Mental Illness Is Far More Common Than We Knew

New research suggests that nearly everyone will develop a psychological disorder at some point in their lives—but for most, it’s temporary

  • By Aaron Reuben, Jonathan Schaefer

Most of us know at least one person who has struggled with a bout of debilitating mental illness. Despite their familiarity, however, these kinds of episodes are typically considered unusual, and even shameful.

New research, from our lab and from others around the world, however, suggests mental illnesses are so common that almost everyone will develop at least one diagnosable mental disorder at some point in their lives. Most of these people will never receive treatment, and their relationships, job performance and life satisfaction will likely suffer. Meanwhile the few individuals who never seem to develop a disorder may offer psychology a new avenue of study, allowing researchers to ask what it takes to be abnormally, enduringly, mentally well.

Epidemiologists have long known that, at any given point in time, roughly 20 to 25 percent of the population suffers from a mental illness, which means they experience psychological distress severe enough to impair functioning at work, school or in their relationships. Extensive national surveys, conducted from the mid-1990s through the early 2000s, suggested that a much higher percentage, close to half the population, would experience a mental illness at some point in their lives.

These surveys were large, involving thousands of participants representative of the U.S. in age, sex, social class and ethnicity. They were also, however, retrospective, which means they relied on survey respondents’ accurate recollection of feelings and behaviors months, years and even decades in the past. Human memory is fallible, and modern science has demonstrated that people are notoriously inconsistent reporters about their own mental health history, leaving the final accuracy of these studies up for debate. Of further concern, up to a third of the people contacted by the national surveys failed to enroll in the studies.Follow-up tests suggested that these “nonresponders” tended to have worse mental health.

Our new study, published earlier this year in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (whose very name suggests an outdated understanding of the prevalence of mental illness), took a different approach to estimating disease burden. Rather than ask people to think back many years in the past, we instead closely followed one generation of New Zealanders, all born in the same town, from birth to midlife. We conducted in-depth check-ins every few years to assess for evidence of mental illness occurring during the preceding year.

We found that if you follow people over time, and screen them regularly using simple, evidence-based tools, the percentage of people who develop a diagnosable mental illness at any point in their lives jumps to well over 80 percent. In our cohort only 17 percent of study members did not develop a disorder, at least briefly, by middle age. Because we can’t be certain these individuals remained disorder-free in the years between assessments, the true proportion that never experienced a mental illness may be even smaller.

Put another way, our study shows that you are more likely to experience a bout of mental illness than you are to develop diabetes, heart disease or any kind of cancer whatsoever—combined. These findings have been corroborated by data from other similar cohorts in New Zealand, Switzerland and the U.S.

If you ever develop a psychological disorder, many assume you will have it for life. The newest research suggests, for the most common psychological complaints, this is simply not true. “A substantial component of what we describe as disorder is often short-lived, of lesser severity or self-limiting,” says John Horwood, a psychiatric epidemiologist and director of the longitudinal Christchurch Health and Development Study in New Zealand. (Horwood has found that close to 85 percent of the Christchurch study members develop a diagnosable mental illness by midlife).

This may be a useful message to spread. According to Jason Siegel, a professor of social psychology at Claremont Graduate University, people tend to be more sympathetic and helpful when they believe that a friend or co-worker’s health problems are temporary.

And individuals with mental illness need support. Even short-lived or self-limiting disorders can wreak havoc on a person’s life. To be classified as having a disorder, “an individual typically has to meet fairly stringent symptom criteria,” Horwood says. “There needs to be substantial impairment of functioning.”

To some, though, the new statistics on mental illness rates can sound a lot like the overmedicalization of “normal” human experience. Advocates for individuals with mental health concerns tend to disagree with this perspective. “I’m not at all surprised by these findings,” commented Paul Gionfriddo, president of Mental Health America, a national advocacy group. His organization views mental illnesses as common, “though not always enduring.” Three years ago Mental Health America launched a Web-based tool to allow individuals to discreetly screen themselves for possible psychological disorders. Since then over two million people have used the tool, with over 3,000 people a day now logging on to determine if they may have a condition that could benefit from treatment.

The widespread nature of mental illness unearthed by careful longitudinal research holds some implications for the way we study and treat disease in this country. To Gionfriddo, a former lawmaker who watched his son end up homeless and incarcerated following undiagnosed childhood schizophrenia, “one implication of these new studies is that we as a society will get tremendous benefit out of ubiquitous mental health screening.”

Although the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force currently recommends mental health screening on a regular basis for everyone over age 11, such screening is still far from routine. “At a time when we have recognized the importance of early intervention for cancer or for diabetes or heart disease, why would we say, ‘Okay, for mental illness we aren’t going to screen or do early intervention’?” Gionfriddo says. “This should be as common for adults as blood pressure screening. Putting our head in the sand and waiting for a catastrophe is not a health care plan.”

Another implication stems from the fact that individuals who never develop a mental illness—those who experience what we call “enduring mental health”—are actually quite remarkable. These people may be the mental health equivalents of healthy centenarians: individuals who somehow manage to beat the odds and enjoy good health for much longer than we’d expect. It’s possible that studying the mentally robust more closely could provide insight into how we can help more people to enjoy lives like theirs.

Who are these extraordinary people? In our New Zealand cohort we found that those with enduring mental health tended to have two things going for them: First, they had little to no family history of mental illness and, second, they tended to have what we called “advantageous” personalities. As early as age five, individuals who would make it to midlife without an episode of mental disorder tended to display fewer negative emotions, get along better with their peers, and have greater self-control. Perhaps just as striking, we found that these individuals were not any richer, smarter or physically healthy than their peers, at least in childhood.

Ultimately, the most important suggestion from the newest research is that mental health concerns may be nearly universal. As a result, society should begin to view mental illnesses like bone breaks, kidney stones or common colds—as part of the normal wear and tear of life. Acknowledging this universality may allow us to finally devote adequate resources to screening, treating and preventing mental illnesses. It may also help us go easier on ourselves and our loved ones when we, inevitably, hit our own rough patches in the road.

14 Things To Remember When You Love A Person With Anxiety

It wasn’t until the past few years I realized how badly I suffered from anxiety. Simple things like waiting to hear back from someone or anticipating how something could turn out would leave my stomach in knots and my heart and mind racing. Now that I understand what anxiety is and how to help alleviate it, I understand a little bit better when I’m experiencing it. I don’t pretend to know all the answers when it comes to anxiety or mental health, and I understand my experience isn’t universal, but I hope these things can help anyone who loves someone else with anxiety and for the person with anxiety to realize they aren’t alone.


1. It’s not just all in their head and they can’t just “get over” anxiety.

Over 40 million people have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder but those numbers don’t report the other people who suffer with it every day without reporting it to their doctor.Anxiety is not something that can be cured with a simple “everything will be alright. there’s nothing to worry about.” The thing about anxiety is that nobody’s entirely sure where it comes from or what causes it. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) explains, “Panic disorder sometimes runs in families, but no one knows for sure why some people have it, while others don’t.”

2. Anxiety is an overwhelming experience.

Anxiety can leave a person feeling like their whole world is caving in. The first time I had a panic attack I was a teenager in a large shopping center with my mother. Suddenly, my mind was racing. I was sweating. The store suddenly felt very small and all of my senses were heightened. I felt like I was going to faint. My mom couldn’t understand it and I couldn’t understand it at the time either. We were just standing in an aisle while she was shopping for something. What was the problem?

When someone is experiencing anxiety, or when they suddenly have a panic attack, they get into a hyper-sense state where suddenly everything becomes very loud and very bright to them. The environment suddenly becomes a very overwhelming place.

3. Telling your loved one to “relax,” “calm down,” or that something is “no big deal” doesn’t help their anxiety. Sometimes, it only makes it worse.

When someone tells you they’re worried or anxious about something, listen to what they’re saying. Let them explain why something has them all at sea. Hear them out and try to understand from their point of view why they’re feeling the way they do. It’s understandable that people want to provide solutions or express to their loved one that whatever is causing them anxiety is actually not a huge deal, and it may not be, but in the moment when an anxious person is at the height of their emotion, telling them to relax only makes them feel like you’re brushing aside something that is very real to them.

4. Not every anxious person is triggered by the same thing, and often, anxiety has no obvious triggers at all.

Something that’s fun or enjoyable for you could have the complete opposite effect on someone with anxiety. For example, one of my anxiety triggers is being in large crowds. This is a problem for me because I love going to concerts and hearing live music.

A couple weeks ago I went to a music festival with a co-worker and in the middle of trying to leave after Drake performed, we were body to body with 50,000 people, all trying to leave the festival. We couldn’t move and we were in a stand still. Immediately, my mind started racing, thinking about how this was a dangerous situation to be in, and about how many times I’ve heard of fatal incidences at music festivals where people were in this exact situation, and about how all I wanted was to get out and away from everyone. This was all going through my head, whereas my co-worker thought it was fun and awesome to be in the crowd with everyone.

Later, when I told one of my friends about it who has anxiety, she said, “Oh, interesting. Being around a lot of people doesn’t bother me. It’s when I’m faced with being in a one-on-one situation with someone, like if my friend randomly invites a new person to get drinks and leaves me alone with them, and then there’s uncomfortable silence because I’m too awkward to make conversation – THAT’S what sends me into an instant panic until I have to excuse myself and go to the bathroom or escape the situation.”

Basically, what I’m saying is, not every anxious person’s experience is universal. We all experience anxiety differently, albeit in similar ways. Although someone can be self-aware of what factors seem to heighten their anxiety (drinking coffee, for example), there are no particular things you can predict that will engage a panic attack. They can come completely out of nowhere.

5. Sometimes they just need to be alone.

There are times when your loved one might decline to hang out over the weekend or with your friends so that they can be alone to decompress and just be by themselves. Try to remember to not take this personal. Remember their anxiety isn’t a reflection on you or your relationship with them. People who deal with anxiety often just need more time to work things out in their head and think about everything going on in their life, especially if they’ve been particularly stressed lately.

6. They understand their fears can be irrational at times.

They know there are plenty of times when their anxiety makes absolutely no sense. Even if you both discuss the reality of the situation, their thought process is still thinking about the worse outcomes.

7. It can be difficult for them to let go of their fears.

Even if they’ve talked it all through and they rationally understand there’s nothing to be anxious about, it can still be incredibly hard for them to let of the mindset there isn’t something wrong.

8. If they open up to you about their anxiety, consider it a huge sign of trust.

One of the hardest parts of dealing with anxiety is feeling like you can’t talk about it. The stigma that surrounds mental health is difficult to deal with because it makes those who have been diagnosed with a disorder feel like they’re weird and shouldn’t be open about their experience. If your loved one opens up to you about their anxiety, it’s a sign they feel comfortable and open enough with you to be honest about a significant part of their life.

9. You won’t always be able to tell when they’re dealing with anxiety.

Just because someone is feeling extremely anxious, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be sitting there outwardly displaying signs of an anxious person. Many times people with anxiety suffer silently because they don’t want to make a big deal out of something or because, well, it can be embarrassing to admit. There have been times where I’ve been at a party and a friend has told me quietly they needed to leave because they were feeling anxious. If they wouldn’t have said anything I probably wouldn’t have guessed anything was wrong.

Remember that even people who seem totally fine can be battling a war inside their mind.

10. You might not understand the ways they practice self-care.

Self-care is one of the most important things when going through a stressful time, and it’s the little things that can make them feel better. Maybe it’s doing a deep clean of the apartment or a closet, organizing books in a bookshelf by genre vs. alphabetical. You might think it’s odd that the best way your loved one feels better is by cleaning the dishes, but many times these kind of activities are a form of meditation and help soothe the anxiety.

11. It’s important you remember to practice your own self-care as well.

Just because the person you love deals with anxiety, it doesn’t mean you have to walk on eggshells around them. They understand it can be a lot to deal with sometimes and they’re grateful to have someone who cares about them. They don’t expect you to forgive all of their flaws or mistakes – that’s where patience and understanding are truly appreciated. But if things become too draining for you, you must also decide for yourself what your limits are in your relationship with them and where your boundaries lie. Whatever you do though, if at any point you think this person has too much baggage or too many issues for you, end it there. Don’t lead them on into thinking you’re someone they can count on.

12. Don’t feel like it’s up to you to solve all of their problems.

You and the love you give are not the solution to your loved one’s anxiety, but it can certainly aid as a balm. They don’t expect you to solve something in their brain they don’t even understand themselves and it’s important to remember this so you don’t feel burdened. Being someone that is simply there for them and listens to what they’re going through can often be all they need to feel understood and cared for.

13. They need strong and stable relationships to truly thrive.

Relationships that are back and forth and fail to offer any real support, stability, or longevity can make them feel unable to really connect with someone. They need their partner or loved one to keep them grounded and make them feel safe.

14. They might never be like anyone else – and that’s okay!

Just because someone lives with anxiety, it doesn’t mean that their anxiety defines them, and it isn’t something that has to be seen as this great, overwhelming presence that dominates your connection with them. Be there for them. Listen to their fears, their concerns, their thoughts. Seek understanding and communicate. This person might not be like anyone else in your life but isn’t that one of the most beautiful things about loving them?

YOU CAN GET PTSD FROM STAYING IN AN EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP

The toxic relationship you choose to stay in will gradually rob you of every ounce of happiness you have and make you a victim of PTSD.

Via The DailyHunt

Aren’t others often too quick to judge a woman who chooses to stay with an emotionally (and at times physically) abusive partner? “You are being stupid”, they tell you. “Why can’t you think straight?”, they ask in disbelief. Why would anyone voluntarily stay with a person who does not treat them well, they wonder.

Believe it or not, it is not easy to let go of someone you love. But chances are that the same “love” is slowly killing you. The toxic relationship you choose to stay in will gradually rob you of every ounce of happiness you have and make you a victim of PTSD.

1. A Very Normal, Even Romantic Beginning Majority of abusive relationships do not start off on an abusive note. There is always love and romance in the beginning. Chances are that he is the most charming guy you have ever met.

His possessiveness would make you secretly happy. His short temper would seem exciting. He got angry? So what, he’s just passionate. He doesn’t let you go out with your friends? That’s okay, it is because he is concerned. He raised his voice? It’s fine, because it was your fault. The list will slowly start getting longer, without you even noticing it, and so would the excuses you make for him.

2. Trying Your Best To Keep Things From Falling Apart The first thing every woman who is in love would try is to work things out, to keep the ugly side hidden, to ignore the fact that everything is not fine. A dig at your expense in front of his friends, shouting at you in front of the children, finding fault with everything you do- everything is buried deep inside you. You tell yourself he is just having a bad day. When he slaps you for the first time, you are shocked, but you decide to let it pass- it is because he cares, you try to convince yourself. You start wearing long sleeves to cover your bruises, your bloodshot eyes become constantly hidden behind your shades. You start making excuses to skip social events. You cut contacts. Your friends isolate you.

3. Finding Reasons To Stay You tell yourself you are staying in the name of love- won’t it be weak to just throw all this away just because he gets angry now and then? You hang back, thinking it’s for the children- how could my children grow up without their father? You cling on because you are financially unstable-what would I do without a job? You suffer silently thinking what would others say. The reasons to stay will be endless, though it is very clear the primary thing you ought to do is leave.

4. What It Does To You Living with someone that is abusive can mess with your mind and body. It can emotionally cripple you, rob you of self esteem, and make you forget what it was to be happy. You may stay, thinking you are doing it for the children, but there is a bigger possibility of you scarring them for life by forcing them to live in an abusive environment. There is even a chance that you stay because your partner has drilled in the idea that you are worthless without him; that you won’t make it on your own.

5. When It’s High Time To Take A Decision One day you open your eyes and you realize you are neck deep in water. The little droplets you thought were harmless have joined together, flooding your life. You look in the mirror and see a stranger who has forgotten how to smile, whose eyes have lost their luster, who stopped dreaming a long time ago, who put her whole life on pause to save a relationship that is not worth saving. You come in terms with the fact that your relationship has been poisoning you for years, slowly pushing you over the edge. What happened to the strong, independent woman who used to be in charge of of her life once upon a time?

6. Realizing That PTSD Is Slowly Creeping Upon You Often it’s the psychological abuse that shatters the willpower of a woman. Black eyes and bloody noses would heal, but the emotional scars would never fade away. It won’t be long before you are overcome by stress and depression. PTSD would drain all life out of you. The key is to get help as soon as you realize your life is spiraling before you. Go for therapy, get counselled, convince yourself that you are strong enough to leave, vow that your sons would never have to witness their father abusing their mother again, promise yourself that your daughters need to grow up without fear, tell yourself it is okay to let go. Most importantly, realize the fact that you stayed because you were strong, and that it’s high time you moved on- you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.be your own hero and find happiness yourself.

The Feedback Loop from Hell

MARK MANSON

There’s an insidious quirk to your brain that, if you let it, can drive you absolutely batty. Tell me if this sounds familiar to you:
You get anxious about confronting somebody in your life. That anxiety cripples you and you start wondering why you’re so anxious. Now you’re becoming anxious about being anxious. Oh no! Doubly anxious! Now you’re anxious about your anxiety, which is causing more anxiety. Quick, where’s the whiskey?
Or let’s say you have an anger problem. You get pissed off at the stupidest, most inane stuff, and you have no idea why. And the fact that you get pissed off so easily starts to piss you off even more. And then, in your petty rage, you realize that being angry all the time makes you a shallow and mean person, and you hate this; you hate it so much that you get angry at yourself. Now look at you: you’re angry at yourself getting angry about being angry. Fuck you, wall. Here, have a fist.
Or you’re so worried about doing the right thing all the time that you become worried about how much you’re worrying. Or you feel so guilty for every mistake you make that you begin to feel guilty about how guilty you’re feeling. Or you get sad and alone so often that it makes you feel even more sad and alone just thinking about it.
Welcome to the Feedback Loop from Hell. Chances are you’ve engaged in it more than a few times. Maybe you’re engaging in it right now: “God, I do the Feedback Loop all the time—I’m such a loser for doing it. I should stop. Oh my God, I feel like such a loser for calling myself a loser. I should stop calling myself a loser. Ah, fuck! I’m doing it again! See? I’m a loser! Argh!”
Calm down, amigo. Believe it or not, this is part of the beauty of being human. Very few animals on earth have the ability to think cogent thoughts to begin with, but we humans have the luxury of being able to have thoughts about our thoughts. So I can think about watching Miley Cyrus videos on YouTube, and then immediately think about what a sicko I am for wanting to watch Miley Cyrus videos on YouTube. Ah, the miracle of consciousness!
Now here’s the problem: Our society today, through the wonders of consumer culture and hey-look-my-life-is-cooler-than-yours social media, has bred a whole generation of people who believe that having these negative experiences—anxiety, fear, guilt, etc.—is totally not okay. I mean, if you look at your Facebook feed, everybody there is having a fucking grand old time. Look, eight people got married this week! And some sixteen-year-old on TV got a Ferrari for her birthday. And another kid just made two billion dollars inventing an app that automatically delivers you more toilet paper when you run out.
Meanwhile, you’re stuck at home flossing your cat. And you can’t help but think your life sucks even more than you thought.
The Feedback Loop from Hell has become a borderline epidemic, making many of us overly stressed, overly neurotic, and overly self-loathing.
Back in Grandpa’s day, he would feel like shit and think to himself, “Gee whiz, I sure do feel like a cow turd today. But hey, I guess that’s just life. Back to shoveling hay.”
But now? Now if you feel like shit for even five minutes, you’re bombarded with 350 images of people totally happy and having amazing fucking lives, and it’s impossible to not feel like there’s something wrong with you.
It’s this last part that gets us into trouble. We feel bad about feeling bad. We feel guilty for feeling guilty. We get angry about getting angry. We get anxious about feeling anxious. What is wrong with me?
This is why not giving a fuck is so key. This is why it’s going to save the world. And it’s going to save it by accepting that the world is totally fucked and that’s all right, because it’s always been that way, and always will be.
By not giving a fuck that you feel bad, you short-circuit the Feedback Loop from Hell; you say to yourself, “I feel like shit, but who gives a fuck?” And then, as if sprinkled by magic fuck-giving fairy dust, you stop hating yourself for feeling so bad.
George Orwell said that to see what’s in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle. Well, the solution to our stress and anxiety is right there in front of our noses, and we’re too busy watching porn and advertisements for ab machines that don’t work, wondering why we’re not banging a hot blonde with a rocking six-pack, to notice.
We joke online about “first-world problems,” but we really have become victims of our own success. Stress-related health issues, anxiety disorders, and cases of depression have skyrocketed over the past thirty years, despite the fact that everyone has a flat-screen TV and can have their groceries delivered. Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore.
Because there’s an infinite amount of things we can now see or know, there are also an infinite number of ways we can discover that we don’t measure up, that we’re not good enough, that things aren’t as great as they could be. And this rips us apart inside.
Because here’s the thing that’s wrong with all of the “How to Be Happy” shit that’s been shared eight million times on Facebook in the past few years—here’s what nobody realizes about all of this crap:
The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.
This is a total mind-fuck. So I’ll give you a minute to unpretzel your brain and maybe read that again: Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience. It’s what the philosopher Alan Watts used to refer to as “the backwards law”—the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. The more you desperately want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy you feel, regardless of how much money you actually make. The more you desperately want to be sexy and desired, the uglier you come to see yourself, regardless of your actual physical appearance. The more you desperately want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid you become, regardless of those who surround you. The more you want to be spiritually enlightened, the more self-centered and shallow you become in trying to get there.
It’s like this one time I tripped on acid and it felt like the more I walked toward a house, the farther away the house got from me. And yes, I just used my LSD hallucinations to make a philosophical point about happiness. No fucks given.
As the existential philosopher Albert Camus said (and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t on LSD at the time): “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
Or put more simply:
Don’t try.
Now, I know what you’re saying: “Mark, this is making my nipples all hard, but what about the Camaro I’ve been saving up for? What about the beach body I’ve been starving myself for? After all, I paid a lot of money for that ab machine! What about the big house on the lake I’ve been dreaming of? If I stop giving a fuck about those things—well, then I’ll never achieve anything. I don’t want that to happen, do I?”
So glad you asked.
Ever notice that sometimes when you care less about something, you do better at it? Notice how it’s often the person who is the least invested in the success of something that actually ends up achieving it? Notice how sometimes when you stop giving a fuck, everything seems to fall into place?
What’s with that?
What’s interesting about the backwards law is that it’s called “backwards” for a reason: not giving a fuck works in reverse. If pursuing the positive is a negative, then pursuing the negative generates the positive. The pain you pursue in the gym results in better all-around health and energy. The failures in business are what lead to a better understanding of what’s necessary to be successful. Being open with your insecurities paradoxically makes you more confident and charismatic around others. The pain of honest confrontation is what generates the greatest trust and respect in your relationships. Suffering through your fears and anxieties is what allows you to build courage and perseverance.
Seriously, I could keep going, but you get the point. Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.
Pain is an inextricable thread in the fabric of life, and to tear it out is not only impossible, but destructive: attempting to tear it out unravels everything else with it. To try to avoid pain is to give too many fucks about pain. In contrast, if you’re able to not give a fuck about the pain, you become unstoppable.
#FacebookFirstReads is a series of exclusive excerpts from soon-to-be released books.

Order your copy today: https://MarkManson.net

If You Experienced Emotional Abuse As A Child, You Probably Do These Things As An Adult

By 

The way you are treated as a child can have lasting effects on you even in adulthood. This is why they say when you raise a child, you are raising the person that they will become. The experiences that you form in your childhood become the building blocks of your outlook on life and the perception you have of yourself.

A person who experienced emotional abuse as a child will act in ways different to someone who hadn’t experienced similar abuse. The impact may be so severe as to ruin the individuals’ ability to form meaningful relationships with people who are in their lives.

If you have experienced emotional abuse, it is likely that you will relate to some of the following symptoms or behaviors. Often we suppress painful memories so you may not realize that you are acting out due to childhood trauma until you read some of these behaviors. Here are several signs that you experienced emotional abuse as a child:

1. Bottle up anger: People who have experienced emotional abuse often don’t know how to cope with feelings of anger or sadness. They don’t know how to manage or release their emotions in a healthy way so they bottle them up until they overflow.

2. Don’t stand up for yourself: Those who have been emotionally abused as children have a difficult time standing up for themselves as adults. They are afraid to take action and often avoid conflict at all costs.

3. People pleaser: If you were raised to be terrified that you may anger someone, you may grow up doing everything in your power to please everyone even at the expense of sacrificing your own needs or desires.

4. Suffer from anxiety or depression: Because of all the bottled up emotions, people who have dealt with emotional abuse often suffer from anxiety and depression, sometimes without knowing the source.

abuse 4

5. Overly shy: Because people who’ve experienced this kind of abuse are used to silencing their voice so as to not displease authority, they often grow up finding it difficult to reach out to others and have trouble speaking to new people and forming new relationships.

6. Self-blame: Even when they are not at fault, those who have been through emotional abuse will constantly find themselves at fault and will always be afraid of making mistakes. This may prevent them from taking any risks or going after what they actually want.

7. Bully yourself: If you have experienced emotional abuse, you may find yourself using the same disparaging language that your abuser used against you. This means that even if they are no longer in your life, you pick up where they left off.

abuse 7The Christian Post

8. Need for validation: If you have been abused, you constantly need to be told that you’re doing a good job. You can’t provide validation for yourself because you feel as if nothing you do is ever good enough, so you look for validation externally.

abuse 8

 

Source:www.providr.com