Mental abuse, also known as emotional or psychological abuse, is a form of mistreatment that can have severe and long-lasting effects on a person’s mental health and overall well-being.
Unlike physical abuse, mental abuse is often invisible and hard to recognize, making it all the more dangerous.
Statistics on Mental Abuse
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, nearly half of women and men in the United States have experienced some form of psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that mental abuse is the most prevalent form of child abuse, with nearly 10% of children experiencing some form of psychological maltreatment.
Why Mental Abuse Happens
Mental abuse can happen when one person uses words or actions to control, manipulate, or belittle another person.
It can happen in any relationship, from parent-child to intimate partner to workplace relationships. Abusers may use gaslighting, humiliation, isolation, threats, and intimidation tactics to gain power and control over their victims.
Effects of Mental Abuse
The effects of mental abuse can be devastating and long-lasting.
Victims of mental abuse may experience symptoms such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mental abuse can have physical consequences, such as headaches, digestive issues, and chronic pain.
Long-Term Damage from Mental Abuse
The long-term damage from mental abuse can be severe and may last for years or even a lifetime.
Survivors of mental abuse may struggle with trust, intimacy, and healthy relationships. They may also develop mental health conditions like anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD.
What to Do If You’re Being Mentally Abused
If you’re experiencing mental abuse, it’s essential to seek help. Here are some steps you can take:
- Recognize the abuse: It’s crucial to acknowledge that the behavior you’re experiencing is not normal or acceptable.
- Reach out for help: Talk to a trusted friend or family member, or contact a helpline such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline or the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline.
- Develop a safety plan: If you’re in an abusive relationship, developing a safety plan is essential to protect yourself.
- Seek therapy: Mental abuse can have lasting effects on your mental health. Seeking therapy can help you process your experiences and heal from the trauma.
- Take care of yourself: Prioritize self-care, such as getting enough rest, exercising, and eating a healthy diet.
How Long Does it Take to Get Over Mental Abuse?
The healing process from mental abuse is different for everyone. It can take weeks, months, or even years to recover fully.
The most important thing is to prioritize your mental and physical health and seek the support you need.
Mental abuse is a serious issue that can affect a person’s mental and physical health. Recognizing the signs of mental abuse, seeking help, and prioritizing your well-being is essential.
Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, and help is available.
If you are in a situation where you need help from mental abuse, contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or online at https://www.thehotline.org/.