The Link Between Verbal Abuse and Anxiety That No One Talks about - Global Health
Saturday , January 16 2021

The Link Between Verbal Abuse and Anxiety That No One Talks about

Anxiety can be the result of many abusive behaviors and traumatic experiences. Verbal abuse can also play a huge role in this illness.

Sticks and stones may break your bones and words….they can hurt you too. Verbal abuse is demeaning, disrespectful and just plain wrong. Have you ever had someone in your face yelling at you because they’re upset, or have you been called names before? I have, and unfortunately, I have called people names myself. We often look over this form of abuse and think it’s okay, but it’s not okay at all.

Verbal abuse – the worst kind

Whether it’s bullying, cyber bullying or domestic abuse, verbal onslaughts can be worse than any other form of abuse. The reason this is true is that it affects the connection between the right and left hemisphere of the brain. Considering our brain develops over time, for many years, the developmental process is affected by this violent verbiage

Just as with sexual or physical abuse, we are changed dramatically as children, then as adults, we look at the world in a completely different way than those who were not abused. Many of us suffer from anxiety as a result of verbal abuse.

Observations show the truth

While observing, through a brain scan, young adults between 18-25, scientists were able to tell the difference between those who suffered from anxiety and depression as opposed to those who did not. Those who did suffer from anxiety and depression were also former victims of verbal abuse.

It turns out that these same individuals which experienced verbal abuse, went through this trauma during middle school years, a time when the brain is developing at its highest rate.

Verbal abuse/emotional abuse

Both verbal and emotional abuse are similar. In fact, when someone is verbally abused, it affects them emotionally. Particular words even used passively, can cause severe damage to the self-esteem and emotions. This can act as a domino effect, causing disruptions in the victims work, relationships and home life, even years later.

At some point, anxiety will kick in, which will then become a rather uncontrollable response to otherwise normal changes in life. You can see the connection between these things and even imagine the permanent and detrimental damage that can and will be done to the brain and its structures.

Now, let me be frank with you

There are many symptoms associated with verbal abuse. There are immediate consequences as well as long-term effects. Here are a few examples of the damage that can be done just by speaking harshly. All these things can be directed linked to anxiety disorders, by the way. This is going to make you think about what you say beforehand, trust me.

Short-term effects:

  • Trouble communicating
  • Overanalyzing situations
  • Low self-esteem and no enthusiasm for life
  • Impaired decision making

Long-term effects:

  • Migraines
  • Chronic pain
  • Digestive disorders
  • Anxiety (there it is, folks)
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicide

Now you can see what your harsh words and name calling can do to someone you love. Maybe it doesn’t cause this much damage in the first, second or third incidence, but over time, great harm can be done. Basically, people learn to frame their life around what others think and say about them, if they have yet to discover their own healthy self-esteem.

Anxiety surely can come from verbal abuse, and if you are enduring such abuse, you need to put a stop to it. Want to know how to recognize verbal abuse? Let me help you change your life, check out the list of indicators below.

Name calling

Verbal abusers use name calling as a way to shock you into doing what they think is right. It’s basically about instilling fear. Calling you names is normal to them, and damaging to you.

Behind closed doors

Most often, the verbal abuse will happen behind closed doors. This is because the abuser knows that others will recognize the abuse, while the victim, alone, will be easier to manipulate.

Surprise abuse

Many times the verbal abuse will occur when you are starting to gain a little enthusiasm. If you seem happy, notice how the abuser will swoop in and start criticizing you. I believe, personally, that the abuser is afraid of losing control when you’re happy. I will even surmise to say that if they aren’t the source of your happiness, they become petrified and use abuse to gain control again.

Attacks the victim’s interests

The abuser will attack the things that the victim loves to do. If you are able to function enough to enjoy something on your own, the abuser will degrade what you do. Notice how your abuser never likes the things that you are interested in. It’s a clue.

No apologies

Unlike most other disagreements or fights where both parties apologize, the abuser will never admit to any wrongs. When he is proved wrong and there’s really no way for him to deny that fact, he will respond with, “Just drop it” “Just forget about it” and “It’s over”. This shows that he cannot win but he will not lose control.


The victim of a verbal abuser will always feel isolated from other people, namely family, and friends. The abuser feels that once you’re isolated, they have full control to make you into whatever they want.

Of course, a little personal input

Since I started blog work for this page, I have over turned many rocks which covered the damage done to me in the past. I have discovered so many things which have played a role in my life and that molded who I am today. Unfortunately, many of the things that I overlooked were actually abusive and destructive. These were both things that I had done and things that were imposed upon me as well.

Verbal abuse was one of those things, and I believe whole heartedly that a good portion of my anxious behaviors derived from the hateful words and manipulative actions of my abusers. I know now that it wasn’t normal to be called names, degraded and humiliated in front of other people.

I no longer have the victim mentality that I once buried myself in, and I hope my work can help you too.

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