The Long-Lasting Pain of Childhood Verbal Abuse


    Child abuse is something that reverberates throughout the life of the child and into the lives of everyone else as time goes on. It passes not only through the child affected, but also into the lives of those that interact with the child.

    You see, child abuse, whether physical, emotional, or sexual changes a person forever. From the moment of the first incident of abuse, a vicious cycle begins to manifest that can only be thwarted from the source. And even once the person begins to heal through the proper routes, whether it be therapy or medication, it can take years to undo the damage caused by the trauma of abuse.

    Despite all of this, so many people undermine the importance of stopping verbal abuse or assault. However, what they don’t realize are the strong associations that have been made by scientists between mental illness and verbal abuse. Actually, a number of personality disorders and mental health issues have been proven to have roots in trauma for many patients.

    While most people consider physical bruises, broken bones, and bloodied faces to be the signs of abuse, there are other bruises that are buried in our souls. And these long-term effects can follow us throughout our lives. 

    “It is the put-downs, name calling, insults, belittling and critical statements that have the most serious and long-lasting effect on self-esteem as these messages keep repeating in the victim’s mind, years after the bruises have healed,” says Associate Professor Dale Bagshaw, from the University of South Australia’s School of Social Work and Social Policy.

    Sadly, the verbal abuse continues to be overlooked, and in many cases, under identified. Many victims go through years of abuse, either because they didn’t have the means to stop it, or because they didn’t realize they were being abused because it was verbal.
    We have got to stop this vicious cycle. We have children that are growing into adulthood, showing signs of abuse because no one stepped in and stopped it. Children are helpless to this sort of behavior because they have no power. Someone has to be their voice.

    Seriously, look at the symptoms of abuse for a moment.

    1. Difficulty making decisions and forming conclusions.
    2. Feeling as though they are inherently wrong.
    3. Flashbacks, and reliving the abuse by entering into other abusive relationships later in life.
    4. Doubt their ability to communicate

    One study even found that verbal abuse was linked to chronic pain, migraine and frequent headaches, stammering, ulcers, spastic colon, constipation and even heart conditions. The same study also found that the psychological consequences were fear, anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, memory gap disorders, sleeping problems, irritability, anger issues, drug addiction, suicide, and self-harming behaviors.

    Every psychological symptom listed could spell out disaster for those that encounter them. And while the physical symptoms could as well, what happens when we are raising generations of hostile, depressed, sick and drug addled people, as a result of constant verbal abuse?

    Verbal abuse is never okay, but when it is being done to a child, it has to be stopped. If you would like to raise awareness to this, please share this with everyone you know. If you know someone that is being abused, please text CONNECT to 741741. It’s a confidential hotline that can help you to help the child in need.

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