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The Effects of Physical and Emotional Abuse to the Psychological Health

Physical abuse is the “non-accidental use of force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment / Photo by ChameleonEye via Shutterstock.com

 

Violent news from different countries that features different kinds of abuse is coming into the light as the victims are starting to voice out the most traumatizing part of their life that they want to bury into the ground. Now, despite the shaming of the people who think that they are making up these stories and the disclaiming of their perpetrators, the survivors of harassments and abuses are coming together to prove that these kinds of things happen and more people should be aware of these incidents. Anyone can be a victim, not because of their sexual orientation, their age, and the circumstance, but because there are actual ruthless people who can do bad things to others without having second thoughts of doing it.

In the website Healthy Place, they defined physical abuse as “non-accidental use of force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment. This includes, but is not limited to, being slapped, burned, cut, bruised or improperly physically restrained.” The article also clarifies that physical abuse is not limited to children but it can also happen to adults. Likewise, aside from physical abuse, there are a lot of types of abuse that can happen to anyone such as emotional abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, and economical abuse. In recent events, the news nowadays have been featuring more sexual abuses that was committed by powerful and influential men in different countries.

Good Therapy defined sexual abuse as any form of sexual violence, which includes rape, child molestation, incest, and any other similar forms of non-consensual sexual contact. Sexual abuse experts believe that sexual abuse also happens in an attempt of gaining power over others. Likewise, sexual harassment can happen to anyone, it doesn’t just happen to women just because they are the easy target of the perpetrators, but it can also happen to men who are capable of fighting back but they couldn’t because of overwhelming fear. According to a 2014 report, nearly 5% of all women and 1% of all men who are active in duty have reported that they experienced unwanted sexual contact and nearly half of reports from women involved penetrative sexual assault and this rate involves 35% for men.

 

 

Meanwhile, emotional abuse, according to an online article by Mel Magazine, can take a catastrophic toll on a relationship and the health of anyone, of any gender, who are subjected to it. Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse is more subtle, leaving no visible signs and even the victims aren’t aware that the abuse is actually happening to them. The Mel Magazine also shared a list of signs which tells a person that he/she is experiencing emotional abuse on his/her relationship and the list includes:

Putting her down

Making her feel bad about herself

Calling her names

Making her think she’s crazy

Playing mind games

Humiliating her

Making her feel guilty

Trauma and Mental Health

People who experience bad things in their life tend to have trauma or it could affect their mental health. Some people may develop depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and this puts people at risk for psychosis. Business Insider also noted on their website that the stress hormones that the brain releases can strengthen connections in the area where the hippocampus is located in the brain, which is responsible for keeping track of the person’s memories. The heartbeat will also accelerate and the person’s blood will start flowing out to the extremities as the victim prepares to hide, fight, run, or hide. These periods of “high emotional intensity can enhance the memory encoding of the brain, making them more salient and clear.

Since emotional abuse is one of the hardest form of abuse to recognize, it takes a lot of reaching out and patience to observe someone who might be having an abusive relationship. As a concerned person, it should be considered that the victim feels trapped and they are often too wounded to endure the relationship but they are also too afraid or too attached to leave their abuser, and just like physical abuse, if the abuse is not prevented, the cycle will just keep on repeating until it's too late.

Verywell Mind mentioned that in dealing with an abusive relationship, the person should make their mental and physical health their top priority. They should stop thinking about how to please the person who is abusing you and make sure that you establish a safe boundary with your abuser. Even though it's hard, try to be firm and tell them to stop yelling at you and they should stop calling you derogatory names.

 

Emotional abuse is more subtle, leaving no visible signs and even the victims aren’t aware that the abuse is actually happening to them / Photo by Getty Images

 

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