Emotionally abused children
Dr Jozelle Miller
February 25, 2020

Emotionally abused children

Children experiencing emotional abuse may develop effects such as:

• a core feeling of worthlessness
• difficulty regulating emotions
• difficulty establishing trust
• regression
• sleep disorders
• trouble developing relationships with others

Effects on personal relationships

A person who is subjected to emotional abuse, either as a child or within a relationship, may be less likely to trust people in the future.

For example, as they grow up, children might seek negative relationships that may continue to expose them to emotional abuse.

A person who is subjected to emotional abuse within a relationship may have trouble getting close to others in the future.

Risk factors

As a child grows into adulthood, they might develop additional effects to those of the emotional abuse they experienced.

According to research, children subjected to emotional abuse are more likely to develop toxic behaviour and may choose poor relationships over healthy ones. They may also be more likely to experience emotional abuse again in their adult life.

There are also some long-term medical issues that can affect people subjected to emotional abuse. These include:

• headaches
• eating disorders
• obesity-substance use disorders

In some cases, emotional abuse may lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A person who survives emotional abuse may not develop PTSD, but if they do, they may experience symptoms such as:

• negative thoughts
• angry outbursts
• insomnia
• nightmares

They may also be easily startled.

Top of Form

Closing thoughts- Emotional abuse, like any other form of cruelty, thrives in the darkness when no one understands, discusses, or recognizes it. Use your newfound knowledge and curiosity to shine the light on the risks and devastation of emotional abuse.

A great place to start is with asking the question, “How does that behaviour or action make you feel?” or “Did it ever get emotionally abusive?”