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Emotional abuse vs emotional neglect
by TeenHelp October 5th 2017, 01:40 AM

Emotional abuse vs emotional neglect
By Cassie (Cassado)

While both equally damaging, emotional abuse and emotional neglect are two different things with their own set of characteristics. Both terms are related to emotional distress but the actions which cause the distress are different. Read on to learn more about the differences and effects of emotional abuse and neglect.

The difference between emotional abuse and emotional neglect is that emotional abuse entails doing something and emotional neglect is the absence of something. Emotional abuse could include things such as name-calling, criticizing, and manipulation, while emotional neglect in an instance could be the absence of affection or emotional support.

Emotional abuse is often seen in romantic relationships or within family relationships. Emotional neglect does occur in romantic relationships but it is also commonly seen within a parent-child relationship.

For example, Person A may be in an emotionally abusive relationship with a partner who uses name-calling and manipulation in an effort to control them while Person B is in an emotionally neglectful relationship with a parent who does not display affection or provide emotional support.

Emotional abuse and emotional neglect have similar yet slightly different effects. People who have experienced either one may have an all around sadness and low self-esteem. Survivors of emotional abuse may feel like they cannot leave their abuser. They are likely to feel depressed and withdrawn from people or things they are interested in.

People who have experienced emotional neglect may feel numbness or emptiness. In a parent-child relationship, the child may feel this emptiness because they havenít had a positive emotional relationship. Additionally, children may have difficulty with relationships in their teen and adult years. For example, a daughter who is emotionally neglected or abused by her father may wish to have a father figure in her life. When emotional neglect is normalized to a child, they may neglect themselves and grow up to neglect their future relationships. However, many children have different positive influences that help to prevent this from occurring.

Though emotional abuse and neglect have different characteristics and effects, the impact is often long lived. People who have suffered through emotional abuse or neglect may benefit from working on similar aspects of their lives, such as self-care or self-soothe activities. It may also help to talk to someone, whether it is a professional or a trusted individual.
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Re: Emotional abuse vs emotional neglect - February 1st 2018, 10:13 AM

Damn, I have both... Imma work on it more thoroughly when I get a therapist though. Good post. 👍

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Re: Emotional abuse vs emotional neglect - February 3rd 2018, 04:02 PM

Originally Posted by Jestervice McPunnington View Post
Damn, I have both... Imma work on it more thoroughly when I get a therapist though. Good post. 👍
I've dealt with both, as well, and getting in with a good therapist can be helpful. It also helps to acknowledge that you've experienced both because it can help you identify the ways in which both (or one) has impacted you.
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