Struggling with Emotional Abuse? Here’s How You Can Deal with it.

by cadabamshospital

07 May,2020 | 3 months read

Understanding Emotional Abuse

When we hear the term ‘Emotional Abuse’, we make it a dumping ground for all sorts of negative emotions. Let us first understand what is Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse is a consistent pattern of using abusive words and bullying behaviours that undermine a person's mental health and wear down their self-esteem.

Emotional abuse can take many forms like verbal attacks, criticism, belittlement, mocking, humiliation, neglect, controlling time, controlling wardrobe, controlling travel, limiting interactions with others, jealousy and threatening physical violence.

Emotional or Mental abuse, while mostly common in dating or married relationships, can occur in any relationships like parents, siblings, family members, friends, and coworkers.

Well, there’s a very thin line between a healthy and an emotionally abusive relationship. It is not emotional abuse to argue, to yell, or to react if they are hurt. Reacting to a certain situation or emotion is human nature and shouldn’t be characterised as their behaviour.

That’s why emotional abuse is one of the hardest forms of abuse to recognize. It can be manipulative and overt or subtle and insidious.

What Constitutes Emotional Abuse?

A harsh and unrelenting abuse is meant to undermine self-esteem. Here are a few signs of emotional abuse to figure out whether you are in such a relationship:

  1. Name-calling or Derogatory pet names 
  2. Character assassination
  3. Yelling
  4. Constant sarcasm or causing public embarrassment
  5. Being made to feel guilty
  6. Intimidation and threats
  7. Taking over the financial control
  8. Digital spying
  9. Telling you what you can and can’t do
  10. Demanding respect
  11. Shutting down communication
  12. Actively working to turn others against you
  13. Blaming you for their problems
  14. Denying their abuse or denying something you know is true.

Emotional abuse like any other abuse can cause serious harm to the victim. Rather than a physical injury, emotional abuse is aimed to damage 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.

How to Deal with Emotional Abuse?

Though emotional abuse can happen in any relationships, but 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 turn into a bigger issue, like domestic violence.

The first step to deal with an emotionally abusive relationship is to recognize that it is happening and address it. If you are facing such abuse, trust your instincts. Understand and accept that it isn’t right and you don’t have to suffer this way.

  1. Accept that the abuse isn’t your responsibility.
  2. Stop blaming yourself.
  3. Disengage with the abusive person and set personal boundaries.
  4. Exit the relationship or circumstance.
  5. Make your mental and physical health a priority.
  6. Give yourself time to heal.
  7. Build a support network. Talk to a friend, family or visit a counsellor.

Are you looking for Therapist for Emotional Abuse treatment? Call us to book an appointment with our counsellor or mental health professional.

Here are a few signs of an emotional abusive relationship:

  1.  Constant blaming
  2.  Constant criticism
  3.  Calling names and mocking
  4.  Humiliation and insults
  5.  Isolating the other person
  6.  Constant threatening to leave the other person
  7.  Disregarding and dismissing the other person's opinion and feelings
  8.  Disregarding other person's privacy
  9.  Neglect
  10.  Denying of abusive behaviour by the abuser

Effects of emotional abuse on the victim:

  1.  Low self esteem
  2.  Low self confidence
  3.  Feeling worthless
  4.  Blaming self
  5.  Depressive feelings
  6.  Anxiousness
  7.  Submissiveness

Like all problems this too has a solution. You can talk to someone who understands abusive and violent relationships. In this case, it’s best to talk to a Therapist.

There are various types 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 abusers is very crucial. It is believed that the abuser themselves have their own emotional issues that result in abusive behaviour and  it’s crucial to address them for a healthy life of both the abuser and the survivor.

When an emotionally abused victim comes for psychotherapy, they have a very low self esteem and confidence and they do not possess the courage break out from the abusive relationship.

Cadabams’ team of experienced psychotherapists help 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 gain self esteem and confidence back and to exit from the abusive relationship.

 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 in therapy. In case one deals with emotionally abusive parents, this therapy works best when the entire family is involved in the session.

 Assertiveness training: Emotional abuse often persists when the victim cannot say “no” to the abuser. This training enables 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 helps 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, helping the individuals work together and support each other. It basically focuses on creating better relationships with others in a healthy manner.

 Emotional trauma counseling: Here the therapist works with the traumatic memories of the event. They help the victim accept the past and work through it. It enables the victim to free themselves from the effects of the abusive trauma.

Coping with Emotional Abuse

  1.  Try to interact with the abuser in a positive way.
  2.  Using humour always helps distract from the topic where you feel you're being emotionally abused.
  3.  Acting rationally rather than emotionally.
  4.  Know your rights and utilize them.
  5.  Do not respond with verbal aggressiveness or physical manner, as this may only worsen things. Try to stay calm or walk away.
  6.  Always have a support system, friends and family, those who will be there for you.
  7.  Try keeping boundaries.
  8.  Engage in activities that boost your confidence.
  9.  Realise that it is not your fault.
  10.  In extreme cases it is better to let go of the relationship 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 turns into something worse. Specialized treatment from professionals for emotional abuse is available at Cadabams Hospitals, Bangalore.

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