Understanding Verbal Abuse:
One of the most overlooked forms of child abuse is Verbal Abuse
The reason for this is clearly the fact that Verbal Abuse is hardly reported because the damages caused by verbal abuse are not external and fall along the lines of psychological hence making it very difficult to evaluate any numbers in regard. However, this is largely backed up by the perception or the misunderstanding that verbal abuse can be passed off as ‘tough love’ or ‘disciplining the child’
This is a very ignorant perspective which causes substantial damage in the psychological health of the victim. Although this is largely not noticed because the wounds are not as visible as those in physical child abuse or neglect.
However, the patterns in behavior are very obvious and pose a large threat over the future of the child.
Imagine it yourself, if you are a child and if you are yelled at for a mistake or two. What would be the result? Yes! You will be too afraid to do anything fearing that you will be scolded if you make a mistake.
This in turn results in a chain reaction causing the child to not participate in activities of interest for the fear of being yelled at if it is not compatible with family or society.
Although directly this does not seem ‘much’ but in comparison to violence but the effect this can have over relationships, career and mental well being in the future is disastrous
Verbal Abuse can be defined as the following:
Insulting a person
Yelling at a person
Demoralizing a person
I will begin by stating the short term effects of Verbal Child Abuse:
Short Term Effects:
Yelling and Demoralizing a child causes him to link all events to a negative outcome. Keep in mind I am not stating the exact scientific terms and definitions for the layman’s understanding here.
Among several other things, the child is very likely to assume he is inferior to his acquaintances.
2.) Poor physical and mental performance
Children need confidence to perform at their best potential.
For example, if a parent says ‘you can do it, you can win this race. I trust you’ then the child would automatically assume victory and considering that there would be no alternate options (doubts) in his mind, he is likely to do his best regardless of the outcome.
However if a child is told ‘you gotta be faster, you can’t win like this, you just don’t have it in you, do something else’ then at this point, the child will be primarily nervous because a bad outcome is predicted for him.
At this point, the child may decide instinctively to lose to prove his parent correct given that it is the ‘suggested outcome’ hence a possibility in his mind.
3.) Inferiority Complex:
The child being yelled at directly assumes ‘there must be something wrong with me’ and hence puts himself below his friends and feels inferior to them.
Because it has been suggested to him via comparison or demoralizing that he is ‘not up to the mark’ and this means ‘someone else is up to the mark’ and hence makes the child submissive as well.
Long Term Effects:
1.) Health Disorders:
Depression in childhood causes what is known as a ‘substitution chain’ wherein to satisfy his pleasures, the victim may overeat or perhaps not eat adequately enough throughout his teenage
This directly results in stunted growth or insufficient development of many vital organs, muscles and bones.
This renders the system considerably weaker to diseases and injuries
2.) Low Confidence and Dominance:
We have to consider that Adults require qualities of Confidence and Dominance for a healthy sex life. The absence of which can cause sexual frustration which can further result in depression as well as other issues such as excessive anger and frustration
The example above is George Sodini who often complained about not “getting laid” as well as his anger towards the world for abandoning him.
Do keep in mind, I am not saying Verbal Abuse victims turn into similar cases but simply that Confidence and a positive outlook from an early age could avoid such cases.
3.) Susceptible to addictions:
Often the things that stop us from drug or alcohol abuse is the drive or the ambition to accomplish something.
Moreover, if you look at simple economics, Hungry people will pay for food.
Depressed people will pay for intoxication to release them from reality.
There have been several studies linking depression to drug abuse and it is not difficult to understand this as there is simply nothing to hold back a depressed or a low confidence person from getting into drugs and alcohol.
The Above Article was a researched thesis on Verbal Abuse and its effects. I will write something along the lines of prevention of Verbal Abuse in the future.