“Abuse is an ongoing concern for older women Physical abuse is the infliction of physical pain, injury, or physical coercion, and involves at least 1 act of violence. Verbal abuse is the infliction of mental anguish through yelling, screaming, threatening, humiliating, infantilizing, or provoking intentional fear. Exposure to acts of abuse is a stressful event that has a negative effect on a woman’s psychological well-being. It is known that in younger age-groups, domestic violence victims are at increased risk for psychological problems. Female victims are 2 times more likely to have a psychiatric diagnosis and 1.7 to 4.6 times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder, a mood disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, or an eating disorder. Women exposed to abuse are more than 3 times as likely to report poor overall mental health, lower SF-12 Health Survey short-form mental component summary (MCS) scores, and lower vitality. Abused women are 2.4 to 3 times more likely to report depression. In addition to the direct psychological effects, abuse may negatively affect the factors that improve psychological well-being.” (Regan SL., et.al. 2006)

In many cases, people often speak and act without having listened to themselves, and which end up leaving wounds in other people’s hearts. I had a patient in my third year third block clinical practice, the lady is a 34 year old, who was previously emotionally psychologically and sometimes physically abused. She presented with R CVA with L hemiplegia and she suffered from depression. Because she did not have medical background knowledge, she did not understand the onset of her disability. In her heart, she believes that she is actually a Left hemi simply because “she is as lazy as a toad’. These were the words that stuck in her head after being shouted and laughed at by health professionals because she was unable to help herself and the nursing stuff when they wanted to change her nappy. It made her believe in her mind that she is useless and she will never get up from the bed and mobilize on her own because the stuff had already concluded that she will die in bed, instead of encouraging her, they kept on reminding her about the disability and that she would never be able to walk again, and it’s all because of her laziness. This made her give up on life and ended up very much loose and just waiting for her last breath. These word and situation are very simple, but can have a very bad impact in the victim’s lives. Now she does not have the courage and hope for her life, depressed, all because of the continuous negative words coming from people who should actually be encouraging her.

Abuse is not only physical, it can be emotional and psychological too, very simple silly words can ruin everything thing one has ever hoped for. The tongue has no bone, but very powerful to destruct and discourage and individual. Let us watch our words, and be positive at all times.


Fisher BS, Regan SL. 2006 .The extent and frequency of abuse in the lives of older women and their relationship with health outcomes.



One Reply to “Abuse”

  1. Hi there
    I found your post very powerful, in the sense of how simple words can have such an effect on people. This is especially true for our profession because of the amount of time we spend with the patient and the goals we want to achieve with the patient. This shows the importance of us to be encouraging with our words and even choices of treatment to ensure they do not become discouraged.
    I suggest adjusting the title of your future posts and adding an image, as this will help draw attention to your well written post.
    You show good research done in your post and relate it well to your experience. Just ome questions to think about including. What did you do in this situation? Did you encourage her and try to explain to her the possibilities of what she can achieve? Did you approach the staff, to ensure they are more conscious about the way they speak to her?

    Liked by 1 person

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