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  • Writer's pictureSaving Grace Medical Academy Ltd

Abuse comes in many forms:

Abuse comes in many forms:

Mental abuse, often insidious and covert, can profoundly impact an individual's health and well-being. The effects extend beyond emotional distress to manifest physically, leading to a range of health issues. Chronic stress from constant belittlement, manipulation, or gaslighting can dysregulate the body's stress response system, elevating cortisol levels and weakening the immune system. This can increase susceptibility to illnesses, ranging from frequent headaches, digestive problems, to more severe conditions like hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

Mental abuse at any age can undermine self-esteem and foster feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Trauma from child abuse can result in the child/adult having issues with trust, behavior, communication, and relationships. Victims may be aggressive, violent, and prone to drug and alcohol abuse or suicidal thoughts. They may have difficulty learning or holding onto a job. They may also deal with anxiety and constant fear. Studies have found that trauma occurring in childhood may exacerbate or predict some ADHD symptoms. Traumatic events, such as experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect, can not only result in children behaving in ways that imitate ADHD, but these symptoms can develop well into adulthood as well.

Prolonged exposure to such toxicity can fuel anxiety, depression, and even suicidal ideation. The psychological toll may also lead to behavioral changes, such as substance abuse or self-harm, binge / purge eating, as coping mechanisms. Often, victims of mental abuse may develop distrust and difficulties in forming and maintaining healthy relationships, exacerbating their social isolation and diminishing their support networks, further compromising their mental and emotional resilience. 

Addressing the impact of mental abuse on health requires a multifaceted approach. Providing victims with access to safe spaces and supportive communities can offer validation and empowerment, facilitating their journey towards healing and recovery. Professional interventions, including therapy and counseling, are crucial in helping survivors rebuild their self-esteem and coping mechanisms, while also addressing any underlying trauma. Additionally, raising awareness and promoting education about mental abuse can contribute to prevention efforts, fostering environments where such behaviors are recognized and condemned. 

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