Nothing in this article is meant to be medical advice. Please consult your own healthcare provider.

Some info below taken from:

It’s October. The air is a bit cooler; the breezes are fresh. We are recovering from the fire and getting back to normal.

Nevertheless, we keep a weather eye on the sky, watching for rain and perhaps feeling conflicted about its troublesome advent. We are either taking or avoiding taking our flu shots, and deciding about the pneumonia vaccine. Maybe we are even thinking about the health awareness topics for October.

October is that month annually when our health-awareness topics include breast cancer, which can affect men as well as women, although, most often women. Information on breast cancer will pop up everywhere this month as responsible campaigns take off with the aim to inform all of us on this very serious illness.

But then there’s that other topic. The other public health topic for this month is one that every October is most often ignored, forgotten or avoided. That one is Domestic Violence and it also affects men as well as women, although, most often women.

So, let it be duly noted: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

While we may not be able to prevent breast cancer, we can prevent DV. And for either, we can certainly engage in early intervention, which may very well save lives. Being informed about the signs of DV and learning ways to carefully share resources or offer other help is a critical first step to intervention.

One national, well-respected and responsible leader in DV prevention and intervention is the DV Hotline. The Hotline, as it is called, is available to callers “24-7-365” at 1-800-799-7233 and 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). It also has services in Spanish.

In continuous operation since 1995, The Hotline is the only 24-7 center in the nation that has access to service providers and shelters across the U.S., thanks to the Texas Council on Family Violence which received a $1 million grant that established The Hotline.

If you can identify with any of the following, you might want to make a call to The Hotline, just to talk about it:

• You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.

• You find yourself hiding and withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.

• You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.

• You start lying to avoid your partner’s put downs and reality twists.

• You have trouble making simple decisions.

• You have lost control over your own finances.

• You have the sense that you used to be a very different person — more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.

• You wonder if you are a “good enough” partner.

• You feel hopeless and joyless.

• You feel as though you can’t do anything right.

Here’s that number again: 1-800-799-7233; 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Callie Wight is a California state-licensed registered nurse with a Master of Arts in psychology.