Stress, Depression… Domestic Abuse- Women’s Unseen Killers….

“If you are interested in your cardiovascular risk—and we all should be because it is the leading killer for both genders—we should be concerned about not just traditional risk factors [such as blood pressure and cholesterol] but the quality of our emotional and family lives.

Domestic abuse / violence is a topic that is so intensely linked to me it may as well be a part of me. In all of it’s horrible forms I’ve either seen it or felt it first hand. Currently, it is not only the fear of losing the most special person in my life to some form of horrible ‘argument gone wrong‘…well, more wrong than the usual; but in addition, the fear of losing this person to stress and depression frightens me to my core. If abuse doesn’t take kill directly, it has too strong of an ability to kill indirectly. This proven fact leaves me terrified for anyone in these situation, but especially my loved one.

Obviously, extreme trauma induced by any severe traumatic event has this same possibility.  I hope anyone who reads this will keep that in mind… However, this article is being written more towards victims of abuse of every kind (emotional abuse is just as dangerous, if not more, for mind games make one grow tired…stressed) because living extremely stressed, walking on egg shells while being very depressed, ashamed and afraid (etc) are common amongst abuse victims…making the risk of extreme health issues or worse, death, far more likely than those not in abusive situations.

The worst part about this to me, and the reason I am including abuse in this, is because in an abusive relationship your life is on the line- even if you swear they would never…You can’t honestly know that. Some abusers enjoy or get pleasure from watching the victim become upset. This sick behavior should speak volumes on its own.

What are these health issues I keep talking about?

Noticeably, mental illnesses (there is NO shame in mental illness- by the way); particularly excessive stress, sleep disturbances and major depression are all natural reactions to any form of abuse. Of course, those aren’t the only ones but for now I’ll end that there.

In addition to all the above noted, from what I’ve experienced and from what I see in others, I believe many victims suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and / or ASD (Acute Stress Disorder) – either one or the other, or both, combined.

Increased blood pressure (which can lead to man chronic illnesses) is another risk for women of all ages and should be something taken far more serious than it seems to be. In April, 2013, Harvard released the latest information regarding why women need to be taking control and not letting it slip out of hand. Instead of trying to keep it under control, my hope is after reading this you will keep it under control to the very best of your ability.

The report, entitled, High Blood Pressure is a silent danger in postmenopausal women” was released in April edition of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch. The quote from the report below should put fear into all of us. Especially if you are post-menopause. postmenopausal women

” Living with high blood pressure over time puts added strain on your blood vessels and on your heart. The added force of blood surging through your arteries damages the artery walls and encourages the formation of cholesterol-filled plaques. These plaques can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

High blood pressure also forces your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. As it works harder and harder, the heart muscle can become stiff and enlarged or weakened. Over time, the heart cannot do an adequate job of circulating blood. This is called heart failure.

“The risk of heart failure is markedly increased if the blood pressure is left unchecked over many years,” Dr. Bhatt says. “The heart doesn’t pump as effectively from years of trying to pump against very high pressure.”

Beyond stroke and heart failure, having long-term high blood pressure can also contribute to dementia, kidney failure, vision problems (especially when you also have diabetes), and sexual dysfunction.

Health wise, as of 2008, heart failure was the leading cause of death for women from all “races”.

What it boils down to is depression and stress. Depression and stress are killers; they do kill. And ironically, while of course some males suffer from depression and stress in relationships, oddly enough for them it doesn’t turn into a disease as it does for us women.

While the fact that extreme stress and depression can harm or take a life is hard enough to face while living amidst a world with nothing but negativity and high stress levels; it also adds a new layer of fear and stress to the lifestyle and situation at hand. This terrible level is given to the victim, witness(es) and loved ones whom are concerned.

And finally, knowing what abuse as well as stress can result in, it quickly heightens more negative feelings; placing all those in any way impacted in states of emotional distress, desperation and fear.

Abuse impacts everyone from the abuse victim, including children who simply hear or see the abuse (article to be posted on that soon), in addition to any person close to the victim. Domestic abuse/violence alone are highly dangerous, knowing that the abuser can torment and harm the victim enough to make them suffer health issues is terrifying…especially when your loved one, a person you are very close to, is in that situation.


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