What Is Emotional Abuse (And When Should You Seek Help)?

  • 19 months ago
4 minute read.
What Is Emotional Abuse (And When Should You Seek Help)?

Emotional abuse is nothing more than a desire for power over others. Abuse, in whatever form it comes, causes you to suffer. People have unrealistic expectations and desires that they enforce on other people inflicting damage at the emotional level.

You've probably heard of physical or sexual abuse, but emotional abuse isn't as subtle. So, this blog talks about emotional abuse. Also, what are the possible signs, and when should you seek help?

What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is a deliberate act to hurt someone's emotions. It simply means you are made to feel sad, embarrassed, anxious, etc., on purpose. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, it comes least in the notice.

People generally feel confused about their emotions and cannot figure out what's happening. And signs of emotional abuse are usually noticed when it reaches extremes.

For instance, it's commonly seen in marriages. When couples start arguing, they use abusive words to hurt each other and try to satisfy their ego. While initially, it may not feel like something serious, over time, either partner becomes a victim of emotional abuse.

Is Emotional Abuse a Form of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is associated with several behaviors, including verbal, physical, sexual, economic, psychological, and emotional abuse. According to research, UK's home office, in 2015, included coercive control as a part of domestic violence.

Domestic violence could be of any form. For example, in coercive control, a person follows a pattern to control another person's behavior, resulting in an unequal sharing of power. It becomes difficult for a person to leave or stay in a relationship when they are under coercive control.

While in emotional abuse, there's verbal abuse, bullying, and everything capable of doing emotional damage. Most of the time, you know that you are being bullied. Yet you cannot take action due to your prolonged submissive behavior. It, surely, is a feeling of being trapped.

Is Emotional Abuse the Same as Any Other Abuse?

While physical and sexual abuse receives most of our attention, emotional abuse is often underrated. Abuse can take many different forms. In fact, emotional abuse has an extremely negative impact on many other aspects of your life.

Also, there is no age or gender-specific emotional abuse. Abusers can range from children to the elderly. According to research in the UK, one in 11 adults suffers from emotional abuse at a young age. Further, there have been reports in which even babies, since birth, are abused and manipulated.

What are the Signs of Emotional Abuse?

Indeed, it's not always easy to spot the signs of emotional abuse. Many signs usually go unnoticed. However, as emotional abuse occurs in all settings, including schools, homes, and workplaces, it's critical to consider how interacting with someone makes you feel.

Similarly, your actions and reactions reveal a lot about the type of behavior you are receiving. Also, you may regard yourself as overly sensitive to a 'normal' world. Nevertheless, the following are major indicators of emotional abuse:

Shouting and Belittling

They may use abusive words in an inappropriate tone. You may feel belittled, insecure or unconfident about yourself. Such actions are a clear indicator that you are being abused emotionally.

Unrealistic Expectations

it's mostly seen in relationships. And all the emotional abuse starts with unreasonable demands. You feel forced to meet the needs of the other person. If the needs are not fulfilled, it takes the shape of criticism, distortion, and intimidation.

[ Also Check: Cyberbullying And Ways To Deal With It ]

Teasing and Embarrassing

People usually try to cover up their doing by saying, 'it was a joke,' or 'I was just teasing you,' or 'It's nothing serious.' Repetitive attempts to make you feel embarrassed and insecure about your sensitivity are merely emotional abuse.

Other signs of emotional abuse could be poor physical health. You might begin skipping meals. Even you lose interest in socializing or being friends with anyone. Eventually, you come to believe that others will not or cannot understand what you are going through.

[ How to Talk About Your Mental Health with Your Employer ]

How can Emotional Abuse Affect You?

When you live in an abusive environment, you lose the power to think logically. You even miss the actual severity of the situation. Long-term abuse can leave you feeling frustrated, stressed, and anxious. You develop low self-esteem and a sense of isolation.

With time, you start losing interest in most of your daily activities. There's a feeling of being stuck. Besides, there is a direct link between physical and mental stress. When your mental health suffers, your physical health suffers as well. This causes you to miss your food, work, and several other joys of life.

[ Emotional Wellbeing Toolkit: Ways To Look After Your Mental Health ]

How to Get Help for Emotional Abuse?

Firstly, it is important to know what exactly is emotional abuse help. It's basically mental help from an expert to get you out of the situation. It's natural for you to feel helpless, vulnerable, and weak. In this case, you can't heal from the pain on your own.

Therefore, doctors, psychiatrists, helplines, and counselors offer emotional abuse help to get you away from the situation's toxicity and emotional trauma. Also, the experts conduct emotional abuse help sessions, which facilitate your recovery process.

Don't let emotional abuse get the better version of you. Reach out to a counselor and know the best ways to cope up with emotional hindrances.


Furthermore, you could be taken to a completely different environment. They also try to assist you in coming up with the best decision for your relationship. Giving you the confidence to leave and let you know your true potential.


Whether it's physical or emotional, abuse is something that you shouldn't tolerate. When it comes to opening up about being abused, a victim never feels comfortable. However, that only makes things worse.

There could be no excuse for manipulating someone. Also, no one deserves to be controlled or manipulated, no matter what. Just don't fall for the things like 'it's normal' or 'it happens with everyone.'

Just realize your self-worth and make the right choice for your life. No one, indeed, deserves to be treated with cruelty. And if you ever find someone who's showing signs of abuse, do notify a doctor or an expert so that he or she may seek the required help.

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