Parents love for their children can’t be measured. Yet, almost all emotional abuse cases that have been detected were carried out by parents or their caregiver. Some justify it as a form of discipline, and some aren’t even aware that they are harming their children. Most parents were raised that way and the circle continues because they don’t see the harm in it. They don’t notice that their inability to cope with their frustration has a damaging effect on their child.A parent commonly shouts to take out their frustration on their children as they believe that it will teach them how to behave. Children are led by example – if they notice that their parents are violent or shout when they are angry, they will repeat the same in their future interactions.

Parents have a hard time accepting that their way of discipline can be abusive. Another person cannot hit or bully their children but if they do it — it’s because they love them and they want what’s best for them.

Emotional abuse doesn’t hold the same weight as physical abuse or neglect. Pain, like everything else socially, has a hierarchal system. The most disturbing fact is that emotional maltreatment is habitual and unlike psychical abuse, the scars are invisible.

However, psychological and physical pain trigger the same parts of the brain. According to David Vachon, a McGill [Canadian university] professor in its department of psychology, “people assume physical abuse is more harmful than other types of abuse, but we found that they are associated with similar consequences”.

Children who suffer from mental abuse have a long road ahead of them. Most adolescents who grew up in a household that tolerated emotional abuse suffer from low self esteem and prolonged self doubt. As adults, they either end up repeating their parents’ mistakes or allow others to mistreat them.

Communities should offer prevention methods and remedies. An effective way to educate parents is by allowing hospitals and schools to offer parents free lectures on how to deal with children when they misbehave or how to regulate and control anger.

My original article is posted in Gulf news your views page

Sara. H

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7 thoughts on “Emotional and physical abuse are as damaging

  1. Dealing With Codependancy, a book written by Pia Melody explains this perfectly. Experiences in childhood, shape adulthood. It’s really worth a read- I found I related to pretty much all of the book and it helped me to understand some of my behaviours.

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  2. I agree that emotional abuse is just as damaging if not more damaging to a person than physical abuse. The physical scars or marks tend to heal while the emotional or mental scars or mark seem to evolve and grow along with the person. This is an issue I struggle with on the daily – hourly most of the time. It may sound bad but I sometimes would rather take a punch to the face than to feel the way I feel emotionally 90% of the time.

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  3. I was one of those unfortunate children who suffered emotional abuse from my mother. My father chose to ignore the abuse, but at the same time, tried to “make up” for the continual derogatory remarks. My youth was at best, dysfunctional. I won’t lie and say there aren’t times when I’m down on myself and know the years of hatred directed at me, affects my daily existence. But, I also am lucky enough to say that I have proven her wrong so many times. The emotional abuse actually slowed to a crawl after I moved out of her home. My father passed in 2008 and it has made the relationship between my mother and myself totally different than it was in the past. There are many, many times now that she is dependent on me – funny how things change, isn’t it? I struggle as I write this because NO ONE and I mean no one knows what I went through except my mother, father, and two brothers. I haven’t even been able to express everything to my husband of 31 years. I can honestly tell you that today has been a very big step for me. And to think, I have my blog (and all of you wonderful bloggers) to thank! I KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that I AM better and wiser than that very young girl who was told, over and over, that the only reason I was ever born was to be a servant. I chose to live my life knowing that my mother was (and is) WRONG! I am here for many, many reasons and to be a servant of ANYONE – is not the reason! If you chose to remember anything – remember – YOU ARE UNIQUE – ONE OF KIND – AND IT’S GLORIOUS!

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  4. I was emotionally abused by my parents all of my life, right up until the day my father passed away in 2012. As a result, I chose friends and partners who were dominant and emotionally abusive. My ex-husband emotionally, physically and sexually abused me. As a result I suffered from mental illness (bipolar, depression, OCD, etc.) and was constantly trying to take control of people and situations. Thank you for your article. I appreciate your research and personal experience. After losing both of my parents I finally, at age 56 started finding out that I had a place in this world and am slowly learning who I am. I am not trying to be what I believed everyone wanted me to be. That was very exhausting and damaging.

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  5. As a adult who as a child suffered physical, mental, emotional, and even sexual abuse I can agree with this hole hardheartedly. I would state that emotional – mental abuse is by far at least in my case way more damaging. To this day at the ripe age of 28 I still suffer and have yet to overcome the many issues that the past has brought. I am a addict and knowing of that. I self medicate because i have yet to really connect with any psychologist i have tried nor any of the meds they have put me on seem to work. Iam diagnosed BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder. Iam a parent now seemingly part time due to divorce and I have to control myself a lot when my son acts out. When i realize iam starting to get angry i step away. My first reaction is to react the same way the many families that raised me did and that is through severe physical punishment. Reading this post makes me want to write one of my own with a focus on the damaging effects of extended grounding and talking down to your child. I would be grounded to my room for a month. A month of go to school, come home, go to room and only come out for bathroom and dinner. This has made me reclusive and during episodes where i will store away from society for a week if not more and not want to be around anyone. Thank you for this post.

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