Emotional abuse is, according to Wikipedia: a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying, and abuse in the workplace.
I recently wrote a paper on research into childhood abuse resulting in adult mental disorders. It made me think a lot, as an emotionally abused child who, now, as an adult, has mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. I wonder how much of it was hereditary and how much was brought on by the psychological trauma? I also wonder if that could be why I always seem to pick emotionally abusive relationships as an adult?
Emotional abuse IS abuse. The scars aren't visible, but they are there, nonetheless. Not that I don't recognize other forms of abuse. Physical and sexual abuse are purported to cause larger traumas in the research I looked at. I have also been a victim of sexual abuse in more than one relationship. No, I haven't called RAINN yet, but I am thinking about it. It has made me very reluctant to get involved with any other men. It has left scars, even though they are emotional.
Having been there, I can honestly say, the abuser will not change, no matter how often he (or she) promises to. If you are the victim of ANY form of abuse, you need to leave. If you are feeling unsafe you need to get to a shelter for abused women. Google it, you will find a number in your area. Remember, the number for RAINN is 1-800-656-HOPE. (4673).