It’s easy to assume that the end of an abusive relationship means the end of the problems caused by abuse. This may happen for a few people, but it’s not true for everyone!
Your old life doesn’t just snap back into place immediately. You changed, and others changed along with you. – Thomas Fiffer
The lingering effects of abuse, and the extent of the damage that it is caused may only become apparent some time later. You will also find that coping with the abuse has changed your way of interacting with others, lowered your self-esteem and distanced you from those close to you (or, those who were
close to you but no longer are.
If this sounds overwhelming and depressing then remember that recovering is both possible, and worthwhile. You can begin to have the good life you deserve. You might find it helpful to read the excellent article below – and to share it with those close to you, to help them understand that possible reactions after the end of the abuse – and what can be done to help.
The Unspoken Secrets about Life After Abuse by Thomas Fiffer (The Good Men Project)
It’s my fault, it’s always my fault: Self-Blame (traumadissociation.wordpress.com)
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (traumadissociation.com)
Denial: A psychological defense against trauma (traumadissociation.wordpress.com)
If the Abuse is Ongoing (traumadissociation.wordpress.com)
Being male and a survivor (traumadissociation.wordpress.com)
The Misconcepts of Misandry (hatred against men) (rhsroyalreport.wordpress.com)
Signs of being in a pscyhologically abusive relationship (violencehurts.wordpress.com)
Many people find Borderline Personality Disorder hard to understand, and struggle to make sense of reactions or behavior of friends of loved ones with BPD.
This amazing blog post gives 20 ‘Rules’ for Understanding BPD, and explains the significance of emotional memories of past hurts.
With understanding, we can help reduce the stigma.
Binge Eating Disorder is far more common that both Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa in both men and women. It is also strongly linked to other mental health disorders and over half of people with it don’t seek psychological help. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is common in people with all these forms of Eating Disorders.
Binge Eating Disorder linked to Other Mental Health Conditions
Lifetime co-morbidity of eating disorders with other core DSM disorders. Shows PTSD affects over 12% of those with Anorexia, over 45% with Bulimia, and over 26% with Binge Eating Disorder. Binge Eating Disorder is strongly associated with Specific Phobia, Social Phobia, major Depression, and Substance Use disorders. Image license: CC-SA-4.0
Binge Eating Disorder Myths De-bunked
Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG, Jr., Kessler RC. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biological Psychiatry. 2007;61(3):348–358. PMC1892232
Uher R, Rutter M. Classification of feeding and eating disorders: review of evidence and proposals for ICD-11. World Psychiatry. 2012; 11(2):80-92.
Dissociation takes many different forms, some effect everyday life or affect people every now and then, and other forms of dissociation can lead to distress and/or problems in everyday life. If these other forms of dissociative experiences happen several times – or once, but for an extended period of time – then they become problematic (pathological).
Dissociation can be seen as a spectrum, or more recently tends to be categorized as Normal/Normative, or Pathological Dissociation (i.e., the diagnosable/problematic kind).
Types of Normal Dissociation
– Day dreaming
– Spacing out (briefly)
– Absorption (e.g., in a book)
– Highway hypnosis (expected travel with gaps in memory)
Types of Pathological Dissociation
– Numbing (emotional and/or physical) – a symptom of PTSD, Depression and others
– Freeze Response – a symptom of PTSD and DID and others, common during trauma
– Out of Body Experiences (form of Depersonalization) – common during trauma, sometimes happens during near-death experiences, may also happen in BPD, and DID
– ‘Wall staring’ (spacing out, common in Depression)
– Trance states (e.g., Dissociative Trance Disorder in the ICD-10 manual, can happen in other disorders)
– Maladaptive day dreaming*
– Derealization (either you/the world doesn’t feel real) – a separate diagnosis but also a symptom of BPD, Dissociative PTSD, and DID
– Depersonalization (part of all of you doesn’t seem like you) – also symptom of BPD, Dissociative PTSD, and DID
– Amnesia (without a physical cause) -a separate diagnosis but also a symptom of PTSD and DID
– Fugue states (unexpected travel, sometimes with loss of or change in identity)
– Identity alterations/switching – a symptom of Dissociative Identity Disorder, and OSDD
– Catatonia (can be present in Schizophrenia)
– Pseudo Seizures/Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures – dissociative reactions to stressors
– Dissociative movement or sensation problems – also known as Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder (FND), or Conversion Disorder
* not currently a diagnosis
Problematic types of dissociation are recognized as mental health problems – and can be either a Dissociative Disorder or a common symptom/experience involved in another kind of mental health problem, such as depression.
Can you think of any which are missing? Leave a comment if you can.