Emotional abuse signs and symptoms

Emotional abuse is a terrible thing that happens to more people than you might think. Typically, those who are victims of this type of abuse are children, the elderly, women, and those with less power in society. Abuse classified as ‘emotional’ is any type of abuse that affects a person psychologically and takes both verbal and non-verbal forms; it leads to lessened feelings of self-confidence, self-motivation, and self-worth. The problem lies in the deniability often associated with emotional abuse; people are more willing to overlook it because sometimes the physical symptoms of scars aren’t so visible. Unfortunately, the effects of emotional abuse can have long-lasting and sometimes permanent effects on the sufferer. No one should live in any kind of fear, especially fear of loved ones.

Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is no less serious than physical abuse. Violence doesn’t always have to be involved for an action to be considered abusive, but violent words are certainly involved in emotional abuse. The abuser wants to make the victim feel helpless and dependent. The verbal abuse can include name-calling, blaming, and yelling. The abuser also likes to isolate, intimidate, and control the victim. A common misconception about emotional abuse is that it has to have a verbal form that includes yelling; this is simply not true. Many abusers can be disrespectful, rude, condescending, critical, judgmental, “joking” around, forgetful of promises and obligations, and betrayal of trust, and this can all be done without yelling. These are all serious forms that emotional abuse can take.

Signs and Symptoms

  • In an abusive relationship
  • Fear of a partner.
  • Constantly watching what is said or done around the partner.
  • Having a partner that belittles the other’s thoughts and self-esteem.
  • Having a partner that makes fun of the other, and then claims it was a joke.
  • The partner may ridicule the victim’s beliefs.
  • The victim is often anxious to please the abusive partner.
  • The victim goes along with everything the abuser says and does for fear of what he or she might do if the victim doesn’t.
  • Checking in with a partner to let him or her know what the other is doing at all times.
  • The victim might receive harassing phone calls from the partner.
  • The victim, when out of hearing range of the abuser, may talk about his or her temper, jealous tendencies, and possessiveness.
  • The abuser often takes advantage of the partner.
  • The abuser may humiliate the other in public spaces or in private.
  • The abuser controls every decision, from money to the clothes the other can buy.
  • The abusive partner in the relationship may often make threats to the partner.
  • Emotional abuse can take the form of broken surroundings, such as a piece of furniture or a hole in the wall.

Identifying an emotionally abused individual

  • A person who is abused in any way will have a very low self-esteem and very low self-confidence.
  • The person will exhibit unexpected personality changes, such as becoming more shy and reclusive.
  • The victim often becomes depressed and/or suicidal.

Emotionally abused children

  • The child may exhibit changes in school performance and act differently in social situations.
  • The child may show extreme behaviors in school, ranging from too compliant to too demanding.
  • A child who is emotionally abused may be delayed in physical and emotional development.
  • If a child’s teacher has brought the attention of a learning problem that the child has and nothing has been done, this is a sign of abuse.
  • The child may lack adult supervision.
  • Another sign is that the child may not want to leave school at the end of the day because he or she may be afraid to return home.
  • A child victim may have or want to attempt suicide.
Last updated on Nov 26th, 2010 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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