This might be a problem if you:
- Feel like you’re not good enough
- Are afraid of your partner leaving you
- Are called names by your partner or they put you down
- Are afraid, threatened or intimidated
- Feel like you are going crazy, or feel confused about the truth
What is emotional abuse?
Many concerning relationships involve aspects of emotional abuse. The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at a person’s feelings of self-worth and independence. In an emotionally abusive relationship, a person may feel that there is no way out of the relationship or that without their partner they will have nothing.
Emotional abuse can feel equally as destructive and damaging as physical abuse and can do a terrible amount of damage to a person’s mental health. It's common for physically abusive relationships to also include aspects of emotional abuse as this is how power and control is maintained within the relationship. It's important to seek help during this time but it can be hard to know where to find the right support. The ReachOut NextStep tool is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Try ReachOut NextStep to learn about the support options available for you.
Types of emotional abuse
Some types of emotional abuse can include:
- Verbal - yelling, insulting or swearing at someone
- Rejection - pretending not to notice someone’s presence, conversation or value
- Put downs - name calling, public embarrassment, calling someone stupid, blaming them for everything
- Being afraid - causing someone to feel afraid, intimidated or threatened
- Isolation - limiting freedom of movement, stopping someone from contacting other people (like friends or family)
- Money - controlling someone’s money, withholding money, preventing someone from working, stealing or taking money
- Bullying- purposely and repeatedly saying or doing hurtful things to someone.
The impact of emotional abuse
Though physical violence is often seen as being more serious than emotional abuse, this is not the case. The scars of emotional abuse are real and long lasting. Emotional abuse can leave a person feeling depressed, anxious and even suicidal, as well as having a negative impact on self-esteem and confidence.
If this sounds like you
If you are experiencing emotional abuse it is really important that you seek help. Emotional abuse is a really damaging form of abuse even if it doesn’t leave physical scars. There are a number of services
which can help if you need someone to talk to. Find out more about what to do if you’re in an abusive relationship