Nicholas Cage was arrested and charged with domestic abuse and disturbing the peace. Celebrity news website TMZ.com broke the story of the arrest, with a photo of the actor’s mugshot. Nicholas Cage is married to Alice Kim and they have a 5-year-old son. Even if this is the only time Cage has been violent, the impact of domestic violence on his son could last for years.
The troubled actor married Alice Kim in 2004 and their 5-year-old son is named Kal-El, which was Superman’s birth name. We can only hope that Kal-El did not witness any of the ugliness between his father and mother, because domestic violence is so damaging to children.
A U.S. government study on the effects of domestic violence on children indicate that children who witness domestic violence more aggressive and fearful and more often suffer from anxiety, depression when compared to children who have not witnessed abuse in the home. The government research shows that children who witness domestic violence may be at a higher risk of alcohol or drug abuse, experience cognitive problems or stress-related ailments and have difficulties in school.
The good news is that the effects of witnessing domestic violence appear to diminish with time, as long as the violence ends and they are no longer exposed to it. But the bad news is that children who witness domestic violence in the home can be impacted for the rest of their lives! As adults, child witnesses may continue to suffer from depression, anxiety and trauma-related symptoms, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Nicholas Cage does not have a history of domestic violence and last night’s arrest comes on the heels of a very bad year for the actor. Banks foreclosed on several of his homes, and he was forced to sell property in Germany and in the Bahamas. Sometimes the strain of financial difficulties can trigger mental health issues, according to Dr. Jeffrey Huttman, Chief Clinical Officer at Challenges Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Dr. Huttman says there is a connection between financial hardship and mental illness:
“Economic difficulties and emotional disturbances often go hand in hand. The recession has caused a significant amount of distress in individuals who may have previously been happy and stable. Individuals who may be predisposed to depression or other mental health problems can often be very resilient in avoiding true difficulties. However, increased financial stress is a trigger for mental health problems that may have otherwise lain dormant.”
Let’s hope that the arrest means Nicholas Cage has hit bottom, for the sake of his son.