Psychological Effects of Child Abuse

Child abuse can be physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional among others. Often, children are abused by the people they live with or at least trust such as relatives and family friends. After research, it has been documented that at least 4 million children in US have gone through abuse and neglect. Such statistics occur because of the child’s innocence and inability to take a defensive position. If the child abuse lasts for a long time, it will result to long term psychological effects.

Low Self-Esteem in Adulthood

Children who grow up in environments where verbal abuse is prevalent or where parents do not inspire them by speaking positive words are likely to have low levels of self-esteem. Hence they will grow up feeling unappreciated and rejected. In the adult life, they will be trying to look for appreciation and love from the rest of the society. Such people are hardly functional and may become depressed if the society rejects them as well.

Still, because of low self- esteem levels, children who have been abused for a long time tend to end up in criminal activities and substance abuse. Often, such children will try to look for affirmation and appreciation in every way possible. Thus, they may be vulnerable and unable to resists peer pressure by wrong groups in the society.

Researchers have affirmed that most of the adults going through psychological issues have a history of child abuse. Specially, Harvard researchers concluded that a part of the brain is affected after abuse, which implies that the affected person will not be unable to lead normal life. Specially, high levels of stress amongst children can kill some brain cells so that the production of stress hormones is done continually. If the situation is not corrected in good time, a person will always be alert on such abuses, and will most likely go through depression, post-traumatic disorders, hypertension, and many other related conditions.

Inability to Deal with Stress

In addition, many adults are unable to deal with high levels of stress because they were once abused as children. They will therefore avoid conflict, and lead unproductive lifestyles as they try to avoid stressful situations. More over, people who have been abused sexually as kids will find it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with their spouse because of the related fear and anxiety related. Clearly, child abuse will result to long term psychological effects such as lack of productivity in life, inability to cope with stressful situations, and diseases such as hypertension and depression.

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