Verbal Abuse by Others or Yourself Devastates

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Verbal abuse, whether from others towards you or through your own negative self-talk, can be devastating to your self-esteem and mental health. Read more on HealthyPlace.

Verbal Abuse by Others or Yourself Devastates

Words matter. Words and actions can build up, or they can strike down. Words spoken harshly, with the intention of hurting someone, are abusive.

Verbal abuse comes from different sources, such as:

  • a partner
  • a boss
  • a coworker
  • a “friend”
  • a parent
  • family members
  • a teacher
  • oneself

Verbal abuse is dangerous and can shred self-esteem. It can lead to mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or PTSD. Often, verbal abuse from someone who is supposed to love you and treat you kindly is confusing and makes you constantly question and blame yourself. You learn to hate things you think you did or the way you are.

Sadly, many people turn verbal abuse against themselves. Instead of treating themselves with kindness and self-compassion, they say hurtful things to themselves harshly. Have you found yourself saying things like:

  • I’m stupid
  • I’m worthless
  • I don’t deserve love
  • Bad things are my fault

These are examples of verbal abuse turned inward, and like cruel words from others, they destroy self-esteem, lead to the same illnesses mentioned above, and deepen struggles.

The first steps in your journey to kind treatment is to be aware of verbally abusive words from any source and open yourself to the realistic possibility that they are untrue. Slowly, you can rise out of the hurt.

Related Articles Dealing with Verbal Abuse

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: As a victim of verbal abuse from others or yourself, how did it hurt you, and how are you healing? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, knowledge, and experience on the HealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

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Thank you,

Community Partner Team - America's Mental Health Channel
"When you're at, you're never alone."

APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2018, May 14). Verbal Abuse by Others or Yourself Devastates, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 16 from

Last Updated: March 20, 2024

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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