WARNING: Graphic Content

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) And Brain Injuries

[National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)]

INTRODUCTION

Our immediate thoughts are on the military and football players when brain injury is the topic of discussion. These injuries can become life changing for the patient, and heart wrenching for loved ones who see an unfavorable difference in personality and disposition.

Those who suffer from Intimate Partner Violence (usually women), are individuals who also deserve recognition for brain injuries because they, too, experience debilitating cognitive issues. Many from this community lack awareness that they even have brain injuries, and could have experienced several over the duration of the abusive relationship from their partner.

THE KEY ASPECT THAT PLAYED A ROLE IN IPV

Domestic violence increased tremendously because of the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdowns (Ballard, 2022) and (George, Wesley, & Geraghty, 2021).

“There are households where the pandemic has become a reason why family members finally interact with each other. In some cases, this helps to enhance the quality of relationships within a family. However, in families where there are abusive patterns, the home confinement and social isolation can be very dangerous to the victims” (George, Wesley, & Geraghty, 2021).

AN IMPORTANT FINDING

Ballard (2022) mentions a conference that was held earlier this year: Seeking Tomorrow’s Answers Together [STAT]. One of the topics was how COVID-19 affected mental health.

Lockdowns were detrimental for people in abusive relationships!

These are people who were literally held hostage by their abusers because the abusers had unlimited access to their victims.

Thus, lockdowns created a more dangerous existence for people who may have been already living with IPV.

CONCLUSION

Intimate partners, the medical community, safety forces, the various legal institutions, and society in general, all need to recognize that brain injuries due to the IPV epidemic is prevalent. Then, they can become aware of behaviors [symptomology] that are associated with those subjected to IPV (Costello & Greenwald, 2022), (Hillstrom, 2022), (Sutherland & Chakrabarti, 2022), and (Valera, 2022).

This knowledge can help remove misconceptions about these individuals, especially when they are confronted with life-and-death situations independent of their abusers.

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References

Ballard, J. (2022). From Pandemic To Endemic: Relationship Violence Due To COVID. Retrieved From https://www.du.edu/news/pandemic-endemic-relationship-violence-due-covid

Costello, K., & Greenwald, B. D. (2022). Update On Domestic Violence And Traumatic Brain Injury: A Narrative Review. Retrieved From https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35053865/

George, E. S., Wesley, M. S., & Geraghty, L. (Eds.). (2021). Cultural Studies. Marital Stress And Domestic Violence During The COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved From https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311983.2021.1992085

Hillstrom, C. (2022). The Hidden Epidemic Of Brain Injuries From Domestic Violence. Retrieved From https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/01/magazine/brain-trauma-domestic-violence.html

National Domestic Violence Hotline. (2022). Here For You. Retrieved From https://www.thehotline.org/

Sutherland, P., & Chakrabarti, M. (2022). An ‘Invisible Epidemic’: Survivors Of Domestic Violence On Living With Traumatic Brain Injury. Retrieved From https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2022/01/20/survivors-of-domestic-violence-on-living-with-traumatic-brain-injury

Valera, E., PhD. (2022). Women’s Health. Intimate Partner Violence And Traumatic Brain Injury: An Invisible Public Health Epidemic. Retrieved From https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/intimate-partner-violence-and-traumatic-brain-injury-an-invisible-public-health-epidemic-201812132708#:~:text=Intimate%20partner%20violence%20and%20traumatic%20brain%20injury%3A%20An%20invisible%20public%20health%20epidemic,-March%2017%2C%202022&text=While%20studying%20brain%20injuries%20in,consistent%20with%20possibly%20experiencing%20concussions.

Mental Health Difficulties, That Mind And Body Relationship

The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (2020) talks about how individuals can experience heart issues because of their mental health problems in, “Heart Disease and Mental Health Disorders | cdc.gov.”

The other complication: There is the potential that a heart issue can decrease the necessary supply of oxygen the heart is required to send to the brain.

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Reference

Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. (2020). Heart Disease And Mental Health Disorders. Retrieved From Heart Disease and Mental Health Disorders | cdc.gov

Thyroid And Mental Health

When a therapist diagnosis a patient with depression and one of the anxiety disorders, the potential is strong that the thyroid is the origin of the difficulties.  Additional medical evaluation can prove the patient has autoimmune thyroiditis, also known as AIT.

“Depression And Anxiety More Common In Patients With Thyroid Disease” (Harding, 2018) talked about the symptoms a patient may experience with this cluster of health issues, the conversation a psychiatrist needs to have with patient when thyroid has not been evaluated and depression and anxiety are diagnosed, and the conversation a physician needs to have with patient when thyroid becomes a complication.

 

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Reference

 

Harding, A. (2018).  Depression And Anxiety More Common In Patients With Thyroid Disease.  Retrieved From  https://www.psychcongress.com/news/depression-and-anxiety-more-common-patients-thyroid-disease

 

Potential Health Benefits From Regular Fish Consumption

 

 

Lane (2019) talked about the numerous health issues that can decrease with a routine menu of fish, in the article:  “When You Eat Fish Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body”.

 

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Reference

 

Lane, K. (2019).  When You Eat Fish Everyday, This Is What Happens To Your Body.  Retrieved From https://www.thelist.com/179800/when-you-eat-fish-every-day-this-is-what-happens-to-your-body/

 

 

Stress Management Approaches

Everyone experiences stress from time to time, and will need to discover and practice effective stress management approaches for a healthy psychological condition.

As an aside, stress can lead to depression, and the longer depression lasts the better the opportunity for neurotransmitters becoming damaged, requiring an individual to obtain psychotropics from a mental health professional.

The following resources provide beneficial information in reducing/managing stress:

 

Articles

Mayo Clinic: Healthy Lifestyle – Stress Management – Stress Basics

MindTools.com: Albrecht’s Four Types of Stress – Managing Common Pressures

 

[Videos]

Stress Management Techniques

 

Relaxation Video for Stress Management

 

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Internet Addiction, Psychiatric Disorders

The Journal of the European Psychiatric Association has an abstract titled, The Association Between Internet Addiction and Psychiatric Disorder: A Review of the Literature.

 

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Delicate Subject Series – Anti-Bullying Film “Between the Cracks”

Warning: Graphic images

It’s an epidemic and becoming worse every year.  Young people being harassed, threatened, humiliated, reputations questioned, destroyed. The targets frequently take matters into their own hands through violent means, while others commit suicide.

Between the Cracks “…show the devastating factors that can exist with children who are bullied and find no help from adults” (Epp Films, 2013, Dec. 6). Parents and children are encouraged to see the film together at festivals scheduled this year.  Additional information about the film can be read here.

The following is the trailer:

 

Reference

Epp Films. (2013, December 6).  Between the Cracks Trailer Teaser. [Video file].  Retrieved from http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CqVDWquCqYw

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Delicate Subject Series – Family Violence

Warning: Ted Bundy makes an appearance 

Family Violence can destroy an individual from reaching their potential.  Victims can experience low self-esteem, substance abuse, depression, suicidal tendencies, and wreak havoc on society.

  • Examples of Family Violence
    1. Child Abuse + Neglect
    2. Spousal + Partner Abuse
    3. Elder Abuse
    4. Physical Abuse
    5. Sibling Abuse
    6. Verbal Abuse (name calling, cursing)
    7. Verbal Violence (scorch-the-earth tempers)
    8. Sexual Abuse
    9. Financial Exploitation (ex. identity theft)

Commentary

First, it’s one thing for a parent, or other caregiver, to spank a child** with an open hand showing love and directing the youth to change negative behaviors.  It’s quite another to beat and punch a child out of anger resulting in bodily harm.  Other forms of this type of abuse are getting in the tub with a child and taking a bath or shower with them; leaving pornographic materials around the house*; having sex in front of the child*; walking around in the nude within home environment, or property*; sexually-explicit conversations in front of, or directed towards youth, which provides no proper educational value in their becoming a responsible, well-adjusted individual*; failing to keep them clean, providing a roof over their heads, feeding, sending them to school, and intentional lying about and on child causing dysfunction among siblings.  Also, when a spouse/partner is abused, the child is automatically abused because they witnessed the mistreatment*.  Concerning neglect, to be fair, some of these parents may have mental health, or financial issues, which prevent them from raising their children properly.  Also, perhaps these are abused parents and keep children at home in the belief no additional harm will come towards them from abusive spouse/partner, or some other abusive person in household.

Second, #4, #6 – 9 directed towards a spouse, or partner.

Third, neglect resulting with the elderly suffering nutritionally, grooming, taking necessary medications, and having protected, clean environment; #4, #6 – 9.

Fourth, any physical contact intentionally meant to incur bodily harm.

Fifth, it’s important for parents to resolve negative behavior when a child is harming a sibling.  When there are more than two children, the bully may coax the others in mistreating the target for abuse.

Sixth, name-calling, cursing, mocking with the intention to damage self-worth of others within household.  Also known as psychological abuse.

Seventh, rage from at least one of the adults in the household, even if the behavior isn’t aimed at anyone in particular within that household.

Eighth, inappropriate sexual contact, not necessarily penetration, by a member of the family, and others within the family construct.  Sexual abuse within a family can occur when families double up the household with immediate family members, and extended members.

Finally, family members who open bank accounts and credit cards, purchase insurance, steals tax returns, etc. from a member of the family, or part of family construct.

Commentary

By the time a child turns the age of six, they’ve either developed a conscience, or haven’t. Ted Bundy didn’t.  The household he was raised in until he was six years old with his mother and maternal grandparents can best be described A House of Horror.  He was a child who saw too much:  The grandfather possessed a violent temper, whipped the family pets, left pornographic materials around the home, and was deceptive (Rule, 2000). Whenever family members saw him coming up the walkway, they ran out the backdoor, except his wife who suffered from agoraphobia.   Bundy was at an impressionable age, thus his grandfather “taught” him these behaviors which he would act out on his victims when he became an adult.  “In the beginning he did not kill.  However, once he murdered—once he crossed that boundary, violated that taboo—killing got easier and easier” (Lewis, 1998). Are there other causations besides family violence and substance abuse which led to his murderous behaviors?  Yes, (Lewis) and we may never discover what they were.

Rule was the former police lieutenant whom Bundy became friendly as an adult at the Seattle Crisis Center, and Dr. Lewis the psychiatrist who worked as a member of his defense team.

References

Lewis, M.D., D. O. (1998). Guilty by Reason of Insanity. Ivy Books: New York.

Rule, A. (2000). The Stranger Beside Me. (20th Anniversary Ed.). NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

*This brand of abuse also falls under the category Children Who See Too Much

**Spanking a child is illegal in certain states

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Anger Management

All of us become angry every now and again.  It’s a healthy emotion. We’re capable of recognizing the anger and calming ourselves down before it gets out of control. But when should individuals seek counseling before the anger governs their lives?  The following are a couple of examples:

  • A want to maintain the anger internally.
  • Repetitive arguments with spouse, friends, and co-workers.

RED ALERT. When the problem has escalated and therapy is a must:

  • Verbal violence (i.e., name calling, swearing, making threats against individuals, their property)
  • Destructive behavior such as breaking items.
  • Problems with the law.
  • Engaging in physical violence towards loved ones.

Individuals with anger management problems may have underlying depression and if  they refuse to enter therapy, may experience psychiatric difficulties because the brain chemistry has altered.

Anger management therapy will teach the patient to use anger constructively.  They will take their frustrations and develop clarity.  The patient will also learn how to discuss feelings they’re experiencing, instead of verbal violence towards others.  Finally, therapy will help the patient avoid searching for alcohol and illegal substances for a means of escape.

Vikki