Individuals who have been abused, or who witness domestic violence are at risk of developing mental health disorders, emotional problems, and poor social skills. The long term emotional effects of abuse are determined by its severity, frequency, duration of the abuse, and the age and background of the victim and abuser.
Mental health disorders that may result from the abuse include anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. More serious behavioral health consequences of abuse include eating disorders, suicide, dissociation, and borderline personality disorder
Eating disorders, such as bulimia, anorexia, and compulsive eating disorders are usually associated with distorted perceptions of body image and often lead to serious health problems with nutrition. Dissociative disorder is an unconscious attempt at self-protection against an overwhelming traumatic experience. Borderline personality disorder is a condition that results in unstable, intense relationships, difficulty controlling anger, low self esteem, and separation anxiety.