Emotional abuse can feel as destructive and damaging as physical abuse, and can severely impact your mental health. It’s often used as a way to maintain power and control over someone.
Emotional abuse may be accompanied by other kinds of abuse: sexual, financial or physical. However, it doesn’t need to include other kinds of abuse to count as abuse; it’s serious enough on its own to be a concern.
Types of emotional abuse
Emotional abuse can involve any of the following:
- Verbal abuse: yelling at you, insulting you or swearing at you.
- Rejection: Constantly rejecting your thoughts, ideas and opinions.
- Gaslighting: making you doubt your own feelings and thoughts, and even your sanity, by manipulating the truth. For more information on how gas lighting works, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
- Put-downs: calling you names or telling you that you’re stupid, publicly embarrassing you, blaming you for everything. Public humiliation is also a form of social abuse.
- Causing fear: making you feel afraid, intimidated or threatened.
- Isolation: limiting your freedom of movement, stopping you from contacting other people (such as friends or family). It may also include stopping you from doing the things you normally do – social activities, sports, school or work. Isolating someone overlaps with social abuse.
- Financial abuse: controlling or withholding your money, preventing you from working or studying, stealing from you. Financial abuse is another form of domestic violence.
- Bullying and intimidation: purposely and repeatedly saying or doing things that are intended to hurt you.
source REACH OUT.com