Although it is most often thought of in terms of intimate partner relationships, emotional abuse can occur in other types of relationships as well. Parent-child relationships, for example, can be marked by emotional abuse, sometimes continuing well into adulthood. — Betsy Smith, MEd, LPC-S
Last week, short term and long term effects of emotional abuse were discussed. This week, it will be about recovery, but before that, a word of advice.
Woman, you are beautiful and precious in your way. You must not let any man use and abuse you physically, mentally, psychologically, and emotionally. Phenomenal woman, that’s you – said Maya Angelou. Remember that.
Anyway, moving on.
Acceptance to the fact that you are was abused is difficult, but it’s the first step on the road to recovery. It’s important to remember that being a victim is not your fault – your feelings are normal, but the abuse is not. Given that, not all methods of recovery are effective for every case of abuse and in cases where the effects are more severe and difficult to overcome, professional help would be required.
In the meantime, these are ways you can begin recovery.
The damage from emotional abuse can be profound and the scars run deep; however, it is possible to take back control of your life. Doing so takes courage and determination. — Megan MacCutcheon, LPC
Acceptance of the problem doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone. Emotional abuse is a shared experience with a lot of people, and many of them have begun the road to recovery as well. Reach out to support groups that facilitate recovery from abuse or talk with family or friends who can support your recovery efforts.
Increase Physical Activities
Exercise can have other benefits aside from physical well-being. Research has shown that exercise provides psychological benefits as well in producing more “happy hormones” to stave off depression. Better sleep and increased sharpness can also be felt even from less intense physical activities like walking. Consider home workouts, enlisting in a gym, or getting into a sport to increase your physical activity.
Conversing with a fresh face can put perspective on how isolated you can feel when under abuse. Get in touch with friends, enjoy the company, and hopefully, you will start to feel more accepting to yourself and others. Considering calling old friends, proactively making plans for your friends or joining a class/club to meet new people.
It’s advisable for a survivor to continue with no contact and block the abusive person from email, text, phone, and any other form of communication. In most circumstances, assuming the survivor does not reengage, eventually the “hoovering” will stop. — Andrea Schneider, LCSW
Maintain A Diet
Emotional abuse will often result in a ruined diet. Whether you are deprived of eating, overeat, or eat the wrong things, you need to be able to fix your diet when deciding to recover. Eat well-balanced meals within the proper times in the day. This should consist of eating fruits and vegetables with adequate portions for protein and sustenance. Avoid binging or skipping meals as well as highly processed foods.
Alleviate restlessness and sleep disorders by prioritizing good, full rests. Maintain a sleep schedule, and be strict in enforcing it, aim for at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Also, make your environment more conducive to sleep by removing electronics from the bedroom, using room darkening curtains or shades and keeping the room dark and cool.
If symptoms persist or have become more severe, reach out to a licensed professional for help. Severe cases like depression, insomnia, substance abuse, and being unable to function professionally or socially need more professional expertise for consultation. In cases like this, you may be prescribed medication or offered therapy. You can call your local health facility or search in the American Psychological Association database to find a professional near you.
Finally, in cases where abuse can escalate to physical altercations, contact your local law enforcement agency or social services. No one is deserving of abuse, and we should all take measures to address and prevent it.
You know what to do – leave that man! He doesn’t deserve your love.