There is one old saying ‘Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ But we all know that this is not completely. It is quite the contrary – words can hurt us a lot. They can be very brutal with verbal abuse, bullying, cyberbullying coming from a spouse or a parent. Words can hurt as deeply and it can also cause physical impact on the brain structure – as many scientists state.
It is known that the human brain develops completely after birth. It takes to up to a year for the cognitive abilities, personality and self-awareness to develop and they are different for every person. The experiences that we have as a child have an effect on how the brain is wired largely.
Dr. Douglas Field gives an explanation for Psychology Today, and he says – the brain is deeply affected and in some cases is its development is impaired, if the environment is social unhealthy or it is hostile. In case of physical abuse, any kind of childhood sexual abuse, or even if the person has been just a witnessed a domestic violence, can lead to a disrupted development or abnormal physical changes in the children’s brain, with long lasting consequences and higher chances of the appearance of psychological disorders.
The American Journal of Psychiatry has published a study, which involved young people between the age of 18-25 years old and they were asked to grade their exposure of verbal abuse by their parents and others in their early childhood. All the adults were not a subject of parental physical abuse, sexual abuse and any domestic violence. After that they scanned their brain.
When they analyzed the results, they discovered that the adults who were a subject of verbal abuse in the period of middle school, the consequences were in the development in the brain and their left and right side of the brain did not develop good connections. And these people had increased feelings of anger, depression and anxiety.
The biggest impact on the physical development has the verbal abuse from the peers in middle school. And this is due to the fact that in this period, the brain is still undergoing a development. The experts state that this type of verbal abuse leads to major psychological issues in the adult years and also damage in the brain such as dissociation, anger hostility, depression and anxiety.
The Connection between Anxiety and Verbal Abuse
Highly sensitive people and those who carry their emotions in them are the most common subjects of narcissistic abuse. Finding people who are more vulnerable are a big pleasure for narcissists and they enjoy the manipulation they are performing in order to have total control. One study has showed this type of manipulative words and actions, or you have been a victim of some kind of verbal abuse as a child, teenager, or an adult that a narcissist can cause long-lasting negative impacts on the brain. The development of an anxiety disorder is when you begin to lose control; the body and mind have different reactions, and your self-worth starts to be even worse.
Watch the following video to find out more about the verbal and emotional abuse.