Dysfunctional Behaviors – Rooted in Childhood Emotional Abuse

Do you know someone who struggles with any of these behaviors?

  • self-esteem problems;
  • dysfunctional emotions such as depression, hostility, apathy, hopelessness;
  • substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, nicotine);
  • abuse of others (physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and/or verbal);
  • self-abuse – self-mutilation (for example, “cutting”), eating disorders (for example, overeating, anorexia), etc.;
  • inappropriate attachment to things or situations (for example, being a “shopaholic” or a hoarder);
  • physical problems, including fatigue, chronic colds and other infections, high blood pressure, heart disease, intestinal disorders, and skin problems.

Most likely, you are… and maybe you are.

Any person can suffer from one, two, several or all of these ailments. Where do these problems come from?

The answer is as complex as humans, but there is a certain reason behind every problem. Some traumas have occurred in this person’s life and can go back to childhood. It may also go unnoticed for so long as the cause may be an “invisible” cause, such as childhood emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse can be difficult to recognize, define, and address. The abuser may make the victim feel that everything is in their imagination or that it is the victim’s fault. The victim may just feel “crazy”.

The outward manifestations of emotional pain in the list above are sometimes easier for the victim because they are visible, tangible, and “real.” Physical pain can be “relaxing” for a survivor of childhood emotional abuse.

However, none of these behaviors are beneficial to the victim or those around him/her of childhood emotional abuse. The patient should seek help and learn to deal with trauma in a healthy way.

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