Psychological (mental) abuse describes living with the constant fear of threats of violence against you, your children or your friends and relatives. It includes being harassed at work by phone calls or visits, the destruction of prized possessions and event suicide threats on the part of the victimizer.
- Controlling what you do, who you see and/or where you go
- Putting you down all the time
- Using hurtful name calling
- Abuser is always right and cannot be contradicted
- Using children to make you feel guilty
- Not allowing you to work outside of the home
- Abuser making all the “big” decisions
- Jealousy, suspicion and accusations
- Making you feel powerless and having no control
- Inducing fears by threats, yelling and/or smashing things
- Threatening to hurt you or someone you love, including pets
- Threatening to hurt themselves
It is also using ridicule, fear, terror, threats, intentional putdowns; using what is known about your needs, fears, hopes, and dreams, weaknesses and vulnerability to hurt and control you and any strategy calculated to make you feel bad about yourself.
Psychological (mental) abuse intentionally undermines your sense of self-worth, individual identity, confidence in your own perceptions of what is real, or sense of capacity and empowerment, therefore your ability to act and to have an impact in the world.