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What Are the Risks and Signs of Emotional Abuse in Recovery?

Emotional abuse is hard to understand because it may come across as overly kind or wanting to be complimentary but in backhanded ways. Enabling can be considered emotional abuse, but so can constant criticism, little put-downs, or critiques about the way a person is doing something. A person’s self-worth and confidence already took some hard knocks with addiction. Recovery is a time to re-discover a person’s sense of self and self-esteem. Emotional abuse knocks them for a loop and keeps their mind trapped in old habits. Find out why this is risky, the signs of emotional abuse, and how to seek help.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Physical symptoms of emotional abuse may not be obvious. The signs of abuse in children can be especially difficult, but it may set up a person later in life to experience abuse without help. Anyone can become a victim of emotional abuse as an adult. It helps to recognize the signs a loved one may be abusing or they are experiencing abuse themselves:

  • Strong emotions are uncontrolled
  • Staying away from close contact with others or making their world very small
  • Aggressive emotional expression towards others
  • Not socializing
  • Loss of self-confidence to the point of being fearful or anxious
  • Hidden spurts of anger that may come out unexpectedly

How Emotional Abuse Occurs

Emotional abuse happens because the person wants to control someone. This may increase feelings of anxiety, depression, or fear. This form of abuse has effects on everyone in the family. There may be several people who experience lingering effects of the person’s abuse:

  • Substance use, leaving home, stealing, or bullying behavior
  • Increased risk of mental health disorders
  • Lack of confidence or self-esteem

How to Cope

As an adult in recovery, it is important to know how to find hope and healing from emotional abuse. Although it might have been an origin of some substance abuse and mental health conditions, there are ways to mitigate them and seek support. Don’t give up finding hope for healing from the ravages of abuse:

  • Be aware of the environment: look at who and what is in the environment creating an abusive situation. Be conscious when feelings of fear, depression, and anxiety appear. Work with therapists and counselors to deal with those hurts in a healing way
  • Own it: take responsibility for the choices and decisions that can be owned. Trauma comes in many forms. It may be of benefit to reach out to accountability partners and support people for help
  • Seek therapy: CBT and group therapy are great treatment programs for survivors of emotional abuse. They help rebuild self-confidence by sharing experiences and finding support. Family therapy is also a good idea to help everyone get on the same page

Treatment needs to be holistic. This means approaching a mind-body-spirit connection in dealing with abuse in the present or past. The key is to spend time organizing a good rehab plan then follow through with aftercare therapy. Emotional abuse can derail recovery or lead to relapse. The sooner a person recognizes the signs and nips it in the bud, the better.

The Guest House Ocala helps people deal with trauma, abuse, neglect, mental health issues, and addiction. We develop an individualized plan a person can follow to help guide them through recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling, there is hope and healing on the other side of the challenges you face. Call us to find out how to get started: 1-855-483-7800