Did you grow up in a home with domestic violence when you were a child? If so, you grew up with Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV). Because May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to discuss how growing up with domestic violence can have a significant impact on your mental health, even into adulthood. Fortunately, there are ways you can practice resilience against the lifelong impact of CDV.

How a Child’s Mental Health is Impacted by Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV)

Children who grow up in homes with domestic violence may experience feelings of fear, anxiety, and helplessness. They may also feel responsible for the violence and blame themselves for not being able to stop it. These experiences can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues.

How Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) Impacts Adults’ Mental Health

The impact of domestic violence can extend into adulthood as well, and every adult experiences its lifelong effects in different ways.

Adults who grew up in homes with domestic violence may struggle with intimacy and have difficulty forming and maintaining relationships. They may also have a heightened sensitivity to conflict and may avoid confrontation or become overly aggressive in situations that trigger memories of the violence they witnessed as children.

5 Mental Health Tips for Adults Who Grew Up Living With Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV)

If you grew up living with domestic violence as a child, it’s important to prioritize your mental health and well-being. Here are some tips that may help:

1. Seek professional help.

Consider seeing a mental health professional who specializes in trauma and domestic violence. They can provide you with tools and strategies to help you cope with the emotional and psychological effects of domestic violence. For example, a mental health professional can help you practice mindfulness skills, which have been shown to help reduce anxiety and fear.

2. Practice self-care on a regular basis.

Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading, exercise, or spending time in nature. Self-care can help you reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.

3. Build a support network.

Surround yourself with people who care about you and support you. This can include friends, family, or a support group for survivors of childhood trauma. You can also follow the Childhood Domestic Violence Association’s social media accounts to stay connected to a community of others who grew up with similar experiences.

4. Challenge negative self-talk.

Many people who have experienced CDV struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and worthlessness. It’s important to challenge these negative beliefs and remind yourself that you are not to blame for the violence you experienced.

5. Set healthy boundaries.

Setting healthy boundaries with family members or others who may trigger memories of the violence you experienced can help you feel more in control and protect your mental health.

Remember that healing from the effects of CDV takes time, and it’s important to be patient and kind to yourself. With the right support and resources, it is possible to move forward and lead a fulfilling life.