Psychological violence is often the most difficult type of violence to recognize because their scars are not visible to the naked eye. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, this one leaves no marks, injuries, or other physical evidence.
On the other hand, psychological abuse can occur different areas of life: partner, family, school (bullying), work (mobbing) … Regardless of where this phenomenon manifests itself, the long-term effects can be long-lasting, invisible, devastating and can even accompany the affected person for the rest of their life, especially if the abuse occurs at an early age or not. . a mental health professional.
Invisible effects of mental violence
But … What are the invisible consequences of mental abuse? What negative effects does psychological violence have on the victim? In the following lines you will find the answers to these questions.
1. Low self-esteem
The victim’s low self-esteem can in many cases be the trigger for this type of abuse, especially in relationships, where high emotional dependence can manifest when people value themselves negatively. But low self-esteem is also a consequence that the abused person can suffer.
According to a study published in the Journal of Emotional Abuse in 2005, as a result of this situation, self-confidence and self-esteem of the emotionally abused person becomes negative.
Psychological abusers often focus on the weakness of the victim, constantly attacking ruthlessly. Whether it is his physical appearance, his weight, his intelligence … The aggressor constantly repeats the message that the victim is worthless.
2. Anxiety and stress
Another research in the Journal of Emotional Abuse concludes that people who experience mental abuse they have high levels of anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Much of the manifestation of this symptomatology has its roots in the denial of reality by the victim.
Many people who suffer from this form of abuse are not even aware that the damage they suffer is not their fault and is not part of the natural development of their daily lives as they are more stealthy and more difficult to handle. detect that physical abuse. In fact, it can even be difficult to make a complaint.
3. Sound problems
Another consequence of psychological violence is sleep instabilityThis is often associated with anxiety and stress and can manifest as nightmares. The same study concludes that denial and helplessness in victims of mental violence can cause sleep disturbances.
Victims of mental violence often suffer from a strong tendency towards loneliness and isolation. For example, in the case of relationships, the abuser he may try to cut off the victim’s communication with his familyAnd in cases of harassment or bullying, the victim often suffers damage to their reputation because the abuser is responsible for doing so. Isolation and loneliness further aggravate the situation and make it difficult to resolve the problem.
5. Feeling guilty
It is possible that the victim, when they are left alone and have low self-esteem, will end up blaming themselves for what is happening, and it is not uncommon for the bully to engage in behaviors as well. aiming at the abused person to blame themselves. For example, in cases of psychological violence in the couple often occurs a phenomenon called emotional blackmail, in which the victim is easily manipulated.
Without a doubt, it is very common for people to be victims of psychological violence. they end up suffering from a depressive state. And that’s not at all strange considering that their self-esteem is badly damaged, they are in a situation of loneliness, and they are constantly suffering from a traumatic situation.
7. Thoughts of suicide
Depression and abusive situation they can often lead to suicidal thoughts. Recently, for example, an alarm has been raised for cases of bullying in some schools.
8. Substance abuse
Substance abuse can also occur in people who are victims of mental violence, as it does. a way to avoid facing reality and is another form of denial. It is also common for this phenomenon to manifest itself in adulthood when individuals have been the victims of psychological harassment in their childhood.
9. Excessive aggression
Other times, the anger and rage felt by some people who have experienced this kind of abuse they can cause disproportionate aggression to appear. Especially in abused children, this aggression can accompany them for the rest of their lives.
10. Difficulty with other interpersonal relationships
A study published in the Journal of Emotional Abuse indicates that people experiencing mental violence have serious difficulties having healthy interpersonal relationships. The reason is that their trust in other people is diminished and many are unable to have close emotional ties with other people.
11. Emotional silence
The suffering suffered by victims of mental abuse is such that they have serious difficulties expressing their emotions. Sometimes out of embarrassment and sometimes because the suffering of the psychological harassment of which they were the victims caused them to lose confidence in others. The inability to express feelings is known as emotional mutism or alexithymia.
12. Psychosomatic disorders
Emotional silence and stress can often cause a number of psychological and organic disorders. One of them is psychosomatic disorder, which is characterized by a physical symptomatology thought to be caused or worsened by mental factors. Negative moods that we don’t express can inhibit or activate organ systems that sustain themselves over time can lead to these types of disorders.