You may be wondering what is DPTSD and why haven’t you heard of it. Well it's a disorder suffered by victims of domestic violence and abuse. And you haven’t heard of it because I just created it myself.
You don’t have to be a clinical psychologist of occupational psychiatrist to see that many people who are victims of domestic violence and abuse suffer from many of the same symptoms as those who are exposed to war zone environments. If you observe closely you will see that they have many of the same reactions and behaviors to the same stimuli. This is no coincidence because they essentially go through the same trauma only at different levels and intensity.
DPTSD and PTSD are cousins and many times they affect people in the exact same manner.
PTSD comes about when someone is exposed to a traumatic event or events which render them mentally taxed and compromised. Due to the length, intensity and frequency of the event(s) they become anxious, depressed, irritated, aggravated, paranoid and generally uneasy. They experience nightmares, night sweats, paranoid delusions, anxiety attacks and nervousness. If left untreated these symptoms can only get worse leading to thoughts of hopelessness and possible suicide.
Many soldiers who are exposed to combat develop these symptoms but alarmingly many of these same disorders can be found in victims of abuse or domestic violence.
Birds Of A Feather
Even though war and domestic situations are worlds apart the same environment exists between the two. In both those affected are under attack from an outside force. In war it is an enemy soldier. In domestic violence or abuse it is a close friend, spouse or family member.
In both instances the person being attacked does not know where the attack is coming from or when it is coming.
In both cases this builds up anxiety and anticipation of an impending occurrence. Nervousness also develops as a result of waiting for the anticipated event. When it doesn’t come a nervous relief is experienced that is accompanied by a continued anticipation. When it does come there is a kind relief of sorts in that there is no more need to anxiously wait for the attack to happen.
From this you can see a rollercoaster of emotions are experienced which over a length of time can lead to a mental breakdown from the stress of the situation.
Though in totally different settings the affects are the same.
The Lasting Effects
It is easy to see how someone living in such a stressful environment could develop mental strain along with emotional and psychological problems. Just the mere anticipatory aspect of such an environment would be enough to stress out the strongest person. Add to that equation the actual physical part of it and you have a recipe for abnormal emotional and psychological reactions.
There can be no question that the more someone is exposed to this type of environment the more likely they are to develop issues affecting their mental outlook. Whether its a soldier being constantly battered by enemy shelling or a wife being routinely beaten by her abusive husband or boyfriend the effects will be pretty much the same. They will both be nervous, anxious and scared for their lives until it is apparent that they will survive……..until the next time.