Emotional abuse is worse than Physical abuse!

Emotional abuse is worse than Physical abuse!


When one starts seeking help for abuse to get rid of the physiological trauma as a result of abuse in early stages of life, they are usually screened to detect which types of abuse they were subjected to and which ones have had the most disastrous effect on their lives. Abuse, both emotional and physical leaves marks of trauma that haunts the person years after the abuse ends.

When these people are asked to differentiate between the two to find out which has left the worse of effect and needs treatment first, they differ in opinion mostly. Some are of the opinion that physical abuse traumatized their lives the most, while others are more haunted by the reminiscences of emotional abuse they had faced any time in their lives.

Domestic violence, for instance, can easily be fought against if women try to seek help from police and NGOs that are more than willing to help victimized women. But a woman undergoing emotional abuse would not be able to do the same for the fear of being left when asked for witnesses and evidences.


1. Hidden deep scars: While the scars of physical abuse are visible on the outside, the same cannot be said about emotional wounds. Unless a person speaks about his emotional distress associated with being emotionally or mentally abused, there is no seeing the wounds that have scarred him/her forever if not taken care of. These scars are usually deep etched into the memories of the person who underwent the trauma.

2. Low cases of complaint: There are very less cases of emotional abuse where the victim actually goes on to file a complaint. They are worried that nobody will understand what they are going through and that complaining would worsen their situation. The problem with emotional abuse is that most of the time, people do it unknowingly. For instance, screaming, shouting and physically punishing children is also a kind of emotional abuse that makes children less confident and leads to anxiety disorders later in life.

3. Lower self-esteem: Those who have been subjected to emotional abuse are usually found to lack self-esteem and are less confident in anything that they do. It has been found that a victim of physical abuse starts getting back to a normal life after the abuse has ended permanently. He develops back the lack of confidence and self-assurance but for a victim of emotional abuse, it takes much longer and constant sessions with an expert psychologist to get back to normal.

4. Post-traumatic stress: Post-traumatic stress and other after effects of emotional abuse is far chancier than that of physical abuse. The victim is usually unable to accept that the problem has ended and continues to get haunted by ghosts of past days when they were subjected to mental abuse. There are more cases of suicide in cases of emotional abuse as compared to physical abuse. The victim usually finds himself in a situation when he/she gives up on trusting anyone in life, basically seeing negativity in everything.

5. Changes the mindset: Emotional abuse usually changes the mindset of those subjected to it. These people always have that feeling of being unworthy and starts coping with this feeling by trying to get rid of any kind of compassion that they might have. A study points out that those who are subjected to emotional abuse in any stage of life, usually the early stages, are more prone to being aggressive and violent later in life. They would do the same to someone else when they let loose of their anger.

6. Emotional abuse in children: Parents unknowingly subject their child to emotional abuse. The stress and tensions of their own lives are usually vented out when their child comes to disturb them at odd hours. Talking rudely and shouting at children is also a kind of emotional abuse that taints their childhood and affects the kind of person they become later in life. When a child is slapped for his mistake, he may forget that later but when he is given lectures on how “lacking” he is, the effect lasts much longer. Expecting your child to always top the class and then showing displeasure when he doesn’t is also emotional abuse that makes him feel unworthy.


1. Same effects: Abuse, both physical and emotional, have the same psychological effects on the victim. They suffer from stress and anxiety disorders, lack confidence, get a feeling of worthlessness and are unable to see good in anything. They see negativity in everything and do not trust anyone. With physical pain, there is also a feeling of being physically lacking and weak enough to not retaliate when they were being physically abused. They might also become aggressive later in life and start punishing others the way they were subjected to physical torment once.

2. Impairment and being disabled: There are cases of physical abuse where the victim was left with a physical impairment or disability for their entire life. While emotional pain would go way with psychological help, the disability that they are left with because of being subjected to physical violence would stay with them as a reminder of what they has to go through. It becomes extremely difficult to treat such a victim emotionally as well because of the constant reminder of what left them disabled.

3. Emotional breakdown follows physical abuse: Someone who has been a victim of physical abuse will definitely be emotionally abused too. A victim of emotional abuse need not have been always subjected to physical abuse as well. Physical abuse is more intense than emotional abuse for the person gets both physically and emotionally scarred. Their physical scars would go away with time but the emotional distress will keep haunting them unless treated.

4. Aggression: Victims of physical abuse in childhood often grow up to be aggressive and violent. They feel it is fine to vent out all their anger on someone weaker than them. They become less compassionate. The pain they went through slowly makes them incapable of being affected by emotions. Physical abuse has many more post traumatic effects, mostly similar to the emotionally abused with the additional physical pain.


Abuse of any kind is a bad thing that should be condemned from happening. Gone are the days when women thought that it was normal for her in-laws to be complaining and showing her low. Women and even men must not tolerate any kind of abuse. At the same time people must learn to be patient and compassionate to their children who would unknowingly be subjected to emotional abuse if parents don’t pay heed to their own behavior. There is a big myth in our society that only women are subjected to abuse. Men are subjected to emotional and physical abuse too. Irrespective of gender and age, we must not tolerate abuse because being patient and waiting for it to stop on its own is the biggest mistake people make. Speak for yourself and for those around you who you suspect could be getting abused in any way.
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  • RE: Emotional abuse is worse than Physical abuse! -Karen (12/30/17)
  • The way this is written, you would think that physical abusers are otherwise saints, who 'just' beat hell out of us. NO! Abusers will use whatever abuse they need to in order to control the person they are abusing. So people who are physically abused are emotionally abused TOO. And physical abuse is emotional abuse in itself - because you sit there after a beating, with a black eye and a split lip and a sore head, and you still don't have enough self-respect and self-worth to get out. If you had been physically abused, you might have the first clue of how shameful that makes you feel. Or the shame you feel after fighting for your life and gouging someone's eyes to stop them strangling you into unconsciousness - because they have done it before and there is no guarantee they will let your throat go when you pass out. The fear that one day you will be found dead by a family member. The reason people push the lie about wishing they'd been physically abused rather than mentally abused is because physical abuse hasn't happened to them. I lived with emotional abuse my whole life. It was physical abuse that broke me - and don't even get me started on how 'physical scars heal' - I am currently (7 years after it happened) having surgery on my jaw to try to correct the damage he did. My hands are still scarred from his knife. My right hip is disintegrating since he threw me down three flights of stairs ijuring it, and I have Chronic traumatic encephalitis from him banging my head repeatedly on walls almost every day for about 5 years. Don't minimise my abuse - but your invalidation is something I would take every time rather than be beaten again.
  • RE: Emotional abuse is worse than Physical abuse! -Nova R. Palmer (07/07/17)
  • Thank you for telling me I should have been beaten to death as a child while tolerating name calling.
  • RE: Emotional abuse is worse than Physical abuse! -Em (11/06/16)
  • Emotional abuse is not worse than physical abuse. All forms of abuse are bad. To make comparisons invalidates the victim's experiences in my opinion. Just because physical wounds appear to heal more quickly (on the outside) does not make the abuse less serious. To be physically abused, to have someone harm your physical body, to feel powerless, to bleed and bruise, to shrug that off, is unkind. Physical abuse can literally kill you. So please don't compare types of abuse.