The Long-Term Physical Symptoms of Domestic Violence We Don't Talk About

My sisters and I have been experiencing neurological symptoms like headaches, mood swings, memory loss, anger, depression and other symptoms. Our doctors are having a hard time understanding what the imaging is showing because it is subtle — we have hyperintensities, white matter lesions, white matter damage, old bleeds and various other anomalies on the MRI.

We grew up in a household with extreme abuse that was daily and often multiple times in a day. I have been trying to tell my family and my doctors that my childhood abuse has left me with the same symptoms as athletes have due to the constant head hits.

I found an article on NPR which is really the first acknowledgement of what I have suspected. Even this article does not go as far as it should in that they do not say chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when they really know that is what we suffer from. If you are having difficulties mentally, you might ask your doctors about the possibility that the childhood or adult abuse may have damaged our heads long-term and that CTE might be an appropriate diagnosis.

There are currently only limited testing for CTE but as the science moves forward they will be able to test and image for CTE and it might very well explain some of our mental symptoms.

Unsplash photo via Grace Madeline

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