Emotional abuse is a tragic occurrence that can turn even the happiest person into a sad and hopeless shadow. Sadly, it happens more often than we think. It can be anything from psychological abuse, which can cause anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, to physical abuse, which can be experienced anytime during childhood or adulthood. After going through any traumatic event, it can be very difficult to cope with the unresolved wounds alone. Some people turn to alcohol and drugs for temporary relief from painful feelings, but that simply masks a much larger problem that needs to be contended with.
To help you start the process of healing, here are 3 pivotal steps you’ll have to take in order to properly deal with emotional distress.
1. Recognize the Root Issues
When you’re dealing with emotions that include depression, intense anger, high anxiety, and extreme fear, it is important to get to the root issue of the matter and take steps to address it. Many times, those who’ve experienced abuse in their childhood have difficulty associating their current pain and substance abuse with old childhood wounds. Thus, it may benefit them to reach out for help via counseling, 12-Step groups, or a rehab facility, which can help them recognize, process, and put these deep-rooted issues to rest.
2. Take Responsibility
Many of us have gone through something traumatic in life, and the negative emotions that come along with these experiences are understandable. However, there needs to be a point in time for the person going through these hard feelings to start taking responsibility for their own healing. The process of mending themselves from the inside begins when one makes the conscious decision that they are done being locked in their own prison cell of negative emotions.
3. Facilitate Emotional Healing
There are various therapy treatments for emotional abuse. If you’re dealing with emotional and substance abuse issues, you’ll have to tackle your addiction first. Being under the influence will just make it harder to heal old wounds. Once addiction recovery measures are in place, you can then look into some of the most popular modes of therapy that may help in your recovery:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This therapy is known for its cognitive aspects of dealing with trauma as it targets your thoughts and feelings about past experiences. Its goal is to eliminate the negative emotions you have and replace them with a positive mindset.
- Somatic Therapy: For a more holistic approach, it may be important to undergo therapy that contends with the physiological effects of trauma. Somatic therapy works by helping your body recognize and release the pent-up energy that has accumulated since the trauma occurred. Unlike CBT, it’s not so much about one’s cognitive responses but instead, how the body (the nervous system, in particular) dealt with the trauma. This type of therapy allows the body to heal itself by facilitating a physiological release of blocked energy so you can feel physically freed.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): This is a psychological acupressure technique recognized to help trauma survivors disassociate from old wounds so they can heal. Also known as “Tapping,” EFT involves literally tapping on certain locations in the body while repeating a positive affirmation out loud. It is currently used by many therapists in the world and is continually gaining more popularity.
Sometimes, trauma can take a real hit on your emotional well-being and affect your entire life, leaving some of us in the depths of addiction in search of temporary relief. The therapy options mentioned above are just a few of the many avenues you can explore in order to heal from emotional abuse. Although it’s easier said than done, the one true way out of the situation and into emotional freedom comes with the decision to ask for help—and there are plenty of professionals available to walk you through it.