Make an Appointment: 586-303-1700 | [email protected]

  • Mental Health Effects of Emotional Abuse

    Emotional abuse is not as easy to spot as physical abuse, but oftentimes its effects can be just as traumatic. Emotional abuse can involve a wide range of tactics, including gaslighting, shaming and manipulation. All of these are intended to leave the victim feeling confused, powerless and hopeless.

    Typically people suffer from long-term or short-term emotional abuse, and depending on the length of time, there can be varying mental health effects.

    Long-term emotional abuse happens over many years. Examples are a child growing up in a home with an alcoholic parent or a sibling with anger issues. Someone may find themselves in a marriage with a narcissistic partner.

    Short-term emotional abuse can result from a nasty exchange with a stranger or micro-interactions with colleagues or neighbors.

    The following are some short-term and long-term effects of emotional abuse:

    Short-Term Effects

    • Isolation or a sense of deep loneliness 
    • Self-doubt
    • Shame
    • Confusion
    • Low self-esteem
    • Anxiety connected with social interactions
    • Feelings of powerlessness

    Long-term Effects

    • Neuroticism, or the tendency toward a depressed mood or negative emotions like anger
    • Chronic stress
    • Physical health issues like muscle tension and shortness of breath
    • Attachment issues
    • Apathy
    • Eating disorders
    • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or CPTSD (chronic post-traumatic stress disorder)

    You Can Heal from Emotional Abuse

    With time, patience and plenty of self-compassion, it is very possible to heal from the trauma of emotional abuse. Working with a mental health professional who has been trained specifically to help people who have been the victim of emotional abuse is a great starting point.

    If you’d like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me.


    Emotional Abuse and its Impact on Mental Health