Understanding Emotional Abuse
When an individual uses something to harm another individual it is known as abuse. We all are somehow aware of the types of abuse. Among them, emotional abuse is the one that tends to go unnoticed since people are not well aware of it.
Emotional abuse like any other abuse can cause serious harm to the victim. But here it does not involve any physical injury or property damage. In emotional abuse an individual’s self esteem and confidence is targeted.
Emotional abuse is usually seen in an intimate relationship, the form of this relationship can vary. Emotional abuse can happen in any relationship, parent-child, between spouse, siblings, relatives and colleagues. This form of abuse is usually not spoken about because unlike any other abuse here the victim and the abuser may not be aware of what is happening.
Though emotional abuse can happen in any relationships, in India it is mostly seen in the cases of domestic violence. Wherein the wife is emotionally black mailed or criticized. People in India tend to ignore emotional abuse assuming it to be a part of their life and notice it only when it grows into a bigger issue, in this case domestic violence.
Here are a few signs of an emotional abusive relationship:
• Constant blaming
• Constant criticism
• Calling names and mocking
• Humiliation and insults
• Isolating the other person
• Constant threatening to leave the other person
• Disregarding and dismissing the other person’s opinion and feelings
• Disregarding other person’s privacy
• Denying of abusive behaviour by the abuser
Effects of emotional abuse on the victim:
• Low self esteem
• Low self confidence
• Feeling worthless
• Blaming self
• Depressive feelings
Like all problems this too has a solution. There are various forms of counseling and psychotherapy available. Emotional abuse treatment is available for both the victim as well as the abuser at Cadabams Hospitals Bangalore. Emotional abuse treatment for abuser is very crucial. It is believed that the abuser themselves have their own emotional issues that result in abusive behaviour and they need to be addressed.
When a victim of emotional abuse comes for psychotherapy, they have a very low self esteem and confidence and they do not possess the strength to break out from the abusive relationship. Here the psychotherapist helps the victim build their confidence and self esteem and help them free themselves from the abusive relationship (if that is what the victim desires).
Treatment Options for emotional abuse:
• Individual therapy: To build self esteem and confidence and free themselves from the abuse.
• Group therapy: in this therapy the survivors of emotional abuse gather, share their experiences and support each other to recover.
• Family therapy: This is very helpful when the abuse is a part of the victim’s family and agrees to engage n therapy.
• Assertiveness training: Emotional abuse often persists when the victim cannot say “no” the abuser. This traing enable the victim to be more vocal about their needs and encourages them to raise their voice againt emotional abuse. It will not only help them defend themselves but will also encourage them to make others aware of it.
• Marital therapy: This therapy will help the abuser confront and understand the victim’s sufferings and build a more fuctional relationship. Marital therapy focuses more on working on the dynamics of the relationship.
• Interpersonal skills: This focuses on creating effective communication patterns in a relationship, help the individuals work together and support each other. It basically focuses on creating better relationship with other in a healthy manner.
• Emotional trauma counseling: Here the therapist work with the traumatic memorys of the event. They help the victim accept the past and work through it. It enables the victim to free themselve from the effects of the abusive trauma.
Coping with Emotional Abuse
• Try to interact with the abuser in a positive way.
• Using humour always helps distract from the topic where you feel your being emotionally abused.
• Acting rationally rather than emotionally.
• Know your rights and utilize them.
• Do not respond with physical or verbal for, as this may only worsen things. Try to stay calm or walk away.
• Always have a support system, friends and family, those who will be there for you.
• Try keeping boundaries.
• Engage in activities that boost your confidence.
• Realise that it is not your fault.
• In extreme cases it is better to let go the realtionship and cut off yourself from the abuser.
Signs of emotional abuse may sound common but it should not go unnoticed and should be addressed before if turn into something worse. Specialized treatment from professionals for emotional abuse is available at Cadabams Hospitals, Bangalore.