Emotional Abuse and Long-term Effects Psychology 2001 What is abuse? Can abuse be considered violence? Violence is considered a type of behavior intended to cause harm. Not all violence is the same. Not all acts of violence are carried out with intent. Intent is when physical or psychological harm occurs by accident and not with intent is not violence. All violence is not the same, sometimes it has to do with the issue of motivation and not intent. When violence is carried out because of motivational purposes it is considered abuse. Abuse can take many forms. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal.
It can also be a combination. Abuse is behavior which is used to control and subjugate another human, through the use of fear. Humiliation, intimidation, guilt, and manipulation are all tools used abuse another human being. One other important form of abuse is neglect. This is when the basic needs of another person are not taken care of, this usually happens in a parent child relationship. Emotional Abuse Emotional abuse can be very hard to detect. It is defined as a pattern of behavior by the parents or guardians that affects the child cognitive, emotional, psychological, and social development.
This is done by constant humiliation, intimidation, and belittling. Eventually the person loses self worth, and has a low self esteem. Emotional abuse is based on power and control. This is the most common form of abuse, and it is the least talked about. A lot of people overlook it and see it as a form of communication. A lot of emotional abuse does not appear to be serious, or dramatic so most people don’t realize they are being emotionally abused. Types of Emotional Abuse Abusive Expectation is when the other person places unreasonable demands on you and wants you to put everything else aside to tend to their needs.
Some other types of abusive expectations include: * Being subjected to constant criticism and being berated * Demand for constant attention Aggressing * Some aggressive forms abuse includes name- calling, threats, and ordering. Aggressive behavior is usually obvious and direct. Dominating * Someone wants to control your every action. They have to have their own way, and will resort to threats to get it. * When you allow someone else to dominate you, you can lose respect for yourself. Verbal Assaults * Berating, belittling, criticizing, name calling, screaming, threatening * Excessive blaming, and using sarcasm and humiliation. Blowing your flaws out of proportion and making fun of you in front of others. Over time, this type of abuse erodes your sense of self confidence and self-worth. Corrupting/ exploiting Using a person for advantage or profit, bringing up a child to serve your our selfish interest and not the child. Some examples include allowing the child to use drugs and alcohol, or to view pornography. Encouraging a child to do things that are harmful to themselves and others is also a form of corruption. * Rewarding a child for bullying and harassing behavior * Teaching racism and ethnic biases Encouraging violence is sports activities * Rewarding children for lying and stealing. * Infants expected not to cry * Expecting youth to support family financially * Young child expected to take care of younger siblings This is considered socializing a person into accepting ideas or behaviors that goes against the legal standards. Denying emotional responsiveness The failure to provide emotional support in a sensitive and responsive manner; being uninvolved and detached. Ignoring someone’s emotional and mental needs and failing to show affection. No abuse occurs without psychological harm.
All abuse contains emotional harm. Understanding Abusive Relationships People don’t look for abusive relationships, in most cases you end up being in one. People who were verbally abused by a parent or significant other tend to find themselves in similar relationships. People who have been abused often have feelings of being powerless, hurt, fear and anger. Abusers too have these same feelings. This is why abusers usually are attracted to people who have not learnt to value their own feelings, perceptions and viewpoints. This makes a way for the abuser to feel in control, and allows them to avoid their own feelings.
Emotional abuse follows a pattern, it is repeated and sustained. Abuse carries momentum and gets worse over time, in children emotional abuse can affect perception, attention, imagination, moral development, intelligence and memory. It also affects the Childs social development and can impair one’s ability to understand and perceive emotions. Understanding the pattern of your relationships, with family members and other significant people, is a first step toward change. You have to know who you are in a relationship to significant others may manifest itself in different ways.
For example, you may act as an “abuser” in some instances and as a “recipient” in others. You may find that you tend to be abused in your romantic relationships, allowing your partners to define and control you. In friendships, however, you may play the role of abuser by withholding, manipulating, trying to “help” others, etc. Knowing yourself and understanding your past can prevent abuse from being recreated in your life. How common is emotional abuse? Emotional abuse is difficult to research because it has only been recently recognized. Only a few studies provide information about emotional abuse in Canada.
Many cases of emotional abuse go unreported, and its effects are minimized. Facts to consider Emotional abuses of children who experience rejection are more likely to exhibit hostility, aggressive behavior and are usually extremely dependent. They usually have negative opinions of themselves and their abilities, and are emotionally unstable and unresponsive. Sometimes they have a negative perception of the world around them, or the people they see in their daily life. Children who see or hear their mothers being abused are victims of emotional abuse as well.
Growing up in such environments affects the Childs psychological and social development. Male children who have violent fathers model that behavior, and female children learn that being abused is normal in a relationship. Jealously, possessiveness and interrogation are controlling behaviors which restrict a female partner’s independence. This can lead to severe depression, anxiety, back and limb problems, and stomach problems. Indicators of emotional abuse How do you know when you are being emotionally abused? You should step back from your situation and examine the atmosphere in your home.
You should trust your instincts and the feelings you have about people. Emotional abuse is insidious so you have to trust your instincts. Trusting how you feel, if you change from being carefree and confident to being nervous and anxious and fearful in the company of an emotionally abusive person, and it is combined with abusive behavior; then you are being emotionally abused. Other things to look out for are: * Aggression * Sleep disturbances * Inability to trust * Frequent crying * Depression * Withdrawal * Sever anxiety * Fearfulness * Emotional instability * Suicide attempts or discussion Underachievement * Physical complaints with no medical basis * Stealing * Self blame * Stealing * Extreme dependence Long term effects of Emotional Abuse Although the visible signs of emotional abuse in children can be difficult to detect, the hidden scars of this type of abuse manifest in numerous behavioral ways, including insecurity, poor self-esteem, destructive behavior, angry acts (such as fire setting and animal cruelty), withdrawal, poor development of basic skills, alcohol or drug abuse, suicide, difficulty forming relationships and unstable job histories.
Emotionally abused children often grow up thinking that they are deficient in some way. A continuing tragedy of emotional abuse is that, when these children become parents, they may continue the cycle with their own children. Low self-esteem is a source of trouble – bad marriages, social isolation, violence, lack of success, depression, conflict in the workplace, etc. self esteem is something that guides socially, and it’s like a social conscience. When we have low self esteem it tells us that we are not getting enough positive feedback for people around us. We need acknowledgment, compliments and appreciation.
How to learn to love yourself The easiest thing to do is to forgive yourself. You cannot blame yourself for things that happened in the past, or were out of your control. This means to stop hating yourself, and to give up the desire to punish yourself. Humans make mistakes, so if you have recognized it and corrected it, then it is okay to feel good. Remember some situations only need an apology, or just for you to admit that you did something that was wrong. Some situations need you to make up for the damage you did. It’s easier to make amends once you are able to forgive yourself first.
Some steps on how to love yourself: 1. STOP ALL CRITICISMS Criticism will not change anything. Accept yourself exactly as you are. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positives. Learn to change what you don’t like about yourself in a positive way. Harsh criticism never changes a thing, either. No one is perfect. Realize that you’re moving forward and finding new, positive ways to handle old, negative patterns. Accept what you’ve done in the past and accept yourself as you are now… good person with the ability to change whatever isn’t working well in your life. Allow the same courtesy to others. 2. BE GENTLE AND KIND AND PATIENT Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself . Be patient with yourself as yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved. 3. Accept your negatives. Acknowledge and accept how you were created, and look at it in a positive light. Severe Anxiety An anxiety attack is an extreme form of uneasiness, while panic attacks are more severe and traumatizing forms of fright The roots of anxiety 1. hildren are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their needs and feelings for their self-protection. 2. For proper development, children need to be respected and protected by adults who take them seriously, love them, and helpt them to become properpy oriented in the world. 3. If people who are dissociated with their feelings become parents, they will then often direct acts of revenge for their mistreatment in childhood against their own children, whom they use as scapegoats. Child abuse is still sanctioned — indeed, held in high regard — in our society as long as it is defined as child-rearing.
It is a tragic fact that parents beat their children in order to escape the emotions from how they were treated by their own parents; Work cited Besharov, D. J. (1990). Recognizing child abuse: A guide for the concerned. New York: The Free Press. Garbarino, J. , ; Garbarino, A. (1994). Emotional maltreatment of children. Chicago: National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, 2nd Ed. Glaser, D. (2002, June). Emotional abuse and neglect (psychological maltreatment): A conceptual framework. Child Abuse ; Neglect, 26, 697-714. Pecora, P. , Whittaker, J. , Maluccio, A. , and Barth, R. 2000). The child welfare challenge. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. Dubowitz, H. , and DePanfilis, D. (Eds. ). (2000). Handbook for child protection practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Feild, T. , and Winterfeld, A. (2003). Guidelines on abuse—Emotional abuse. Tough problems, tough choices: Guidelines for needs-based service planning in child welfare. Englewood, CO: American Humane and Casey Outcomes and Decision-Making Project. www. americanhuman. org http://www. counselingcenter. illinois. edu/? page_id=168 http://www. thisisawar. com/DepressionAnxiety. htm