Is there a link between abuse and mental illness. I’m wondering if the abuse is a trigger.
This is a great question! I asked this very same question when I was in outpatient hospitalization last spring. The answer my therapist gave me was yes. She had noticed that the majority of the people who come into the outpatient treatment for affective disorders had suffered some kind of abuse, physically, mentally or sexually. I have come to notice the same thing upon my own observations. There was a girl in one of my support groups that also asked a very similar question with the same results.As most of us are aware there is a link between the bipolar illness and genetics. However, what explains the illness in one person and not another, especially twins? There are several case studies where one sibling has the illness but not another. When this oddity of one twin having an illness which is thought to be linked genetically it’s difficult to understand why the other is not also ill and abuse may be the answer.My doctors have determined that it is quite likely I would have never grown up with major anxiety disorder if it had not been for the abuse I suffered as a child. If abuse plays a part in my anxiety why would it be so difficult to imagine that my bipolar could have also been triggered by the same disturbing events? Abuse can trigger so much of our mental capacity which is why there’s the diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder so I truly believe it can be a trigger for other mental illnesses.My sisters and I all have the same set of parents. All of us grew up in the same household and although we all suffered though physical and mental abuse I was the only one to suffer through sexual abuse due to a babysitter. Humans can only be resilient for so long and perhaps sexual abuse was the trigger which gave me bipolar. It’s a great theory, too bad I’m not a scientist. Is there still a chance that I would have become bipolar some other way or that I was born with this illness as I cannot remember life without it? Of course. Do I believe that there are some people who could have grown up without ever needing to suffer but then someone did something to the individual that changed their life forever? Yes, I do. It’s definitely a trigger; I just don’t think it’s the only explanation for this illness.