While verbal abuse may not leave physical scars, it is becoming more and more obvious that the scars it leaves are just as treacherous.
Furthermore, scientists are now becoming aware of the psychological damage that verbal abuse leaves in its wake. In a recent groundbreaking study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, 707 young adults aged 18-25 were studied. The participants were then asked to complete a verbal abuse questionnaire in which 15 items were addressed including criticizing, belittling, blaming, insulting, demeaning and ridiculing.
According to the study, 9% of the participants had encountered such verbal abuse. All of the participants were also given a brain scan, and what it found was beyond anything anyone could have ever imagined. Those who had endured abuse from their peers during their school days had underdeveloped connections between the two hemispheres of the brain.
Further testing found that the students who had endured abuse had higher levels of anxiety, depression, and anger.
The scientists who worked on the study concluded that abuse during middle school days had the most impact because the brain was developing during this time. “Verbal abuse can cause significant psychological problems in later years and brain damage, including anxiety, depression, anger hostility and dissociation.”
Our childhood years can either make or break us mentally. Any abuse endured during those times can stifle brain growth and promote anxiety disorders, depression and more, according to various studies. And what we do with this information could change everything.