In Abuse, Health Professionals

The Underlying Truth about Mental Abuse

Mental Abuse

What Is Mental Abuse?

Many people experience mental abuse firsthand, and do not realize it. This is the primary reason why many people want a mental abuse definition. As far as this type of abuse is concerned, it can be described as the type of abuse that an individual experiences when someone plays mind games and blames everything on them. This is what is commonly referred to as the “blame game.” People who experience this form of abuse do not have to be in a relationship. This type of wrongdoing can be done by family members, friends, co-workers, and people you may not have met before.

Types of Abuse

There are many different forms of abuse, but there are six common types of abuse which include:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Verbal
  • Economic
  • Mental
  • Sexual

Physical Abuse: Physical abuse, like mental abuse is a common form of abuse. Physical abuse can involve many different situations, such as getting in your face, stopping you from removing yourself from a threatening situation, such as stopping you from leaving, or blocking a doorway. Other forms of Physical abuse include:

  • Communicating threats
  • Fighting
  • Slapping
  • Choking
  • Kicking

Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is commonly confused with mental abuse. This form of abuse include insulting someone or someone trying to intimidate you. One form of emotional abuse that people are not familiar with include someone embarrassing you in public. If someone does not respect your feelings, or does not listen to how you feel, this is a form of emotional abuse. Common forms of this type of abuse include making threats and someone talking down to you.

Verbal Abuse: Verbal abuse happens when someone yells or shouts at you. Many people experience verbal abuse when they are having a disagreement with another person. Other forms of verbal abuse include:

  • Swearing
  • Putting you down
  • Arguing
  • Threatening you
  • Name calling
  • Mocking

Verbal abuse does not have to occur only when arguments take place. This form of abuse can happen anywhere, at any time.

Economic Abuse: Economic abuse is a form of abuse that only a few people may be familiar with. This type of abuse happens when your spouse or other individual withholds money from you or opens a new bank account that is joint with you, but you do not have access to the funds. One rare, but true form of economic abuse is someone shaming you for the way you choose to spend your money.

Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse happens when someone says vulgar comments or proceeds in unwanted sexual contact. The most common form of sexual abuse is rape. When it comes to sexual abuse, someone forcing you to participate in unwanted sex or sexting is a legitimate form of sexual abuse.

Signs of Mental Abuse

There are many different signs that you can look for that will help you identify mental abuse, even in its rarest form.

1. Denial

Denial is the most dangerous sign and symptom of mental abuse. Denial is dangerous for individuals who are enduring this form of abuse, and for people they come in contact with. As far as denial is concerned, people do not want to acknowledge the events that are taking place. Whether you have friends or relatives who are willing to help you through this situation, if you are in denial, it can be difficult to get you to account for the harmful things that are taking place.

2. Lashing Out

A lot of things cause people to lash out, but there is one distinct way that lashing out can be viewed as a sign of mental abuse. People who suffer from this form of abuse tend to lash out at others because they are not able to lash out or express their feelings to the person who is abusing them.

3. Personality or Character Change

The human body has an interesting way of dealing with instances, such as mental abuse. As a person who suffers from this form of abuse, and many other forms of abuse may experience a personality or character change. A person can endure more than one personality change as a result of mental abuse. You may find that everything bothers you or offends you. You may feel as if everything that people say are means of a way to attack you and the situation you are in. Many people who are dealing with any form of abuse may distance themselves from their friends and family, and prefer to be alone for long periods of time.

4. Change of Diet and Eating Habits

Some people who endure abuse not knowingly change their eating habits which may cause excessive weight loss or excessive weight gain. If you or one of your friends or relatives are experiencing abuse, you may see them eat a lot more or a lot less than they normally would. A change in the foods they eat and when they eat can become a factor. People who normally eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight may begin to eat a lot of fatty foods, such as ice cream, chips, cookies, and other sweets.

On the other side of things, you may notice that you or your friend does not have an appetite for food or beverages. They may not want to eat or drink anything. Sometimes people who endure abuse want to be left alone and feel worthless which in turn causes them to stop eating and gain unhealthy eating habits. Shame and similar feelings and emotions may take over a person’s mind, and cause unhealthy thoughts, such as suicide or hurting others. If you or someone you know is showing some or all of these signs of abuse, let someone know immediately. If you are going through an abusive situation, let someone know. You do not have to endure this situation alone. Before something occurs that is out of your control or a situation escalates, it will be in your best interest to speak to someone you can trust, and discuss your situation. This is the best way to keep a clear head about the overall situation.

How to Cope with Mental Abuse

There are many different ways that you can deal with mental abuse. Mental abuse not only affects your mental health, but your overall health, as well. You may be familiar with a few different mental abuse quotes, such as “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” or “if I treated you the way you treated me, you would hate me.” These mental abuse quotes are things that people who suffer from this form of abuse say to help them get through their situation on a daily basis.

Coping with this form of abuse can be difficult for the individual and their friends and family. There are several steps that can be taken that will help you cope with the abuse that you have experienced. These techniques and methods of dealing with this form of abuse can be used for short-term and long-term goals.

1. Admittance

The first step of any situation is admitting that there is a problem. This is usually the most difficult step that a person has to take in order to be free of the abuse that they are experiencing. Whether you admit that there is a situation of abuse to a friend, family member, counselor, or another person, it is one step in the right direction.

2. Seek Help

The next step is to seek help. Once you admit that there is a problem, there are a lot of people who will be more than willing to help you and see you through every aspect of this journey. You do not necessarily have to seek help from a professional, such as a therapist. Sometimes friends and family can give you great advice, and help you get on the right track, and avoid getting into any situations that are similar to the one at hand.

3. Strategize

Once you find someone who is willing to take this journey with you and help you through the difficult times, it’s time for you to strategize. Many people who encounter this form of abuse reside with their abuser which makes the situation a lot more difficult to escape. Find a way that you can get your belongings out of the home without being harmed. One of the best ways to do this is to call the authorities, such as the police, and ask them to meet you at the home so you can retrieve your belongings. It would not hurt to have a friend or a family member by your side for support, and to help you pack your belongings.

4. Confront the Abuser

Some people who have reached this step are ready to confront the person who has been abusing them without having any side effects or harmful thoughts. Once you reach this step, you can walk up to your abuser and express how you feel, and how they made you feel. Many people who have suffered any form of abuse find comfort in knowing that they were able to stand up for themselves and take control of their life again. This is usually the last step before the road to recovery begins.

5. Future Plans

You’re free now! This is when the journey turns from sour to sweet. Start planning things that you have always wanted to do. Take a trip or plan a dream vacation to start your rewarding journey to recovery and a new life. This is the time when you can relax and focus on yourself and the things that mean the most to you. If may take some time to get used to, but in time, everything will fall in place.

6. Continue to Seek Counseling

It may be in your best interest to continue to seek counseling just to help you stay on track and keep from going back to the life that you once knew. A counselor can give you tips and advice on how to move on with your life and forget about the past.

7. Reconnect with Family

Many people who experience abuse stray away from their family, and tend to go into hiding. This all comes with the territory of being abused and not wanting anyone to know or get involved. Seeking counseling is one way that you can get help reconnecting with your family.

8. Reconnect with Friends

When you are suffering from abuse, the last thing you want is for your friends to know or try to help you. If you are not ready to stop the situation, there may be nothing that they can do at the present time. Once you have made it thus far on your journey to recovery, reconnect with your friends. Go places and do things. Do not be afraid to have fun and live a little!

9. Keep Your Distance

Keeping your distance is a significant factor in your road to a successful recovery. Many people who have fallen victim to abuse find it difficult to stay away from their abuser. For some people, it may seem strange, but when you have lived one way for so long, a lot of things become a second nature, and when you suddenly change things, your mind may be telling you one thing, while your body is telling you another. In any situation, it will be in your best interest to keep your distance from your abuser.

10. Do Not Return

You may want to return to the person who abused you, and that is normal, but this is something that you want to refrain from doing. Regardless of how much you want to return, you should keep everything that has happened to you in the back of your mind. This is one thing that will help you keep your distance from your abuser and move on with your life. If you are not around this person or people, it will be difficult for them to harm you or cause more problems.

This journey can become frustrating and challenging many times, but this is something that you can get through with the help of friends and relatives.

Sources: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

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