Sometimes we don’t recognize that we have been abused. We realize that something is wrong, but it can be hard to place exactly what the issue is or where it came from. Often we can rationalize abuses as being our own fault or as bad luck, or any other false creation our mind can think up. Until we come to terms with what has or is happening we cannot begin to heal. If you are suffering or know someone who is exhibiting these signs or symptoms of abuse please take the time to address the issue and get the help you/they need.

Based on the severity of the abuse these signs and symptoms may last only a few days or many years, everyone heals and deals with abuse differently and may hide their scars better than others. You are not expected to manage this pain alone, and often professional help is necessary.

Signs and Symptoms include:

*Cognitive
  • confusion
  • nightmares
  • uncertainty
  • hypervigilance
  • suspiciousness
  • intrusive images
  • blaming someone
  • poor problem solving
  • poor abstract thinking
  • poor attention/ decisions
  • poor concentration memory
  • disorientation of time, place or person
  • difficulty identifying objects or people
  • heightened or lowered alertness
  • increased or decreased  awareness of surroundings


*Behavioral

  • withdrawal
  • antisocial acts
  • inability to rest
  • intensified pacing
  • erratic movements
  • change in social
  • activity
  • change in speech patterns
  • loss or increase of appetite
  • hyperalert to environment
  • increased alcohol consumption
  • change in usual communications


*Emotional

  • fear
  • guilt
  • grief
  • panic
  • denial
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • irritability
  • depression
  • intense anger
  • apprehension
  • emotional shock
  • emotional outbursts
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • loss of emotional control
  • inappropriate emotional response


*Physical

  • chills
  • thirst
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • fainting
  • twitches
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • chest pain
  • headaches
  • elevated BP
  • rapid heart rate
  • muscle tremors
  • shock symptoms
  • grinding of teeth
  • visual difficulties
  • profuse sweating
  • difficulty breathing

* Cited from Mental Health Partners Colorado.

 

Healing is not a linear, straight forward science. Congratulations on taking the first step and beginning to learn what abuse is and how it may relate to you. Use the resources available on this site and find the help that is best for you, feel free to reach out, and continue moving forward, but don’t expect the problem to be solved tomorrow. Long term abuse takes a long time to heal and we are here to help.