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You Can Get PTSD From An Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Most people who go through traumatic events such as being in an emotionally abusive relationship may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping. Sometimes, these symptoms can get worse, and if they last for longer periods, can lead to PTSD.

Abuse can come in many forms and it’s not just physical. Emotional abuse is as serious as physical abuse, but sometimes the person isn’t aware that they’re being abused.

Some of the signs of emotional abuse include: yelling, name calling, spewing insults, invading your privacy, attempting to make you question your sanity, punishing you for not doing what they want, isolating you from family and friends, trying to control your life and making subtle threats.

Emotional abuse is not normal and it’s definitely not your fault. Some people aren’t aware of the fact that their partner is emotionally abusing them. Some are in denial and unable to accept it. Some can experience fear, confusion, shame and hopelessness. Being in an emotionally abusive relationship can also cause moodiness, nightmares, muscle tension, racing heartbeat, aches and pains.

Long-Term Effects

Severe emotional abuse can be as powerful as physical abuse. An on-going emotional abuse can lead to depression and low self-esteem. This can cause anxiety, chronic pain, guilt, insomnia and social withdrawal.

Can Emotional Abuse Lead to PTSD?

It doesn’t always lead to PTSD, but it definitely can. PTSD can develop after a shocking or frightening event.High levels of stress and fear over a long period of time can cause PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD include: insomnia, angry outbursts, being easily startled, nightmares, negative thoughts, reliving the trauma, etc.  PTSD in children can cause bed wetting, regression and clinginess.

Emotional abuse can lead to physical and mental symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored. Remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Talk to a family member or a close friend who will listen to you without judgement. You can even join a support group.

Here are some tips that can help you go through this:

Get Physically Active

Exercise can do more for you than just keep you fit. Researches show that exercising 90 minutes a week can keep you sharp, help you sleep better and reduce the risk of depression. Even a daily walk can be beneficial.

Get Social

Sometimes people don’t even notice that they’re socially isolated. That is not good because spending time with friends and people you love can help you heal. Feeling accepted will boost your spirit and make you feel good.

Good Diet

Emotional abuse can lead to eating too little, eating too much or eating all the wrong this. Keep your energy level up and minimize the mood swings by choosing the right food.  Eat more veggies, fruits and lean protein. Avoid skipping meals and make sure you eat several well-balanced meals. Avoid alcohol, drugs, fried, sugary and highly processed foods.


Make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Make it your goal to sleep at least 7 hours a night.Find something relaxing to do before going to bed and remove all electronic gadgets from your bedroom.
If you want to ease stress, you can try these relaxation techniques:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Listening to soothing music
  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Tai chi
  • Meditation