How Do You Know if You Are a Victim of Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse is common in relationships of all types. However, it is sometimes hard to determine whether you are a victim of emotional abuse when you are in the situation. This makes it hard to get the help you need because you may doubt your own thoughts about whether you are actually being abused emotionally or not.
It is a good idea to know what defines emotional abuse as well as some signs that it may be taking place. This can allow you to see the situation more clearly and objectively. Then, if you are a victim of emotional abuse, you can reach out for help.
First, it is important to define what emotional abuse actually is.
Emotional abuse is often a way one person controls another. It can involve harsh or frequent criticism, embarrassment, shame, blame, and other forms of emotional manipulation. It can also coincide with jealousy.
A person who is emotional abusive may act like you are unintelligent or immature. They may even try to hide their abusive behavior by claiming they were joking or laughing it off. Also, while emotional abuse it most common in romantic relationships, it can occur between any two people.
Victims of emotional abuse often feel trapped because they are afraid to leave. It can be hard to break this cycle of abuse. Gaslighting is another type of emotional abuse. Even withholding affection can be a form of emotional abuse.
People on the outside also have a hard time recognizing emotional abuse. The victim and abuser may seem to be normal, loving, and happy from the outside, but this is sometimes a guise that hides the true aspects of the relationship.
Effects of Emotional Abuse
It can be difficult to recognize emotional abuse because there are no visible bruises or scars. However, there could be bruises or scars on the inside that impact self-esteem and mental health. Emotional abuse can even make someone doubt their own reality. It may lead to isolation and a lack of assertiveness.
Emotional abuse can cause a person to doubt themselves and have very low self-esteem. A victim may feel that they are worthless. They may not see the relationships or themselves clearly and may feel trapped. It may even be hard for a victim to talk to other people about their relationship. A victim may doubt their good qualities and catastrophize their negative traits.
After prolonged or severe emotional abuse, it is not uncommon for the victim to isolate themselves and cut ties with friends and family members. It can even cause or contribute to anxiety disorders and depression.
If you are a victim or abuse in the past or present and suffer with anxiety or depression, you may want to check out BetterHelp. They have qualified therapists as well as plenty of information and resources that can help you learn about abuse and get the help you need.
Another valuable resource for victims of abuse is the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They have resources and avenues to help victims of emotional abuse.
How Do You Know if You are a Victim of Emotional Abuse?
It can be hard to identify emotional abuse because it can be subtle or infrequent. It is good to look at all of your interactions with the potential abuser. Sometimes victims will think about happy memories with the abuser, and it clouds the ability to see the abuse.
There are some signs to keep in mind as you look at your relationship to help you see if you may be emotional abused. The first thing is to look at the way you feel. If your partner or friend is making you feel hurt, confused, depressed, anxious, or worthless, then that is a good sign that there is emotional abuse going on.
An emotionally abusive person may have unrealistic expectations of you. They may demand that you put everything aside like your friendships or your dreams just to satisfy the abusers needs. They may want you all of the time and may criticize you for doing things differently than they would.
An abuser may also try to invalidate your by undermining or distorting your reality. They may try to make you feel a certain way and act like your thoughts and feelings are incorrect. They may claim that you are crazy or overly emotional and may not acknowledge your opinions or ideas. They may even accuse you of being too needy or selfish.
An emotionally abusive relationship often involves arguments and drastic mood shifts. An abuser may try to make an argument out of nothing or criticize your clothes, hair, hobbies, and anything else.
Another major sign of emotional abuse is emotional blackmail. They may try to make you feel guilty or ashamed. They can even use your ideals and values to control your actions or feelings. An abuser may also act better than you and blame you for the things they did incorrectly.
Finally, they may try to control you by spying on you or “allowing” you to only do things that they approve of. They may accuse you of cheating or hide your money, keys, phone, or other important items. They may even make fun of your friends and other relationships.
Recognizing emotional abuse is the first step to getting the help you need. However, it can still be hard to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship. It may help you to start building a support network. Talking to close friends and family members can help you determine a plan to get out of the abusive relationship.
Try to avoid blaming yourself and make your own mental health and wellbeing a priority. Then you can start to take your life back into your own hands. A support network can also help you to see the abuse that is going on more clearly and may be able to offer you resources and guidance to help you take the next step.
About the Author.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
En: Salud y Vida Sana