PTSD After Domestic Violence

There is nothing quite as traumatic as being physically or emotionally abused by a person you love and trust who is supposed to love and trust you. About 3 in 10 women and 1 in 10  men will experience domestic violence, rape, or assault in their lifetime in the United States. Domestic violence survivors will often experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of this abuse. 

Children who have seen one of their parents physically abused by their other parent may also have PTSD. Abusing a spouse in front of your child may be considered a form of domestic abuse.

woman and domestic violence

What is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is initiated by seeing or experiencing a traumatic event. When an individual has PTSD, they may re-live the triggering incident over and over again. They might experience both nightmares and flashbacks. It is very hard for a person with PTSD to have any kind of a normal life.

PTSD can cause someone to have acute anxiety, and they may be in a constant state of heightened awareness of the dangers around them. This heightened awareness can take a toll on a person’s physical, mental, and psychological well-being.

Although medication and psychotherapy can help people deal with the aftermath of domestic abuse, it is often not enough. Fortunately, the PTSD Group has a revolutionary injection treatment for PTSD that can help survivors of domestic violence cope.

crying woman

What is the definition of domestic violence?

To put it simply, domestic violence is physical abuse and confrontation that takes place in the home. Domestic abuse may also include different forms of psychological mistreatment. Men, women, and children can be the victims of violence in the house, leading to PTSD. 

An abuser may be an ex or current romantic partner, or a parent, child, or another relative or friend of the family. The act of violence must occur between two people who have a close personal relationship for the abuse to be considered “domestic.”

How Will a Person Respond to Domestic Violence

When someone is hit, beaten, restrained, or starved, it causes a flight or flight response in the brain. This is a natural psychological response to a stressful situation. When a person is threatened, it activates the sympathetic nervous system. This causes a stress response that prepares the body to run or stay and engage in a fight with the hurting individual. 

men boxing

What happens During Fight or Flight?

There are three basic stages of the fight or flight response, and how an individual responds to each of them might determine how they will respond in a crisis situation such as domestic violence.

  1. Sensory perception

When you first perceive violence either visually or auditorily, the information that you observe will be transmitted through electric impulses, and you will be aware that someone is about to hurt you. For example, you would experience sensory perception if someone yells at you that they will hit you or if you see a hand or weapon coming towards you.

Neurons transport electrical signals to the brain, and you will be aware that domestic abuse is about to happen.

           2. Brain Processing

The thalamus (relay station) in the brain will receive the information. The thalamus will transport that information to the amygdala, which controls emotions such as fear. The information will then reach the hypothalamus, which controls the sympathetic nervous system. A neuropeptide called CRF will signal the pituitary gland to release the hormone ACTH into the blood, releasing cortisol.

 Cortisol regulates the pituitary gland and curbs functions that would be nonessential during fight or flight. At this stage, norepinephrine and adrenaline are produced as well. 

Adrenaline is a hormone that comes from the adrenal glands during times of stress. It increases blood circulation rates, carbohydrate metabolism, and breathing. It prepares the muscles when they are about to be exerted. Norepinephrine is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter.

Norepinephrine prepares the body to mobilize. When it is produced, it directly increases the heart rate; it will also trigger the release of glucose from stored energy. This increases blood flow to skeletal muscles and allows a person to move faster and be more alert.

             3. Physiological Effect

The adrenaline and norepinephrine will cause several physiological changes throughout the body and stimulate the liver to convert glycogen to glucose so that more energy is available to the skeletal muscles and mind. 

A person with PTSD will experience the three stages of flight or flight over and over again. Not only can a person’s body break down, someone under a constant state of stress may snap, and they may try to hurt someone else. A person who has PTSD will produce an abundance of norepinephrine, and an injection to suppress its production can be very helpful to their recovery.

Domestic Violence Facts and Statistics 

The frequency of domestic violence in America is shocking. There are a few basic facts that may interest a survivor. You should know that you are not alone. 

  • 12 million people a year will experience some form of domestic violence.
  • Less than 15% of women physically abused by a domestic partner will sustain a physical injury. Only 4 percent of men who have experienced domestic violence will be seriously injured. 81% of women will experience long-term psychological effects such as PTSD.
  • Around 50% of men and women believe that they have experienced emotional aggression.
  • The majority of women will experience abuse from the same partner multiple times. Repeated instances of abuse can lead to severe PTSD. 

Symptoms of PTSD 

The symptoms of PTSD can be devastating. Flashbacks are one of the worst symptoms of this debilitating condition. A flashback is like a nightmare that you have when you are awake. You will experience vivid memories of the domestic violence incident. 

If your abuser yelled at you, you may hear what they said to you repeatedly. If they hit you, you may experience the impact and feel the after-effects again. A person having a flashback may flinch or punch.

Nightmares are often a result of PTSD. When a person has a nightmare, their body may release adrenaline, and the dream may be very vivid. They may live the attack repeatedly, or the attack may be of a more metaphorical nature. When you have nightmares regularly, you may end up avoiding going to sleep, or you may wake up repeatedly or suffer from insomnia. 

A person who cannot sleep may not be able to concentrate. They can suffer from headaches, and that will cause them to be irritable. 

Anxiety is another offshoot of PTSD. When a person has anxiety, they may overreact to minor stressors that they experience throughout the day. They will often have an increased heart rate, and they may sweat and tremble. In many cases, they will feel tense for a good part of the day and then feel exhausted later. This can stagnate a person’s progress in both their career and social life. When a person’s flight or fight urges are triggered multiple times in a day, they will be in a constant state of panic. In some cases, they will suffer from chronic stomach pain.

Treatment for PTSD

doctor and patient

People with PTSD should certainly talk to a mental health professional about what they are feeling and experiencing. They can give a person coping mechanisms that are designed for dealing with PTSD. Group therapy can also help a person who has PTSD feel like they are not alone. 

Common medications for PTSD are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors that include Zoloft and Prozac. Serotonin is the hormone that controls a person’s mood. Although this may help, it will not completely eradicate the symptoms of PTSD.

Why Our Injections Can Help You

The amygdala in your brain is connected to nerves in the neck that are called the stellate ganglion. When you block these nerves,  the amygdala will stop overworking, and your PTSD symptoms should be much milder. Some of them may even go away altogether. We offer a stellate ganglion block neck injection. The shot is administered by a trained professional who uses the assistance of an x-ray to inject the SGB into your system safely.

Many of our PTSD patients have reported a significant reduction in symptoms after just 30 minutes. The effects can often last for years. You may need just one injection, or you may require several.

PTSD is one of the most debilitating psychological conditions that a person can have. When left untreated, the symptoms of PTSD alone can destroy your personal and professional life. You deserve to live your best life, and this advanced form of medication can help you achieve your goals and be the person you have always been on the inside.

Get in touch with us!

If you or a loved one are suffering from PTSD/PTSI, please contact our office to schedule your initial consultation over the phone. After filling out this form, you will automatically be redirected to our Questionnaire form.

Recent Health Articles

What Causes Anxiety Attacks?

An anxiety attack is sometimes called a panic attack and is classified as periods of severe fear or panic, which happen suddenly and last anywhere

Read More »

Want to know if the SGB is right for you?

Click here to fill out the PCL Questionnaire.

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Scroll to Top