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Overcoming Emotional Abuse

SunCloud Health is ready to help.

We understand the pain of emotional abuse and we are ready to help you recover.

Often, the hardest part of improving our lives is seeing what is actually happening to us. If you have been emotionally abused, the simple step of acknowledging your situation may feel out of reach.

Whether the abuse happened years ago or is still going on today, you may find it hard to think clearly about it. The person or people who acted against you are usually the ones who were supposed to love and care for you. It’s no surprise that you feel confused, hurt or enraged.

At SunCloud Health, we want you to know that emotional abuse is not your fault. You deserve love, support and attention from the people closest to you. Our care team is prepared to help you understand where you’ve been – giving you the tools and support you need to create a happier, healthier future.


Experts define emotional abuse as any act that harms your sense of identity, dignity and self-worth. Your abuser may use a variety of methods to make you feel bad about yourself. These can include:

  • Isolating you from other people
  • Confining you to a certain space
  • Attacking you with words
  • Shaming and humiliating you
  • Using fear to control you
  • Treating you like a baby

Emotional abuse is also known as psychological abuse or, in some cases, chronic verbal aggression. People who suffer from emotional abuse tend to doubt their worth. Many suffer from personality changes, such as being extremely shy and withdrawn. Some people become depressed, anxious or even suicidal.


Emotional abuse can be hard to pinpoint. There are times of conflict in every relationship, and a single incident involving harsh words does not necessarily signal abuse. However, there are many kinds of behavior that point to emotional abuse.

Has someone close to you…

  • Humiliated or embarrassed you?
  • Criticized you harshly?
  • Refused to communicate with you?
  • Ignored or excluded you?
  • Had a sexual affair with another person?
  • Behaved in a provocative way with others?
  • Teased you or used sarcasm to put you down?
  • Made mean jokes about you or poked fun of you?
  • Ridicule or dismiss your thoughts or feelings?
  • Treat you like a baby – or someone who can’t manage on your own?
  • Reminded you of your shortcomings?
  • Denied his or her own shortcomings?
  • Discounted your achievements, hopes or dreams?
  • Show jealousy toward others in your life?
  • Used guilt to make you feel bad?
  • Tried to make you believe everything is your fault?
  • Made excuses or blamed others for their own behavior?
  • Tried to force you they are always right?
  • Kept you from seeing friends or family?
  • Used money to control you?
  • Constantly called or texted you when you’re not together?
  • Threatened suicide if you leave?

An emotional abuser may experience frequent changes of mood. S/he may use words that are meant to control you. For example: “I love you, but …” or “If you don’t do what I want, then I will …”


Help is one click or call away
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You may be suffering from emotional abuse if you see the one or more of these patterns in your relationship.

Domination. The person wants to control your every action. They insist on having their own way, and will resort to threats to receive it. This may cause you to lose respect for yourself.

Verbal assaults. Scolding, belittling, criticizing, name-calling, screaming, threatening, excessive blaming, and using sarcasm and humiliation are all signs of emotional abuse. Blowing your flaws out of proportion and making fun of you in front of others is a common pattern. Over time, this type of abuse erodes your sense of self-confidence and self-worth.

Abusive expectations. The other person places unreasonable demands on you and wants you to put everything else aside to tend to their needs. It could be a demand for constant attention, frequent sex, or a rule that you spend all your free time with the person. But no matter how much you give, it’s never enough. You are subjected to constant criticism, and you are constantly berated because you don’t fulfill all this person’s needs.

Emotional blackmail. The other person plays on your fear, guilt, compassion, values, or other “hot buttons” to get what they want. This could include threats to end the relationship, giving you the “cold shoulder,” or using other fear tactics to control you.

Unpredictable responses. This can take the form of drastic mood changes or sudden emotional outbursts, which are often a sign of borderline personality disorder. Whenever someone in your life reacts very differently at different times, tells you one thing one day and the opposite the next, or likes something you do one day and hates it the next, you are seeing possible signs of emotional abuse.


For yourself or a loved one
(866) 729-1012 Or click here to send a secure message.


Emotional abuse leaves deep scars. You may have been abused years ago, but still find yourself struggling to recover. Or you may feel sure that someone is abusing you right now. Either way, the pain will not go away by itself. You will need professional help to understand what has happened to you and gain the tools you need to heal your life.

At SunCloud Health, we want you to know that emotional abuse is not your fault. You did nothing to deserve the terrible treatment you have received. Leaving the abusive relationship may be hard at first, but it is the best way to take care of yourself.

The expert team at SunCloud Health has helped many people overcome the effects of emotional abuse. Finding the strength to rebuild your life is challenging, but we will work with you every step of the way.

To find expert help right now, call (866) 729-1012 or send us a confidential email.


Help is one click or call away
(866) 729-1012 Or click here to send a secure message.


As an outpatient and residential treatment center, SunCloud Health is in an ideal position to support you for as long as you agree our services are useful to you. With multiple levels of outpatient care, you may decide to stay connected through one of our aftercare outpatient groups – or you may want to continue seeing one of our individual therapists.  We are here to provide continuous, caring support for your recovery journey.


Dr. Kim Dennis, MD, CEDS, explains how SunCloud Health treats co-occurring disorders.

Though we understand fully that you don’t want to spend your life in treatment, we also know from experience that a lifetime commitment to wellness is the foundation of your well-being over the long term. We will work with you to maintain a healthy outlook, which means achieving balance, honesty, and health — physical, emotional and spiritual. Our goal is to create a care plan that you can take with you forever, wherever you may go.


Dr. Marcia Nickow, Psy.D., CADC, CGP shares her thoughts on hope for recovery at SunCloud Health.

SunCloud’s reputation is one of the highest quality providers of integrated outpatient treatment in the country. They did not disappoint me and cared for me with compassion and forgiveness. The program is highly individualized, and I had plenty of time with my therapist. I was treated medically, psychologically and spiritually by a well-trained, well-educated and highly experienced care team. I received all that I could ask for and more.

~ SCH patient

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