4 Types Of Abuse | Problems You May Be Experiencing?

Abuse is often the result of extremely stressful events that can shatter your sense of security, and can make you feel helpless, experiencing the world as a very threatening and unsafe place.

Experiencing abuse in childhood can have a severe and long-lasting effect, which can leave you feeling traumatised. When childhood trauma is not resolved, a sense of fear and helplessness can often carry over into adulthood, setting the stage for further trauma and problems in maintaining healthy relationships.

4 Types Of Abuse

There are several types of abuse, the most common including:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves deliberate acts of physical violence and harm that causes physical damage to the body, such as hitting, choking, shaking and throwing objects. Physical abuse is often seen in intimate relationships in the form of physical aggression between partners.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse

It can involve actions that indicate that you are being treated badly, such as bullying, being threatened, or being continuously criticised and humiliated. Emotional abuse can often be the result of abuse of power where someone is trying to control and manipulate the behaviour of another person.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse often involves being touched without your permission or being forced to participate in sexual activity, such as rape, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse. Survivors of sexual abuse may start to feel depressed, experience panic attacks and feel ashamed of their bodies.


Neglect is often the lack of support, caring and attention from a caregiver. Neglect also involves absence of adequate food, housing, clothing, or medical care in childhood. It can have both physical and mental consequences that can be transferred into adulthood where you may experience attachment difficulties and problems in forming relationships.

Problems That You Might Be Experiencing If You Have Been Abused

The experience of abuse can keep you stuck in unhelpful patterns of thinking where you feel emotionally upset, scared and helpless. You may struggle with flashbacks of disturbing memories, and be unable to feel safe in environments that other people seem to find easy or normal.

If you are a survivor of abuse, especially if someone from your close environment was involved, you may find it hard to trust others and maintain healthy relationships which can leave you feeling lonely and isolated.

The anger or hurt that you feel as a result of the distressing memories can often leave you with very low self-esteem. You may engage in self-harming actions as a result of feeling ashamed of your body and past experiences.

Experiencing abuse can be associated with anxiety and depression, as well as eating disorders and drug abuse as a way of numbing and avoiding painful emotions.

If you have suffered from the negative consequences of abuse – be it physical, sexual or emotional – you may find it difficult to disclose your pain, and feelings of anger and shame to others. As a result, you may feel overwhelmed by distressing emotions that can make your day-to-day living intolerable.

At EmotionMatters we understand that dealing with traumatic memories associated with abuse is difficult and overwhelming. We can help you find a way of healing your pain, so you are more free and open to live your life today.