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Submitted: 14 March 2017 Modified: 09 January 2019
HERDIN Record #: PCHRD17031409060418

Combined psychopharmacological and psychosocial approaches and the relevance of therapeutic jurisprudence and religion in the successful management of battered woman's syndrome: A case report.

Rodelen C. Paccial

INTRODUCTION: Although Battered Woman Syndrome is not listed in the DSM 5 and the ICD 10 as an official diagnosis, it is undeniable that women suffering Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) experience the same cycle of violence, suffer from a common range of symptoms, and have a predictable prognosis. While psychosocial guidelines and support are available, like in our Women and Child Protection Units (WCPU), there is also a gap in the clinical guidelines in treating and managing these cases, which might present with a combination of posttraumatic and depressive symptomatology. In this report, we discuss the case of a 32 year old woman who was subjected to severe physical and emotional abuse by her longtime romantic partner. She consulted at our center seeking help for a psychiatric evaluation for the case she was going to pursue in court but it was apparent she was suffering from posttraumatic, somatic, and depressive symptoms. Supportive therapy was initially done and she was started on Escitalopram and low dose Quetiapine for sleep problems. As her case started gathering steam, issues about the court process, possible setback with her church and possible retaliation from her partner weighed heavily on her. Possible issues were discussed beforehand and successfully faced up to her partner in a church related tribunal and in the fiscal's office. Using an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing(EMDR) variant, Unfinished Trauma Episode Protocol (U-TEP), her posttraumatic symptoms were eventually addressed. As she started having faith in the legal system and her church, she had restored self-esteem, was active in her social circle and become an advocate in helping other women get proper treatment and to fight for their rights. Besides the clinician advocated treatment along with the services delivered via the WCPU network, the perception of getting justice from social institutions like the judiciary and the church helped in the recovery of this patient. Clinicians dealing with Battered Woman Syndrome should be aware of issues the patient might go through the stages of her fight and that the process of seeking for justice is also a process of mental healing.

Publication Type
Publication Sub Type
Journal Article, Original
The Philippine Journal of Psychiatry
Publication Date
July-December 2016
LocationLocation CodeAvailable FormatAvailability
Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Library Box No. 1 Fulltext Print Format (Request Document)
Philippine Psychiatric Association Fulltext pdf (Request Document)

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