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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Abuse of Spouse OR Partner: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Abuse and Violence

Abuse of Spouse OR Partner

Alternate Names : Domestic Abuse

Abuse of Spouse OR Partner | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the injury?

Victims who are physically hurt may need treatment for their injuries. Counseling and psychiatric treatment for any victim of abuse may prevent long-term effects. This treatment may include:

  • individual psychotherapy and group therapy
  • job, welfare, and housing assistance to help the victim become independent
  • medicine, such as antidepressants
  • support groups
  • The abuser may need help in the following ways:

  • alcohol and drug treatment
  • treatment to learn how to control his or her anger
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are often used to treat symptoms of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder, which is also called PTSD. The most common side effects are:

  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • Some people also become more anxious or irritable. Others may develop sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction.

    None of the side effects are long-lasting. Within weeks of starting an SSRI, most people can tolerate the side effects they have. For other people, side effects go away. When they are constant and uncomfortable, a change in the medicine or dosage or the addition of another medicine often helps.

    What happens after treatment for the injury?

    If antidepressants are used, it may take a few weeks to a month for the full effect to be felt by the person taking them.

    Long-term effects can include PTSD. In this case, this disorder is a result of physical, mental, or sexual violence. The victim may have the following conditions:

  • anxiety disorders
  • depression
  • feelings of isolation
  • irritability
  • nightmares and flashbacks
  • a tendency to avoid other people
  • Even if the victim doesn't suffer from PTSD, he or she may have other long-term effects, such as:

  • living in poverty
  • poor self-esteem
  • trouble staying in school or keeping a job
  • Studies show that half of men who abuse their partners also abuse their children. Abused mothers often have trouble holding jobs. They also need welfare more often. This means that children from abusive homes are at a greater risk of being poor and homeless.

    Local, state, and federal agencies, including police and social services, keep spousal abuse statistics. Many foundations, such as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the American Bar Association, also monitor abuse. Local agencies that receive reports of abuse from healthcare workers and other sources investigate and track high-risk families.

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    Abuse of Spouse OR Partner: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Karl M. Jacobs, MD
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 09/04/01

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