Although commonly thought only to affect veterans, PTSD can happen to anyone who experiences a traumatic event, regardless of what type of trauma we’re talking about.

This includes emotional abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse, leading to PTSD.

If you’re wondering if you have PTSD from emotional abuse, keep reading. We’ll go over the definition of emotional abuse, the different types of emotional abuse, and the signs and symptoms of PTSD.


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Definition of Emotional Abuse — What Is It?

Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is psychological in nature. It can include anything from verbal assault and name-calling to gaslighting and mind games.

Emotional abuse can even involve withholding affection or love as a way to control someone.

Emotional abuse aims to chip away at someone’s self-esteem and sense of worth until they are completely dependent on their abuser.

Different Forms of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse comes in many forms. Here are some examples:

Verbal assault:

This involves yelling, name-calling, put-downs, or swearing. This is the most common type of emotional abuse.

Because of this, it’s often seen as less serious than other types of emotional abuse. But make no mistake, verbal assault can be just as damaging.


This involves making someone question their own reality or memory. Typical gaslighting tactics include denying something happened even though it’s clear it did, telling someone they’re overreacting when they’re not, or making them feel like they’re crazy.

This can involve physical violence, relationships serially cheating, outside relationships, workplace emotional abuse, unrealistic expectations, or anything else that an emotionally abusive person can inflict on the person they have been subjecting to emotional and psychological abuse.


This type of emotional and psychological abuse involves isolating someone from friends, family, or activities they enjoy.

This is often done as a way to control them. When someone is isolated, they become more dependent on their abuser.

With that dependence comes more power for the abuser, and the victim stays under their control for as long as the abuser wants.

Mind games:

This involves playing with someone’s emotions or manipulating them for the abuser’s own gain. Mind games can be anything from playing hot and cold to guilt-tripping someone.

It can be anything that messes with someone’s head and makes them question themselves.

Withholding affection or love:

This is common in the relationship emotional abuse. It involves a person subjected to abusive behavior by withholding intimacy, compliments, or any positive reinforcement as a way to control someone.

This type of emotional abuse can be just as damaging as the others because it slowly chips away at someone’s self-esteem.

In parental emotional abuse, people experience this in ways that they might not experience with romantic relationships.

All of these are just some examples of emotional abuse. If you’re wondering if you’re being emotionally abused, ask yourself if any of these sound familiar.

What Are The Effects Of Emotional Abuse?


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Emotional abuse takes a toll on its victims that can last for years. It can cause feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, depression, isolation, and fearfulness.

In extreme cases, all of this can even lead to suicidal thoughts or attempts. Emotional abuse can also cause physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, ulcers, poor sleeping habits, and weight gain or loss.

Signs Of Emotional Abuse

There are many signs that you may be a victim of emotional abuse. If you’re wondering if you’re being emotionally abused, here are some signs to look out for:

You’re always on the alert to avoid setting your abuser off.
You’re always apologizing for things that aren’t your fault
You’re constantly second-guessing yourself
Your partner withholds affection or love as a way to control you

Impact Of Emotional Abuse

The impact of emotional abuse can last long after the abusive relationship has ended.

People who have experienced emotional abuse often struggle with trust issues, self-esteem issues, anxiety, depression, and even posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The mistrust and fear abusers instill in their victims can damage the victim’s ability to maintain healthy relationships.

The fear induced by emotional abuse can make it challenging for victims to seek help, leaving them feeling isolated and alone. Because of this fear, they may also stay in abusive relationships longer than they would if they weren’t emotionally abused. Keeping them in the cycle of the abuse getting worse and worse.

If you believe that you are struggling with the effects of emotional abuse, it is critical to seek out help. There are plenty of resources out there to help you cope and heal.

How to Recover From Emotional Abuse PTSD

Emotional abuse can have a lasting impact on your mental and emotional health. If you’re struggling with the effects of emotional abuse, know that you’re not alone.

Here are some things that may help:

Talk to someone who can help:

It’s important to talk to someone who understands what you’re going through and can offer support. This can be anyone that could help you. A friend, family member, therapist, or any other trusted individual. The key to processing your trauma is to talk about it so you can to heal.

Join a support group:

If you’re a survivor of emotional abuse, there are likely groups near you that can offer support. In these settings, you’ll be able to share your experiences with others who comprehend what it is you’re going through, providing a much-needed sense of safety and community.

Take care of yourself:

It’s critical to look after both your body and your emotions. This might include exercise, meditation, healthy eating, and other things that help you feel better. Self-care will boost your confidence and make you feel stronger and more able to face the difficulties ahead.

Try the national domestic violence hotline:

The effects of emotional abuse can be lasting and debilitating, they can affect a person’s. mental and physical health but there is hope for healing. A great thing to do is reach out to the national domestic violence hotline, they have experts who can easily guide you in the right direction.

The Bottom Line

Despite what many people think, PTSD isn’t just something that veterans experience. Anyone who experiences emotional abuse traumatic event—including emotional abuse—can develop PTSD.

If you’re wondering if your experience with emotional abuse has caused you to have PTSD, keep the following signs and symptoms in mind so that you can get the treatment you need. Keep in mind there are many resources available to assist you in recovering from your experience with emotional abuse. All you have to do is reach out for them.