Signals To Recognize Psychological Abuse: It May Be Happening To You

Domestic violence is on top of the list of social concerns. Psychological abuse is part of it, it may be happening to you but maybe you are just not aware. One of the biggest issues that adds difficulties to detecting or treating this harmful situation is that victims find it hard to realize that they are in fact suffering from psychological abuse, or they become aware when it is late and much harm has already been done on their minds and lives. There are though, some signals to recognize psychological abuse at its early stages.


Manipulation, threats, humiliation, degradation, control and jealousy are some of the behaviors that the aggressor shows over time, getting through them to dominate the woman and the relationship. It is a vicious circle, but fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The first step is to recognize that this is happening to you and then take the determination to get out of it and seek the needed help.


What is psychological aggression? Is that type of aggression or manipulation which causes emotional harm, self-esteem loss, interferes with personal growth, seeks to control the actions, conducts, beliefs and decisions of the victim through: threat, harassment, restriction, humiliation, manipulation, constant surveillance, insults, excessive jealousy, blackmail, or any other mean that causes harm to the psychological health and self-determination of the victim. Common attitudes include: checking the email and cell phone of the woman, controlling her acts with questions such as: “Where do you go dressed like that”?,”Whom are you meeting?”, “How could it took you so long to come back home from work?”. Another early manifestation is when the woman starts talking and the man interrupts her or diminishes the value of her opinion with critics like: “No, no, no, that is wrong, you know nothing about it”. Playing with the woman’s guilt is a common form of manipulation. An example is when he starts isolating her through phrases such as: “You prefer to go out with your friends instead of being with me? So you don’t love me that much, when all I want and do is thinking of you”.


But what makes it so hard to escape from such situations? It is the control and power the abuser has achieved added to a special type of personality. Usually, abusers are not only very seductive individuals to the outside world; after an obvious episode of psychological aggression, they go through a period of calm during which they show all their charm, “love” and sweetness, promising they will not repeat those attitudes and emphasizing that if sometimes make a mistake it is because they just love their partners and always want their best, but they may simply not find the right way. The fact is, that is lie and a strategy to keep on. And the cycle will happen over and over again with increasing intensity.


What can you do once you identify you are living under such situation? First of all, liberate yourself from any sense of guilt and shame. It is not your fault and no one will judge you, on the contrary, anyone will understand and encourage you to liberate yourself. It is not easy to do it alone, counseling may be necessary, or at least the support of family and friends. Sometimes, more extreme measures shall be taken, such as going to the police and ask for restrictive measures. That doesn’t make you a bad person, you are not hurting him, you are preserving yourself.

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