Mental Health.

The Physiological Impact Of Emotional Abuse.

The brain, heart, and gut after emotional abuse.

Write Mind Matters
5 min readMay 7, 2022


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A person who hasn’t experienced emotional abuse would struggle to understand how it could have any impact, let alone leave behind physical marks. Even the system designed to protect people from harm struggles to identify the realities of emotional abuse.

“Emotional abuse is a widespread and damaging social problem that is often ignored or minimized by the legal system, the child welfare system and the mental health system.” — Rachel H. Flichtbeil.

Some accept depression, anxiety, and suicide ideation as symptoms of emotional abuse, but find it difficult to understand that nervous disorders, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer, and insulin resistance can also result from emotional abuse.

Several scales identify the physiological effects of mental health. Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) recognize arousal of the autonomic nervous and musculoskeletal systems as measures of mental health disorders.

The Scale of Psychological Abuse in Intimate Partner Violence (EAPA-P) defines psychological violence as the “continued application of strategies of pressure, control, manipulation and coercion with the purpose of dominating and subjugating the partner”.

More on what constitutes psychological abuse and its effects are discussed in an earlier story I wrote about the physiological impact of psychological abuse, here:

The Brain.

It’s estimated that almost 20% of children in China suffer from emotional abuse. Childhood emotional abuse, loosely defined as verbal abuse, taunting, belittling, and rejection from a caregiver, leads to cognitive impairments to learning and memory, depression, anxiety, CPTSD, psychosis, personality…



Write Mind Matters

BA(psych), GradDipPsych, DipHlthSc(NatNut)|Parenting, personality disorders & trauma.