How Abuse Can Lead to Suicidal Thoughts
How can abuse lead to suicidal thoughts? Men and women in the depths of an abusive relationship often find themselves considering options they never anticipated they would. Abuse can take otherwise happy, outgoing, social and optimistic people and beat them down into a shell of who they once were. Both physical and verbal attacks have the power to do this to a man or a woman. Read on to learn how abuse can lead to suicidal thoughts.
How Abuse Can Lead to Suicidal Thoughts
- Abuse can lead to suicidal thoughts because it can lead to isolation. Victims of abuse may begin a relationship with many friends and close family members and as the abusive relationship progresses, they may grow distant from their loved ones. Feeling alienated from the people you were once closest with can make people feel as if they are alone and have no one to turn to. When in the honeymoon stage of the abusive cycle, the distance from loved ones may be easier to overlook, but when in the throws of the abusive stage of the cycle, it can feel like an overwhelming loneliness. People feeling lonely and isolated to those extremes may consider suicide and have no one to notice the warning signs and no one to talk them off the ledge.
- Abuse causes feelings of worthlessness. When people suffer repeated abuse, verbal or physical, their confidence begins to disintegrate and with it goes self-worth. If people become convinced they have no value, they may think no one will miss them or the world would be better off without them. These are, of course, delusions that can be specific to a person severely lacking in self-worth. Luckily, these devastating side effects can be reversed by receiving love. Feeling loved can come in different forms like accepting self-love. This can happen in simple ways like caring for oneself and investing in oneself. Feelings of being loved can also result from building new and nurturing existing relationships and friendships that are healthy and mutual.
- Abuse can lead to depression. Depression is a very common symptom of abuse. Depression can be marked by extreme fatigue, sleeplessness, changes in appetite and energy levels, socially withdrawing, and extreme feelings of hopelessness. People who are severely depressed may become convinced there is no hope for their future and they will never be happy. Depression can be a dark, deep hole that feels impossible to climb out of. Sadly, suicide can be a symptom of depression.
- Posttraumatic stress disorder, specifically, and anxiety, in general, are common consequences of suffering abuse. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be something that hits you suddenly and is triggered by even the most commonplace occurrences like a loud noise or a person standing too close to you in line at the grocery store. It can bring on intense fear and discomfort and keep a person from having normal relationships and functioning normally in a work environment. Anxiety can be debilitating and also come on suddenly and unexpectedly. Both of these states cause reactions that can overwhelm people's lives making them feel like they can never escape the horror of what they've been through.
- Heartbreak can lead to suicide. Abusive relationships do not typically begin abusively. They are often in the aftermath of a whirlwind romance that started as two people who seemed head over heels. After the initial infatuation dwindles and the normalcy of each other's company sets in, things may become progressively more and more unhealthy. By the time you find yourself shackled to an abuser, it's too late; you've already fallen in love, you're attached and don't want to give up on the whirlwind romance that got you here in the first place. Going through a perpetual mental cycle of love and loss, again and again, can be exhausting. A person can only take so much heartbreak before thoughts may turn dark.
If you notice these signs or symptoms of abuse leading to suicide in yourself or someone in your life, please reach out. Suicide is not the only way out for someone who is suffering. Do not suffer in silence -- confide in a friend, family member, colleague, neighbor, counselor, or doctor. Utilize the resources offered here at HealthyPlace and on the Internet. You are not alone.
If you feel you may hurt yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.
If you need help with distressing thoughts (including suicidal thoughts), call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
For more information on suicide, please see our suicide resources here.
Sullivan, E. (2018, September 12). How Abuse Can Lead to Suicidal Thoughts, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2018/9/how-abuse-can-lead-to-suicidal-thoughts
Author: Emily J. Sullivan
Im so glad youve escaped, always remember the bad times IF you start to relent. Im early 50's, and your post has given me so much hope. I have already told myself outloud, that i will leave, and it has calmed me down enormously. Ive been to my dr and told her about him. Here's to the future.