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Today, I am sharing an article posted by  This carefully written article discusses seven detrimental effects of verbal abuse.  

Consequences of verbal abuse can creep up on anyone suffering abuse, causing severe and lasting effects. Verbal abuse in relationships begins slowly and then typically gets progressively worse, the abuse serving as a catalyst for dangerous psychological consequences for the victim. A person with a relatively “normal” life and mental state finding themselves lost in a verbally abusive relationship can lead them to become someone plagued with depression, mood swings, lowered self-esteem, misplaced guilt, isolation, loneliness, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Although these negative side effects may outlast the relationship itself, they are not generally permanent and can be treated and overcome completely. Continue reading to find out more about these 7 consequences of verbal abuse.  


1.  Depression

 Depression is an understandable consequence of verbal abuse, especially prolonged abuse. Common symptoms or feelings associated with depression include sadness, hopelessness, feelings of emptiness, trouble sleeping or even over-sleeping. You may find yourself unhappy doing things you once loved or feeling like things will never get better. Verbal abuse can cause depression for the victim after weeks, months, or even years of feeling worn down by the abuser.

2.  Mood Swings

 Mood swings are a pretty standard psychological side effect for people involved in toxic relationships. Abusive relationships work in cycles that entail honeymoon periods in which everyone feels happy and in love and then a build-up of tension that leads to an abusive episode, and then a period of remorse that leads back to the honeymoon phase. Naturally, all of those ups and downs can have a person feeling mood swings. Mood swings can be chaotic and confusing, causing a person to feel like they can’t trust their own judgment or feelings.

3.  Lowered Self-Esteem

 A victim of verbal abuse has likely been called terrible names, belittled, degraded, blamed for things they feel they had no control over, screamed at, and bullied in ways that would take a major blow to anyone’s self-esteem and ability to value one’s self. Perpetual hyper-criticism can work like an icepick, picking away until there’s nothing but pieces everywhere. The stress of the criticism can cause a person to feel like they cannot perform simple tasks effectively and lead to feelings of worthlessness.

4.  Misplaced Guilt

 Most people who have suffered verbal abuse have heard again and again that everything that goes wrong, and I mean everything including the price of the tea in China, is all their fault. Being told repeatedly that you are at fault and to blame for anything negative that happens in your partner’s life as well as the abuse you are suffering is at first, seemingly ludicrous, but eventually accepted as an obvious truth like the sky is blue and grass is green. This misplaced guilt will likely originate within the confines of the relationship but then seep out into other areas of the victim’s life — other relationships, their work, their own misfortunes or random misfortunes of the people in their life, etc.

5.  Isolation

 Verbal abuse in relationships often leads to friend and family estrangement, alienating the victim from their loved ones. First, you may choose to spend all of your time with your new partner because you’re happy and in love, then you may start to pull away from social gatherings because your partner doesn’t like certain friends or family members, then you find yourself defensive of or embarrassed by the relationship you’ve found yourself in, so you isolate yourself.  Isolating yourself is a progressive pattern that begins with an ignored call or missed family event here or there, but then one day you realize you haven’t seen your mom in months and your best friend has found a new best friend.

6.  Loneliness

Loneliness is different from isolation because a person can feel lonely even in the company of others. To feel lonely can be to feel alone, misunderstood, uncared for, without friends or love, without companionship, etc. It is entirely possible to feel lonely while sitting right next to your partner, or falling asleep next to someone at night because loneliness is a mental symptom rather than a physical state of being. Loneliness is a common side-effect of verbal abuse because the victim feels rejected and cast-aside from their partner as well as isolated from their friends and family.

7.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a dangerous and understandable consequence of verbal abuse because being beaten down by verbal abuse is extremely traumatic. The trauma of abuse carries over into new relationships, romantic, platonic, professional, and familial because the trauma comes from the subsequent communication issues, self-doubt, and fear of rejection. You may find yourself extremely sensitive to a tense conversation or really hard on yourself for a minor faux-pas at work. PTSD can pop up unexpectedly, making you feel mentally unstable over things you think you should have a handle on.

These 7 consequences of verbal abuse in relationships are devastating to a person’s quality of life. It can be difficult to move on and find happiness when you’re still carrying around these negative side-effects of toxic love. The good news is, none of these consequences have to be permanent. With an investment in your own mental wellbeing, either through therapy, self-help reading, reaching out to close friends and family, or other options for recovery, you can overcome these painful symptoms of a relationship gone wrong. 

Author: Emily J. Sullivan

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