Domestic violence can leave deep emotional scars that can’t be seen and can last a lifetime. Even when the abusive relationship ends the trauma may continue. And trauma can rewire the brain.
For domestic violence victims who repeatedly experience traumatic events or memories, this rewiring can sometimes cause them to struggle with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) substance use disorders, sleep and eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, and more.
Cortisol, a hormone released during times of stress, can exist in abundance in the brain and can activate a part of the brain responsible for emotions, emotional behavior and motivation, and cause even more cortisol to be released.
It’s also clear that violence has a severe impact on the mental health of children. Whether they’re the target of violence, witness it, or are exposed to it, trauma can evoke toxic responses to stress that cause both immediate and long-term physiological and psychological damage.
Studies have shown that stress and adversity affect brain development, and exposure to domestic violence is the biggest predictor of repeating the cycle into adulthood either as an abuser or victim.
But just as trauma can rewire the brain in a negative way, the proper therapies can rewire it back.
At Fayette Cares victims of domestic violence and their children can find relief from the effects of trauma. FREE counseling including individual, group, and family therapies offer safe, non-judgmental, and caring support. Survivors can better understand triggers and learn healthy coping responses, build conflict resolution and interpersonal skills, and gain self-awareness and confidence to triumph over trauma.
If you know someone who needs help, urge them to call for free and confidential services at (901) 465-3802 or visit FayetteCares.org