Mental abuse is a form of violence that affects the mind, often leaving the abused feeling worthless and lacking empowerment 1. HealthGuide.org states that mental abuse is also known as emotional abuse 134. According to mental health specialist Kathryn Patricelli, types of mental or emotional abuse include verbal and psychological abuse and both can be extremely hurtful 14.
Verbal abuse occurs when “one person uses words and body language to inappropriately criticize another person,” says Patricelli. Verbal abuse is characterized as a mental abuse because the abuser will taunt the abused, making her feel unloved and unworthy of respect 1. This type of abuse prevents healthy lifestyles and activities because the abused feels she is unable to reach goals or participate in healthy behaviors.
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Psychological abuse is a means for altering the abused person’s sense of reality, often in a manipulative way. Patricelli says that psychological abuse can occur in a pedophilic relationship in which the abuser tells the abused child that he caused the abuse himself by tempting the abuser. Psychological abuse also can happen in groups, such as in cults.
Signs of Abuse
According to the University of Michigan Health System, emotional or mental abuse may be occurring if “you are being treated in a way that makes you upset, ashamed or embarrassed.” Furthermore, your partner may say mean things to you, threaten you, insult you, put you down, tell you that you make poor decisions, make you feel crazy, isolate you from friends or family, or ignore your feelings 134. Common phrases an emotional abuser may say are, “You’re so stupid,” “Nobody else would ever want you,” “You look disgusting” and “You’ll never be good enough to do that.”
Risk Factors for Mental Abuse
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Healthopedia, an online encyclopedia of health issues, says that some people are at greater risk for being mentally abused than others. 1”
If you are being abused mentally or physically, tell someone you trust who can take extensive measures to protect your safety and privacy, such as your doctor or a woman’s health representative.
I am a 32-year-old female who received a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder in late September 2019. After being wrongfully diagnosed most of my existence as many other borderline patients have, it was almost a relief. Shortly after, it felt more like another bomb of worthlessness went off. I felt cursed until I decided it was time to speak up. I am one of many created borderlines. The trauma from my history created inside of me a blessing or a curse. I am choosing to make use out of my BPD instead of letting it overpower my will to survive it. When the professional compared it to third-degree burn victims all over there, body physicians nailed it. This pain we feel our emotions are not exaggerated, and most of us would give anything to not ever to shed another tear. I want to help others and connect with those alike. I am here to share my story as my voice deserves to be heard and give courage for others to speak.
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The place you go to find the facts about mental health and personality disorders that others won't tell you. The Borderline Chic doesn't surgar coat nor stigmatize. Subscribe and learn how to get a free copy of her Ebook Let's Talk About It: Word Vomit 2.0