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What is Physical Abuse? Mental Health with Kati Morton | Kati Morton

Hey, everybody.

Today, I'm going to talk about physical abuse,

what is it, what are the effects, and what are our treatment options.

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Whenever we talk about a new topic, I think it's important to first define the term.

Now, we're talking about physical abuse, so I want to start off with what exactly physical abuse is.

And they define it as the use of physical force that may result in

bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment, okay?

So that's the clear-cut definition.

Then, they say that the physical abuse may include but is not limited to

such acts of violence as striking, hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, shaking, slapping, kicking,

pinching, and burning.

And so that gives us an idea of what it is we're really talking about,

what is physical abuse, and like I said, it's not limited to those things,

but it may include things such as that.

And I want to also talk about the fact that physical abuse can occur to anyone,

regardless of their age, regardless of their size.

I know a lot of people assume the one being physically abused is a child or a woman

and if someone is big and strong, that they wouldn't be abused,

but it doesn't matter. That is not a requirement.

It isn't always the larger person that's abusing the smaller person.

Know that anyone can be abused, no matter their age, their size, their gender, any of that stuff.

Now let's talk about the effects of physical abuse.

Obviously, everyone's experience is going to be different.

We all experience different types of physical abuse for different amounts of time.

And also, everyone's mind is different in the way that it starts processing that.

But obviously, the first would be PTSD or C-PTSD.

If you want more on those, you can click over here, and I'll put the links in the description

if you're wanting more information on those symptoms.

But that is definitely an effect of physical abuse because, as we know, PTSD comes from

us fearing for our life or fearing that we may be in danger. Therefore, we're traumatized,

and we go through the symptomatology associated with PTSD.

Physical abuse can also lead, and I'm just looking at my notes so I don't forget anything,

it can also lead to interpersonal problems.

They say that a lot of people who've been physically abused can be overly aggressive

with their friends, peers, and other loved ones.

Also, it can lead to substance abuse in adolescence. It's very common,

and we know that a lot of people abuse substances as a way to cope with bigger things that are going on.

I would even reckon to say that this could be associated with eating disorders or self-injury

because we know those are unhealthy coping skills that

we use to manage a situation that we feel we can't get out of.

They also mention how physical abuse can lead to

depression, emotional distress, and suicidal ideation.

Now, suicidal ideation means suicidal thoughts.

We have—I always like to think of it like we have ideas of suicide,

we don't have a plan, and we're not going to do it,

but we think about it, and it sounds kind of better because we feel really hopeless

as to where we are now.

I also wrote down the statistic that one-third of those who are physically abused

become physical abusers themselves.

I think that's something important to note and also even more reason to get treatment and to get support

if we're going through this because I know those of us who've been physically abused,

none of my clients who went through that want to become abusers,

but a lot of them don't know how else to express themselves, how else to assert themselves,

how else to get their needs met, because that's the only way that was demonstrated

in their house growing up and therefore leads them in doing it later.

But if they get help sooner, I think that that number could go down.

So that's how physical abuse may affect us.

Now, let's talk about treatment options because, like I always say,

the sooner we get help, the better.

And there are a lot of treatment options. Hooray.

So the first is actually parenting classes.

And they talk about family therapy, parenting classes.

Usually, there's some form of legal mandate involved;

you're forced to go because if it is a child, let's say a child has been physically abused

and someone at the school or a therapist reports them, 'cause we're mandated to,

then the courts may get involved and force the family into therapy

and force the parents into parenting classes.

These are all great things. It helps us learn to better communicate,

better ways to manage our anger and stress levels because that's one of the biggest triggers,

they say, for parents who abuse their children, is that the stress level of things

going on in their life and managing being a parent and working, and all of that,

becomes too much and they lash out.

And so a lot of those classes can be really beneficial

in parents better managing their stress and anger and helping better communications

so the child feels heard and can feel understood and hopefully, the abuse stops.

They also talk about CBT as being a treatment option.

And the reason being that it targets certain—CBT for this issue—targets anger patterns

and distorted beliefs.

A lot of, like I said, a lot of people who are abusing their children were abused themselves,

and so there's a lot of these unhealthy anger patterns and distorted beliefs

that they live in and that they function through.

And so working with a therapist who specializes in CBT, you can kind of slow those down,

take them apart, and realize that maybe those beliefs that you thought and held so firmly

aren't true at all.

And also, they talk about talk therapy, like me.

And what I do a lot is role-playing with clients,

especially in family therapy.

I think it's very helpful in situations like this.

It can help the parents see things from the child's perspective

so that maybe they can gain a little empathy and sympathy for the situation,

making them work harder in their own therapy.

It can be really helpful for the child to role-play with me, talking to parents, and communicating better.

All of this is done to help them better visualize, better experience, healthy communication

and healthy family systems.

And it can take a lot of work.

But through talk therapy, through working with a great therapist and maybe getting your family involved,

it can get better.

And I know I gave a lot of treatment options that kind of focus around families and children,

but know that these also work for those of us in romantic relationships.

Maybe we're dating someone, maybe we're married to someone.

We don't have children, but we're being physically abused by that person.

Maybe it's a friend who can be physically abusive.

All of these treatment options are still helpful.

Getting into talk therapy is so helpful.

I can't put out this video without talking about safety.

If you find yourself in a physically abusive relationship,

whatever the kind, get out.

Tell someone.

Talk to someone.

There are safe places to go.

There are therapists who work free of charge to help you process this.

You are not stuck.

I know the cycle of abuse gets us caught

and makes us think that that's all that's out there.

But trust me, there's help available.

There's people who care.

And there is a way to get out.

So the sooner we speak up, the sooner we get out of that situation, the better.

Please share this video. You never know who may be affected by this.

A lot of people don't speak up.

So please share.

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And I'll see you next time.

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So that's how phys—