Emotional abuse is defined as the repeated degrading of another person’s mental health and well-being through nonphysical actions. Even if a family member, friend, or romantic partner doesn’t get physically violent with you, they could still be emotionally abusing you. Emotional abuse, verbal abuse and psychological abuse are also harder to spot than physical abuse because the signs are generally less obvious than physical evidence of abuse. However, being in an emotionally abusive relationship can cause low self-esteem, PTSD, depression and other mental health problems. Knowing the signs is the first step to helping yourself or someone else who finds themselves in an abusive relationship So, we’ve made this video to help you identify the warning signs before it’s too late.
We also made a video on gaslighting, which is also a form of abuse if you want to check that out too: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuSSuuUkrNI&feature=youtu.be
If you relate to this video, we have also left a list of hotlines below you or a loved one can use to seek help for emotional abuse.
National Child Abuse Hotline (US and Canada): 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)
National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233)
Video Phone for Deaf Callers: 206-518-9361
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)
TTY: 800-799-4TTY (800-799-4889)
Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741 (US and Canada) or 85258 (UK)
National Runaway Switchboard: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)***
Writer: Carley Swanson-Garro
Script Editor: Morgan Franz
Script Manager: Kelly Soong
VO: Amanda Silvera
YouTube Manager: Cindy Cheong
American Psychological Association (n.d.). Emotional abuse. In APA Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved 11 June from www.dictionary.apa.org/emotional-abuse.
–(n.d.). Verbal abuse. In APA Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved 11 June from www.dictionary.apa.org/verbal-abuse.
Crisis Text Line (n.d.). How to Deal with Emotional Abuse. Retrieved 11 June from www.crisistextline.org/topics/emotional-abuse/myths-about-emotional-abuse-2.
Dubrow-Marshall, L., & Dubrow-Marshall, R. (2017). When your life is not your own. Therapy Today, 28(9), 24–27.
Francis, L., & Pearson, D. (2019). The recognition of emotional abuse: Adolescents’ responses to warning signs in romantic relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. doi.org/10.1177/0886260519850537.
Holt, A. (2013). Abuse in families: Commonalities, connections and contexts. In Adolescent-to-parent abuse: Current understandings in research, policy and practice, 15-36. Bristol University Press. DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt1t6p748.6.
Moulton Sarkis, S. (2018). Gaslighting: Recognize manipulative and emotionally abusive people–and break free. Hachette Books.