Effects of Abuse and Health Warning Signs
This page was last modified on Monday, May 06, 2013
The theme of this essay is that abuse can aggravate existing conditions and create new traumas and the effects on those who witness abuse or violence can be just as devastating. I am not a physician and the information presented in this paper comes from my own experience and must be not used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we saw the effects those who lost a family member or friend, and others who had witnessed the attacks first-hand. While countless millions in other parts of the world celebrated the destruction and human loss and I recall the outrage expressed by those who learned of their distant barbarity.
Why do others express outrage by the acts of foreign terrorists but tolerate the acts of family terrorists and their supporters? The point is that those who had witnessed the attacks also suffered from similar physical and emotional effects. This is why men would shield women and children from witnessing horrific events because reliving the aftermath can be as damaging as witnessing the occurrence.
Projection and The Stockholm Syndrome
Projection (Psychological) - The misandrists call psychological projection 'blaming the victim' but their definition is that the victim is always female despite the evidence. Projection is the attribution of one’s own feelings of blame or guilt to another. If your spouse falsely accuses you of adultery, then she or he could be having an extramarital affair. In any relationship, projection can be a ruse to hide one’s own guilt.
The Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological condition where a person taken hostage becomes emotionally involved with the captors. Social scientists and other researchers discovered that this co-dependency can exist in other oppressive relationships such as spousal abuse. At some point, the victim becomes emotionally dependent upon the abuser and cannot see their self as an autonomous individual. Some victims leave an abusive relationship only to return because they cannot emotionally function without the abuser. This effect can be so enduring that some victims may become abusive and violent.
Chronic Stress is unending stress that is experienced day after day over many years. Victims of spousal battery and abuse often suffer from chronic stress. A prejudiced legal system and society exacerbate the stress through their refusal to believe that men thus disparaging their plight.
Though a husband tries to escape from an abusive woman, the courts assume her role. These institutions, acting as her surrogate, strip the husband of his children, job, money, home, and possessions. He is left with debts, no credit, a false criminal record, and no way out of a wretched situation. It is this human malice that causes the most severe chronic stress that can kill through substance abuse, suicide, and the breakdown of physical and mental health.
The failure to recognize that an abused person may be suffering from ongoing chronic stress may lead health practitioners to prescribe medications and therapy that are ineffective and perhaps dangerous. Stress often causes surges of adrenalin that, over a long term, adversely affects the physical and mental assets of the patient causing permanent damage. This damage can mimic other disorders and, therefore, the effects of chronic stress can be difficult to assess and treat.
Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
Many people do not realize that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has existed for centuries. Some people said it was battle fatigue, soldiers’ heart, and shell shock. At first, this disorder was diagnosed according to a person’s station in life. In the trenches of the First World War, the Army gave sidearms to the officers that they could fire from five to fifteen rounds before they had to reload their weapon.
In contrast, they armed enlisted troops, in some units, with an entrenching tool, and a single shot rifle with a bayonet. Moreover, officers received better treatment than enlisted men. In severe cases, the Army sent their officers a sanitarium while enlisted personnel could be shot for malingering. This discriminatory treatment probably contributed to the poor outcome for many victims.
PTSD is a psychological reaction that occurs after experiencing or witnessing a stressful event (such as physical violence, an accident, or a natural disaster). Its symptoms may include anxiety, depression, flashbacks, insomnia, and nightmares. Other signs include hysteria and conversion disorder (the appearance of bodily symptoms, such as paralysis, without physical cause). This is why some practitioners have confused this involuntary reaction with malingering. PTSD can be difficult to diagnose because this disorder does not afflict some people while others may not exhibit its symptoms until months or years later.
Ongoing abuse is detrimental to any probability of successful treatment. When a practitioner attempts to cure the patient by treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause, the probability of success becomes, over time, increasingly small and can exacerbate the patient's condition. We must view abused men as victims especially when law enforcement and the courts had sided with narcissistic, abusive, misleading women.
The sheer amount of disbelief that the targeted individual encounters when he (or she) relates their experiences can lead to additional effects and amplify existing symptoms. This often adversely affects several bio-neurological systems in the targeted individual that may have long-lasting repercussions. This is only one reason that the Government should divert money from the VAWA to help these men.
|worried about their home and belongings||afraid that they failed as a person||concerned about further abuse or violence||often have meals away from home|
|unexplained weight gain or loss||dispirited and frustrated||guilt about leaving the abuser||a misbelief that they deserve abuse|
|no one will believe them||depression and sadness||humiliation and anger||concerns about the children|
|worry about financial security||reluctant to confide||can not live at home in peace||skin lesions|
|anxiety||depression||distrust of others||emptiness|
|flashbacks||intensified vigilance||increased irritability||insomnia (sleeplessness)|
|listless||loss of appetite||loss of sexual desire||many medical complaints|
|memory problems||nightmares||precognition||pseudo pains|
|a sense of helplessness||social withdrawal||shakes or tremors||inability to concentrate|
|diarrhea||nausea and vomiting||amplified startle response||amplified senses (hearing)|
|panic attacks||recurrent headaches||substance dependency||resentfulness|
Blaming the Victim but Who is the Victim?
According to many federally funded women's shelter advocates, a woman's aberrant behavior is always the man's fault and the uncorroborated word of a female is sufficient for arrest. So if a man decides to leave his home to avoid her abuse, the police could charge him with fleeing the scene of a crime. If he took his children with him, the police could charge him with parental kidnapping. Discuss these concerns with your attorney and ask that attorney to draw up papers that protect you from wrongful arrest.
Mutual sexual gratification through violence is not as uncommon as I believed. Some who wrote to me had said that their parents were mutually violent (their mothers nearly always initiating the conflict) and then engaged in intense unseemly sexual intercourse. Several trusted retired police officials said that these couples would often turn on them when they tried to intervene.
Although sexual assaults including groin attacks by women are common, I have not found any study that proves that sexual gratification is the primary objective of female offenders. The reason for this is that shame and cultural stigmas restrict research on this subject. Nevertheless, what we do know is that their gratification comes from their domination of their husband. So when he thwarts her purpose, she conjures a story and calls the police. Now she can enjoy the humiliation that she has caused him. That is how he ends in jail.
Defects in the heart's electrical system can cause cardiac arrhythmias, some are congenital and others are acquired. For an example, the symptoms of Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) varies from person to person. WPW can be difficult to diagnose because the heart rate can change from normal to very slow and then to an extremely high rate in seconds. A very slow heart rate that is less than 60 beats per minute is called bradycardia. An extremely high heart rate that is faster than 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia. In WPW the heart rate can change from abnormally slow to extremely high in seconds and vis versa in seconds. This is why some patients are monitored by a machine that records heart function and sends the data to a receiving station in a clinic or a hospital.
The normal heart rate for infants less than twelve months old is between 100 and 160 beats per minute. For children between one and 10 years old, the normal heart rate is between 70 and 120 beats per minute. Children more than 10 years old and adults have normal hearts rates that range between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Highly trained, athletes may have a resting pulse that is between 40 and 60 beats per minute. Short term anomalies include transient bradycardia and transient tachycardia, bounding pulse, and irregular pulses.
An abnormally slow heart rate is less than 55 bpm and this condition is called bradycardia (my heart beat dropped below 30 bpm). An abnormally high heart rate may exceed 100 beats per minute in a rested state. Tachycardia is a heart rate that exceeds 100 bpm in a rested state (mine exceeded 275 bpm). Arrhythmias can be lethal. This why seeing a physician or cardiologist is so important.
A change in diet or taking supplemental vitamins and minerals can control some arrhythmias but others may require medication. Beyond that, a cardiologist can try a variety of procedures. In a pinch, a person might quell racing heart beats with these simple measures: Gulping iced carbonated water and belching, applying iced water to the face and chest, lying down on the left side and coughing. The object is to break the heart's pacing cycle. This is the best time to see a physician because certain heart disorders can be elusive.
Most people do not have the medical background to decide whether they can safely travel to a medical center. Although taxi service may be available in some areas, the waiting time may be too long to be safe. On the other hand, ambulance services are very costly and so some people cannot afford them. This is also true for people who have either private or employer-sponsored coverage or both. This reason for this is that many policies have a minimum threshold or thresholds before their policy will cover usual and necessary medical costs. Please check your policy and prepare in advance.
Although the VA provides advice nurses, these individuals are not always available and transportation can be a problem. Veterans may try to arrange with their VA provider to authorize (in advance) testing at the nearest VA clinic or hospital. Since most veterans do not live close to a VA facility, the VA may not authorize testing and exigent treatment at a medical center before transfer to a VA medical facility. This presents a problematic situation for which a circumstance inherent in the problem denies the only solution. They cannot treat you at a nearby medical facility unless the VA approves. If the VA cannot approve because they are closed or will not provide transportation to another VA facility.
Panic and Anxiety Attacks
The Panic Response Paradox is a collection of symptoms that are found in other disorders. These symptoms include rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, nausea, trembling, dizziness, sweating, faintness, diarrhea, tunnel vision, the sense that the earth is moving under their feet, and fear of dying. Other symptoms are a sense of time dilation but hearing is not affected.
Those who are affected with this set of symptoms may develop phobias, compulsions and obsessions. Many are concerned that an attack might occur in a public place such as a grocery store. Others feel vulnerable around people. Some have a daily 'ritual' to ensure their well-being and this may indicate an obsessive-compulsive condition.
People who are experiencing these symptoms may be unable to drive a car, work with machinery, or function normally. The symptoms of panic attacks are also symptoms of other serious medical conditions. That is why the sufferer should consult a physician.
Physician and Mental Health practitioners should realize that some individuals may have latent or intermittent or incipient cardiac arrhythmias that can be hard to detect. A patient can have a cardiac disorder and a panic disorder. One disorder may trigger the other through a coupled recycling mechanism so physicians should treat the arrhythmia first.
Then the body responds with a surge of adrenalin causing increases in heart and respiration rates causing hyperventilation. This rapid breathing may reduce the blood flow to the brain and increase the blood alkalinity levels by driving off carbon dioxide thus upsetting the body chemistry. Slow breathing in a paper bag or with cupped hands relieves these symptoms in some patients. A heart problem may be possible when gulping iced water or belching relieves the symptoms.
Some patients may have a predisposition to panic attacks and no one knows exactly why. Research has shown that chemical changes in the body contribute to the onset of panic attacks. When a physician injects a patient with lactic acid (found in some foods and is a product of fatigue) and it causes a panic attack, that person may have panic disorder. This effect has led to some success in treating the disorder through dietary changes and other methods.
The acquisition of panic disorder might be unrelated to whether a person has a history of psychological trauma. Some symptoms of panic disorder are similar to those of other disorders and the connection is unknown. This is Panic Response Paradox.
While many panic attacks occur without warning, some sufferers apparently can sense the incipient signs long before the manifestation of physical discomfort. It is this vulnerability that can provoke a full-blown panic attack. So the possession of a fast acting substance such as 0.5 milligrams of Lorazepam, taken by mouth under the tongue, can help victims quell the onset of panic attacks. That is why I call this phenomena the life jacket effect. However, every person may respond differently to medications and I know this from personal experience. The goal of competent practitioners is to restore independence to the afflicted but that might not be possible for those who have from suffered from chronic anxiety or long term abuse.
Beta-adrenergic blocking agents can induce psoriasis. I stopped taking this medicine and the results were remarkable. This is not a recommendation. It is only an advisory. Every person is different in their reaction to medicines. When I stopped taking this medicine the psoriasis seceded to some extent. A few weeks ago (August 2009), I received a Photo Therapy machine to help with my psoriasis and the psoriasis receded without me using it. This remission could be psychosomatic but the psoriasis has not returned.
Polycythemia Vera is a rare disorder of the bone marrow that causes an excessive production of blood cells and platelets. Living at high altitude, breathing problems, stress, dehydration, and the abuse of erythropoietin can cause other forms of polycythemia. The viscosity of the blood may become so high that it cannot flow through small blood vessels and capillaries. The individual may appear discolored, confused, and wobbly. Increased blood viscosity and platelet count boosts the potential for clot formation leading to organ and tissue damage, stroke, or heart attack. The usual treatment is removing 1 pint of blood until the hematocrit is less than forty-five. Sometimes this procedure results in hemorrhage or bruising and some people may confuse it with spousal abuse. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycythemia
Precognition is the perception of an event before it occurs and it is distinguishing characteristic of abuse and abusive relationships.
Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes red scaly skin lesions and cracking of the skin. These lesions can lead to severe itching, pain, and scales are always falling off the skin. Treatment usually involves moisturizers, salicylic acid, coal tar, sun light, and corticosteroids. Experts currently believe that psoriasis is a result of a disorder of the immune system. Since mental and emotional stress affects the immune system, the onset, recurrence, and worsening of psoriasis can be stress related with some people. Reducing stress may help resolve this condition.
Other Health Warning Signs
Most of us lose our appetite every so often and that is not bad. The problem is that eating less might deprive you of the nutrients that you need, especially if you are substituting fatty food and sweets to maintain your energy levels. I suggest that you make time to eat rather than eating whenever you can, this way your body will be able to efficiently extract nutrients that you need. If you are eating the same way and losing weight, then you could have a serious problem and this is the time to see a physician. On the other hand, if you are eating the same way and gaining weight then you might have an equally serious problem. This could be an intestinal obstruction, ovarian cancer, gall stones, a thyroid problem, and many other things that can cause these symptoms.
The lymphatic system removes cellular debris while scavenging fluids and proteins and returning them to the blood. This is why both women and men do get cancers of the lymphatic system. For both women and men, a lump in a breast can be a harmless artifact such as a cyst or from an injury. It is also a sign of breast cancer. The problem is that women might ignore these signs because the major emphasis is directed toward the detection and elimination of breast cancer in women. The usual procedure for men and women is mammography.
For women in the United States, and elsewhere, breast cancer is the most common cancer that can develop. Nearly one American woman in eight will develop breast cancer during her life. Women in Asia and Africa have a lower risk of breast cancer than women in Europe and North America and this may be due to a diet. Perhaps, the consumption of fewer refined grains eating more natural grains may help. The difference between a refined grain and a natural grain is that a refined grain has its hull, husk, or outer shell removed and this is where the fibers are grown. Those natural fibers can also improve regularity that can reduce the incidence of colon disorders in men and women.
Researchers have found that a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases as she grows older, especially if a close relative such as her mother or sister has also had this disease. Scientists have found two abnormal genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that increase the risks of developing breast cancer but disagree on when such testing should be done. The problem is that many women who have relatives who have had breast cancer do not have the inherited abnormal genes.
Most physicians advise women to examine their breasts for lumps every month because a painless lump is the most common artifact of breast cancer but a mammogram can detect many abnormalities before they can be felt. Most doctors recommend an annual mammogram for women who are more than 50-year’s-old.
Lymph nodes are found at many places along the lymphatic vessels and they look like knots on a string having a diameter ranging from 1/32 inch to 1 inch. The lymph nodes contain large cells (called macrophages) that appear as bumps that absorb harmful and dead material. They are usually bunched together in the neck, armpits, groin, and near organs and large blood vessels and this makes them easy to find. So both men and women should check for swelling of their lymph nodes because swelling or pain means that there is something wrong.
Jaundice is characterized by yellowish pigmentation of the skin, body tissues, and body fluids. This condition is caused by excess bilirubin in the bile, blood, and tissues. Bilirubin is formed by the breakdown of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The liver removes bilirubin from the blood stream and discharges it in the bile. So jaundice results from the reduced discharge of bile or the excessive production of bilirubin. This means that jaundice is not a disease but it is a symptom of various diseases.
Obstructive jaundice is caused by the blockage of bile ducts and gallstones can cause that blockage. Sometimes the gallstones can be removed without removing the gall bladder. In other cases, a physician ties off the gallbladder and it and the stones are removed together.
Another kind of jaundice is caused by an increased breakdown of red blood cells that then causes a greater concentration of bilirubin in the blood. Hepatocellular jaundice occurs when the liver is damaged and cannot secrete enough bile so bilirubin collects in the body that in turn, causes jaundice.
Some babies are born with physiologic jaundice, which occurs if the body cannot process all the bilirubin it produces. This condition usually disappears within two weeks after birth. If this does not occur, contact your medical provider or advice nurse.
Slurred speech, tingling, weakness, numbness, confusion, or diminution or loss of consciousness can be a sign of a stroke, a rupture, or obstruction of a blood vessel. It also can be a sign of blood loss or a condition known as polycythemia where the body generates too many red blood cells. If the white blood count is high, then this could be a sign of infection or leukemia.
Black or tarry stools may indicate bleeding from an ulcer in the stomach or the intestines but what you eat can often change the color of the stools. For an example chocolate cookie with a vanilla center can produce dark stools while concord grape juice can induce a violet hue with a fruity odor. Most people are familiar with what is natural for them. So any unusual change in bowel movements (frequency, color, odor, and firmness) should be noted especially if a new medicine is prescribed.
Normally, the testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum and they rise and lower to maintain optimum testicular temperature. So a lump in the groin can be as serious as a lump in a testicle. This why showering or bathing is a good time to check for these problems before they become worse or life threatening.
Note: Women who wear high heeled shoes with narrow toes often have bunions. A bunion is an inflamed swelling of the small fluid-filled sac on the first joint of the big toe accompanied by enlargement and protrusion of the joint. Prevention is very simple. Avoid wearing narrow pointed shoes and boots, especially those with high heels. The pain can make most anyone cranky. Beside that, these shoes can deform your feet.
Additional Sources of Information
Information on Depression from the National Institute of Mental Health
Information on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
NIMH - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (Index)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (Wikipedia)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (INTRA)
Edward Steven Nunes