Emotional abuse is what an abuser uses to control and overpower the one they’re abusing. The abuse involves a steady pattern of verbal affront, often in the form of threatening, bullying behaviors. Criticism can also be relentless, sometimes barefaced and at other times more subtle. However, these lesser tactics are no less offensive or damaging. In fact, subtle emotional abuse can sometimes cause even more harm. Devious intimidation may include manipulation and shaming, but in a less obvious way.
The Abuse Cycle
An abuser often acts the way they do because of childhood wounds and anxieties they haven’t dealt with. In other words, they too were victims. They never learned anything about coping mechanisms. Most abusers are unable to develop healthy relationships with other people. It’s a vicious cycle.
Both the abuser and the abused share some common, painful and destructive traits such as:
- Persistent anger
- Relentless hurt
- Fear and worry
The negative spinoffs of the above feelings can often make living a normal life difficult if not impossible in some instances. Self-help books and videos can help those who seek support to some degree. In most cases, emotional abuse therapy administered by professional counselors is the best way to go.
The Victims of Psychological Abuse
Victims of this kind of abuse don’t always see the maltreatment as abusive. What happens is that they develop a kind of coping mechanism of denial. This helps them to diminish the ordeal as a way to cope with the associated stress. They can’t really cope with it though, not in the long term anyway. Long term emotional abuse will almost undoubtedly cause severe emotional trauma. Three of the typical symptoms materialize as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
How to End it
If you can identify yourself as a victim of emotional abuse, try not to let it continue. Sometimes it will mean ending a relationship but you have to decide what’s more important to you. To continue usually means the suffering gets worse, never better. Our Virginia Beach licensed emotional abuse therapy counselors are there to help anyone who reaches out. Call us today to see how we might be able to support you and your issues.