Medical News Today: What are the effects of emotional abuse?

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The effects of emotional abuse can be both long and short term.

A person may be subjected to emotional abuse from a number of different people throughout their life.

Emotional abuse has a number of potential sources. These include:

  • parents
  • romantic partners
  • friends
  • colleagues

The sections below cover each of these sources in more detail.

Parental emotional abuse

People of all ages can be subjected to emotional abuse, including children. Contrary to what some people believe, a relative or close family friend are more likely to abuse a child than a stranger.

According to HelpGuide, some signs of emotional abuse toward children include:

-yelling, bullying, or threatening a child

  • shaming, belittling, or humiliating a child
  • telling a child that they are worthless, a mistake, or bad
  • giving a child “the silent treatment” as punishment
  • limiting signs of affection
  • exposing a child to violence against others
  • calling a child names
  • negatively comparing a child with others

Relationship emotional abuse

In romantic relationships, people who are emotionally abusive may not be physically or sexually abusive at first. However, emotional abuse can lead to physical abuse if the relationship continues down an unhealthy path.

Emotional abuse can take the form of name calling, demeaning, or any behavior that makes a person feel belittled or worthless. In some cases, a person may start to believe that they are ugly or unwanted, or that they cannot “do better” than the person they are with.

Marital emotional abuse

Marriage does not give anyone the right to abuse their partner physically, sexually, emotionally, or in any other way. The signs of emotional abuse within a marriage are similar to those of emotional abuse within a nonmarital relationship.

Emotional abuse within a marriage may make a person feel as though they are worthless or do not deserve better. It may also lead them toward other unhealthful thoughts.

Emotional abuse in the workplace

Emotional abuse at work often goes unnoticed. However, it can occur in several different forms, from intimidation and deceit to shaming someone or making them feel guilty.

It could also manifest as a person being led to build false hopes and not having a colleague or manager to listen to their concerns.

Being subjected to emotional abuse in the workplace may result in unfinished tasks. However, more importantly, it can have deeper emotional effects on a person’s self-esteem and self-worth.

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