Addie John Essay

1376 words - 6 pages

The Cycle Continues
What are the long term effects of child abuse and neglect? The impact of child abuse and neglect are often not only physical but also physiological. Children who suffer abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents often have physiological implications such as emotional difficulties. These physiological problems often manifest as depression or anxiety. The children who suffer physical abuse at a young age by their parents or care givers have a greater imprint and is taught that he or she has no one to turn to for help. Addie Bundren exhibits several of the physiological sign of being abused as a child. These long term effects not only dictated how she lived her ...view middle of the document...

These children will have difficulty making and maintain meaningful relationships with other adults and even their own children as they get older. They learn that they cannot depend on others and the world can be a frightening place. This is what happens in Addie’s case she never seems to bond with anyone expect Jewel, even though he is only one of out of four children. Even though she is married to Anse for several years she never becomes attached to him or loves him and as the years goes on she actually begins to dislike him more.
Another side effect from the abuse that Addie suffered as a child is the depression the she suffers from her entire adult life. A report by The American Journal of Family Therapy showed that women suffered abuse as children were at an increased risk to suffer depression as adults. Addie exhibits clinical signs of depression through her section one of them being unable to find pleasure in some or all of lives activities. One thing that most women look forward to all of their lives and can’t help but relish in is the birth of their children. Addie on the other hand has a different outlook on this event “And when I knew that I had Cash, I knew that living was terrible and that was the answer to it”.(171) In this quote Addie expressing not only her feeling on living but also how she feels about being a mother.
To further complicate her illness Addie most likely also became victim to postpartum depression after having her first child Cash. In an article written by Gayle Zieman she states that you have a history of depression, are returning home to a stressful relationship or if your pregnancy was unwanted you are 60 percent more likely to fall victim to postpartum depression than someone without these risk factors. Addie never wanted children so all of her pregnancies were unwanted therefore increasing her risk for postpartum depression. “My aloneness had been violated and then made whole again by the violation; time, Anse, love, what you will, outside the circle”.(172) Without treatment for her illness each pregnancy would have become more difficult for Addie to deal with. “Then I found I had Darl. At first I would not believe it. Then I believe that I would kill Anse”.(172)
In the 1930’s there would have been little to no treatment for Addie’s conditions. The methods used to treat severe depression like in Addie case would have been electroconvulsive therapy. This procedure that electrical currents are passed through the brain to trigger a seizure. Researchers thought in this era that the seizure would have change the chemistry in the brain. But these services would have only been available to people of a higher social class than the Bundren’s.
Addie’s childhood abuse didn’t only affect her mental state, but also her children. Without the treatment that she desperately needed Addie was never able to love and bond with her children the way a...

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