Depression and post traumatic stress disorder are two of the main illnesses seen in children after being exposed to domestic violence. Among depression and post traumatic stress disorder, there are multiple sub-categories to help place the severity of the disorder. Many influences can change the severity of a disorder in the child including but not limited to: length of exposure, type of exposure, and time-lapse since the exposure. Domestic violence is defined as violence between members of a household such as that of a married couple or a parent to one’s child. Some cases of domestic violence can just be through witnessing while some of the more scarring events occur directly to the child. Domestic violence can be
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Depression is defined as being in an emotional state of sadness or hopelessness that lasts for long periods of time. Depression can be classified into three categories: major depression, atypical depression, and dysthymia depression. The most dominant type of depression is atypical depression. This type is regularly seen type in children who witness domestic violence. “Atypical depression is a common subtype of major depression. It features a specific symptom pattern, including temporary mood lift in response to positive events” (Helpguide).
Some symptoms of depression include, loss of sleep or over sleeping, finding previously enjoyed activities difficult, feeling hopeless, loss of control over negative thoughts, not eating or uncontrollable eating, irritability, thoughts that life is not worth living, etc. (Helpguide).
While depression does not seem serious, if a child is exposed to domestic violence and develops depression and does not get help, it could get progressively worse over time. As a child gets older the symptoms of depression can become more serious and even life threatening.
Another well documented outcome of witnessing or experiencing domestic violence is post traumatic stress disorder. While it is not as commonly seen as depression, post traumatic stress disorder can be just as, if not more, serious than depression and have more serious symptoms. Like