All mental disorders, including anxiety, stem from long-term traumatic experiences, such as mental abuse. Verbal abuse is the most stigmatized form of abuse since many people disregard it. Unfortunately, this is the reason why verbal abuse is overlooked and its long-term effects are just as bad as the physical one.

Why is verbal abuse the worst form of abuse?

Regardless of where it stems from, all kinds of verbal abuse are equally bad. This is due to the scientific claim that verbal abuse actually affects both the right and the left brain hemisphere.
If the abuse is prolonged or it started from the early childhood, it can trigger numerous health and social problems.

Verbal aggression and abuse can alter the structure of a child’s brain. According to the scientists, the brain goes into a so called ″survival″ mode in order to deal with the stress easily. These effects are lasting and can cause numerous mental disorders, aggressive behavior, substance abuse, delinquency and other social problems, especially in male children.

Scientists have also found out that verbal abuse is internalized and its effects are even greater than the effects of expressing love.

Namely, a group of scientists wondered whether the presence of affectionate and attentive parent could offset the harm done by an aggressive and abusive parent. According to the results, the effects of both parental abuse and parental affection operate independently. Although verbal affection supports healthy development, it hasn’t offered any buffer against the negative effects of verbal aggression.

Emotional vs. Verbal Abuse

There is a link between verbal and emotional abuse, since the former one affects the emotions of the victim. This in turn causes psychological and emotional damage, which includes low self-confidence and low self-esteem.

These traumas negatively affect the mental development of the abused person, resulting in anxiety – a severe mental disorder which interferes with the victim’s relationships, work and life in general.

Short-term symptoms of anxiety:

Troubles making decisions
Over-thinking
No self-esteem
Lack of enthusiasm

Long-term symptoms of anxiety:

Digestive issues
Migraines

Chronic pain
Depression

Anxiety
Suicide

Eating disorders
PTSD

If you notice that some of your loved ones, friends or acquaintances are displaying any of the symptoms above, make sure you do your best to help them overcome this painful period in their lives. Sometimes, giving them some guidance can be even more than enough.

Signs of verbal abuse

Name calling

People who have a tendency to abuse someone verbally they use name calling as a tactic. It helps them to easily manipulate others and thus get what they want. This habit is highly dangerous and damaging.

Behind closed doors

Verbal abuse always happens behind closed doors. It can be either at school, at someone’s home or other type of facility. This results in severe trauma that has damaging consequences.

Lack of appreciation

Abusers show no appreciation for the victim’s achievements and hard work. They criticize everything that others do and nobody is good enough for them. This kind of behavior leaves the victim with feelings of emptiness, lack of motivation and purpose in life.

Abusers are mood-destroyers

Abusers feel like they are losing their control over someone who is in high spirits. Therefore, they choose the moment when the person is feeling great to start developing their tactic and destroy their mood. They actually feed off of someone’s insecurity and unhappiness.

Abusers attack victim’s interests

Abusers always attack person’s hobbies, interests and overall things in their life. They make others feel like they are not good enough and tend to destroy their self-esteem.

Abusers think they are always right

Most abusers never acknowledge or apologize for their wrong deeds. They actually believe that they are always right.

Abusers never take the blame

Abusers never take responsibility for their actions and they always put all the blame on the victim. This makes the victim feel worthless, which is detrimental to their mental and physical health.

The victim feels isolated

People who are verbally abused avoid socializing and tend to isolate themselves. When they are surrounded by other people, they usually feel uncomfortable and may easily get anxiety. This is because their self-esteem is extremely low.