The Devastating Impact of Emotional Abuse – How to Recognise the Signs

Emotional abuse is often difficult to recognise and can be even harder to deal with, because it has a devastating impact on the victim, both mentally and physically.

In this blog post, I will discuss what emotional abuse is and its impact, the different types that exist, and the signs that you need to look out for. I will also touch on the healing process after suffering from emotional abuse.

What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is a form of abuse that can be just as damaging, if not more so, than physical abuse. This type of abuse can include anything from verbal abuse and threats to manipulation and gaslighting.

Emotional abuse can be incredibly difficult to recognise, especially if you’re in the middle of it. It can be easy to dismiss the signs or convince yourself that it’s not really happening.

However, it’s important to be aware of the signs of emotional abuse so that you can protect yourself from this type of toxic behaviour.

What are the different types of emotional abuse?

There are many different types of emotional abuse, but some of the most common include:

Verbal abuse: This can involve anything from name-calling and put-downs to making threats.

Manipulation: The abuser tries to control you by making you feel guilty or manipulating your emotions.

Gaslighting: Th abuser tries to make you question your own reality or sanity. For example, they might say something and then deny ever saying it.

Isolation: This involves attempts to isolate you from your friends and family. Common tactics used by abusers include guilt -tripping, controlling your social media, or making negative comments about the people you’re close to.

The goal of the abuser is to destroy your self esteem and make you feel powerless. That way you will be less likely to leave or stand up for yourself.

What is the impact of emotional abuse?

The impact of emotional abuse can be both mental and physical. Victims of this type of abuse often suffer from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and insomnia. They may also experience physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems, and ulcers.

Emotional abuse can have a devastating effect on the victim’s life. It can make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships, both personal and professional. Victims of emotional abuse may also find it difficult to trust people.

How to recognise the signs of emotional abuse

If you’re worried that you or someone you know is being emotionally abused, there are some signs to look out for:

  • You are constantly on edge or feeling anxious.
  • You lose interest in activities that you used to enjoy.
  • You’re always apologising or making excuses for your partner’s behaviour.
  • You find yourself walking on eggshells or tiptoeing around your partner.
  • You’re constantly second-guessing yourself.
  • It is difficult to make decisions.
  • Your feel hopeless or helpless.

It’s important to point out that emotional abuse does not leave bruises or any external signs, so it can be easy to miss. Also keep in mind that many victims of emotional abuse end up believing that they deserve it or that it’s their own fault. If you’re worried about someone, reach out to them and let them know that you’re there for them.

The Cycle of Emotional Abuse

There is a common pattern that many victims of emotional abuse find themselves in. It’s often referred to as the “cycle of abuse.”

The cycle of abuse starts with the “honeymoon” phase, where everything is perfect, and the abuser seems like their dream partner.

This phase is followed by the “tension” phase, where small arguments or incidents begin to occur. The abuser may start to exhibit controlling behaviour or become more critical.

Then comes the “explosion” phase, where the abuser loses control and there is a major incident of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.

This is often followed by the “honeymoon” phase again, where the abuser is sorry and promises to change. The victim believes them and forgives them, and the cycle starts all over again.


If you’ve been the victim of emotional abuse, it’s important to seek help so that you can begin the healing process.

The very first step is to recognise what happened to you and to acknowledge that it was abuse. This can be difficult, but it’s an important step because victims are often brainwashed to think that the behaviour is normal.

Once you’ve acknowledged what happened, it’s important to reach out for support. You can start by leaning on friends and family, but you should also consider therapy, counselling, or a support group.

The healing process can be long and difficult, but it is possible to heal after suffering from emotional abuse. With the right support, you can begin to rebuild your life and create a healthy, happy future.

For Further Reading:

Check out the following posts if you are interested in understanding the impact of narcissistic abuse on victims –

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