Emotional abuse is a common form of abuse that occurs in close relationships. It is also known as psychological abuse, and includes verbal abuse.
Emotional abuse is about one person maintaining power or control over another person. It usually takes place between intimate partners, or comes from a parent to a child. It can also happen in situations such as schools or workplaces (for example, in the case of bullying).
There are many different types of emotional abuse, including:
verbal attacks or threats
restricting a person’s freedom
controlling or taking your money, food or transport
putting you down, insulting or humiliating you, or blaming you
making you feel scared or threatened
making you isolated
deliberately doing things to hurt you (bullying)
being very jealous
For children, emotional abuse may include:
emotional neglect (not expressing love, not showing affection or not playing with the child)
rejection or hostility towards the child
insulting or humiliating comments made towards the child
inappropriate parenting (such as having excessive expectations of the child, or exposing them to domestic violence)
not recognising the child as a separate individual (using the child to satisfy a parent’s needs or wishes)
isolating or confining the child, or failing to create opportunities for the child to learn, explore or socialise with others
Emotional abuse can have serious negative effects on the physical and mental health of adults and children.
If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional abuse, help is available. Refer to the ‘Where to get help’ section below.
Emotional abuse is experienced both by men and women, but is more likely to be experienced by women. An Australian study found that around 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience emotional abuse by a partner in their lifetime.
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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