“Seeing is believing” doesn’t hold water for emotional abuse as it does for physical abuse. No (visible) mark, no problem, isn’t the reality. People tend to take emotional abuse much more lightly compared to physical abuse. Emotional abuse can be defined as a form of abuse characterised by a person subjecting or exposing another to a behaviour that may result in psychological trauma including anxiety, chronic depression or post stress disorder, consequences of which are devastating.
Not only are adults a victim of emotional abuse, unfortunately even children and teens are at times subjected to it. It goes through its own cycle especially in a relationship. The dominant partner abuses his/her partner. Instead of protesting, the submissive partner somehow starts feeling that he/she probably deserves it. This leads to low self-esteem resulting in a major personality disorder. While it is commonly believed that the woman is normally at the receiving end in a relationship, it is actually not true. Men too are subjected to it. Regardless of who is abused, partners who are nagging, jealous, over possessive, suspicious and into illogical splurging – just to name a few, can create mental turmoil beyond imagination. Screaming and shouting are other common forms of verbal abuse. Nonverbal forms of abuse include sudden silence, withdrawal and resentment towards everything like refusing to eat, not wanting to mingle with family, sulking and creating unpleasant atmosphere at home. If children are involved and are a witness to all this, it can be detrimental to their mental health and future relationships. Although the receiver generally tends to underplay it, it is extremely unhealthy to suffer silently. It can take a toll not just on one’s mental but physical health as well. Several ailments related to this kind of stress have been identified.
How does one deal with it? First and foremost, there should be acceptance of the fact that there is emotional abuse, followed by a strong need to address it and last but not the least to deal with it effectively.
Wounds caused by a physical abuse are temporary (minus the emotional scars), but the effects of an emotional abuse can never be healed or rather it takes a very long time to heal if addressed at the right time. With proper professional help and therapy, one can regain one’s lost self-confidence and self-esteem.
Life is too precious to take any abuse – physical or psychological. Don’t take it for the sake of it or you will never make it to a better life awaiting you. Wake up and speak up!