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Psychological Abuse is the willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish by threat, humiliation, or other verbal or non-verbal conduct.

Cultural values and expectations play a significant role in how psychological abuse is manifested and how it affects its victims.
Perpetrators of Psychological abuse may be family members, caregivers, or acquaintances.

Physical indicators of psychological abuse may include:

  • Weight loss or gain that is not attributed to other causes or stress-related conditions including elevated blood pressure
  • If the indicators can be explained by other causes and cannot be taken as conclusive proof of abuse you should look for a pattern or cluster of indicators that suggest a problem
  • Psychological Abuse Behavioural Indicators show that the perpetrator may isolate the vulnerable person emotionally by not speaking to, touching or comforting him or her
  • The vulnerable person may have trouble sleeping, or exhibit depression and confusion
  • They may cower in the presence of the abuser, be emotionally upset, agitated or withdrawn and non-responsive
  • Finally, they may exhibit unusual behaviours, usually attributed to dementia, for example sucking, biting or rocking.