Why Verbal Abuse Can Be Just As Damaging As Mental Abuse
Verbal abuse is inseparable from mental abuse. Ever the twain shall be
Throughout our lives, we develop our self perceptions based upon what others say about us and what they tell us they think about us. We gain and maintain, or lose, our self esteem based upon the expressed opinions of others. We become who and what we are mainly because of what other persons tell us what they think we are.
Whether it is deliberate or by happenstance, we suffer mental abuse as a result of the abusive statements of persons who speak to us and about us.
I think the most deliberate damage is done by persons who follow their damaging remarks with such statements as, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you feelings!” I think they fully intend to do damage and delight in doing so.
The worst offenders are the people who are closest to us. We hear them the most. We are likely to trust them the most. We listen to them the most. We are likely to care most about their opinions. Ultimately, they damage us the most.
The saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” was incorrect. We are damaged much more seriously by the words that are spoken to us.
We are victims of mental abuse, engendered by verbal abuse, from birth to death. At times, it may be unintentional, on conscious levels, but as we seek to control and manipulate one another, we constantly abuse each other mentally with things that we say.
Our creativity is beyond limit when it comes to thinking of hurtful things to say to each other. Whether we utter criticisms, witticisms, “jokes,” observations or snide remarks, we come up with countless abusive utterances with which to abuse one another, on a daily basis.
It has been reported that verbal abuse is a causative factor in many mental or emotional disorders. Included are the following:
Addictions Panic Attacks
Anxiety Sleep Disorders
Bipolar Disorders Stress
It seems that levels of verbal abuse and the subsequent mental abuse that it causes are unlikely ever to abate.
On the contrary, our compulsion to influence, to manipulate, to control and direct the behaviors and lives of others by abusing them verbally seems likely to continue as long as we exist. Although few of us are likely to admit our culpability, we are all guilty of verbal abuse.
We seem to be forever destined to abuse the priceless privilege of living our lives in each other’s company.
We lack the inclination, the discipline and the will required to do as has been advised and, “say nothing personal to or about anyone, unless you have something good to say.”
I know not what can be done to begin to attenuate this universal human ill. Perhaps you do.
Abuse, Coping, Support www. Divine Caroline.com
Mental Abuse-The Facts Revealed by Lesley Komlos
Verbal beatings hut as much as sexual abuse (can lead to depression, anxiety, and worse) By William J. Cromie, Harvard News Office
Florida State University (2006, May22). Invisible Scars. Verbal Abuse Triggers Adult Anxiety, Depression.
Parental verbal abuse and the mediating role of self-criticism in adult internalizing disorders. Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 93, Issue 1-3, pages71-78. N. Sacks-Ericsson, E. Verona, T. Joiner, K. Preacher