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An emotional abuse sufferer crying

4 Lingering Effects of Emotional Abuse

When most people think about abuse, physical abuse is the first thing that comes to mind. While physical abuse might be clear-cut and leave visible scars on your body, other forms of abuse can be just as detrimental. For instance, many sufferers of emotional abuse don’t even realize the ordeal they’re going through until it’s too late. Research shows emotional abuse is often the precursor to physical abuse. However, sometimes, victims don’t understand they’re receiving emotional abuse until the physical abuse starts.

Many sufferers don’t recognize the signs of emotional abuse, and when they do, they experience feelings of confusion, denial, and helplessness. The truth that most people don’t realize is that severe emotional abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse.

Hence, if you’ve undergone such an ordeal at the hands of your perpetrator, it might have left you scarred. You’ll likely be reeling from the trauma it has left you. We’ll discuss some of the lingering effects of prolonged emotional abuse in this blog post.

The Lingering Effects of Emotional Abuse

Researchers commonly acknowledge that confusion, helplessness, anxiety, and fear are all short-term effects of emotional abuse. However, sufferers also often experience lingering effects of emotional abuse that persist for a long time. They include:

Emotional Numbness

Feeling no emotions is not natural. Instead, it’s a sign that your body is protecting you from the effects of prolonged abuse. Shutting down and not feeling anything is your brain’s way of making you feel safe when you know you’re helpless.

However, underneath the numbness, your trauma still exists. You aren’t addressing your pain, but you’re simply bottling it up. If you’re feeling numb, consider seeking emotional abuse counseling.

Resentment and Aggression

Often, sufferers of emotional abuse have pent-up aggression and resentment buried deep inside. Such feelings can transfer into your current relationships. Moreover, they can also affect your familial and platonic relationships. Sufferers will often resort to sarcasm and passive-aggressive behavior when dealing with other people. In some instances, they’ll try to redirect their aggression towards other parties.

Sleep Disorders and Nightmares

Some people also experience trauma from their past relationships. If you’ve still got scars due to emotional abuse, you might have trouble sleeping. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’ll likely face sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can cause you to have less energy, making your productivity and mood suffer. Likewise, if you do manage to fall asleep, you might experience nightmares. The trauma persists in your subconscious mind and manifests as nightmares. In some instances, sleep deprivation and nightmares can also signify that you’re battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Substance Abuse

Many emotional abuse sufferers often rely on drugs as a crutch. Many drugs often stimulate dopamine and serotonin production in your brain, elevating your mood. It’s not uncommon for emotional abuse victims to seek comfort in these drugs because it helps them repress their pain. However, this effect is only temporary. Once the drugs wear off, people often need another hit. This cycle can lead to substance abuse issues.

An intoxicated woman seeking solace in drugs

Overcome Your Trauma with Emotional Abuse Counseling

Overcoming trauma left by years of emotional abuse can be challenging. However, counseling can help you improve your quality of life and channel your emotions healthily.

Calming Streams is an online counseling service that aims to help people with challenges in their lives. We provide individual counseling in Douglasville, GA. Moreover, we also give counseling for stress, domestic violence, emotional abuse, special needs, and more.

Contact us for more information or book an appointment with us today.