Emotional abuse may be referred to as psychological violence or mental abuse, which involves subjecting someone to behaviour which may result in psychological distress or trauma such as chronic depression, stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotional abuse can be just as devastating as physical abuse, sometimes even more so. How do you know if you are being emotionally abused? The answer is in the way a person makes you feel as a result of their behaviour. If someone controls your life, puts you down and creates feelings of low self-worth, you are being abused. If someone is stopping you from being yourself, expressing yourself or isolating you from your friends and family, you are being emotionally abused.
Examples of emotional abuse include:
• Aggressive behaviour towards you.
• Controlling behaviour.
• Making you feel bad about yourself.
• Isolating you from friends and family.
• Name calling.
• Being made to feel guilty.
• Giving you the silent treatment.
• Financial abuse.
The aim of an emotional abuser is to gradually chip away at your self-esteem and independence so that, in time, you become a shell of your former self. Eventually, you may feel trapped with no way out of the relationship. You may feel that you can’t manage without this abusive person in your life. You can, and you will with the correct help and support.
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