How Emotional Abuse in Relationships Harms Mental Health

The romantic relationships of a couple are in many cases a reason for happiness and emotional well-being, but unfortunately, in many cases they give rise to a dynamic of psychological violence. These situations do not only deteriorate the emotional bond or evolve into a dysfunctional relationship because of the behavior of the one who mistreats the other; moreover, it generates alterations that affect the victim in a targeted and individual way, and can even cause him to suffer long-term consequences.

In this sense, this type of relationship based on mistreatment, abuse and control ends up generating in the victim a series of damages that directly threaten their mental health. In this article, we will see what is the impact of psychological violence in couple relationships on mental health; motorcycles for which these toxic relationships should not be normalized, although physical aggression does not occur in them.

The Mental Health Effects of Emotional Abuse in Relationships

Below is a summary of the most common mental health consequences that emotional abuse produces in romantic relationships, both in marriages and in dating.

1. Low self-esteem

Self-esteem is one of the first elements of the personality of a victim of psychological violence who is affected by it. And in turn, this produces a “snowball” effect that facilitates the appearance of harmful behaviors, based on self-sabotage, self-loathing and social isolation.

Self-esteem is one of the fundamental psychological elements, what makes us who we are and how we behave the way we do. It can come down to how we feel about how we believe we are. This is why the aggressors first attack the self-esteem of their victims, making them increasingly insecure, less independent and less autonomous.

This process amplifies until the victim can no longer do anything on her own and is completely dependent on her abuser, who ends up taking control of the person she has been abusing for some time.

2. Emotional dependency

Emotional dependence is a psychological alteration that usually appears in cases of psychological violence in the couple, in which the victim ends up generating a constant need for attention and acceptance from his partner.

This psychological phenomenon is not based on the search for well-being, but on the avoidance of discomfort.: there is an excruciating fear of angering others, of causing inconvenience. This dynamic usually occurs because the abuser ends up controlling their victim in every aspect and undermining their self-esteem to the point of becoming totally dependent on the former.

Relationships based on affective dependence end up generating great discomfort in the victim on a psychological level, to the point that he constantly needs the approval, affection and love of his aggressor to be happy.

3. Constant anxiety and stress

Anxiety and stress are common forms of discomfort in any experience related to violence in partner relationships, even if there is no fear of the possibility of suffering physical attacks.

A person who is under a lot of pressure from their partner, who prevents them from doing anything on their own and who systematically monitors them, can end up developing alterations such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

These psychological manifestations can be treated by a professional psychologist as long as the victim recognizes their problem and is ready to start a therapy process, but the solution is to cut the relationship to get out of this situation of lack of control over their own life. .

4. Somatizations

Somatization is the appearance of physical symptoms caused by psychological problems or alterations or in the mental health of the affected person.

There are many somatizations that can develop due to psychological violence in relationships, among the most common we can highlight muscle pain, headaches, hair loss or the appearance of eczema and other skin problems. due to constant exposure to anxiety.

5. Insomnia

Insomnia and, in general, difficulty sleeping is another of the problems encountered by people who have been victims of psychological abuse by their romantic partners.

This insomnia is a direct consequence of the person’s psychological and mental health, and it has a lot to do with the inability to relax and the need to be “alert” so as not to offend others. In the long run, this ends up generating fatigue and depleting the person’s nerves and physical much so that it is almost impossible for him to fall asleep.

6. Increased Risk of Drug Addiction

On occasions when the violence inflicted by the partner himself is of great intensity, the victim may resort to the consumption of certain substances or drugs to escape a very negative reality.

For this to occur, the abuse must have continued over time until it reaches a point where the victim can no longer bear the situation, i.e. the use of a specific drug, such as alcohol or other drugs, may be initiated

In any case, the beginning of an addiction is a great detriment both to the mental health and to the physical well-being of the person concerned.

7. Isolation

Progressive social isolation is another of the symptoms that appear in a person when they are psychologically abused by their partner, since abusers tend to socially isolate their victims. This is why victims of ongoing psychological abuse eventually see their mental health eroded, along with their closest friendships and their ability to form new friendships.

Therefore, they end up feeling isolated and alone if they don’t have external support, it drastically affects their mood and psychological health.

8. Feeling guilty (despite being the victim)

The feeling of guilt is also one of the constants in situations of psychological violence on the part of the abused person, a phenomenon closely linked to the development of relationships based on affective dependence.

In these cases, the victim of abuse ends up considering that the abuse he suffers is his fault. and not the abuser, and even that he deserves said abuse, since abusers tend to blame their victims for everything that happens to them.

Are you looking for professional psychological help?

If you are interested in starting psychotherapy, contact us.

In Advanced Psychologists We work with patients of all ages, both in individual psychotherapy and couple therapy. You will find us in our center located in Madrid (Barrio de Goya).

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