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Emotional Abuse – Warning Signs and Getting Support You Deserve

Have you ever felt like you’re walking on eggshells around your partner? Do they criticize and belittle you, making you feel worthless? You may be experiencing emotional abuse. This insidious form of abuse can slowly chip away at your self-esteem. Learn to recognize the warning signs of emotional abuse and reclaim your self-worth. Discover resources to build a support system as you consider your options. You deserve to feel safe, heard and respected in your relationships. This article provides guidance on identifying emotional abuse, coping strategies, and treatment options like counseling or anger management. With support, you can regain your sense of self and move forward. You have the power to stop the cycle of abuse.

If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available today. Call (833) 969-3318 to speak with our compassionate team, or reach out online and schedule an appointment to begin a healing journey.

What Is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is a form of psychological mistreatment that can deeply impact your mental health. It involves a pattern of behavior that chips away at your self-worth and emotional wellbeing over time.

Common Tactics

  • Gaslighting or denying your experiences
  • Put-downs, insults or constant criticism
  • Humiliation, either in private or public
  • Intimidation through yelling, manipulative “punishments”
  • Excessive jealousy or possessiveness

Long-Term Effects

Emotional abuse can lead to anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental health issues. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 48.8% of women and 48.8% of men have experienced at least one psychologically aggressive behavior by an intimate partner.

Getting Support

No one deserves to be emotionally abused. Seek support through counseling, support groups or calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). With help, you can heal from the trauma and regain your self-worth.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Constant Criticism

  • You’re frequently put down, insulted or made to feel inadequate.
  • Your opinions, thoughts and feelings are dismissed or ridiculed.

Possessive or Controlling Behavior

  • Your partner is excessively jealous and tries to control who you see or talk to.
  • They monitor your activities, movements and demand to know where you are at all times.

Emotional Blackmail

  • Your partner threatens to harm themselves or the relationship if you don’t comply.
  • They use fears, insecurities and obligations as manipulation tactics.

Studies show 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience emotional abuse from an intimate partner. Yet emotional abuse often goes unrecognized, as there are no visible scars. If you recognize these signs, reach out for help – you deserve a healthy, supportive relationship.

Why People Are Emotionally Abusive

Lack of Emotional Intelligence

People who are emotionally abusive often lack the ability to recognize and manage their own emotions. They struggle with empathy, impulse control, and emotional regulation – making it difficult for them to have healthy relationships.

Trauma and Learned Behavior

In some cases, emotional abuse stems from past trauma or witnessing abusive behavior as a child. If someone grew up in an environment where emotional manipulation was normalized, they may carry those patterns into adulthood.

Mental Health Issues

Certain mental health conditions like narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, or substance abuse disorders can contribute to emotionally abusive tendencies. Proper treatment is crucial for breaking these cycles.

Power and Control

At its core, emotional abuse is about exerting power and control over another person. Abusers may use tactics like gaslighting, intimidation, or isolation to make their partner feel small and dependent on them.

With professional support like counseling or anger management programs, emotionally abusive patterns can be unlearned. But it requires accountability and a sincere commitment to change.

Impact of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can have severe and long-lasting impacts on mental health. It often leads to:

Low Self-Esteem

  • Persistent feelings of worthlessness
  • Lack of confidence in abilities
  • Overly critical of oneself

Anxiety & Depression

  • Constant state of worry or fear
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

Trauma & PTSD

  • Flashbacks or nightmares about abusive incidents
  • Hypervigilance and easily startled
  • Avoidance of trauma reminders

Seeking professional treatment is crucial. Evoke Wellness offers specialized programs addressing mental health issues stemming from emotional abuse, such as PTSD treatment, depression treatment, and personality disorder treatment. Act today to begin healing.

Getting Support for Emotional Abuse

Seek Professional Help

Emotional abuse can have long-lasting impacts on your mental health. Seeking professional support is crucial to heal from trauma and regain self-esteem. Consider options like therapy, counseling, or support groups tailored for emotional abuse survivors.

Build a Strong Network

Surround yourself with empathetic individuals who can provide a safe space to open up. Reach out to close friends, family members, or community organizations that understand the complexities of emotional abuse.

Prioritize Self-Care

Emotional abuse can drain your energy and leave you feeling depleted. Prioritize self-care practices like exercise, meditation, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy. This can help rebuild your confidence and promote overall well-being.

Consider Legal Options

In severe cases, emotional abuse may constitute harassment or domestic violence. Explore legal options, such as obtaining a restraining order or seeking guidance from domestic violence advocates, to ensure your safety and protect your rights.

emotional abuse warning signs infographic

Emotional Abuse Treatment Options

Therapy and Counseling

  • Individual, group or family therapy can help process trauma and develop coping strategies. Approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are often used.
  • Support groups provide a safe space to share experiences and find solidarity.

Anger Management

  • Anger management programs teach techniques to control outbursts and communicate in healthier ways. This can benefit both victims and perpetrators.

Mental Health Care

  • Treatment for conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD or personality disorders is crucial. Medications, counseling and lifestyle changes may be recommended.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, millions of Americans experience emotional abuse each year. With proper support, healing is possible.

FAQ: Bipolar Disorder Treatment

What is bipolar disorder?

  • A mental health condition causing extreme mood swings.
  • Shifts between manic/hypomanic and depressive episodes.

How is it treated?

Bipolar disorder is usually treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medications like mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and antidepressants help control symptoms. Psychotherapy provides coping strategies and support.

What are common treatment challenges?

Finding the right medication dosage and combination can take time. Therapy participation and medication adherence are crucial. Support systems are important for managing this chronic condition.


You deserve to feel safe, respected, and cared for in your relationships. If you recognize any warning signs of emotional abuse, know that you are not alone. Many caring professionals and support groups are there to help guide you to a healthier life. With time, compassion, and the right help, you can move forward. You have the power to make positive changes, starting today. Take the first step by reaching out. You are strong, you are valued, and you deserve to be happy.

Begin Your Journey With Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek

Evoke Wellness at Coconut Creek is a full-service addiction and Mental Health treatment facility serving Florida residents. We base each of our programs on the individual’s severity of symptoms and use a combination of evidence-based therapies and holistic approaches to address the needs and recovery goals of the patient.

If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available today. Call (833) 969-3318 to speak with our compassionate team, or reach out online and schedule an appointment to begin a healing journey.