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How Does Abuse Affect A Person Long Term?

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

If you or a person who you are close to have faced emotional abuse, it is worth knowing what the long term effects of this are.

How Does Abuse Affect A Person Long Term?

How Does Abuse Affect A Person Long Term?

By knowing the effects you are experiencing due to past abuse and trauma you can become capable of being able to understand why you are experiencing them and help yourself through the healing process.

Of course looking into and researching this trauma and abuse can be incredibly triggering and should not be done if you are not in the correct headspace to address these issues.

If you try and rush the healing process you can end up not getting as effective results or end up reliving some of your past pain and ending in a worse position than you were before.

With this out of the way, we will go over the main long term effects of abuse and harm.

While we will be covering some of the most common effects, this is by no means every way these issues can affect you, so there are some more specific issues which may not be listed here which are not as obvious.

If you have any questions about some of the specific effects and how to deal with them, discussing how to deal with them with a professional can be incredibly productive.

The Long Term Effects Of Abuse And Harm

The best way to cover these effects is to list out some of the most common effects you can experience long term after having dealt with abuse and harm:

  • Experiencing a sense of disempowerment, this often comes in the form of feeling a strong loss of sense of self as well as feeling like you are out of control in your life.
  • A strong loss of personal self-esteem.
  • A sense of compromised personal safety and feeling like personal well-being is in a constant state of being compromised.
  • Symptoms of more complex systems of mental illness, this commonly comes in the form of anxiety as well as depression, however it comes in different forms as well.
  • Loss of your confidence in as well as the trust you have for other people.
  • An extension from the previous point, but a difficulty in differentiating between those who are able to be trusted and those who cannot be trusted. This is most common in not being able to understand who your true friends are, and those who will exploit you. An unfortunately common effect of this is being more susceptible to ‘grooming’ like relationships and inability to separate yourself from people who may be the source of the pain.
  • More susceptible to facing further abuse.
  • If having faced financial abuse, financial anxiety is very common as a long term effect.
  • There is also a chance that those who have been abused may also display abusive behavior themselves as this has been normalized to them, especially if the abuse or harm was long term itself. This is not and excuse for this behavior, but it is a common explanation.

All of these effects could be felt by different people, however, it is uncommon to be suffering from all of these.

A good way to be able to move past previous abuse and cope and heal from the long term effects is to identify the ones you are coping with and look into the specific methods of being able to move on from these.

What Are The Different Types Of Emotional Abuse

How Does Abuse Affect A Person Long Term

Another way to help yourself move on from emotional abuse is to be able to source where the abuse was coming from.

This can make healing a more simple process if you are able to source where the abuse was coming from.

This list does not cover every type of emotional abuse, but it does cover some of the most common forms.

Parental Emotional Abuse

This is a very common type of emotional abuse and even if you have a seemingly functional relationship with your parents, there can still be abusive elements to the relationship which should be addressed.

A pattern you will see in this list is that abuse can come at varying levels of severity and this can lead to varying levels of effects.

Some common forms of prenatal emotional abuse include:

  • Consistent rejection or ignoring children
  • Making a child feel or telling them that they are not wanted and unloved
  • Not showing appropriate or responsive affection to children
  • Consistently belittling, humiliating, and shaming your children
  • Threatening and bullying children
  • Commonly screaming and yelling at children
  • Restricting child’s access to positive relationships and experiences
  • Involving the child in illegal act
  • Repeatedly calling a child degrading names
  • Constantly comparing child negatively to other people

Relationship Emotional Abuse

It can be quite simple for relationships to become abusive.

There is often a focus on physical abuse in relationships, but emotional abuse can be just as toxic and can lead to an incredibly damaged mental state moving forward from the relationship.

There are many signs of abusive behavior which can take place in a relationship.

Being critical of your own relationships can be incredibly difficult, so being critical of your relationship is very important.

Some of the common forms of abuse which take place in relationships include:

  • Consistently belittling partner and their feelings
  • Calling partners degrading names
  • Putting down a partner instead of building them up
  • Putting partner into intentionally humiliating situations in the aim to embarrass them
  • Threats of harm, especially when it comes to threatening if the partner leaves them
  • Stalking, whether physical or digitally
  • Consistent gaslighting and making you doubt your own thoughts and feelings
  • Being controlling when it comes to actions and monitoring activity and communication
  • Pressure to participate in sexual activity
  • Angry reactions when a partner is spending time with people other than them.
  • Blaming the partner for their abusive behavior

Marital Emotional Abuse

Just like with relationship abuse, marital abuse can be even more toxic as well more difficult to deal with since these relationships can be more restrictive.

This means that these relationships are often much more difficult to cut off.

Some types of marital abuse include:

  • Encouraging isolation from other family members and friends
  • Not letting partner work
  • Not letting partner have any financial freedom or giving shared access to money
  • Not giving partner any affection as a punishment
  • Needing partner to ask for permission for everything
  • Threatening harm to partner, or children, or pet, or any other vulnerable figures

Workplace Emotional Abuse

This type of abuse is often overlooked, but since people spend so much of their time in the workplace this environment can often incubate abusive behavior which can have long term effects.

Some example of workplace emotional abuse include:

  • Consistent criticism over invalid claims
  • Blaming issues on a specific person
  • Treating people different from how everyone else is treated
  • Consistent swearing and shouting, or attempts to humiliate people
  • Isolating and excluding specific people
  • Putting people under close supervision or micromanaging
  • Setting unreasonable deadlines


If you have faced any long term effects of abuse whether physical or emotional, the most important thing to do is put yourself in a situation where you can heal.

Having a professional or someone you can trust to work through your issues is incredibly important!

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