Psychological abuse

form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma

Psychological abuse may also be called psychological violence, emotional abuse or mental abuse.

It is when a person puts another person under abuse which may result in psychological trauma. The abuse may result in anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.[1][2][3] This kind of behaviour is an extreme kind of bullying.

This abuse happens most often when one person has power over another. It may result in narcissism, depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

The term does not mean physical abuse. The most common thing to happen is verbal abuse. Blaming, shaming, and name calling are signs of verbal abuse which can affect a victim emotionally.


  1. Dutton, Donald G. 1984 (1994). "Patriarchy and wife assault: the ecological fallacy". Violence & Victims. 9 (2). Springer: 167–182. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.9.2.167. PMID 7696196. S2CID 35155731.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. Dutton, Mary Ann; Goodman, Lisa A.; Bennett, Lauren 2000 (2004), "Court-involved battered women's responses to violence: the role of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse", in Maiuro, Roland D. & O'Leary K. Daniel (ed.), Psychological abuse in violent domestic relations, New York: Springer Publishing Company, p. 197, ISBN 9780826111463{{citation}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link) Preview.
  3. Thompson, Anne E.; Kaplan, Carole A. (1996). "Childhood emotional abuse". British Journal of Psychiatry. 168 (2): 143–148. doi:10.1192/bjp.168.2.143. PMID 8837902. S2CID 8520532.