Everyone is accustomed to hearing the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD in relation to service personnel who have been subjected to the horrors of war, but most people think that this is the only circumstance in which it raises its ugly head. PTSD is actually a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of any life-threatening event. Apart from military combat, this could also mean natural disasters, terrorist incidents or serious accidents. In California, there are several centers and programs to treat this debilitating condition; however, many people are suffering from it without realizing that it could be a result of varying types of non-physical abuse within their relationships.
The abuse that leads to PTSD may seem at first glance to be something any adult could stand up to. Constant denigration, bullying, manipulation or wrongful accusations can wear one down, and when accompanied by threats or outbreaks of temper can become incredibly intimidating. This behavior is never acceptable, should never be tolerated and needs to be acknowledged as being every bit as dangerous as physical abuse.
The effects of non-physical abuse can last for many years. There are many documented cases of children who find their adult lives blighted by childhood trauma, some of which may have occurred within a toxic or dangerous familial relationship. Adults who experience similar trauma may feel as though they are being weak or that they somehow deserve such terrible treatment. They are neither weak nor deserving of it; they are as much a victim as a child would be.
It can be very difficult to summon the courage to break free of this kind of relationship. In California, a restraining order can be issued in cases of non-physical abuse, giving the victim breathing space to consider what they wish to do next. Restraining orders may also protect other members of the household (such as children) and may also carry orders for spousal support and supervised or no visitation.
Source: The Huffington Post, What It’s Like To Suffer From PTSD Post-Divorce, Cathy Meyer, Jan. 15, 2014