Abuse does not automatically cause a person to develop medical or psychological illnesses. But it does increase the likelihood that these conditions will develop. Victims of abuse do tend to develop these problems after the abuse occurs. These issues can include depression or anxiety. Substance abuse can develop as well. If the abuse was particularly violent, victims may exhibit posttraumatic stress.
If the abuse happened in early childhood, personality disorders can happen. This can be borderline or narcissistic disorders or even severe dissociative disorders. Sexual disorders can happen making sexual activity painful or even unwanted. On the other hand victims may exhibit signs of promiscuity.
Suicide or suicidal thoughts can also be a result of abuse. The abuse often results in lack of or poor self-esteem. These can turn into eating disorders or body image. These are often a result of attempting to regain some control.
One thing to keep in mind is that the abuse, by itself, is not ample to cause the disorders. It is however, a strong aspect. Just because a person develops depression or other psychological disorder, it does not mean the person experienced any form of abuse. And abuse does not always cause depression.
In cases of posttraumatic stress syndrome, this does occur after an occurance of trauma. PTSD is characterized by three general symptoms. Victims will often experience very vivid and intrusive memories of the abuse. Victims will also make a conscious effort to avoid anything that will trigger a memory of the incident. And finally, these victims will be very anxious, nervous and jumpy.
The avoidance factor PTSD can push victims to actions such as drug abuse, because they think it is a coping or escape mechanism. In addition, promiscuity and depression are also used as methods of coping. Other shields can develop such as personality disorders as part of the PTSD.