Childhood Abuse Leaves Permanent Damage

Emotional scars are invisible scars that follow us for life!


verbal abuse

A new study by Florida State University researchers has found that people who were verbally abused as children grow up to be self-critical adults prone to depression and anxiety. Of the whole sample population, an staggering 30% reported that they were often verbally abused by their parents. What kind of abuse? Insults, negative comments, swearing, and threats of physical abuse, all determining an unhealthy doses of self-criticism in the children.

What happened with the people who were abused as children? We know already that it has negative effects on the personality of grown up people. Professor Natalie Sachs-Ericsson, the study’s lead author, says that the results are on the area of depression and anxiety: “People who were verbally abused had 1.6 times as many symptoms of depression and anxiety as those who had not been verbally abused and were twice as likely to have suffered a mood or anxiety disorder over their lifetime.”

Now we know for sure: parental verbal abuse is toxic, and it not only affects the emotional stability of children, but follows them as a shadow in their adult years. We are forever paying the consequences of abusive parenting. Negative self-criticism generated by parents’ comments continues into adulthood and has been shown to make an individual more prone to depression and anxiety.

Why is this? Aren’t parents the ones supposed to take care, love and protect their children? We have been silent for a long time about noxious parenting happening almost in every household.

Whether it is that parents have been themselves traumatized by abuse when children or that they got to believe that stern discipline and fault finding is the best way of raising their children, this has to stop. We need more public advocacy about negative parenting, more role models for positive, self-esteem-building child-raising styles and in general a deep transformation in the way we treat children.

It’s no surprise now that adult children of abuse sometimes decide that they need to separate from their parents when the parents continue the abusive and denigrating comments about their adult children’s lives they did in the past.

We need more public comments on how abuse from the past re-appears in the present and keeps doing psychological damage. We need to say clearly that we are only going to interact with healthy people who would not use destructive comments to hurt other people’s self-esteem. Perhaps now we can go around even feeling appreciated and loved, for a change?



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