8 Dangers of Verbal Abuse Which Can Be As Painful As Physical Abuse
About 50% of men and women have at least once experienced psychologically aggressive behavior from their partner. About 20% of women have experienced threats of physical harm by an intimate partner. 40% of people have experienced at least one form of coercive control by an intimate partner in their lifetime. If these statistics are not startling enough, know also that verbal and psychological abuse is more, if not equally, harmful than physical abuse.
This Bright Side article aims to make readers understand that abuse in any form is abuse and not only should it be condemned but all attempts should be made to stop it.
1. Pain from verbal abuse lingers on for an entire lifetime, unlike physical pain which disappears after a while.
While you might forget the pain experienced when you broke your limb, the pain you experienced when you got belittled at work or in a relationship is hard to forget. And research even shows that emotional pain from verbal abuse can haunt a person for their entire life. What’s worse is that merely remembering the event, can make you re-experience the entire pain saga.
2. It damages self-esteem and can lead to life-long mental health problems.
If you have been in an abusive relationship or have experienced some sort of verbal abuse as a child, you would know that these experiences tend to stay with you. Experiences like these tend to severely damage the self-esteem of a person. The victim loses all sense of self-respect and tends to imagine himself or herself as being less worthy.
3. Friends and family members cannot understand the harm done by verbal abuse, so the support system is often missing.
Physical abuse normally leaves physical marks. Imagine a situation when you start getting beaten on the street, there’s a huge likelihood that a passersby will stop and intervene to stop the beating, and sympathize with you. But this scenario is almost unthinkable if someone starts abusing you verbally. Even research shows that while people sympathize with other’s physical pain, they almost always underestimate their emotional suffering.
4. It can lead to eating disorders and you won’t be able to accurately pinpoint the cause.
Emotional abuse can lead to negative beliefs in one’s own abilities. The feeling of being incapable and unloved can also set in. In this scenario, it can get difficult to express emotions and this can lead to chaotic and impulsive behavior, which is often associated with eating disorders, like binge eating followed by purging.
5. Verbal and emotional abuse can force you toward substance abuse.
Verbal abuse strips a person’s confidence and their feeling of being loved & respected. The person is left to wonder what he or she did wrong and to suffer in silence. In desperation to seek some solace, the victim might get drifted to substance abuse. This search for momentary relief can make the person an addict, and even science has proven this.
6. Verbal abuse can cause migraines and severe headaches.
The prevalence of migraines in people who have experienced verbal and emotional abuse as a child is 4 times higher than those who have not experienced that trauma, according to researchers. The link between migraines and abuse was also shown to be stronger for emotional abuse than for physical.
7. Pain is pain.
Pain is pain, whether it be physical or verbal. And if you don’t stop your abuser, you will keep getting abused. Studies show that a person who experienced abuse as a child is 36% more likely to be abused by their partner in adulthood.
8. Worst of all, it can cause you to become an abuser yourself.
The worst part of being a victim of verbal and emotional abuse is that you might end up being an abuser yourself. Abusing others might become your way of coping with the abuse you have faced yourself. Also, it is more likely that children who have been victims of abuse will grow up into a life of crime.
Have you ever experienced psychological abuse as a child or in a relationship? Or do you know someone who has? What steps were taken to stop the abuse?
Preview photo credit Serenity / Blue Budgie Films Limited
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for BrightSide.me