Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is not as easy to spot as physical abuse, but oftentimes its effects can be just as traumatic. Emotional abuse can involve a wide range of tactics, including gaslighting, shaming and manipulation. All of these are intended to leave the victim feeling confused, powerless and hopeless.

Typically people suffer from long-term or short-term emotional abuse, and depending on the length of time, there can be varying mental health effects.

Long-term emotional abuse happens over many years. Examples are a child growing up in a home with an alcoholic parent or a sibling with anger issues. Or, someone may find themselves in a marriage with a narcissistic partner.

Short-term emotional abuse can result from a nasty exchange with a stranger or micro-interactions with colleagues or neighbors.

The following are some short-term and long-term effects of emotional abuse:

Short-Term Effects

  • Isolation or a sense of deep loneliness 
  • Self-doubt
  • Shame
  • Confusion
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety connected with social interactions
  • Feelings of powerlessness

Long-term Effects

  • Tendency toward a depressed mood or negative emotions like anger
  • Chronic stress
  • Physical health issues like muscle tension and shortness of breath
  • Attachment issues
  • Apathy
  • Eating disorders
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder)

You Can Heal from Emotional Abuse

With time, patience and plenty of self-compassion, it is very possible to heal from the trauma of emotional abuse. Working with a mental health professional who has been trained specifically to help people who have been the victim of emotional abuse is a great starting point.

If you’d like to explore treatment options, 

at the BTRC.

In addition to individual therapy, the BTRC offers group therapy for men who are struggling with intimacy issues and compulsive or problematic sexual behaviors.

This group provides psychoeducation and a place of community to connect with other men who share your experience. Check out our therapy services to learn more.

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