Mental abuse is often a censorious part of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse affects the mental health of thousands of people on a daily basis. A survey report says that 84% of people experience emotional abuse from their intimate partners. Maybe sometimes it’s very hard to realize that you are in an abusive relationship, whether it is with your parents or partner, siblings, or with your friends.
Mental abuse is not visible as physical violence, but it’s also as painful as physical violence and leaves scars for a lifetime.
Mental abuse can make you depressed, anxious, or even suicidal and doubt your own decisions, low confidence, and you will carry a negative impact on yourself.
What is actually Mental Abuse:Mental abuse can be represented as the behavior that can cause someone to feel insulted or humiliated and tear down their self-esteem. It includes making inappropriate demands, being hyper-critical, wanting others to sacrifice their needs, and gaslighting(cause someone to doubt their perception), bullying, tormenting, indirect mean compliments, verbal abuse, and humiliation, mental manipulation.
There are various ways to impose abusive behavior onto someone, but the outcome can be harmful. When a victim of mental abuse realizes it, often they choose the wrong methods to deal with the trauma or decide to stay with it.
This article mentions some of the key signs about it. It is very common for the victim of abuse to believe that it’s their own fault and that they ‘deserve’ the abuse and however, It is very important to know that victims should never be blamed for other’s abusive behavior; it was not their fault. Never accept the wrong behavior; everyone has the right to feel safe, respected, and supported in their relationships.
Expert says that mental abuse is represented as the behavior of emotional aggression like verbal, domination, or jealous behavior and dehumanizes over a period of time which causes trauma to the victim.
A Mumbai-based psychiatrist Dr. Harish Shetty, defines it as “Behavior which can cause mental stress in a person who has had a normal state”.
As Supreme Court lawyer Meenakshi Lekhi says: “A person who is not abusive and violent but refuses to speak to the spouse, and if this leads to depression, affects mental-health, not being acknowledged, then it amounts to mental abuse.”
Act 2005 ‘The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence’ defines it deeply as “verbal and psychological abuse” like Insults, taunts, humiliation, and mockery.
How to recognize mental abuse:If you continuously feel scared or confused or doubt yourself when you’re talking with anyone, either your partner, friend, boss or sibling, you may be experiencing mental abuse. The goal of a mental abuser is to threaten other person’s feelings of self-worth and independence and manipulate or humiliate them. In an emotionally abusive relationship, you may feel worthless. Mental and emotional abuse is a form of domestic and family violence.
In most cases, a mental violater is their romantic partner. If you experience such behavior around you, maybe you are in a mentally, emotionally abusive relationship. If your narcissist partner makes you feel like you are worthless, constantly frightens you with threats of leaving you unless you do what they say, and if you are trying to leave, they terrorize you to hurt you or themselves.
Types of mental abuse: Mental and psychological abuse can involve any of the following:
1-Verbal abuse (yelling, insulting or taunting, swearing at you)
2-Bullying and terrifying (purposely saying or doing hurtful things)
3-Creating terror (make you feel scared, terrified, or frightened)
4-Rejection (Countinusly rejecting your ideas, opinions, and thoughts)
5-Gaslighting (make you feel doubtful about your own feelings and thoughts, questioning about your stability by exploiting the truth)
6-Suppressive Behavior (calling you by bad named names or make you feel stupid, publicly humiliates you, and play the blame game with you)
7-Isolation (Isolate you from your friends and family and stoped you to contact others. End your freedom of doing things which you generally do like sports, gym, parties)
The impact of mental abuse:The impact of mental abuse on victim’s mental health is so serious that they develop many disorders in their personality as the result of the trauma they experience, such as:
Post-Traumatic Disorders (PTSD)
Complex Post-Traumatic Disorders (C-PTSD)
Borderline Personality Disorder
Mental abuse causes trauma which can lead to self-destructive tendencies like gambling, drinking, taking harmful drugs, and smoking, overeating which of course can be out of control if you avoid taking the help of a therapist.
Statistics say that one-fourth to three-fourths of people who have survived the traumatic experience of mental violence can develop alcohol abuse.
How to come out from the situation:
If you are going through mental abuse, it is very important that you need to seek help. There are numerous services you can contact if you want to talk with someone. Get the information about where to go in danger or in unsafe situations and the different kinds of support you can access: legal, financial, and medical.
There is nothing shameful in getting treatment for illegal substance users or mental abuse. Victims are strong or worthy; they just need to realize it. So take back your power, and contact a counselor or dedicated treatment provider.
Check out these Domestic violence websites and emergency services and share them with your friends for spreading awareness:
All-India Email helpline
Recognizing Domestic Violence – (SNEHA)
Domestic Violence helpline Pune
Dial 1298 Women helpline Mumbai
Dial 1091 Women helpline in Banglore
Or you can talk to the expert online; there are many services available 24/7. It’s better to take the wrong step in aggression; you can talk to someone ready to give you better advice.
Last but not least, please check up on your loved on time to time because most victims go silent while experiencing the trauma; it is better always to create an open conservation environment around you so they can share their thoughts with you without any hesitation. It is better to be safe than late.