What Consists of Emotional Abuse?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

woman pushing man away

Here is an excerpt of her story as told by Leigh Stein, author of her book titled “Land of Enchantment”, published on the Washington Post:

“I struggled with depression and anxiety since the age of 13, but I was off antidepressants when I met Jason, at an audition for a community college production of ‘Medea’…But over time, my mental health became a weapon in his arsenal. If I cried because he wanted to sleep with other women, it was because I needed to be medicated. If I had anxiety over him losing yet another job, he told me to pop a benzo. When I tried to curb my drinking, he told me he missed how ‘fun’ I used to be.”

American society often places so much emphasis on physical abuse that when one encounters emotional abuse, it can be a little more difficult to identity. Nonetheless, emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse – except for the scars of mental games, meanness and manipulation are left on the person’s mindset, often leaving many with a mangled sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Emotional abuse isn’t breaking up with someone, it is not arguing with someone, it is not being blunt or honest about hurting, and it is not reacting to someone’s wrongdoings by hurting. Reach Out, Australia’s leading mental health organization, has noted the following types of emotional abuse:

  • Verbal violence – yelling at aggressively, insulting or swearing at you
  • Rejection – pretending not to notice your presence or ignoring your conversation
  • Put downs – calling you names or telling you that you’re stupid, publicly embarrassing you and/or blaming you for everything
  • Causing fear – making you feel afraid, intimidated, or threatened
  • Isolation – limiting your freedom to move and forcing you to stop contact with family and friends
  • Financial dependence – controlling you or withholding your money, preventing you from working, and stealing from you
  • Bullying – purposefully and repeatedly saying mean things to you to make you feel bad

If you have been affected by relationship abuse or are currently in an abusive relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. There are many people that want to see you safe, both physically and mentally, and you are not alone.





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