worlds-best-mothers-guide.com you will be able to find articles on relationships, family fun, working and more.

It Won't Happen Again

Have you or do you know someone who has been abused or been involved in an abusive relationship? What is your definition of abuse? All of us know that physical violence is abuse. We also know there is emotional and mental abuse too, but do we know what it really is?

What counts as abuse?

I, myself have experienced physical, emotional, and mental abuse to different degrees. My family members and friends have suffered abuse from spouses and significant others, and in some cases even family members.


If you slap someone, that is abuse, and we know that. If you tell someone to shut up, is that abuse? Is it the tone of your voice or the conviction in which you say it, do those things make it abuse? Name calling is definitely a form of abuse.

Abuse breaks a person down bit by bit. Sometimes you don't make it back. Your self -esteem is gone, you become out of control yourselves, sometimes the victim becomes the abuser.

Abuse will affect the way you look at yourselves and others. I have been slapped, punched and kicked, my nose has been broken, I have lost a baby because of abuse, and that is just the physical form.

I have been in knock -down drag -out fights with men because I didn't agree with the way I was being treated and talked to. Because I wouldn't accept the bull that people throw at me. I have been called names, such as bitch and whore, because I didn't agree with a man, my opinion differed or because I was acting up, and because I made them jealous.

I got hit by a man (if you want to call him that) for the first time when I was 17 yrs old. You know what that did? It made me a fighter. I wouldn't back down, and I'll tell you I have had my ass kicked a few times, but I have also kicked some myself. Because NO man will ever lay a hand on me again and Noone is ever going to disrespect me and take away my spirit. They have tried, I am independent and I don't need a man that bad.

I would rather live the rest of my life alone, then with someone who disrespects me and hurts me. There is always hope, there is always a way out. Someone will listen, someone will help. No one on this earth needs to be treated badly. We were not put here for other people to knock us around. We are all special people in God's eyes. We need to take care of each other, protect each other, do right by each other.

I have not been in an abusive relationship for years, I NEVER will be again. I am not afraid to face life alone, there is no need in anyone being that afraid. God Bless, and take care of each other, find happiness, everyone deserves that.


Author: Vaughn Pascal

For God and Country

To God and Jesus; Thank you. To Bub and Doc; I love you.

Wednesday

Uncontrolled PMS & Menopause Issues: A Recipe for Disaster

Could it Be That These Health Issues Contributed to Women Being Abusive Toward Men?

"What did he do to cause her to hit him? He probably deserved it."

"As big as he is and he is accusing her of being abusive?"

"Why would he call the police on her?"

This is just a sample of the many quotes that have been said about men who have been in violent relationships with their abusive wives and girlfriends. Women aren't the only victims when it comes to domestic violence, men have their share of stories too. "It takes two to tango," so the saying goes. And what the public rarely hears is his side of the story and if he chooses to share it, would we believe him anyway?

Picture this, an irritable, emotional, hungry, wife with an emotional disorder that occurs two weeks out of every month. She doesn't seem to think her problem is serious. She barks out orders to her husband and children like a drill sergeant. She makes false accusations about everything from someone stealing something from her (which she most likely misplaced) to her husband and children being liars. In addition to her extreme mood swings, she is very bitter about her life, because she has a past riddled with abuse.

Now while she is struggling with her moods and bodily changes, her mother is dealing with menopausal issues. Her very spiritual mother believes that God is going to help her, although she hasn't received any miracle for her condition in the past ten years. She avoids prescription medicines, swallows herbal supplements that are no help, and she hurls insults at those who tell her she needs to seek medical attention. Her husband catches her fury sometimes daily. He never does anything good enough from sex to taking out the trash. "He is ugly, useless, worthless, pathetic, and a demon," she tells her friends. But what they don't know is that this mother and her daughter have a sad history of the mother being abused by her parents, then later in life the mother abuses her daughter and so on.

The father has been assaulted numerous times by his wife. She has slapped, hit, pushed, and insulted him in front of the children. He never bothered to call the police for fear of being embarrassed, not believed, and worst being hauled off to jail. What would the police say if he told him that at times he had to restrain his screaming, crazy wife, by sitting on her?

Meanwhile, the daughter has inherited her mother's emotional issues and now she too, is behaving badly with her husband. He has threatened to leave the family home, because of her manic episodes, and she says, "Go ahead, but if you do I will tell the police you hit me and abused our children." So he stays and puts up with her apologetic cries of "I don't know what came over me, please forgive me!" She always promises to get help, but she doesn't.


Now we have all heard about extreme psychological disorders that caused women to snap and murder their children, kill a live-in partner, or commit suicide or some other violent act, but what we haven't heard in the mainstream media how a severe case of PMS or menopause triggered a woman to act violently toward a man or her children. Instead, the information is vague usually stating a mental illness, abusive past or some named psychological disorder which contributed to the abuse or homicide and sometimes only the incident is mentioned in the media, but not the warning signs or the state of mind the perpetuator was in when it happened. Rather, they tell us a man was killed after girlfriend discovered XYZ or "a couple fought over XYZ that led to the death of..."we rarely get the details or the medical history in a follow up story that led to the tragic event.

Internet medical sites such as WebMd.com and MayoClinic.com list a host of symptoms related to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Menopause, many of which are similar. There are 35 symptoms related to menopause alone. Some of the main ones include: memory lapses, irregular heartbeat, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, irregular menstrual periods, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, sudden fatigue, and anxiety. There are approximately 11 symptoms related to PMS which typically occur one to two weeks prior to the menstrual cycle which include: feeling tired, having trouble sleeping, upset stomach and bloating, headache or backache, tension, irritability, mood swings and crying spells. With these kinds of symptoms, it is a wonder why any woman would not seek medical treatment unless of course she is in denial, her symptoms aren't severe, or she just isn't in touch with her body?

So is there a connection between a woman going through PMS or Menopause and domestic violence? The only one that could answer that question is the man, woman or children in this turbulent relationship. It is obvious that these symptoms could be blamed for an argument that goes out of control. Put yourself in the man's shoes for a moment. You are trying to have a conversation with an irritable, tense woman who is ready to cry about almost anything. You forget that she is going through that time of the month or season in her life and so you find yourself yelling at her and her back at you and over the course of the argument, she is hurling a pan at your head. Now although this may be humorous to some and even excusable, it is considered violent and if he were to call the police on her, in some states, she would go to jail.

Here's another example, how about the man who has problems with his temper. He has a history of being controlling, a learned behavior he inherited from his father. He dates a girlfriend who also has a similar history. Now throw a PMS or menopausal symptom or two or three or maybe all 35 in the mix with his and her controlling temperaments, topped off with no treatment for the disorder and no therapy, and now you have a recipe for disaster!

What about a man who is going through severe Andropause and his wife is going through extreme Menopause, both are in denial and neither one are on a medication to ease their symptoms, wouldn't you think at some point the two will clash? Could it be that their extreme mood swings may cause them to swing at each other?

In summary, men and women need to be in touch not only with one another, but with what is going on inside their bodies. Who knows how many of these situations of abused men could have been avoided had the woman sought help for her condition? As mentioned before, it isn't always the man who is at fault in situations of domestic violence. Women can do things to provoke an incident and then when the police show up claim that he hurt them to avoid going to jail themselves. Nowadays more and more men and women are both going to jail as laws change and their children are ending up in foster care. We need not only be vocal about abused women, but we must also be vocal about battered men. Of course, there are more women being abused or killed than men, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey in 2003 where 85 percent of intimate partner violence (IPV) victims were women and that firearms were the weapon of choice in many homicides that occurred between 1991-1998. However, this doesn't mean we should ignore the other side of the story. What were the events that led up to the violent attack? What were the signs prior? If we interviewed family members and friends what would they honestly say?

Women who notice a pattern in their moods each month or are told by family and friends about their negative behaviors should start the process of tracking their symptoms each month. You can get a free PMS Symptom Tracker at http://womenshealth.gov/faq/pmsymptracker45.pdf once you have recorded your symptoms for the month, make an appointment to see your doctor and discuss what you have learned. He or she may prescribe a medication and/or advise you on what vitamin supplements to take, discuss dietary changes and exercise, and other tips to help you. For those who are spiritual, yes prayer is definitely helpful, but it isn't always the cure all, that is why God made doctors, so use them!

So what do men do if they are in a situation where a woman is attacking them? Leave. If he stays and tries to restrain her, she can call the police on him and in some states this is considered abusive and may lead to felony charges. He must not take a situation of abuse lightly. He will have to set boundaries and tell her that if she hits him, this will be the last and he will have to end the relationship immediately. If he doesn't put a stop to such behavior, it most likely will get worse. The abused man will have to be vocal and tell the police, a counselor, doctor, friend, and relatives. If he is quiet about her behavior, it may be used against him later in court. Her attorney will say that if he was being abused why didn't he report it. The excuse of being embarrassed will not help his case and his partner's counsel will make him look like he is lying. Documented incidents may help his case if there are children involved as well and evidence shows she was verbally and/or physically abusive to them as well. However, in some cases the court has still awarded the children to the abusive parent anyway.

If you know a man who has been abused by his wife or girlfriend or you had been the victim in this kind of relationship, feel free to leave your comments on how you got free. Also, if you suspect that your partner has an emotional disorder related to PMS or Menopause that causes her to be violent toward you, please share your story.

For resources in your area for men who have been battered, visit the following link http://www.menstuff.org/resources/resourcefiles/alttoviolence.html#localmatv.

For more work by Nicholl McGuire,Click Here!

Monday

Military Domestic Violence

Let's face it. Our government sent thousands of men and women into battle. They didn't know what they were getting into when they arrived in Iraq. Of course we sympathize with them, and we pray night after night they come home safe. And when they do, everything is different. He or she has changed. They are not the same person you remember.


Is it their fault? Why place blame, because we can certainly point fingers. But the bottom line here is that you will be affected one way or another upon their return, and a lot of times, it isn't positively.

Short tempers. Anger. Resentment. Grieving for lost comrades. Why did the government send me there? Why is my life ruined? I can't cope with life now. My spouse or partner doesn't understand. Why did I get injured? I can't work now. My partner wants love and affection. I can't give it anymore. All I see is bloodshed. All I see is pain and anguish. No one understands. My life will never be the same. I wish I would have died. But I want to live. But not like this.

If you see signs of any of these symptoms, or have heard any of these statements, it is a very tragic reality of witnessing and being a part of a war.

Nonetheless, your partner MUST seek psychological care, because the situation can become so out of control, that it starts to impact you and your family. Although we give them great respect for their amazing sacrifice, it does not give them the right to begin abusing you and your children.

You have to make a choice. And if you are the spouse of a military person, you might look into contacting the Ombudsman at the closest military station. Tell them of these verbal, emotional, psychological, or even physical domestic violence immediately. Do it when your spouse is not aware of this, and be careful. The military SHOULD take this issue seriously and recommend a course of action. You can also contact the local Chaplain on the military base. Try both.

The majority of the time, you are not looking to press charges, you just want your spouse to get help from a counselor. Sometimes medication might even be prescribed, but that can only be decided by a physician.

No matter what, you must take care of yourself and children first. Do not aggravate your spouses already damaged psyche or yell. If he or she is quiet, do not push to talk unless they want to. You do not know what is going on in their head, and remember, they are forever changed.

Signs of domestic violence when returning from war can come when you least expect it. So be cautious of the situations and types of things that upset your spouse or partner. If the relationship is starting to have problems, try and work together to see how you can make the situation lighter, happier, and fun again.

If the situation escalates to physical violence, you must leave with the children immediately. Do not stay. And do not return until your spouse or partner has received professional help.

This subject is such a touchy one, and no one wants to address it. But it must be. There are more soldiers returning home every day. And we do not want them or you to become another tragedy or victim of war.

Submitted By: Adrienne DeVita, Military Domestic Violence
God didn't put you with an abusive mate. Your flesh did.

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