Abuse is abuse, no matter what kind. Not all bruises and scars are visible. For men who have grown up in verbally abusive households and relationships, their wounds run deep. Verbal abuse is an insidious form of abuse. Sometimes verbal attacks are blatant and aggressive. Other times they are subtle and passive. Either way, verbal abuse has been shown to have just as much psychological impact as physical abuse. Anyone who has been victim to verbal abuse knows this to be true.
Still, shame and stigma prevail for verbal abuse. Minimizing someone’s experiences with verbal abuse is commonplace from other people. Conflicted with pain and shame, a victim of verbal abuse may take years to speak up about their experiences and turn to drugs or alcohol for support. Without the support of peers, or family members, the support of therapists can fall short. You know what you have been through. At the end of the day, authentically living in your own story is all that matters. Science can back your experience up with evidence, not to prove yourself right to other people, but to support your peace of mind: verbal abuse hurts.
Neuroimaging experiments revealed that the pain circuitry in the brain reacts the same for both emotional pain and physical pain. Comparing thoughts of rejection with the experience of hot physical pain, the brain reacted exactly the same. When people say that verbal abuse doesn’t hurt the same way physical abuse does, they are wrong.
Trauma, victimization, survivor of abuse- there’s a lot of psych-fancy ways to describe the peculiar impediment placed upon people who have experienced abuse. Characteristically, people who have been victim to abuse have a difficult time with social, emotional, and life situations. Much of this disability with adapting and coping comes from actual damage to brain development. Children’s brains placed under the stress of fight or flight mode learn to adapt to a survivalist nature. Everything from the cognitive function, to emotional regulation, to decision making parts of the brain see structural change from verbal abuse.
Anxiety and depression are highly linked to verbal abuse, especially when it comes from parents. The symptoms and effects of both these mental disorders are considerable, but it is one of the step-siblings to mental illness that causes the most concern. Overtime, verbal abuse fosters the growth of self-criticism and shame. Feelings of unworthiness stem from the harsh words parents give to a child as developmental cues in their self-value.
Sound Recovery Solutions strives to change the way our men think about themselves. We have created a supportive environment focused on building positive patterns and behaviors. Our programs of treatment are individualized to uniquely address each of our men’s needs for healing. Call us today for more information 561-666-7427