The person who abuses you could discover your email and Internet activity. A safer way to use the Internet might be to use a public computer (e.g., at the library), a friend’s computer, or a computer at work. Click here for more information regarding Internet safety.
Experiencing abuse can affect how we feel and how we respond to other people and the world around us. If someone is abusing you, you might feel scared, hurt, sad, confused, angry, embarrassed, or hopeless. Many people have feelings like these when they are being abused or after leaving an abusive relationship.
The person who abuses you may tell you that something is wrong with you, that you are “crazy,” or that no one will believe you because of your mental health condition or because you use alcohol or other drugs.
They may force you to use alcohol or other drugs or control your access to alcohol or other drugs. You might use alcohol or other drugs to survive and cope with the abuse.
To learn more about how abuse might affect your mental health and how abusers may use mental health or substance abuse as part of abuse and control, click on the links below.
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coercion
- How Abuse Might Affect Your Mental Health
- Making the Decision to Talk to Someone About Being Abused
For more information about supporting a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship, see When Someone You Know is Being Abused.
Finding a domestic violence advocate or program: If you or someone you know needs help locating local resources for survivors of domestic violence or their children, call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (P) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). You can also find a domestic violence agency in your area by searching NCADV’s Online Searchable Domestic Violence Provider Database, available here: https://www.domesticshelters.org.
Finding mental health or substance use treatment services: To find support related to mental health or substance use, including peer support resources (talking with someone who has experienced a mental health or substance use condition themselves), you can use our resource, Locating Mental Health and Substance Abuse Supports for Survivors: A Reference Sheet for Domestic Violence Advocates. To find a mental health provider who specializes in trauma, you may want to visit the Sidran Institute’s Help Desk. To find a mental health or substance use treatment provider who is knowledgeable about domestic violence, we recommend asking your local domestic violence program for a recommendation. You can find you local domestic violence program by call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (P) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
In addition, for a list of national, state, and Chicago-based organizations that may be able to provide you with additional resources on domestic violence and/or mental health, visit the Resources section of this site.
The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health provides training and technical assistance to advocates and service providers who are working with survivors and their children. We do not provide counseling or direct services.