Emotional abuse in relationships is just as serious as physical assault. In fact, it’s much more prevalent in our society than we think.
Emotional torture may involve a spectrum of behaviors including continuous insults and taunts, using tactics to demean the victim, manipulation, not respecting your privacy or personal choices and social isolation.
Keep reading to find out more about emotional abuse and how to pave your way toward recovery.
Short Term Effects:
The victim may be in a state of confusion and disaffirmation at first. Feelings of shame, neglect, and depression may arise. Other behavioral and physical effects that you might experience include inattentiveness, mood swings, muscle stiffness, palpitations, and muscle aches.
Long Term Effects:
Long-standing emotional abuse can contribute to low morale, anxious thoughts, severe stress, an altered sleep pattern, and chronic fatigue.
Are Children Affected Differently?
The effects of emotional assault in childhood may follow the victim into adulthood as well. Although these adults are less likely to be involved in abusing others, studies have shown that these adults are more likely to suffer from long term health problems such as eating disorders, cardiovascular disorders, psychological issues, and drug abuse.
The good news is that PTSD does not occur in all victims of emotional assault, though the risk remains high than the average person.
You may be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by your doctor if you experience long-term distress and grief affecting your routine functioning. Symptoms may include outbursts of severe aggression, negative thinking, lack of sleep and nightmares, and frequent panic attacks related to the traumatic event.
PTSD in children presents with frequent nocturnal diuresis, increased dependency on parents and personality decline.
PTSD is often treated with counseling and prescription antidepressants.
Stages Of Recovery:
Acknowledging the condition is the first step toward recovery. The following tips may help:
- The unconditional support from friends and family is the first step. The key here is to listen to the victim without passing any judgment. A support group might help as well.
- Moderate physical activity in the form of aerobic and strengthening exercises at least 4 times a week will improve your quality of sleep, increase your level of focus and reduces depressive behavior due to increased levels of serotonin.
- Avoid isolating yourself socially. Make it a priority to engage in meaningful conversations with your close peers and relatives. Whether it’s calling up an old friend, meeting someone for lunch or organizing a brunch at your home, enjoy the company of people to raise your spirits.
- It’s important to eat a balanced diet during your recovery. Lots of fruits and vegetables and high proteins are essential. Avoid excessive sugary treats, alcohol or fried items.
- Make self care a priority. Listening to some relaxing tunes, engaging yourself in aromatherapy, scheduling a yoga session and ensuring good quality sleep are just examples.
- Give back to your community by volunteering for a cause you feel deeply for.
WHEN TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP:
Lifestyle changes may be all that’s needed to improve your condition, but if you experience the following symptoms, a professional appointment may help.
Avoiding social interactions, persistent depression and anxiety, unable to carry out daily life tasks, and increased dependency on alcohol and illicit drugs are warning signs.
Finding A Professional:
If you seek professional help perhaps a G.P referral or recommendations from friends and family can land you with the right person to help.
Don’t be afraid to reach out, we all need help sometimes.
It’s important to be open with your medical practitioner about their approach to your condition and the various options of treatment you have. It’s also noteworthy to respect one another and no fear of judgment during the various counseling sessions you will have with your doctor.