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How should depression resulting from domestic abuse be treated?

Q: I am a 38 years old female, a victim of domestic violence for the last three years. I have endured emotional as well as physical abuse. I am still living my husband and hoping for some miracle to happen. I am suffering from depression and often experience sleep disturbance, either excessive sleep or insomnia, continuous fatigue and tiredness, headache, feeling of irritability and excessive crying, loss of appetite, vague pains in the body, decrease in sexual urge, suicidal thoughts sometimes culminating in suicide attempts. How do I help myself?

A:Domestic abuse is often chronic and usually escalates if not intervened appropriately. If it is ongoing you should seek professional help as soon as possible. Contact local welfare department/health care facility for help. Also, consider involving your friends/family whom you trust. The symptoms that you mention are classic symptoms of depression and there are medications as well as talk therapy, which are beneficial for depression. You need to see a psychiatrist who can prescribe appropriate medication or other kind of therapy. If you have suicidal thoughts you should seek help immediately as these thoughts are often impulsive and outcome may be deleterious.

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