Emotional abuse is often tragically overlooked. It can be difficult to recognize initially since the boundaries can sometimes be less clear than physical or sexual abuse. However, emotional abuse is serious and can have long-lasting emotional effects. Emotional abuse can leave an indelible impact on your psyche and impact your future relationships, friendships, self-esteem, and physical health for years to come. Even so, people who have suffered emotional abuse can have hope for healing, and one of the most reliable paths toward recovery is individual therapy.
Individual therapy, and especially abusive relationship therapy, can offer the chance to recover from an emotionally abusive relationship. If you or a loved one has experienced emotional abuse, Atlanta Center for Mental Health’s compassionate and qualified staff can support you through your recovery. To learn more, call 833.625.0458.
How to Recognize Emotional Abuse
The first step to healing from emotional abuse is one of the most difficult: recognizing and acknowledging the abuse. Oftentimes those experiencing abuse find it difficult to acknowledge the abuse, either because they don’t realize the behavior is abusive or because of the manipulation entailed in the abuse itself. As a result, it’s essential to know emotionally abusive behaviors ahead of time and, if necessary, access domestic violence support as soon as possible. Emotional abuse may take the form of:
- Attempts to control your movements or behavior
- Demanding to know where you are at all times
- Using your flaws or fears against you
- Withholding affection
- Dismissing your feelings or concerns
- Isolating you from friends or loved ones
- Gaslighting or attempting to make you feel as though you imagine things
- Condescending or belittling comments
- Yelling and intimidating threats
By acknowledging these behaviors as abuse, you can begin to heal and regain control over your life.
How to Recover from Emotional Abuse
As with other emotional health issues, healing from emotional abuse is an individual process and can look very different depending on your needs. After you’ve recognized and acknowledged the abuse, some of the steps of recovery can include:
Reaching Out to Family and Friends
A support network is an essential part of any recovery process. Depression and emotional abuse often go hand-in-hand, along with anxiety and symptoms of trauma. These experiences can be isolating and lonely, so the love and support of your friends and family can combat the harmful effects of abuse. In addition, they can also offer an outlet, listening ear, and fresh perspective, all of which are important when combating negative thought patterns.
Changing Negative Thought Patterns
The experience of emotional abuse can significantly change your self-perception. An emotionally abusive partner or family member can make you believe lies about yourself and distort how you experience reality. These lies your abuser tells can be difficult to rid yourself of and can take a toll on your emotional health. Some of these negative thoughts you may be reinforcing could include:
- Black and white thinking
- Disregarding the positives
- Unrealistic expectations of yourself
- Blaming yourself for things that aren’t in your control
Your priority in the aftermath of an abusive relationship should be healing and taking control of your life. Prioritize activities that restore emotional balance to your life and build your confidence. These can be old or new hobbies, exercise, journaling, a healthy diet, and sleep. Create new routines and make your physical, spiritual, and emotional needs your priority. Doing so allows you to live your authentic self and regain control of your life.
Seeking Treatment In Individual Therapy
If you’ve experienced emotional abuse, consider looking for treatment through a mental health treatment center. In individual therapy, you will learn healthy coping skills, better understand your needs, and improve your emotional health. You will also have access to supportive peers and staff who have experience in domestic violence support and who can help you heal.
Find Domestic Violence Support With Atlanta Center for Mental Health
Atlanta Center for Mental Health can support you through the recovery process, providing a wide array of mental health services along with a stellar record of compassionate care. If you live in Georgia and struggle to recover from emotional abuse, learn how Atlanta Center for Mental Health can help by calling 833.625.0458 or filling out our online contact form.