Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

How Do I Recover After Spousal Abuse?

Thursday, 01 July 2010 09:25 AM

Question: My body has been under fairly constant stress for years due to an abusive spouse. I became very depressed and was hospitalized for that, and I have not returned home. I would like to change my life, and I want to know what exercises would be best for my physically and emotionally stressed system. I believe the right exercise would help.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Good health is a necessary combination of healthy diet, sensible aerobic exercise, sufficient restful sleep, control of underlying medical conditions, and a sound mental health profile.

Physical health is significantly affected by depression and anxiety. Your ability to provide a healthy environment for yourself will be largely determined by your motivation to optimize your existing condition. Many patients find great relief with relaxation and yoga exercises in addition to active regular aerobic exercise that activate your internal "endorphin" system.

There are many who receive great help from the addition of counseling with or without the assistance of pharmaceuticals to control anxiety and depression. You may also obtain additional support from an abuse support group your doctor can recommend for you. I recommend you see a professional medical doctor to review your diet, activity, and medication needs.

Be sure your asthma control is optimal.

Also, treatment of depression and anxiety is no longer stigmatized — physicians regard it as treatable like any other medical condition. If your doctor does not initiate treatment for depression or anxiety, request a referral to a psychiatrist (a medical doctor specialized in cognitive disorder). I encourage your focus on achieving balance in your life, so go ahead with this pursuit armed with appropriate professional consultation.

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