Child Abuse And Neglect: A Psychological Analysis

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For many years, society has divided child abuse into two categories: physical abuse and sexual abuse. Due to the lack of physical evidence, it is much harder to prove emotional abuse. Every year there are thousands of children who suffer from abuse and neglect. According to the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, in 2013 there were 679,000 victims of child abuse and neglect reported to CPS agencies in the United States. When one hears the word abuse and neglect they often default to thinking of only physical aspects of abuse, thousands of children suffer from emotional and psychological maltreatment by the hands of those they trust and love. Defining this form of abuse and neglect is often the most difficult type to define or …show more content…
According to Times magazine, “In the largest study yet to use brain scans to show the effects of emotional abuse, researchers have found specific changes in key regions in the brains of young adults who were maltreated or neglected in childhood. These changes may leave victims more vulnerable to depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder” (Szalavitz, 2012). Mental illness can lead to destructive behaviors creating even more concern for those affected by psychological …show more content…
A recent study revealed that childhood emotional abuse might be a risk factor for developing an eating disorder. 76.3% of the bulimic women that participated in the study reported experiencing repeated instances of emotional abuse in their childhood (Groleau et al., 2012). Furthermore, emotional abuse can also trigger substance abuse in adolescents. Bullying, isolating, and rejecting a child can leave wounds in their hearts that seem impossible to heal from. Once an individual is introduced to the numbing effects of alcohol or drugs they begin to depend on these substances to cope with the hurt. Another dangerous self-destructive behavior that can be caused by emotional abuse is self-injury. Feeling lost, alone, or disconnected as a result of psychological abuse can cause someone to physically hurt him or herself in an effort to feel alive and in control. Unfortunately, the belief that self-injurers are simply looking for attention is a common misconception. Practitioners caring for those who engage in self-harming behaviors should always consider that the patient might have been abused or neglected as a child (Myer

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