The Surprising Link Between Verbal Abuse and Anxiety

Verbal abuse often goes ignored, and this is not surprising at all. After all, the term “abuse” is generally associated with fighting, beating, and physical violence.

Verbal abuse, defined as a destructive form of communication, comes in many forms! Specifically, Legal Dictionary defines it as “[the] repeated improper and excessive use of language to humiliate someone, or to undermine someone’s dignity.” The most common types of verbal abuse include emotional or psychological abuse, domestic violence, spiritual abuse, financial abuse, and elder abuse.

How to recognize verbal abuse?

On can be assaulted by verbal abuse virtually anywhere, whether it is at work, at school, on the road, at the mall…  Here are the most common examples of verbal abuse:

  1. Forgetting

Abusers tend to forget important dates, appointments, or promises made to the victim.

  1. Ordering the victim around

This is one of the first and most visible signs of verbal abuse. The abuser does it as an attempt to gain and keep control over the victim in an unhealthy way.

  1. Undermining

This sign resembles trivializing, where the abuser undermines anything that the victim says and makes it seems less important.

  1. Discounting

The abuser tries to deny someone of their right to feel or think, which is quite dangerous.

  1. Judging or criticizing

Judging and criticizing are often done in combination with laying blame and accusing.

  1. Name-calling

It can be subtle or explicit.

  1. Countering

Abusers are highly argumentative about any given topic!

  1. Trivializing

The abuser minimizes victim`s opinions, experiences, desires, goals, or emotions.

  1. Abusive Anger

This involves yelling or screaming without any particular reason.

  1. Accusing or laying blame

The abuser accuses the victims of thing that are out of his/ her control.

The Link Between Verbal Abuse and Anxiety

While verbal abuse doesn’t leave you with bruises or breaks, the emotional signs linger.  As a matter of fact, this form of abuse is a very common cause of anxiety and depression. Additionally, it is known to cause problems like migraines, memory disorders, eating-and sleep-related issues, high levels of stress, chronic fear, self-harm, stomach aches, and other gastrointestinal disorders, damage to the teeth and jaw, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).