Addiction Mental Abuse

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Addiction and Mental Abuse

What causes mental abuse is a set of behaviors that undermine, undervalue, and harm the victim. The effects can be long-lasting. Mental abuse can influence addiction.

If you have suffered from mental abuse at any point in your life, you may suffer from co-dependency. People who have been mentally abused tend to develop unhealthy bonds. This can cause you to continue to be a victim of mental abuse.

What is Mental Abuse?

Mental abuse can be described in many different forms. It can cause you to feel insulted, or demeaned, like that your needs are never met. You may give without reciprocation.

Emotional and mental abuse involves ways that control, isolate, manipulate, or scare you. This often happens in a cycle, and like addiction, the cycle repeats.

Signs of Mental Abuse

Many red flags can indicate if you are being mentally abused. Name-calling is one of the first signs of dealing with a mentally abusive person. You may even have been subjected to a derogatory nickname. You can find yourself belittled or dismissed. Mental abusers need to make you feel inadequate so they can have control over you.

Effects of Mental Abuse

People who have been mentally abused are stuck in the flight-or-fight response. This is a protective state that occurs without your control. It is a way that the brain protects itself from further trauma. When this happens, your body begins to release cortisol. This can cause you to feel disconnected, and unable to think clearly. You no longer can function logically, but reactively.

People Who Have Been Mentally Abused

People who have been mentally abused feel chronic helplessness. Like all forms of abuse, mental abuse acts to control and overpower the victim. You can often feel alone to pick up the pieces. Mental abuse can have devastating effects on your mental health.

This unequal balance of power can lead to post-traumatic stress disorders. Unlike bruises that can be observed, mental abuse is just as harmful but cannot be seen. Emotional abuse is never the fault of the person subjected to it.


Co-dependency is a term used to describe people whose self-worth and self-esteem are validated only through sacrificing themselves. Co-dependent personalities usually follow patterns that interfere with your emotional health.

You may find yourself unable to find fulfillment in a relationship. Co-dependents are typically people-pleasers who lack boundaries. Over time, this behavior becomes an addiction. You can find yourself unable to break free from the cycle of mental abuse.

Co-Dependent vs. Interdependence

When you are co-dependent on someone, you can lose yourself in the relationship. Healthy boundaries become blurred, as you attempt to please the other person. You will constantly give and not receive anything back. In unhealthy relationships, the balance is unequal.

When you are in a healthy relationship, you can depend on your partner to meet your needs as well. Interdependent relationships build up your self-esteem and confidence. This healthy relationship promotes loving feelings, mutual respect, and a sense of emotional safety in relationships.

Co-Dependency and Addiction

The root of all addiction starts with co-dependency. Addiction is an unhealthy attachment to someone or something that you cannot function without. Your happiness and identity are so closely intertwined that you suffer if you feel that the relationship is threatened. Co-dependency becomes an issue when one person takes advantage of you emotionally.

Trauma Bonding

Trauma bonds are formed between an abuser and the victim. This is a negative attachment. You feel unable and often unwilling to leave the relationship no matter how bad things are. There are many signs to determine if you have formed this negative attachment, such as constantly feeling helpless in the relationship.

You may be unable to leave despite knowing deep inside that it’s not healthy. Friends and family may reach out to intervene. You may want to leave but you may feel unable to break the bond.

Breaking Free From Mental Abuse

Breaking a traumatic bond comes with intense withdrawal symptoms. Like all addictions, you can suffer from flashbacks. You may even desire to go back to the abuser. You may find yourself plagued with compulsive thoughts going over repeatedly in your head about what happened.

Lifelong Mental Abuse

Throughout your life, you may be subjected to emotional abuse in one form or another. Mental abuse is destructive to your emotional well-being. It can trigger feelings of helplessness and dependence on your abuser.

Individuals on the receiving end of mental abuse can develop mental disorders. You may be diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to mental abuse. You can find yourself trapped in negative thinking. People who have been mentally abused may feel unworthy of love

Your Mental Health and Abuse

If you have a history of mental abuse, you can suffer from a wide range of psychiatric disorders. Early exposure to mental abuse can reduce the amount of grey matter in the brain. Grey matter plays a major role in the central nervous system. This part of the brain controls your feeling, speech, and memories. The long-term effects of mental abuse can have lasting changes in your brain.


Breaking this traumatic bond comes with intense withdrawal symptoms. You may experience intense flashbacks and cravings for the toxic person. Compulsive thoughts about what happened can consume you.

You may even find yourself in a constant state of anxiousness. Mental abuse treatment helps you regain control over your life. There are many ways to treat mental abuse.


Therapy for mental abuse involves developing a healthy system of support and counseling. Family therapy can help you break unhealthy patterns. Counseling with a focus on education can teach you new ways to interact and cope.

Group therapy helps you learn from other people. It provides you with a safe space to express yourself. You can learn effective ways to communicate through therapy.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Thankfully through science, our understanding of neuroplasticity shows that this damage can be reversed. Theories that involve Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) show that the mind can heal.

This therapy helps to release mental blocks that will promote healing. It can be an effective treatment for those who have endured mental abuse and trauma.

Finding the Right Help

If you are struggling in a relationship and unable to break free, you may be co-dependent. Co-dependency is a behavioral pattern that is sometimes called “relationship addiction.”

Co-dependent people often take on a caretaker role in relationships. They typically abandon their own needs in favor of the other person’s. Emotional abuse is never the fault of the person subjected to it. If you feel unsafe in a relationship, reach out for help immediately.

Resurgence Behavioral Health can help you recover from mental abuse. We understand the cycle of mental abuse. Educating yourself can help you identify your reasons for staying in unhealthy attachments.

Funding Treatment with Insurance

Resurgence Behavioral Health offers insurance verification to inform you if your insurance will cover the treatment. Our staff will contact your insurance company on your behalf to find a treatment plan covered.

Most insurance plans have policies that address mental health. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we want to help you overcome mental abuse. You are not alone.

Reach out for Help

If you are being mentally abused, you must take the first step to get help. With one call, you can get back your power and enable yourself to be free from further mental abuse.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, our programs can help you regain your sense of self. Help is a phone call away.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.