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Emptiness as a human condition is a sense of generalized boredom, social alienation and apathy. Feelings of emptiness often accompanydysthymia,[1] depression, loneliness, despair, or other mental/emotional disorders such as borderline personality disorder. A sense of emptiness is also part of a natural process of grief, as resulting of separation,[disambiguation needed ] death of a loved one, or other significant changes. However, the particular meanings of “emptiness” vary with the particular context and the religious or cultural tradition in which it is used. 2] While Christianity and Western sociologists and psychologists view a state of emptiness as a negative, unwanted condition, in some Eastern philosophies such as Buddhist philosophy and Taoism, emptiness (Sunyata) is a realized achievement. Outside of Eastern philosophy, some writers have also suggested that people may use a transitory state of emptiness as a means of liberating themselves for personal growth Everyone would have come across the emptiness syndrome some or the other time. The reason for this may be that a person is not occupied or if a person thinks that he is being treated as an outside person in family.

This is mainly experienced by females and seen more in housewives. This feeling will be there in most of the women at some stage of their life, but when there are responsibilities, feeling of emptiness will not be there, but when woman turns 50 this would turn into a problem. By that time, children would grow up and have their own families and due to the job they would be moving away from her and so emptiness develops. This would be a cause for the mental emptiness and this is a normal problem and would occur to almost everyone. This need not be recognized as a syndrome.

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If this grows bigger then this would be severe and the affects of it would leave the person confused and in some persons this may lead to depression. This stage should not be neglected and it should be treated properly. Physical changes due to age and hormonal problems in menopause increase the severity of the problem. Emptiness syndrome in India The emptiness syndrome was mostly seen in the foreign countries, but in the last couple of decades this problem was seen in India also and mostly seen in women who finished all their responsibilities as a housewife.

The life of a housewife revolves around children and her main   recognization is as a mother. In this situation, if the children go to other countries or to other cities for job purpose then the mother feels lonely. If the elder child goes out then it would not be so affective, but if the last child goes out of the home then the mother feels lonely. This stage would be present for one to two weeks. After that the mother also should analyze the facts and should pursue some or the other hobby. Illness without cause

If the son goes to foreign country then the mother would expect that she should get a daily report of what the son is doing there and if that does not happen due to his own family problems, then the mother feels hurt. Some people feel lonely even though they are in a group because the reason is that they are mentally far away from them. This is seen in men generally. These men would generally get engaged to their hobbies by evening they go to the clubs and thereby increase the gap between the family members. The wife waits for him all day and when he comes back late night this increases the gap between both of them and they develop emptiness.

Both of them suffer from the same syndrome and neither one of them would want to come out of it and therefore the intensity of the problem increases. If the children go away from home and if the emptiness is utilized in a positive way it is a blessing. Till then, they might be busy with the kids and could not have taken care of them and now if   time is there then she can join in activities like yoga and lead a happier life and similarly because of time constraints if   hobbies are kept aside then they can resume back their hobbies. If we see things positively, then we can lead a happy life in every stage of life.

This condition is like having sharpness to both ends of the knife and the person should see the positive side of the situation. Treatment for emptiness syndrome The first stage would involve counseling in which the person can be brought back to normal position. In the second stage, in addition to counseling some medicines are needed to be given. In people who have emptiness the main thing would be to bring back the confidence back so that the person is back to normal. This counseling could be done by family members, neighbor or any relatives. Reasons for emptiness syndrome Non existence of joint families * Feeling of losing recognization * Feeling that the person is not needed by anybody Emptiness syndrome in whom * If the entire life is concentrated mostly on children * If there are any other health problems * If   healthy atmosphere is not there at home If changes are taken positively then – * There would be a lot of relief from this * There would be nearness with the life partner * Every moment can be enjoyed happily * Meeting friends and relatives Women can tackle ‘emptiness syndrome’ systemically: IMS TNN Feb 5, 2002, 12. 37am IST yderabad: though women by nature are subjected to various physiological and psychological changes in their life time, it is a time of crisis after the period of child-bearing age of 45 years. as the women above 50 years have to lead one-thirds of their life beyond menopause, the elderly women suffer from “emptiness syndrome”, a disease associated with psychological symptoms of depression, indian menopause society (ims) founder member and advisor dr pushpalatha told the times of india on monday. she said, physiologically it is a result of the decrease in the hormonal levels with the cessation of the menstrual cycle in women. ut psychologically, the elderly women feel neglected and unwanted and when the children get settled an emptiness syndrome develops taking a toll on their health. with 18 million women above the age group of 65 years and increase in the life expectancy ratio, the problem has assumed serious proportions and needs immediate attention, she said. she said counselling and hormone replacement therapy in tablet form of small doses containing estrogen and progesterone hormone appropriately can aid in a healthy transition of the elderly women. he best would be prophylactic treatment with healthy food containing soya protein and calcium accompanied with a better lifestyle with regular exercise. such treatment would help provide better health – free from osteoporosis, arthritis and other senility related diseases that set in with age. established in 1999, the hyderabad chapter of indian menopause society had been providing regular counselling and check-ups for the elderly women. she said regular check-ups by elderly women can also help prevent diseases like cancer of the uterus and it can be cured totally if detected in the initial stages. hose in need of counselling or treatment can contact the office of obstetric and gynaecological society of hyderabad at himayatnagar over phone at 3226000 or 6614846, she said. Mental health illnesses * Alcoholism, substance abuse, and addictive behavior * Anxiety disorders * Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder * Austism spectrum disorders and pervasive developmental disorders * Bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness) * Borderline personality disorder * Depression * Eating disorders * Post-traumatic stress disorder * Schizophrenia Alcoholism, substance abuse, and addictive behavior

Addiction is a lifelong brain disease that causes drug and/or alcohol use despite harmful costs to the addict and to those around him or her. Learn more. Return to top Anxiety disorders Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It can help you cope with a hard situation. For example, anxiety helps one deal with a deadline at the office or can push you to study for a test. But when anxiety becomes an extreme, irrational dread of everyday situations, it can be disabling. Anxiety disorders include: * Generalized anxiety disorder * Obsessive compulsive disorder * Panic disorder Social phobia (or social anxiety disorder) * Specific phobias Return to top Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that makes it hard to focus and pay attention. ADHD can make it hard for adults to feel organized, stick with a job, or get to work on time. Learn more. Return to top Austism spectrum disorders and pervasive developmental disorders Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) cause problems with social interaction and communication. Learn more. Return to top Bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness)

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a serious medical illness that causes shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. Learn more. Return to top Borderline personality disorder Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness causing unstable moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. Learn more. Return to top Depression When a woman has depression, it interferes with her daily life and routine, such as going to work or school, taking care of children, and relationships with family and friends.

Depression causes pain for the person who has it and for those who care about him or her. Depression is a serious medical illness; it’s not something that you have made up in your head. It’s more than just feeling “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. Women with depression feel “down” and “low” and “hopeless” for weeks at a time. Learn more. Postpartum depression is depression that follows the birth of a baby. Return to top Eating disorders A woman with an eating disorder eats too much, too little, or causes herself to throw up food.

Eating disorders can include: * Anorexia nervosa * Binge eating disorder * Bulimia nervosa Return to top Post-traumatic stress disorder Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a real illness. You can get PTSD after living through or seeing a dangerous event, such as war, a hurricane, or bad accident. PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid even after the danger is over. Learn more. Return to top Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder. Learn more. Trying to conceive, pregnancy, and mental health * Infertility and mental health Pregnancy and mental health * More information on trying to conceive, pregnancy, and mental health Both the stress of trying to conceive a baby and pregnancy can affect a woman’s mental health. You may feel sad, scared, or not in control of your life either when you are trying hard to conceive or when you are pregnant. You may worry about the costs associated with assisted reproduction and/or pregnancy. You may worry about the new responsibilities that come with being a parent. Don’t keep these feelings to yourself. Get help if you feel depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed!

Preventing or treating depression helps both you and your child, and may also lower your child’s risk of developing depression or other health problems later. Infertility and mental health Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or after trying for 6 months if a woman is 35 or older). Women who can get pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant may also be infertile. Infertility affects 10 to 15 percent of couples. Women who want a child but have not yet conceived often experience the following: * Anger * Depression * Anxiety Marital problems * Sexual dysfunction * Social isolation * Low self-esteem Researchers are not sure if mental health can affect fertility, although it is clear that infertility can affect mental health. It’s possible, though, that high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress can affect the hormones that regulate ovulation. This could make it difficult for a woman to become pregnant. Treatment Couples with infertility have many treatments available to help them conceive. Most of these treatments cost a lot of money and may not be covered by health insurance.

While many couples who seek infertility treatment are already stressed, the process and cost of assisted reproduction itself can also cause anxiety, depression, and stress. If you are trying fertility treatments and they are not working, you may be at risk for further depression and self-esteem problems. Try to keep a positive attitude, and be sure to talk to your doctor about getting help if you feel you need it. A number of research studies show that women who are distressed have lower pregnancy rates among women trying infertility treatments.

Talk therapy, either one-on-one or in a group, can lower stress and mood symptoms. Women who had talk therapy during their infertility treatments were more likely to get pregnant than those who did not. Researchers are still learning whether drugs like antidepressants can help infertile women. Many women don’t want to take medications during infertility treatments because they are afraid it may affect the outcome of a pregnancy. However, there is no data that shows that commonly used antidepressants affect a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Return to top Pregnancy and mental health

Depression is a common problem during and after pregnancy. When you are pregnant or after you have a baby, you may be depressed and not know it. Some normal changes during and after pregnancy can cause symptoms similar to those of depression. How long symptoms last, and how often they occur, is different for each patient. Symptoms of depression include: * Feeling restless or moody * Feeling sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed * Crying a lot * Having no energy or motivation * Eating too little or too much * Sleeping too little or too much * Having trouble focusing or making decisions * Having memory problems Feeling worthless and guilty * Losing interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy * Withdrawing from friends and family * Having headaches, aches and pains, or stomach problems that don’t go away * Having suicidal thoughts Your doctor can figure out if your symptoms are caused by depression or something else. Certain factors may increase your risk of depression during and after pregnancy: * A personal history of depression or another mental illness * A family history of depression or another mental illness * A lack of support from family and friends Anxiety or negative feelings about the pregnancy * Problems with a previous pregnancy or birth * Marriage or money problems * Stressful life events * Young age * Substance abuse Women who are depressed during pregnancy have a greater risk of depression after giving birth. It’s important to know that if you take medicine for depression, stopping your medicine when you become pregnant can cause your depression to come back. Do not stop any prescribed medicines without first talking to your doctor. Not using medicine that you need may be harmful to you or your baby. Postpartum depression

After giving birth, about 85 percent of women have some kind of upset mood. For most women, this doesn’t last long. But 10 to 15 percent of women will feel seriously depressed or anxious. Postpartum mental health conditions are divided into three categories: 1. Postpartum blues 2. Postpartum depression 3. Postpartum psychosis Postpartum blues are felt by 50 to 85 percent of women after delivery. It’s a normal experience after childbirth. Women with the blues feel tearful, irritable, and anxious for up to two weeks after giving birth. These feelings go away on their own and don’t require any treatment.

Postpartum depression can start at any point after giving birth but may start as late as three months after delivery. Some women notice their depression started during their pregnancy. The symptoms of postpartum depression are noted above. There are a number of things that may cause postpartum depression, including: * Hormonal changes * Marital dissatisfaction * Poor social support for the new mother * Stressful life events around the time of the birth (such as a premature baby) Postpartum psychosis is the most severe kind of mental health illness that follows pregnancy.

It is rare and happens only in 1 or 2 women for every 1000 that give birth. It starts suddenly and symptoms can start within 48 to 72 hours after childbirth. Most women with postpartum psychosis show symptoms within two weeks of giving birth. These include: * Fast-changing depressed or excited mood (similar to bipolar disorder) * Restlessness * Irritability * Insomnia * Confusion * Disorganized behavior * Delusions * Hearing voices that tell the mother to hurt herself or the baby A woman is at risk for suicide or for harming her baby if she has postpartum psychosis.

It’s important to tell a doctor right away if you or someone you know is feeling this way. If you are having symptoms of depression during or after pregnancy, call your doctor if: * Your baby blues don’t go away after two weeks * Symptoms of depression get more and more intense * Symptoms of depression begin any time after delivery, even many months later * It is hard for you to perform tasks at work or at home * You cannot care for yourself or your baby * You have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby Your doctor can ask you questions to test for depression.

Your doctor can also refer you to a mental health professional who specializes in treating depression. Some women don’t tell anyone about their symptoms. They feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about feeling depressed when they are supposed to be happy. They worry they will be viewed as unfit parents. Any woman may become depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby. It doesn’t mean you are a bad or “not together” mom. You and your baby don’t have to suffer. There is help. Treatment The two common types of treatment for pregnancy-related or postpartum depression are: * Talk therapy.

This involves talking to a therapist, psychologist, or social worker to learn to change how depression makes you think, feel, and act. * Medicine. Your doctor can prescribe an antidepressant medicine. These medicines can help relieve symptoms of depression. Learn more about taking medications during pregnancy. These treatment methods can be used alone or together. If you are depressed, your depression can affect your baby. Getting treatment is important for you and your baby. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking medicine to treat depression when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Menstruation, menopause, and mental health * Premenstrual mood changes * Menopause and mood changes * More information on menstruation, menopause, and mental health Hormones can affect a woman’s mood throughout her lifetime. Sometimes the impact on mood can affect a woman’s quality of life. Many times the symptoms that result can be managed with medicine and/or therapy. Premenstrual mood changes Once a young woman starts menstruating, she may begin to experience emotional changes around the time of her period. 75 percent of women with regular period cycles report unpleasant physical or psychological symptoms before their periods.

Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, affects 30 to 80 percent of women. Psychological symptoms of PMS include: * Depression * Anger * Irritability * Anxiety * Sensitivity to rejection * Sense of feeling overwhelmed * Social withdrawal Physical symptoms of PMS include: * Fatigue (feeling tired) * Sleep disturbance * Increased appetite * Abdominal bloating * Breast tenderness * Headaches (sometimes known as menstrual migraines) * Muscle aches and joint pain * Swelling of extremities Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, is a more severe form of PMS.

It affects 3 to 8 percent of women of reproductive age. Symptoms of PMDD include: * Severe irritability * Depression * Anxiety * Mood swings The best way to confirm PMDD is to make a chart (PDF, 104 KB) of your symptoms (for example: cramps, headaches, or weight gain). A woman with PMDD should have symptom-free days between the start of her period and ovulation. Your doctor or a mental health professional can use a prospective scale (the Calendar of Premenstrual Experience and the Prospective Record of the Severity of Menstruation are two examples) to figure out if you have PMDD.

The causes of PMS and PMDD are not known, but research shows that they are based in the body and not just in the mind. Women who experience PMS and/or PMDD do not have higher levels of hormones compared to other women. Instead, women with PMS and/or PMDD may be extra sensitive to normal hormonal changes. Treatment Lifestyle changes may help make the symptoms of PMS and PMDD better. Some doctors suggest that women: * Eat lesser amounts of caffeine, sugar, and sodium * Drink less alcohol * Smoke less * Get plenty of sleep * Exercise more * Try talk therapy Medications or supplements prescribed by your doctor can also help PMS and PMDD.

These may include: * Calcium (1200 mg per day was shown to reduce PMS symptoms) * Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) * Hormonal treatments such as oral contraceptives For all women, simple lifestyle changes in diet, exercise, and stress management are usually encouraged. These changes do not have risks and may help you. Return to top Menopause and mood changes Women may experience a wide range of feelings, from anxiety and discomfort to release and relief, upon menopause. Most adapt to the changes and continue to live well and remain healthy through these transitions. Depression

Some women, although not all, will experience significant depression before perimenopause. Perimenopause marks the time when your body begins the transition to menopause. It includes the years leading up to menopause — anywhere from two to eight years — plus the first year after your final period. There is no way to tell in advance how long it will last or how long it will take you to go through it. It’s a natural part of aging that signals the ending of your reproductive years. Because of the intense hormone changes during perimenopause, women are more likely to have menopause-related depression before they reach actual menopause.

When women go through menopause, some may feel badly at the loss of their ability to bear children. However, some women look at menopause as a time to expand their work and social activities, and to dedicate more time to their spouse or partner. Having a positive attitude about this life change may help. However, depression is not just in your mind. It can also be caused by hormonal factors. If you are feeling depressed and are going through menopause, be sure to discuss these feelings with your doctor or a health care professional.

You can learn more about talking to your doctor in the menopause section of womenshealth. gov. Treatment There are several treatment options for women who have depression during perimenopause. * Menopausal hormone therapy – To help control the symptoms of menopause, some women can take hormones, called menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). MHT used to be called hormone replacement therapy or HRT. The use of MHT has been debated a great deal since the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Hormone Study findings were released in 2002. Long-term use of MHT poses some serious risks.

If you decide to try MHT, use the lowest dose that helps for the shortest time you need it. * Antidepressants – Antidepressants may be an option for women who are unable or unwilling to take MHT. * Talk therapy – Talk therapy may take place one-on-one with a mental health professional or in a group setting. Once identified, depression almost always can be treated either by therapy, medicine called antidepressants, or both. Some people with milder forms of depression do well with therapy alone. Others with moderate to severe depression might benefit from antidepressants.

It may take a few weeks or months before you begin to feel a change in your mood. Some people do best with combined treatment: therapy and antidepressants. Women and Mental Health Research | | Written by NIMH    | | | | | Dec 15, 2008 | A +  A –  RESET   | | Page 1 of 2Mental illnesses affect women and men differently -ome disorders are more common in women, and some express themselves with different symptoms. Scientists are only now beginning to tease apart the contribution of various biological and psychosocial factors to mental health and mental illness in both women and men.

In addition, researchers are currently studying the special problems of treatment for serious mental illness during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Research on women’s health has grown substantially in the last 20 years. Today’s studies are helping to clarify the risk and protective factors for mental disorders in women and to improve women’s mental health treatment outcome. Depressive DisordersIn the U. S. , nearly twice as many women (12. 0 percent) as men (6. 6 percent) are affected by a depressive disorder each year. These figures translate to 12. 4 million women and 6. 4 million men.

Depressive disorders include major depression, dysthymic disorder (a less severe but more chronic form of depression), and bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness). Major depression is the leading cause of disease burden among females ages 5 and older worldwide. Depressive disorders raise the risk for suicide. Although men are 4 times more likely than women to die by suicide, women report attempting suicide about 2 to 3 times as often as men. Self-inflicted injury, including suicide, ranks 9th out of the 10 leading causes of disease burden for females ages 5 and older worldwide.

No Iframes Research shows that before adolescence and late in life, females and males experience depression at about the same frequency. Because the gender difference in depression is not seen until after puberty and decreases after menopause, scientists hypothesize that hormonal factors are involved in women’s greater vulnerability. Stress due to psychosocial factors, such as multiple roles in the home and at work and the increased likelihood of women to be poor, at risk for violence and abuse, and raising children alone, also plays a role in the development of depression.

While many women report some history of premenstrual mood changes and physical symptoms, an estimated 3 to 4 percent suffer severe symptoms that significantly interfere with work and social functioning. This impairing form of premenstrual syndrome, also called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), appears to be an abnormal response to normal hormone changes. Researchers are studying what makes some women susceptible to PMDD, including differences in hormone sensitivity, history of other mood disorders, and individual differences in the function of brain chemical messenger systems.

Antidepressant medications known to work via serotonin circuits are effective in relieving the premenstrual symptoms. Women with susceptibility to depression may be more vulnerable to the mood-shifting effects of hormones. Postpartum depression is a serious disorder where the hormonal changes following childbirth combined with psychosocial stresses such as sleep deprivation may disable some women with an apparent underlying vulnerability. NIMH research is evaluating the use of antidepressant medication and psychosocial interventions following delivery to prevent postpartum depression in women with a history of this disorder.

NIMH researchers recently found that women who suffer depression as they enter the early stages of menopause (perimenopause) may find estrogen to be an alternative to traditional antidepressants. The efficacy of the female hormone was comparable to that usually reported with antidepressants in the first controlled study of its direct effects on mood in perimenopausal women meeting standardized criteria for depression. Anxiety Disorders Anxiety disorders, which include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder, affect an estimated 13. percent of Americans ages 18 to 54 in a given year, or about 19. 1 million adults in this age group. Women outnumber men in each illness category except for OCD and social phobia, in which both sexes have an equal likelihood of being affected. Results from an NIMH-supported survey showed that female risk of developing PTSD following trauma is twice that of males. PTSD is characterized by persistent symptoms of fear that occur after experiencing events such as rape or other criminal assault, war, child abuse, natural disasters, or serious accidents.

Nightmares, flashbacks, numbing of emotions, depression and feeling angry, irritable, or distracted and being easily startled are common. Females also are more likely to develop long-term PTSD than males and have higher rates of co-occurring medical and psychiatric problems than males with the disorder. Eating DisordersFemales comprise the vast majority of people with an eating disorder–anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge-eating disorder. In their lifetime, an estimated 0. 5 to 3. 7 percent of females suffer from anorexia and an estimated 1. 1 to 4. 2 percent suffer from bulimia.

An estimated 2 to 5 percent experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period. Eating disorders are not due to a failure of will or behavior; rather, they are real, treatable illnesses. In addition, eating disorders often co-occur with depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders, and also cause serious physical health problems. Eating disorders call for a comprehensive treatment plan involving medical care and monitoring, psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, and medication management. Studies are investigating the causes of eating disorders and effectiveness of treatments. Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is the most chronic and disabling of the mental disorders, affecting about 1 percent of women and men worldwide. In the U. S. , an estimated 2. 2 million adults ages 18 and older, about half of them women, have schizophrenia. The illness typically appears earlier in men, usually in their late teens or early 20s, than in women, who are generally affected in their 20s or early 30s. In addition, women may have more depressive symptoms, paranoia, and auditory hallucinations than men and tend to respond better to typical antipsychotic medications.

A significant proportion of women with schizophrenia experience increased symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum. Alzheimer’s Disease The main risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a dementing brain disorder that leads to the loss of mental and physical functioning and eventually to death, is increased age. Studies have shown that while the number of new cases of AD is similar in older adult women and men, the total number of existing cases is somewhat higher among women.

Possible explanations include that AD may progress more slowly in women than in men; that women with AD may survive longer than men with AD; and that men, in general, do not live as long as women and die of other causes before AD has a chance to develop. Research is being conducted to find ways to prevent the onset of AD and to slow its progression. Caregivers of a person with AD are usually family members—often wives and daughters. The chronic stress often associated with the caregiving role can contribute to mental health problems; indeed, caregivers are much more likely to suffer from depression than the average person.

Since women in general are at greater risk for depression than men, female caregivers of people with AD may be particularly vulnerable to depression. Violence is the use of physical force to apply a state to others contrary to their wishes. [2][3][4] (Physical) violence, while often a stand-alone issue, is often the culmination of other kinds of conflict, e. g. a father may beat his child up when his patience is exhausted, or two countries may war with each other when diplomatic (political) efforts are exhausted, or a victim of emotional violence may “snap” and attempt to kill their tormentor.

Such killings may be tried as a lesser crime than first degree murder, taking the circumstances into account and recognising that tolerances can be exceeded driving one form of violence to spawn another in self-defense. [5] Worldwide, violence is used as a tool of manipulation and also is an area of concern for law and culture which make attempts to suppress and stop it. The word violence covers a broad spectrum. It can vary from a physical altercation between two beings to war and genocide where millions may die as a result.

The Global Peace Index, updated in June 2010, ranks 149 countries according to the “absence of violence”. [6] Contents [hide]  * 1 Psychology * 2 Gender and violence * 3 Youth and violence * 4 Targeted violence * 5 Domestic violence * 6 Drugs * 7 Law * 8 War * 9 Religious and secular ideology * 10 Health and prevention * 11 Violence in the media * 12 Classification ; nomenclature * 13 See also * 14 References * 15 Sources * 16 External links| [edit] Psychology The causes of violent behavior in humans are often a topic of research in psychology.

Neurobiologist Jan Volavka emphasizes that for those purposes, “violent behavior is defined as intentional physically aggressive behavior against another person. “[7] Scientists do agree violence is inherent in humans. Among prehistoric humans, there is archaeological evidence for both contentions of violence and peacefulness as primary characteristics. [8] Since violence is a matter of perception as well as a measurable phenomenon, psychologists have found variability in whether people perceive certain physical acts as ‘violent’.

For example, in a state where execution is a legalized punishment we do not typically perceive the executioner as ‘violent’, though we may talk, in a more metaphorical way, of the state acting violently. Likewise understandings of violence are linked to a perceived aggressor-victim relationship: hence psychologists have shown that people may not recognise defensive use of force as violent, even in cases where the amount of force used is significantly greater than in the original aggression. [9] The “violent male ape” image is often brought up in discussions of human violence.

Dale Peterson and Richard Wrangham in “Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence” write that violence is inherent in humans, though not inevitable. However, William L. Ury, editor of a book called “Must We Fight? From the Battlefield to the Schoolyard—A New Perspective on Violent Conflict and Its Prevention” criticizes the “killer ape” myth in his book which brings together discussions from two Harvard Law School symposiums. The conclusion is that “we also have lots of natural mechanisms for cooperation, to keep conflict in check, to channel aggression, and to overcome conflict.

These are just as natural to us as the aggressive tendencies. “[10] James Gilligan writes violence is often pursued as an antidote to shame or humiliation. [11] The use of violence often is a source of pride and a defence of honor, especially among males who often believe violence defines manhood. [12] Steven Pinker in a New Republic article “The History of Violence” offers evidence that on the average the amount and cruelty of violence to humans and animals has decreased over the last few centuries. [13] Evolutionary psychology offers several explanations for human violence in various contexts.

Goetz (2010) argues that humans are similar to most mammal species and use violence in specific situations. He writes that “Buss and Shackelford (1997a) proposed seven adaptive problems our ancestors recurrently faced that might have been solved by aggression: co-opting the resources of others, defending against attack, inflicting costs on same-sex rivals, negotiating status and hierarchies, deterring rivals from future aggression, deterring mate from infidelity, and reducing resources expended on genetically unrelated children. [14] Goetz writes that most homocides seem to start from relatively trivial disputes between unrelated men who then escalate to violence and death. He argues that such conflicts occur when there is a status dispute between men of relatively similar status. If there is a great initial status difference, then the lower status individual usually offers no challenge and if challenged the higher status individual usually ignores the lower status individual. At the same an environment of great inequalities between people may cause those at the bottom to use more violence in attempts to gain status. 14] [edit] Gender and violence See also: Aggression#Gender and Gender and crime Two army officers arguing over a card game with their handguns drawn “Criminological studies have traditionally ignored half the population: Women are largely invisible in both theoretical considerations and empirical studies. Since the 1970s, important feminist works have noted the way in which criminal transgressions by women occur in different contexts from those by men and how women experiences with the criminal justice system are influenced by gendered assumptions about appropriate male and female roles.

Feminists have also highlighted the prevalence of violence against women, both at home and in public. “[15] Of all crimes reported in 2006, 76. 2 percent of arrestees were men and also there was a huge imbalance in the ratio of men to women in prison. In 2004, women only made up 7. 1 percent of the prison population. [15] Men are also overwhelmingly the victims of violent crimes. [16] Men are 4 times more likely to be murdered than women. [17] [edit] Youth and violence About 34 percent of all offenders arrested for criminal offenses in 2006 were under the age of twenty-one (Federal Bureau of Investigations 2007b).

Some scholars have suggested that media may contribute to youth violence. [18] [19] However most research has not supported this contention. For instance a recent long-term outcome study of youth found no long-term relationship between playing violent video game and youth violence or bullying [20] According to the book, The Effects of Race and Family Attachment on Self Esteem, Self Control, and Delinquency, children who are raised by both parents and receive proper affection are more than likely to grow into a non-violent individual.

It is believed that a child needs to bond with their parents during the early ages of childhood. As a result, the child has a higher chance of not growing into a violent person. Many children who do not receive the affection they need from their parents often turn to other sources to fill that void with a common source being a gang. [edit] Targeted violence Several rare but painful episodes of assassination, attempted assassination and shootings in schools and universities in the United States led to a considerable body of research on ascertainable behaviors of persons who have planned or carried out such attacks.

These studies (1995-2002) investigated what the authors called “targeted violence,” described the “path to violence” of those who planned or carried out attacks, and laid out suggestions for law enforcement and educators. A major point from these research studies is that targeted violence does not just “come out of the blue. “[21][22][23][24][25][26] [edit] Domestic violence Main article: Domestic violence | This section requires expansion. | Domestic violence is as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation. [edit] Drugs

See also: Drug-related crime | This section requires expansion. | Some legal drugs such as benzodiazepines may have adverse side effects that include violence. [edit] Law One of the main functions of law is to regulate violence. [27] Sociologist Max Weber stated that the state claims, for better or worse, a monopoly on violence practiced within the confines of a specific territory. Law enforcement is the main means of regulating nonmilitary violence in society. Governments regulate the use of violence through legal systems governing individuals and political authorities, including the police and military.

Civil societies authorize some amount of violence, exercised through the police power, to maintain the status quo and enforce laws. However, German political theorist Hannah Arendt noted: “Violence can be justifiable, but it never will be legitimate … Its justification loses in plausibility the farther its intended end recedes into the future. No one questions the use of violence in self-defence, because the danger is not only clear but also present, and the end justifying the means is immediate”. [28] Arendt made a clear distinction between violence and power.

Most political theorists regarded violence as an extreme manifestation of power whereas Arendt regarded the two concepts as opposites. [29] In the 20th century in acts of democide governments may have killed more than 260 million of their own people through police brutality, execution, massacre, slave labor camps, and sometimes through intentional famine. [30] Violent acts that are not carried out by the military or police and that are not in self-defence are usually classified as crimes, although not all crimes are violent crimes. Damage to property is classified as violent crime in some jurisdictions but not in all. citation needed] The Federal Bureau of Investigation classifies violence resulting in homicide into criminal homicide and justifiable homicide (e. g. self defense). [31] [edit] War A United States M8 Greyhound armored car in Paris during World War II War is a state of prolonged violent large-scale conflict involving two or more groups of people, usually under the auspices of government. War is fought as a means of resolving territorial and other conflicts, as war of aggression to conquer territory or loot resources, in national self-defense, or to suppress attempts of part of the nation to secede from it. citation needed] Since the Industrial Revolution, the lethality of modern warfare has steadily grown. World War I casualties were over 40 million and World War II casualties were over 70 million. Nevertheless, some hold the actual deaths from war have decreased compared to past centuries. In War Before Civilization, Lawrence H. Keeley, a professor at the University of Illinois, calculates that 87% of tribal societies were at war more than once per year, and some 65% of them were fighting continuously.

The attrition rate of numerous close-quarter clashes, which characterize endemic warfare, produces casualty rates of up to 60%, compared to 1% of the combatants as is typical in modern warfare. [32] Stephen Pinker agrees, writing that “in tribal violence, the clashes are more frequent, the percentage of men in the population who fight is greater, and the rates of death per battle are higher. ”[33] Jared Diamond in his award-winning books, Guns, Germs and Steel and The Third Chimpanzee provides sociological and anthropological evidence for the rise of large scale warfare as a result of advances in technology and city-states.

The rise of agriculture provided a significant increase in the number of individuals that a region could sustain over hunter-gatherer societies, allowing for development of specialized classes such as soldiers, or weapons manufacturers. On the other hand, tribal conflicts in hunter-gatherer societies tend to result in wholesale slaughter of the opposition (other than perhaps females of child-bearing years) instead of territorial conquest or slavery, presumably as hunter-gatherer numbers could not sustain empire-building. [citation needed] [edit] Religious and secular ideology

Main article: Religious violence The crusades are an example of religious violence taken to its extreme. [citation needed] Religious and political ideologies have been the cause of interpersonal violence throughout history. [34] Ideologues often falsely accuse others of violence, such as the ancient blood libel against Jews, the medieval accusations of casting witchcraft spells against women, caricatures of black men as “violent brutes” that helped excuse the late 19th century Jim Crow laws in the United States,[35] and modern accusations of satanic ritual abuse against day care center owners and others. 36] Both supporters and opponents of the 21st century War on Terrorism regard it largely as an ideological and religious war. [37] Vittorio Bufacchi describes two different modern concepts of violence, one the “minimalist conception” of violence as an intentional act of excessive or destructive force, the other the “comprehensive conception” which includes violations of rights, including a long list of human needs. [38] Anti-capitalists assert that capitalism is violent. They believe private property, trade, interest and profit survive only because police violence defends them and that capitalist economies need war to expand. 39] They may use the term “structural violence” to describe the systematic ways in which a given social structure or institution kills people slowly by preventing them from meeting their basic needs, for example the deaths caused by diseases because of lack of medicine. [40] Free market supporters argue that it is violently enforced state laws intervening in markets – state capitalism – which cause many of the problems anti-capitalists attribute to structural violence. [41] Frantz Fanon critiqued the violence of colonialism and wrote about the counter violence of the “colonized victims. [42][43][44] Throughout history, most religions and individuals like Mahatma Gandhi have preached that humans are capable of eliminating individual violence and organizing societies through purely nonviolent means. Gandhi himself once wrote: “A society organized and run on the basis of complete non-violence would be the purest anarchy. ”[45] Modern political ideologies which espouse similar views include pacifist varieties of voluntarism, mutualism, anarchism and libertarianism. [edit] Health and prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines violence as “Injury inflicted by deliberate means”, which includes assault, as well as “legal intervention, and self-harm”. [46] The World Health Organization ( “WHO”) in its first World Report on Violence and Health defined violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. “[47] WHO estimates that each year around 1. million lives are lost worldwide due to violence. It is among the leading causes of death for people ages 15–44, especially of males. [48] Recent estimates for murders per year in various countries include: 55,000 murders in Brazil,[49] 25,000 murders in Colombia,[50] 20,000 murders in South Africa, 15,000 murders in Mexico, 14,000 murders in the United States,[51] 11,000 murders in Venezuela, 8,000 murders in Russia, 6,000 murders in El Salvador, 1,600 murders in Jamaica,[52] 1000 murders in France, 500 murders in Canada, and 200 murders in Chile. [53] [edit] Violence in the media Further information: Media violence research

Research into the media and violence examines whether links between consuming media violence and subsequent aggressive and violent behavior exists. Although some scholars had claimed media violence may increase aggression [54], this view is coming increasingly in doubt both in the scholarly community [55] and was recently rejected by the US Supreme Court in the Brown v EMA case, as well as in a review of video game violence by the Australian Government (2010) which concluded evidence for harmful effects were inconclusive at best and the rhetoric of some scholars was not matched by good data.

Counseling psychology is a psychological specialty that encompasses research and applied work in several broad domains: counseling process and outcome; supervision and training; career development and counseling; and prevention and health. Some unifying themes among counseling psychologists include a focus on assets and strengths, person–environment interactions, educational and career development, brief interactions, and a focus on intact personalities. [1] In the United States, the premier scholarly journals of the profession are the Journal of Counseling Psychology[2] and The Counseling Psychologist. Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. When that force is immediate, of short duration, or infrequent, it is called sexual assault. The offender is referred to as a sexual abuser or (often pejoratively) molester. [1] The term also covers any behavior by any adult towards a child to stimulate either the adult or child sexually. When the victim is younger than the age of consent, it is referred to as child sexual abuse There are many types of sexual abuse, including: Non-consensual, forced physical sexual behavior (rape and sexual assault). * Unwanted touching, either of a child or an adult. * Sexual kissing, fondling, exposure of genitalia, and voyeurism, exhibitionism and up to sexual assault. * Exposing a child to pornography. * Saying sexually suggestive statements towards a child (child molestation). * Also applies to non-consensual verbal sexual demands towards an adult. * The use of a position of trust to compel otherwise unwanted sexual activity without physical force (or can lead to attempted rape or sexual assault). Incest (see also sexual deviancy). * Certain forms of sexual harassment Feminine Identity How do you feel about your femininity? Have you experienced sexual abuse, trauma, rape, emotional abuse and victimization? Experiencing trauma in our childhoods and as adults can leave damaging and far reaching consequences. We may be left with feelings of shame, anger, humiliation, hurt, sadness, isolation, self loathing and fear. These feelings determine our level of self esteem and consequently create our feminine identity, our core value system and our level of worthiness.

Being stuck in any victim mentality produces a mindset that has no flexibility; we simply exist, caught and trapped in a dark void that feels all consuming. No matter how hard we try to move forward with our lives this hurt inner child always holds us back. It is a never ending spiral generating all sorts of issues, for example, promiscuity, sex/love addiction, body and weight issues, compulsive binge eating, self abuse, dysfunctional relationships and endless drama. Our core inner beliefs define our reality and it is only reasonable to assume we will create more of the same, feeling unworthy of anything better and fulfilling.

This is creating by default at its best. How can it do otherwise? Our minds may tell us that we need to be strong, move on, but our hearts and our unconscious are the driving force behind our feelings about ourselves. As young girls our femininity is defined by our surroundings and by our perpetrators. If we experienced trauma in whatever form, a false, manufactured person was created, as a survival mechanism, that isn’t really our true, authentic selves. We just think it is because it’s been there for so long, continually defined and compounded by our life experiences.

It is only challenged when life becomes too painful and we are forced to look deeper. It requires us to expose the lie, ruthlessly and honestly, digging it up at the roots and then creating our own feminine identity, this isreal empowerment. It is too personal and too profound, to be constructed externally and quite simply has to emerge and evolve from deep within. It is not the domain of men, even though male control and influence may have created and defined our idea and beliefs of what it is to be a woman. The pain we endure being trapped and feeling hopeless is horrendous, but there is the seed of potential within the lie.

It is to know experientially and directly, that which you are not. We now have a point of reference to orientate ourselves in another direction, the opposite direction, to come through stronger, wiser, powerful, resourceful, determined and self loving. Something very precious, priceless and perfect wasmomentarily stolen from you by your abuser, and they can never give it back. But, through healing, you can give that stolen part back to you and this time no-one can take it away, because authentic self empowerment is essentially truth.

Anger, resentment, bitterness, hate, fear and shame cannot exist in that. It is in stark contrast to our core feminine identity which is nurturing, creative, loving, caring, wise, kind, healing, intuitive and compassionate. This is your life, live it to the fullest. Effects and aftermath of rape can include both physical trauma and psychological trauma. However, physical force is not necessarily used in rape, and physical injuries are not always a consequence. Deaths associated with rape are known to occur, though the prevalence of fatalities varies considerably across the world.

For rape victims the more common consequences of sexual violence are those related to reproductive health, mental health, and social wellbeing. [edit] Physical and psychological response to rape [edit] Gynecological Common consequences experienced by rape victims include:[1][2] * vaginal or anal bleeding or infection * fibroids * decreased sexual desire * genital irritation * pain during intercourse * chronic pelvic pain * urinary infections * pregnancy [edit] Pregnancy See also: unintended pregnancy Pregnancy may result from rape.

The rate varies between settings and depends particularly on the extent to which non-barrier contraceptives are being used. A study of adolescents in Ethiopia found that among those who reported being raped, 17% became pregnant after the rape,[3] a figure which is similar to the 15–18% reported by rape crisis centres in Mexico. [4][5] A longitudinal study in the United States of over 4000 women followed for 3 years found that the national rape related pregnancy rate was 5. 0% per rape among victims aged 12–45 years, producing over 32 000 pregnancies nationally among women from rape each year. 6] Experience of coerced sex at an early age reduces a woman’s ability to see her sexuality as something over which she has control. As a result, it is less likely that an adolescent girl who has been forced into sex will use condoms or other forms of contraception, decreasing the likelihood of her not becoming pregnant. [7][8][9][10] A study of factors associated with teenage pregnancy in Cape Town, South Africa, found that forced sexual initiation was the third most strongly related factor, after frequency of intercourse and use of modern contraceptives. 7] Forced sex can also result in unintended pregnancy among adult women. In India, a study of married men revealed that men who admitted forcing sex on their wives were 2. 6 times more likely to have caused an unintended pregnancy than those who did not admit to such behavior. [11] Should pregnancy result from a first-time encounter it would carry a higher risk of pre-eclampsia, the condition in which the mother’s body reacts adversely to the proteins of the fetus. [citation needed] [edit] Sexually transmitted diseases

Main article: Sexually transmitted disease Violent or forced sex can increase the risk of transmitting HIV. [12] In forced vaginal penetration, abrasions and cuts commonly occur, thus facilitating the entry of the virus through the vaginal mucosa. Adolescent girls are particularly susceptible to HIV infection through forced sex, and even through unforced sex, because their vaginal mucous membranes have not yet acquired cellular density sufficient to provide an effective barrier that develops in the later teenage years.

Being a victim of sexual violence and being susceptible to HIV share a number of risk behaviors. Forced sex in childhood or adolescence, for instance, increases the likelihood of engaging in unprotected sex, having multiple partners, participating in sex work, and substance abuse. People who experience forced sex in intimate relationships often find it difficult to negotiate condom use either because using a condom could be interpreted as mistrust of their partners or as an admission of promiscuity, or else because they fear experiencing violence from their partners.

Sexual coercion among adolescents and adults is also associated with low self-esteem and depression factors that are associated with many of the risk behaviors for HIV infection. Research on women in shelters has shown that women who experience both sexual and physical abuse from intimate partners are significantly more likely to have had sexually transmitted diseases. [13] [edit] Psychological response to rape Main article: Rape trauma syndrome [edit] Self blame Main article: Blame#Self-blame

Self-blame is among the most common of both short- and long-term effects and functions as an avoidance coping skill that inhibits the healing process and can often be remedied by a cognitive therapy technique known as cognitive restructuring. There are two main types of self blame: behavioral self blame (undeserved blame based on actions) and characterological self blame (undeserved blame based on character). Victims who experience behavioral self blame feel that they should have done something differently, and therefore feel at fault.

Victims who experience characterological self blame feel there is something inherently wrong with them which has caused them to deserve to be assaulted. Unfortunately, the victim’s support system is not always the best place for the victim to seek consolation. Sometimes in an effort to shield one’s self from believing such a thing could happen to their loved one, a supporter will make excuses for why the event occurred. Some support will decide that the victim put themselves in a bad situation, even though they didn’t deserve to be raped- which does not help the victim in his or her recovery to hear.

The victim will often already internally blame themselves, especially because the violation of boundaries, broken trust, and the feeling of personal danger occurs with rape. If the support system they look to for support is a husband, boyfriend, or spouse- some may be unwilling to accept reality and leave or blame the victim. In that situation, it is even more important to be able to find support in others. Most victims can’t be reassured enough that what happened to them is “not their fault. When they take the chance to face their biggest “what if” fears, it’s the support they relentlessly receive that helps them fight through shame and feel safe, secure, and grieve in a healthy way. It is a process that takes time, and in most cases therapy, to allow the victim and people close to the victim to process and heal. A leading researcher on the psychological causes and effects of shame, June Tangney, lists five ways shame can be destructive:[14] * lack of motivation to seek care; * lack of empathy; * cutting themselves off from other people; anger; * aggression. Tangney says shame has a special link to anger. “In day-to-day life, when people are shamed and angry they tend to be motivated to get back at a person and get revenge. ” In addition, shame is connected to psychological problems – such as eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders as well as problematic moral behavior. In one study over several years shame-prone kids were prone to substance abuse, earlier sexual activity, less safe sexual activity, and involvement with the criminal justice system. 14] Behavioral self blame is associated with feelings of guilt within the victim. While the belief that one had control during the assault (past control) is associated with greater psychological distress, the belief that one has more control during the recovery process (present control) is associated with less distress, less withdrawal, and more cognitive reprocessing. [15] Counseling responses found helpful in reducing self blame are supportive responses, psychoeducational responses (learning about rape trauma syndrome) and those responses addressing the issue of blame. 16] A helpful type of therapy for self blame is cognitive restructuring or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive reprocessing is the process of taking the facts and forming a logical conclusion from them that is less influenced by shame or guilt. [17] [edit] Suicide Childhood and adulthood victims of rape are more likely to attempt or commit suicide. [18][19][20] The association remains, even after controlling for sex, age, education, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and the presence of psychiatric disorders. [21][22][23] The experience of being raped can lead to suicidal behavior as early as adolescence.

In Ethiopia, 6% of raped schoolgirls reported having attempted suicide. They also feel embarrassed to talk about what had happened to them. [3] A study of adolescents in Brazil found prior sexual abuse to be a leading factor predicting several health risk behaviours, including suicidal thoughts and attempts. [24] [edit] Effects of sexual assault on children Main article: Child sexual abuse Rape and other forms of sexual assault on a child can result in both short-term and long-term harm, including psychopathology in later life. 25][26] Psychological, emotional, physical, and social effects include depression,[27][28][29] post-traumatic stress disorder,[30][31] anxiety,[32] eating disorders, poor self-esteem, dissociative and anxiety disorders; general psychological distress and disorders such as somatization, neurosis, chronic pain,[29] sexualized behavior,[33] school/learning problems; and behavior problems including substance abuse,[34][35] destructive behavior, criminality in adulthood and suicide. [36][37][38][39][40][41] The risk of lasting psychological harm is greater if the perpetrator of the sexual assault on the child is a relative (i. . , incest), or if threats or force are used. [42] Incestual rape has been shown to be one of the most extreme forms of childhood trauma, a trauma that often does serious and long-term psychological damage, especially in the case of parental incest. [43] [edit] Secondary victimization Rape is especially stigmatizing in cultures with strong customs and taboos regarding sex and sexuality. For example, a rape victim (especially one who was previously a virgin) may be viewed by society as being “damaged. Victims in these cultures may suffer isolation, be disowned by friends and family, be prohibited from marrying, be divorced if already married, or even killed. This phenomenon is known as secondary victimization. [44] Secondary victimization is the re-traumatization of the sexual assault, abuse, or rape victim through the responses of individuals and institutions. Types of secondary victimization include victim blaming and inappropriate post-assault behavior or language by medical personnel or other organizations with which the victim has contact. 45] Secondary victimization is especially common in cases of drug-facilitated, acquaintance, and statutory rape. [edit] Victim blaming Main article: Victim blaming The term victim blaming refers to holding the victim of a crime to be responsible for that crime, either in whole or in part. In the context of rape, it refers to the attitude that certain victim behaviors (such as flirting or wearing sexually provocative clothing) may have encouraged the assault. In extreme cases, victims are said to have “asked for it” simply by not behaving demurely.

It has been proposed that one cause of victim blaming is the just world hypothesis. People who believe that the world is intrinsically fair may find it difficult or impossible to accept a situation in which a person is badly hurt for no reason. This leads to a sense that victims must have done something to deserve their fate. Another theory entails the psychological need to protect one’s own sense of invulnerability, which can inspire people to believe that rape only happens to those who provoke the assault. Believers use this as a way to feel safer: If one avoids the behaviours of the past victims, one will be less vulnerable.

A global survey of attitudes toward sexual violence by the Global Forum for Health Research

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