Emotional abuse is a form of controlling another person by using emotions. It can be criticism, shaming, blaming, embarrassing, or manipulating another person, or a set of behaviors that undervalue, undermine, or harm the victim.
The Effects of Emotional Abuse
An emotionally abusive relationship involves a consistent pattern of bullying, abusive words, withholding kind words, nagging, passive-aggressive backhanded compliments, or mental manipulation that greatly affect a person’s self-esteem and mental health. In addition, victims of emotional abuse are controlled, discredited, isolated, and silenced. Emotional abuse has a detrimental effect on a person’s mental health. Victims are often scared, feel inadequate, insecure, traumatized, or unsafe, and they can feel helpless and become dependent on their abuser.
More About The Effect of Emotional Abuse
Individuals who are emotionally abused can also develop several mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and some even develop complex trauma. The effects of emotional abuse are devastating for a victim especially if it’s long-term. The victim loses their sense of self and self-worth. They believe in self-defeating thoughts and often have a warped self-perception. As a result, a lot feel unworthy of love or a healthy relationship. Studies show that emotional abuse can be just as, if not even more powerful than physical abuse.
Consequences of Addiction and Long-Term Emotional Abuse
Long-term emotional abuse causes trauma that can eventually lead to a number of destructive behaviors. As a result, a lot of victims begin self-medicating in order to cope with the abuse. Unfortunately, the medication can quickly spiral out of control, and before they know it, they have developed a substance use disorder. The pattern of emotional abuse and addiction can go on for years because the abuse is normal for some victims. They don’t realize what they are going through is abuse, so this can lead to years of substance abuse. The National Institute of Mental Health “Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders” says:
Researchers have found that about half of individuals who experience a SUD during their lives will also experience a co-occurring mental disorder and vice versa. Co-occurring disorders can include anxiety disorders, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. Studies found that people with a mental disorder, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may use drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. However, although some drugs may temporarily help with some symptoms of mental disorders, they may make the symptoms worse over time. Additionally, brain changes in people with mental disorders may enhance the rewarding effects of substances, making it more likely they will continue to use the substance. (NIMH)
Other studies have shown that people with personality, mental, and substance use disorders are at a higher risk for abusing prescription opioids. For example, the researchers determined that 43% of those in treatment for opioid abuse have mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
Start Treatment for Addiction and Emotional Abuse at Evoke Wellness
Here is the good news, treatment is available. With all of the studies and research that have been done and are being done, we are gaining a better understanding of substance abuse and mental health disorders, so more effective treatment is being discovered every day. Evoke Wellness rehab centers assist men, women, and families throughout the United States struggling with substance abuse and searching for addiction treatment. Our network of premier treatment centers offers a comprehensive approach to treating substance abuse with multiple levels of care. A sober life begins now!