Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse is actually far more common than a lot of people realise. Because it covers a host of behaviours that quite often seems normal.

Recognising the nature and the context of the behaviour you're experiencing could be the first step to uncovering mistreatment.

Psychological abuse includes:

  • emotional abuse

  • threats of harm or abandonment

  • deprivation of contact

  • humiliation

  • blaming

  • controlling

  • intimidation

  • coercion

  • harrassment

  • verbal abuse

  • cyber bullying

  • isolation

  • unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks

Potential indicators of  psychological abuse

Whilst other factors can play a part, the following may be indicators of many different problems:

  • ambivalence about carer
  • fearfulness, avoiding eye contact, flinching on approach
  • deference
  • insomnia or the need for excessive sleep
  • change in appetite
  • unusual weight loss/gain
  • tearfulness
  • unexplained paranoia
  • low self-esteem
  • confusion, agitation
  • coercion
  • possible violation of human and/or civil rights
  • distress caused by being locked in a home or car
  • isolation – no visitors or phone calls allowed
  • inappropriate clothing
  • sensory depravation
  • restricted access to hygiene facilities
  • lack of personal respect
  • lack of recognition of individual rights
  • carer does not offer personal hygiene, medical care or regular food or drinks
  • and/or use of furniture to restrict movement.
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