top of page
Girl upset.jpg
boy unhappy.jpg
mom teen.jpg
boy unhappy 1.jpg

Effects of Abuse

Short-term effects

The effects of abuse are both immediate and lasting.


The effects of emotional or verbal abuse are often more damaging to the victim’s mental health than physical abuse.

Symptoms you may experience

  • Surprise and confusion

  • Shame or guilt

  • Becoming overly passive or compliant

  • Frequent crying

  • Avoidance of eye contact

  • Feeling undesirable

  • Feeling powerless and defeated, because nothing you do ever seems to be right (learned helplessness)

  • Feeling like you are “walking on eggshells”

  • Anxiety or fear; hypervigilance

Long-term effects

 In addition to the short-term effects listed above, abusive relationships can also cause deeper, negative impacts on emotional, physical, and mental health, relationships, and unhealthy co-dependencies.

Symptoms you may experience

  • Depression

  • Withdrawal

  • Low self-esteem and self-worth

  • Emotional instability

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Chronic anxiety

  • Physical pain without a cause

  • Suicidal ideation, thoughts, or attempts

  • Extreme dependence on the abuser

  • Underachievement

  • Inability to trust

  • Feeling trapped and alone

  • Alcohol or drug abuse


A victim of dating abuse is more likely to be depressed or anxious, may experience post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the abuse, andmay have suicidal thoughts or attempt suicide due to the psychological impact of the abuse.

Warning Signs

  • Lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy

  • Lack of energy

  • Changes in appetite or body weight—either lack of appetite/eating or gaining weight

  • Changes in sleeping habits—has trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep or oversleeps

  • Negative self-talk or putting themselves down

  • Irritability or easily becoming angry

  • Headaches, stomachaches, or other unexplained aches and pains

  • Trouble concentrating or lower grades (due to inability to focus)

  • Feeling hopeless (only the teen may notice this)


If you observe any of the warning signs to the right, contact a counselor or suicide hotline for advice. (See the Resources tab)

Warning Signs

  • Making comments such as “Everyone would be better off without me.”

  • Making comments about harming or killing themselves

  • Becoming preoccupied with death or dying

  • Giving away items that have always meant a lot to them or that they wouldn’t share with others in the past

  • Demeanor suddenly changing from being down for a significant amount of time to being happy

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand....For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Isaiah 41:10,13

Let's connect.


Dee Dee and licensed counselors are available to speak at schools, churches, businesses, and other organizations or groups to help raise awareness and protect our youth. 


Send us a message and we’ll get back to you soon.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page