In my consultations, when I see indications that a situation of
psychological and emotional abuse l, I usually use a series of questions that I ask them to take home as homework.

The aim is for my patients to assess how many items on this list are fulfilled , only during the week remaining until the next session. They have to write down next to each question the situations and dates in which these behaviours occur in order to create a record of the dimensions of the problem.

Identify camouflaged psychological abuse

It is striking that a high percentage of my patients, on reaching their third or fourth appointment, come with a
high degree of anxiety, since they become aware of the situation of psychological abuse in which they find themselves, and l a majority of the criteria assumed them to be “normal” issues that occur in a couple’s relationship .

This is one of the most damaging aspects of psychological abuse: because it is not physical abuse, it is more difficult to detect and identify as something that should not happen in a healthy relationship. That is why it is very necessary to take some time to reflect on the extent to which we are living or reproducing forms of psychological abuse.

The 30 signs that your partner may be abusing you psychologically

This is a brief list of types of behavior that can be used to identify cases of psychological abuse in a couple. They are presented in the form of questions to make them more accessible and easy to relate to each person’s experiences.

Do you control the money you spend? do you have to ask your partner for the money? do you ask permission when you buy something, either for yourself or for the house?

Does it tell you how to dress? if you go in a way that you don’t like, he gets angry with you for it and you decide to change your clothes? Are there clothes that you don’t wear anymore because you know that he doesn’t like you to go like this and you are going to get in trouble for it?

3. Does it get angry if you invest more time in your friends or family than you think is necessary?

4. Do you have sex even if you don’t feel like it because if you don’t, it gets angry?

Count the times you do things you don’t want to do or don’t agree with to avoid an argument.

Do you control your mobile and your social networks ?

Do you have to inform him of your schedule?

8. Does it detract from your personal or professional achievements?

9. When you do something for your partner, does he thank you or does he make you feel that it is your obligation?

Do you organize your free time? Do you feel that in your free time you have to consult him on what to invest your time in?

When you have a problem, minimize it with comments of the type: that’s nothing, you complain about vice , etc.?

12. When an argument has occurred, most of the time you give in even if you are right because it could go days without talking to you and making you feel empty?

13. If you have a problem outside of the couple’s scope,
makes you feel responsible for it ?

14. Does it make you feel like you wouldn’t know how to move on if you weren’t by his side?

15. Do you feel guilty when you get sick?

16.If you’re in public,
are you afraid to say what you think in case it brings you consequences with your partner?

17. Do you use the
emotional blackmail often to achieve their goals?

18. Does it remind you a thousand times of the mistakes you have made?

19. Have you stopped telling your friends and family about your problems because you know that if they found out, they would be angry?

20. Are you afraid to tell her some things because you know her reaction may be disproportionate?

21. Do you notice that when someone else does the same thing, they value it more positively than if you do it yourself?

22. Do you feel uncomfortable if someone of the opposite sex looks at you in case your partner notices and could be the subject of another discussion?

23. Do you feel you need his approval in everything you do, or even think?

24. Has the way he addresses you changed and become imperative?

Do you feel that you cannot be yourself when you are with your partner?

26.Linked to the previous one, do you feel that even without him/her being there, when you want to be yourself, you think that he/she might be bothered and you stop doing the things you wanted?

Does he treat you as if he were your father/mother instead of your partner ?

28. Do you make important decisions without considering your opinion?

29. Does it make you doubt your abilities?

Are you afraid?

Consequences of emotional and psychological abuse

Once the task has been completed, and in consultation, I assess with the victims
the consequences of this psychological abuse , which are usually these:

  • Physical discomfort
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loss of social relationships leading in many occasions to isolation
  • Feeling of no longer being the person I was
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depressed mood
  • Alterations in sleep patterns
  • Feeding problems
  • Addiction to different types of substances (including benzodiazepines and alcohol)
  • Laziness and neglect of physical appearance
  • Irritability
  • Apathy
  • Feelings of helplessness and futility
  • Indecision
  • Insecurity
  • Emotional dependence
  • Anger attacks directed at others
  • Sexual inadequacy
  • Feelings of shame and guilt
  • Feeling of weakness
  • Difficulty in decision making
  • Guilt
  • Coping mechanisms based on escape
  • Feelings of inferiority

In turn, these effects of psychological abuse make the climate within the relationship even worse, with serious consequences for the victim.

Becoming aware in order to abandon the dynamics of abuse

The first step in dealing with psychological abuse is to know how to identify its signs , which is difficult because they are dynamic, do not occur overnight and are subtle signs that we hardly notice.

The intention of this article is to be able to become aware of this, and if we feel identified
to be able to break the emotional dependence that generates us . The first step is to be able to identify the existence of psychological mistreatment in order to assume the idea that very drastic changes have to take place.

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“The causes and effects of gender violence”