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Instead, psychological violence often remains invisible even to its victim. But emotional abuse can create deep damage that is every bit as serious as the emotional wounds of physical violence. There is no one true definition of emotional abuse. It can be tempting to try to minimize the severity of your experiences in an attempt to protect yourself from facing the reality of your trauma or to protect your partner, particularly if you have formed a traumatic bond. This desire to protect the abuser is common, even if you are no longer together.

However, all forms of emotional abuse are unacceptable and can profoundly impact your psychological well-being. No one deserves it. The effects of emotional abuse can be painful and destructive, both in the short and long-term. Survivors are often plagued by low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and feelings of helplessness.

Many experience deep shame, guilt, and self-loathing, in part because these are feelings the abuser has deliberately cultivated in you and as a result of of the stigmas and misunderstanding that surround abusive relationships. Often, shame and guilt drive you to stay silent about your experiences and may act as a barrier to leaving the relationship. Even if you have already walked away from the relationship, psychological pain can remain pervasive, shaping your understanding of yourself and the world around you.

This may be particularly true in the absence of a strong social support network, which abusers so often strip from you in order to fuel your dependence. For some, emotional abuse eventually leads to nervous breakdown. While there is no clinical definition of this phenomenon, it typically refers to the point at which psychological distress disrupts functionality.

Psychological Abuse: A Discussion Paper - surpvenstudigsand.tk

This loss of function occurs when the effects of emotional abuse become too much to bear. Philip Timms describes a common trajectory of breakdown:. The exact features of nervous breakdown may vary from person to person, but usually involves losing the ability to participate in social and professional activities as well as diminished self-care including eating and personal hygiene. In addition to feelings of depression and anxiety, you may experience sleep disturbances, paranoia, hallucinations, obsessive thoughts, and physical symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset, trembling, and muscle tension.

Sometimes, the most troubling symptoms lie not in the presence of overt distress, but in their absence—you may simply cease to feel anything at all. Nervous breakdowns do not necessarily occur while you are in the abusive relationship.

How to Recognize the Signs of Mental and Emotional Abuse

In fact, it is common for survivors to experience nervous breakdown only after the relationship has ended, sometimes even years later, especially if you have never had the opportunity to process your experiences in a healthy way. If you are experiencing or feel as if you will experience a nervous breakdown, it is imperative that you seek intensive mental health treatment as soon as possible.

Suffering in Silence: The Emotional Abuse of Men - Dr. Timothy Golden - TEDxWallaWallaUniversity

Due to the severity of distress inherent to nervous breakdowns, comprehensive care in a residential facility is often the best option to ensure rapid healing in a safe environment. The goal of a comprehensive mental health treatment program is both to alleviate acute symptoms of psychological disturbance and to investigate the roots of that disturbance in order to create lasting recovery.

Through an interdisciplinary curriculum of therapies, you will be able to deeply explore your experiences, give voice to your pain, and identify any damaging patterns of thought and behavior that fuel your emotional turmoil. At the same time, it is important to remember that, while a nervous breakdown is not mental health diagnosis, it can indicate that you have a mental health disorder, whether caused by or independent from your experiences of abuse.


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As such, appropriate treatment will depend on accurately assessing the presence of a mental health disorder and ensuring that your treatment plan addresses both the illness and its connection to your trauma. Search For The Real Self. James F. Narcissistic Disorder.


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Jennifer King. Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, Second Edition. Nancy McWilliams. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. A Practical Guide to Child Psychology.

Kairen Cullen. Eda Goldstein.

Personality: How It Forms. Henry Kellerman. Ronald Mah. Breaking Free. Sheldon Kardener.

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Inside Out and Outside In. Joan Berzoff. Healing Tasks. James I. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice.

The Many Faces of Abuse: Treating the Emotional Abuse of High-Functioning Women

Murray Bowen. Richard Stott. The Anorexic Mind. Marilyn Lawrence. The Narcissistic and Borderline Disorders. Mother-Daughter Incest. Beverly Ogilvie. Jerome S. Introduction to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Technique. Sarah Fels Usher. Ronald A. Therapeutic Trances. Stephen Gilligan. The Clinical Interview of the Child. Stanley I. Removing the Mask of Kindness. Les Barbanell. Thinking of Becoming a Counsellor? Jonathan Ingrams. Disorders of the Self. Critical Thinking for Addiction Professionals.

Michael J. Object Relations Psychotherapy. Cheryl Glickauf-Hughes. Complex Dilemmas in Group Therapy. Lise Motherwell. David Celani. Modes of Therapeutic Action. Martha Stark. Loss of the Assumptive World. Jeffrey Kauffman. Children of Alcoholism. Barbara L. Joan Lachkar examines the origins and early warning signs of the psychological violation she describes as a dance between abuser and abused. She goes on to introduce typologies of each the narcissistic or passive-aggressive abuser, the unentitled self and to explore the bases for their collusive attachments.

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Addressing therapeutic functions like empathy, containment, and countertransference, and following a couple's evolution from a state of fusion through transitional two-ness to emerging separateness, dependent and interdependent, Dr. Lachkar applies her psychodynamic approach to treatment, informed by object relations and self psychology, and complete with guidelines for technique and practical suggestions for the couple. The Narcissistic Abuser.