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Below are just a few of the forms of child abuse that are all damaging to a child's mental, emotional and physical health. Child abuse can occur in a child's home, or in the organizations, schools or communities the child interacts with.
Physical child abuse is by far the most dangerous type, since a blow to the head or any vital organs could be fatal.
Sexual abuse has nothing to do with the sex act, but for the control that the perpetrator has over the child.
Mental abuse can consist of many different forms including verbal abuse by attacking the child with harsh negative words, threats of abandonment or accusations of worthlessness.
Emotional abuse can most always be detected in a child who exhibits symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.). Emotional abuse plays on the child's stress level as the adult in question may play demented games to frighten the child, yelling or exhibiting irate behavior in front of the child either voluntary or not (meaning that the adult may not be able to control his or her behavior).
Spiritual abuse can be very damaging to the self-esteem as well. When we are subjected to any type of negative stimuli, our spirit (our livelihood, our humanness, our ability to trust and love ourselves and others and to nurture our own needs) becomes tarnished and our sense of self worth is striped away.
Any one of the above or a combination of two or more is abusive behavior. And any one of the abuses could and probably will cause the child to suffer with stress, anxiety, (P.T.S.D.) Post traumatic Stress Disorder, panic disorder, dissociation and/or at the least depression amongst other mental and physical illnesses, aches and pains that the child may suffer with.
The physical health of the child will inevitably be affected as well with such ailments as severe headaches, stomach pains, back and neck pains, heart problems, vomiting, passing out, eating disorders and the list could just go on and on.
I also suffer with severe T.M.J. from clinching my jaws all my life. Along with all of the above I've just been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, arthritis and three bulging discs, all in my cervical vertebra (my neck) and at the time I am only in my early fifties.
Before I started treatment I would suffer with chest pains that were so intense that I ended up in the ER on several occasions.
I now know that the pains were caused by the stress that I had in my life and this was even as an adult, many years after I left home and was out of the abusive environment.
These are only a few examples of how a child's body can suffer from mental and emotional abuse and stress.
There is help available! I know this too well because not only was I a victim but I was also an abuser! Probably like you; I can say that I did not physically harm my child. There were no bruises and no broken bones. But the abuse that my child had sustained was emotional by my yelling and ranting and raving, causing him to become a very nervous child. I thank God that I was able to get the help for myself and my child before more damage was done.
Remember you don't have to wait for that moment of despair to get the help that you need! Our mental health is as deserving of evaluation and treatment as is any other part of our bodies. If you don't want to seek help for your own self, then do it for your children.