Other people may be able to check your computer to see emails you sent and websites you visited. If you are concerned, try to use a friend's computer or one at your local library. Learn more about technology and your safety.
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Mental health effects of violence
If you have been abused or attacked, you may feel terribly afraid, confused, shocked, angry, or emotionally numb. Every woman is different, and all these feelings are natural.
Experiencing abuse or an attack can lead to serious mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. If you have experienced violence, a mental health professional can help. A counselor or therapist can work with you to deal with your emotions, build self-esteem, and develop coping skills. You can ask your doctor for the name of a therapist, or search an online list of mental health services. Learn more about getting help for your mental health.
Some abused women try using drugs, alcohol, smoking, or overeating to cope, but this can lead to greater physical and emotional problems. Talk to a doctor, nurse, or therapist for help with these behaviors. Look for healthy ways to reduce stress. Try exercise, deep-breathing or other relaxation techniques, and reaching out for support to friends, family, and community groups.
Sometimes, violence that happened long ago still can affect you. Even if many years have passed since you were abused, you still can get help from a mental health professional.
If you know children who have been abused or witnessed abuse, you can help them. Listen to them, and show love and concern. Talk to a nurse, doctor, or therapist about professional help for them.
Read more from womenshealth.gov
Mental Health — This section of womenshealth.gov provides information on taking care of your mental health throughout the different stages of your life.
Explore other publications and websites
Common Reactions After Trauma — This fact sheet describes the feelings a person may have after a traumatic event. It also discusses where to go for help and who to talk to about your feelings.
Effects of Sexual Violence (Copyright © Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) — This publication discusses the possible effects of sexual assault, including pregnancy and depression.
Let's Talk Facts About Domestic Violence (Copyright © American Psychiatric Association) — This fact sheet explains what domestic violence is and the mental health effects of abuse. It also gives information on how you can get help and leave an abuser.
Mental Health Services Locator — This website will help you locate mental health treatment facilities and support services in your state.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — Many people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after lving through something that is upsetting and dangerous. This publication discusses the importance of getting help for symptoms associated with PTSD, and provides a checklist of the physical and mental symptoms of PTSD.
Tips for Survivors of a Traumatic Event: What to Expect in Your Personal, Family, Work, and Financial Life — This brochure offers tips for coping with the aftermath of trauma.
Connect with other organizations
American Psychological Association
American Trauma Society
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network
Content last updated May 18, 2011.
Resources last updated May 18, 2011.
A federal government website managed by the Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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