Emotional Abuse Is Far Worse Than You Think

A new study finds that emotional abuse is
just as harmful as physical or sexual abuse – so why is no one talking about this? Hey guys, Tara here for Dnews – and anyone
who’s not a complete monster knows just what kind of scars sexual and physical abuse
can leave on a child. But something that’s rarely, if ever talked about – is psychological
abuse. There are no laws against it, no billboards on the side of the highway. And yet the American
Academy of Pediatrics says it’s “the most challenging and prevalent form of child abuse
and neglect.” So why aren’t we addressing this issue with the same fervency we give
to other more, visible kinds of abuse? Well, part of that may be a simple lack of
awareness. Until now, most of the studies on this subject, have specifically looked
at the long-term effects of sexual or physical abuse. But according to a new study, children
who are emotionally abused or neglected can develop similar and sometimes even worse mental
health problems than kids who are sexually or physically abused. For this study, researchers analyzed data
from 5,616 children with lifetime histories of physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological
maltreatment, or a combination thereof. Maltreatment in this case was defined as either abuse or
neglect inflicted by a caretaker – so things like bullying, threats, severe insults, isolation,
etc. What they found, is that a staggering number
of children – 62% – had a history of psychological maltreatment, and 24% of the cases they studied,
were exclusively related to psychological maltreatment. They also found that children who were victims
of psychological maltreatment, suffered from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, post-traumatic
stress disorder, and suicidal tendencies – at the same rate – and in some cases, an even
greater rate – than children who were physically or sexually abused. Especially worrisome, is the fact that of
the three kinds of abuse, psychological maltreatment specifically has the highest association with
depression, anxiety, attachment issues, and substance abuse. So clearly, this is not an
issue we should just be brushing off. According to the US Children’s Bureau, nearly
3 million U.S. children experience some form of maltreatment every year. But as the lead
author of this study, Joseph Spinazzola, points out – there are no physical wounds associated
with psychological abuse. So child protective case workers have a particularly hard time
recognizing it. He also brings up the point that emotional
abuse just doesn’t carry the same social taboo as physical or sexual abuse, even though
it’s equally, if not more, damaging to a child’s mental health. As such, our primary
goal, he says, should be to implement more public awareness initiatives to “help people
understand just how harmful psychological maltreatment is for children and adolescents.” While we’re on the topic of children, I
wanna remind all of you guys watching this, that I host another show here at Discovery
called TestTube – that’s a lot like Dnews, but more geared towards current events. Yesterday
I did an episode on the secret pro-life agenda of Crisis Pregnancy Centers[a], and how many
of them have been deliberately misleading women with false information and facts about
abortions. So if you’d like to learn more about that topic, just head over to youtube.com/testtubenetwork.

100 thoughts on “Emotional Abuse Is Far Worse Than You Think

  1. The majority of all forms of child abuse other than sexual, is perpetrated by women. That's why we don't hear about it.

  2. My mom is verbally abusive. I have anxiety because of her. She threats me and say im trash. I dont wanna reach out for help cuz i dont want to hurt her in anyway.

  3. My parents are almost never there for me. Yeah they’re loving sometimes. But instead of teaching me not to say things that will hurt others they physically abuse me. They hit my head, pull my hair, etc. I’ve been through so much during my childhood. Like literally a lot. I don’t know how to say no to my friends because I feel like I’ll lose them. Like they’re everything I’ve got.

  4. My dad's verbally abusive,I can't talk to anyone, when I was 4 toll I was 8 or 9 I was sexually abused by my younge uncle who is 10 years older than me….i told my dad and a few years later a boy was making fun of victims and following me around saying "THEY WANTED IT! THEY JUST GOT THEIR HEART BROKEN SO THEY LIE" I had to go home….i was yelled at saying I was over tramatic. I'm almost 14 now and he says I'm a bitch, threatens to beat me, calls me a brat and so one, I'm a human trash bin…

  5. I've tried to kill myself, and I have low self esteem. But my parents are really nice to me, so I guess there's something wrong with me.

  6. Have you read the book called "In comfort of Mary" by Bethany Ford its on Amazon and when you look it up always put the authors name in as well as the title of the book and its now on YouTube now and you can read chapter one on YouTube now and it's all about healing and how to move on with your life after physical, emotional, neglect abuse.

  7. I'm 50 yrs old, never married. Always Afraid of getting turned down. Never thought I was good enough for some lady. Yes!, I was Emotional Abused

  8. when I was 7 I knew I was responsible to care for myself I seen physical n mental of abuse from blood from dad beat my mom to my dad telling me I better not blink my eyes he said he was going to kill me, I don't go around much and past 3 Christmas I spend them alone and I like to be alone being alone is comfort I'm over the past and they don't haunt me like for many of years, so care for yourself, spoil yourself, I get pissed sometimes and think what a low life of a man

  9. …..How about The NAP
    and this ship definitly violates the NAP

    I can hear the owls screeching!

  10. I'm one of those kids my daddy used to be nice to me when I was at grandma's ever since I was three months old and then I end up in the woods with my brother and he trys to stick his sick up my ass when I kick him in the nuts than I end up in foster care and then back at dad's and I still prefer to call him daddy but if gotta face it he's not the nice dad I thought he was.

  11. Not all of Society accepts mental illness as a 'real thing' therefore emotional and psychological abuse is not seen as something that society takes seriously (as much as other forms of abuse like sexual or physical)

  12. My dad has yelled at me and my mom for far too long and we kept of thinking “we should just run away from him!” But, we can’t…all we can do is just stay In this of endless yelling.

  13. "Billboards on the side of the highway" are a foolish waste of money. Abusers always find ways to rationalise their acts.

  14. 8 months, 8 months of my mother’s abuse is all it took for me to start fantasying about killing her, and this was after 10 years of thinking she was good mother. Emotional abuse is just as bad and physical and sexual, in some cases worse.

  15. It’s not like I can just call the police on my mum and brother for emotionally abusing me 😔 emotional abuse should be taken at the same stakes of physical or sexual abuse.

  16. If u are mentally abused u would be in such a dark place where u don't care about the physical abuse…that's why sad people hurt themselves…they want to die but but still looks for hope that's why they don't end it……😳😳F my life

  17. Emotional abuse turns children gay when they go through puberty and enter adulthood. It’s an epidemic that must be stopped and we as a society need to do better trying to comfort this mental illness as a norm. All gay personalities such as Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, and George Takei all experienced sexual abuse as children and most of the lesbians I knew throughout my life were emotionally/sexual abused by their fathers and grew up in a toxic evironment.

  18. Don’t emotionally abuse children after they’re born but it’s ok to kill them in the womb. Got it. Hypocrite much?

  19. I suffered emotional/psychological abuse for years by a sibling and a parent. I started my severe depression around 2nd grade and it only got worse as I grew. By the time I finished high school, I had attempted suicide twice, continued depression, and anxiety was at the forefront of my mind every day. The first time I attempted suicide, I told my parent a couple days later. I was asked how I did it, so I told them. They then proceed to tell me that I should have done it a different way so I would be successful. I'm 48 years old now, have been on anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medication for more than 25 years. I no longer include this sibling and parent in my life. I moved 1,600 miles away from my hometown and legally changed my name. Still, however, I have flashbacks of incidents that happened and I spiral into a severe depressive state even though I'm still taking my medications daily. I cannot forgive either of them for the things they put me through, neither can I forget. They both knew what they were doing at the time even if they didn't understand the scope of how it was, and is, affecting my life. As an adult, I've tried on several occasions to allow them into my life but nothing had changed. I hate it that I won't feel loss when they pass away. I hate it that I refuse to attend their funeral services. I want to love them but my love for them has been extinguished. It hurts way too much to care for them anymore.

  20. My dad shouts at me every 5 seconds
    I want to kill my self
    I've got enxiaty for anything I do
    I'm always depressed
    And I've got a sister that my dad isn't ashamed of admitting that she's the favourite 😢

  21. Coloring with the Catholics: Criminal Mental abuse in modern America @t Murdered by criminal mental health care. You can't imagine my pain, loss and suffering. Someone tell my story. Please. I have suffered for seven years from the Oakland Community College sexist Gaslight witch hunt. I have asked for media coverage and help from every possible government official. I have been ignored, retaliated against by not protected. I will be homeless soon. No job, no income, no protection and may need to do what I am not in order to stop the pain and the real persecution of my life. Please note I think people have used my story as inspiration to make a buck. I put up a few billboards outside of a couple Michigan cities. I could go on. My pain is so great for so long. I do not understand why I can't get ANY support. I was gaslit, suicide swatted, police abducted, locked up without evaluation in a Catholic looney bin, then set up again. My story is unbelievable but true. Tons of documentation. I have been fighting for seven years. I have lost nearly everything and every one. I will not survive. It is not okay.

  22. My parents say that I have no rights and I am not an equal, so they can talk however they want to me and I also have to do anything they want. My mother says that I "have no emotions except very sad" and other such things like that, and that makes me feel terrible about how I think. My father yells at me a lot and recently he told me that he advised I just shut my mouth, because I apparently give them attitude. My parents tell me to just lighten up, but I don't think they understand I can't. I'm actually starting to like school more than home because I'm away from my parents and where the adults are actually nice to you (nicer than my parents at least.) My parents also threaten to take away my phone at every opportunity they get. I have no friends, and I'm never really happy, or emotional. Does anyone have any advice? I dont think I can take this much longer.

  23. Um

    My dad did this to me

    When I'm not listening or for no reason

    He always thrthreatened me with a belt


    but now I'm not anymore because he's a asshole

    So I still love him

  24. He needs to go to jail I hate him if he was her at that point he won't like what he was doing to her he should know now she feels

  25. yo, im like the only one here who wasn’t emotionally abused by my parents. Mine was my best friend. I can imagine it wouldn’t hurt as much as a parent, but I trusted her so much and she’s constantly tear me down. I’m still not over. I’m actually far from it. People keep telling me it’s gonna get better, as if they know what I’m going through and what I did go through.

  26. My father didnt belive in mental abuse or mental illness he said coz its didnt have evidence. My father is a mental and verbal abuser i cant trough days without cigs.

  27. I tell my dad how I feel and open up to him and he says “if you feel that way just live with your mom”

  28. The fact you showed only men psychologically abusing the child tells me all I need to know about your heavily biased view of the subject. Women, especially mothers, mentally (and physically) abuse their kids a lot. Large young females bully girls and boys both physically and mentally. Girls wage psychological warfare on each other all the time. Girls have even committed suicide from this abuse, and continue to do so. Studies have shown that between 25% and 33% of all child sexual abuse is done by females. Bet any video you create on that topic will have only males shown as well. Interestingly, as if to amplify that point, there was a thumbnail for a video concerning sexual abuse by Catholic nuns (by the Huffington Post no less) …

  29. my mother is emotionally abusive has been to all of my life. all of her off spring , and even my fathernow adults have health problems from growing up in her household. My brother is now in a mental ward. I have multiple sclerosis (which is directly linked to childhood trauma) we all had to get therapists. It's incredible debilitating. and demonic. It's done under the guise of being the perfect mom. bs she emotionally abused us then tended to the damage she did, making her look like a perfect mom. SMH, today we prosper away from her.

  30. It's so sad of how psychological abuse isn't made aware as much at physical, I was abused psychologically and almost no one I talk to know about it I often have to explain it to them. It is extremely painful and i've gone through all the illnesses and issues they mentioned. After escaping 4 years later I still have strong suicidal tendencies etc.

  31. My dad does what the picture shows, but usually he forces me so deep into the corner that my arms are preesed into my sides.

  32. Yes. Emotional abuse should be on the same plane as physical and sexual abuse. My mother emotionally abused me to the point where I self harmed and tried to kill myself 15 times. This generation is so much more aware about themselves and the world that it’s become an even scarier place to live. I have a cat for emotional support and had moved into my dads house on my birthday after a fight with that woman. (Best birthday ever… wooo… whatever I’m used to having my birthday as a cursed day.)

  33. My dad thinks I'm trash and I have no future. It kills me deep inside and he doesn't even know how I feel. But when in public or with relatives he acts like he's the best dad ever and makes me agree to everything he says or more abuse will be done to me. I hate him. I wish I could move out now. I don't even care where I end up. It's hell when I'm with him.

  34. You have no idea how bad emotional abuse is… I hope I get out of it soon… it feels like your lonely and have no shoulder to cry on… nobody to talk with, and no hope… it hurts like your constantly getting punched in the stomach, and your stuck in a prison cell I go to the school counselor almost every week and still nothing changes, I still go home every day to a parent whom doesn’t understand my anger issues, and I have it because of them to be honest, and they say it’s my fault I have anger issues

  35. I don’t get abused be my parents I just get called very nasty names and get the blame for everything in my house hold but I do get abused be my 12 year old brother he can just hit me whenever he wants I take photos of my bruises and I try to tell my parents but they don’t care who they sometimes think I do it to myself to get attention! I also do gymnastics and I love competitions but my parents say they don’t have the money to do to places but my brother goes around Australia and to England and America next year and I have to stay at home while they are away on holidays which sucks

  36. I was emotionally and psychologically abused by my mother; she also used physical punishment. As a result of all of this, I ended up being ontologically insecure and having OCD. It is possible that I also have schizoid personality disorder; I don’t know.

  37. More of the weakest link story. I have it all. Mental, physical and emotional abused growing up. I was the smallest, the ugliest among the packed, shortest, the poorest. No one ever felt for me except hit me, bully me, called me names, laugh at me. I have PTSD, depression and bipolar because I was born the weakest among the packed. People I have meet were and are horrible, unkind, narcissistic, users taking advantage of me all the time and bullies. If I was born tall, rich, beautiful and smart my life would be different.

  38. my mom always yells at me even when she doesnt think she is, she uses a angry tone etc…I tell this to my dad, he says "nobody is perfect" this ends up causing alot of trouble at school and making friends. I was always the type of person to stress the most. I find myself trying to be perfect but im finding myself in severe depression…I have an actual social anxiety disorder called selective mutism…My parents nor doctor know….I have trouble making friends at school….I pretend to play with other kids but..its not like the real thing….Its a cycle……btw im 10…..I feel somewhat more mature too more than my peers, barely any of them know I listen to BTS etc….I feel isolated, alone, im an only child…..My parents dont even know I have a youtube and gmail account…..If Id tell them I would possibly be digging my own grave….I take my personal emotions out on people on the internet, just because this is the only place I feel somewhat anonymous and I can do whatever I want…..But no…I know that….this is what possibly "helped" my intelligence…..it feels that everyone refer to me as "smart" and what do I do? yes, try to keep my reputation that way and try to be "perfect"….when deep inside im a burning gas of anxiety, and depression…My only friends at school are ones who seem to ignore me…possibly because I am quiet….If I sat on the bench the whole recess they wouldnt care about me…..Nor when it comes time to pick partners for whatever project they wouldnt choose me….possibly because I dont speak….it wasnt MY choice to be this way…..I am sorry for BEING ME!!! I wish I could say….I tried many suicide attempts too…..Im scared of myself….if this progresses when I will be able to walk outside alone I might just jump off a bridge….Of course THATS THE ONLY point when they all will care.

  39. Emotional abuse will never be equally and/or more damaging than sexual abuse. You don't even need a Master's dregree/psychiatric doctorat to know that. Going through sexual abuse also includes:
    *Neglection( depending on the parent)
    *Emotional abuse at it's best( silent treatments, ect)
    *Mental abuse(that includes manipulating the child; exchange roles such as: parent becomes child, child becomes parent, ect)
    *Physical abuse( it happens a lot, but it depends on the parent)

  40. Bully: Emotional abuse isn’t real. Grow a back bone!

    Me: Well you’re not gonna be able to grow a back bone when I’m done with you!!!

  41. My parent too they call me idiot
    Kenneth richei simulat (i used my mom account)
    Im live in indonesia, jakarta, taman aries

  42. I had that kind also. One from my hated teacher Leslie Daniels at Oshawa Harmony Road Public School since 1981-82. All schools across Canada need to deal this abusive uncalled matter no matter what the situation is. Next my mama's common-in-law Christopher Mumford since 1981 to 1987. I find them as horrible as any violent criminal I ever heard.

  43. I needed this validation rn.

    It sucks horribly that it's so damaging but it's really nice to have someone acknowledge it

  44. When I tell people how I hate my life and how I wish I had another life, everybody says I should be grateful because “I’m rich! I own a good phone! I live in a house with an elevator (which they don’t know, is actually rented)) without knowing any of my personal details. I am being mentally abused, and they don’t even know it.

  45. Many people don’t realize this especially certain cultures! I had parents who said horrible things to me that I’d rather not repeat. It messed me up so much that I now am trying to recover from severe depression, anxiety and was diagnosed for ptsd. I am now doing cognitive behavioral therapy. Don’t have kids if you can’t treat them right.

  46. When I was younger, my dad wasn't around but his gf (my stepmom) was. She tried to make me drink my own piss because I wet the bed and she would write obscenities on my bedroom door with my fingerpaint, so anyone who came over "would know I am a b*#$h or a c*#nt". I was probably 7/8?

    That went on for years and sometimes I get random.. flashbacks? of things that happened. I know this is sick, but there's things I don't want to forget, so I try to email myself a note of the flashback. I do this because my dad left his family for a new one, and my abuser (I'd hate to call anyone that) was the ONLY person I had for support as a teen. Besides my grandmother. The physical stopped but mental games began. Push me away. Bring me close, push me further, pull me closer.

    I always told myself I would NEVER be a statistic. Many years later I made some poor decisions, got myself in a sick habit and dark place and became a statistic of child abuse and drug addiction. They say there is a stronger link between the two than there is to obesity and diabetes. Not sure how true that is, but i asked my best friend's sister (psychologist) if that was true. Indeed it is. I was deep in my issues, I'd sit on the floor of the hotels I'd hop around to, and would just forget the world but I ALWAYS remembered how she made me feel and I felt justified for my situation because of my childhood and beyond.

    I don't want to ramble on anymore but I stopped being a statistic and I am almost 3 years sober. She has pushed me further away again after breaking my personal belongings and even keeping some of them. This is a woman in her 40s doing this to someone who is 30 years old. They DO NOT CHANGE. But I did, and this time around I feel free. Maybe not healed, but I know damn sure I'm not going to be lured back in to her or that dark time of my life.

  47. That shows how prevalent demonic possession is. Abusive parents are demon possessed. Only a demon can be so cruel.

  48. I know that physical abuse isnt to be taken lightly. But i wish that my dad wouls hust hit me, even once so i can get away from him…

  49. the fact that my parents get pissed off at me for having mental health issues. the fact that they think you could just heal overnight. I love how they hate me for having depression/anxiety but they were the one that caused it in the first place. My whole childhood, i’ve been verbally abused by both my parents (mostly mom) and because of them, i ended up in a really dark place. I ended up staying at a psych ward and I told them about my mom but they ignored it. It pisses me off how much therapists and psychiatrist ive told about my mum and they never done a thing about it. Just because she was never physical with me. Even tho i deadass kept telling them about everything shes done to me.
    My dad? Oh he’s nothing different from mom. He was only “caring” when I was going through intensive therapy. Now that its been 5 months then, he’s starting to go back to his old self. The selfish one.

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