Abuse can take many forms — emotional, physical, sexual, or verbal. Whatever form it takes, abuse can have a profound effect on your mental health. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, people who have experienced abuse or trauma are more likely to develop a mental health condition such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, or borderline personality disorder. Many survivors of abuse experience eating disorders, drug abuse, or self-harm as they cope with its lingering toxic effects.
If you are currently in an abusive situation, it can be frightening to reach out for help, but please know that support is out there. If you are in danger, call 911 or go to your nearest hospital or police department. You can reach out for free guidance at the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) or the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE).
The effects of abuse — whether from childhood or later in life — can be enduring, but healing is possible. Usually a combination of therapy, medication, and support groups is recommended for people who have experienced abuse. Remember that you are not alone, and the abuse you suffered is not your fault.