Heart to hurt

Ex­perts talk about abu­sive re­la­tion­ships and give tips on how to find out if you’re in one

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Collin Ro­drigues collin.ro­drigues@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

Abu­sive re­la­tion­ships are quite wide­spread in our so­ci­ety, but no one talks about them. In fact, ex­perts think such re­la­tion­ships are so com­mon that many peo­ple don’t even know if they are in one. There­fore, HT got ex­perts to talk about the most salient as­pects of abu­sive re­la­tion­ships.

The phys­i­cal as­pects of abu­sive re­la­tion­ships are eas­ily ap­par­ent, but peo­ple need to re­alise that abuse or tor­ture can be sub­tle and un­der­handed as well. Emo­tional abuse of­ten goes un­no­ticed by friends and fam­ily, and may cause acute de­pres­sion, panic or anx­i­ety at­tacks, and even give rise to sui­ci­dal ten­den­cies.

Abusers may seem to be overly car­ing and pro­tec­tive to oth­ers, but they are of­ten good ma­nip­u­la­tors and can con­vince the vic­tim that they de­serve the abuse.

PEO­PLE NEED TO RE­ALISE THAT ABUSE OR TOR­TURE CAN BE SUB­TLE AND UN­DER­HANDED AS WELL. EMO­TIONAL ABUSE CAN CAUSE DE­PRES­SION

Vic­tims of abuse usu­ally ex­hibit signs, some of which in­clude with­draw­ing from so­ci­ety, fear of so­cial set­tings, no op­po­si­tion to their part­ners, and fear and panic at the slight­est trig­ger.

An abuser may ap­pear to be con­trol­ling and threat­en­ing, ex­hibit sud­den mood swings, have a hu­mil­i­at­ing and de­mean­ing at­ti­tude, and even have a ten­dency towards ver­bal abuse.

Peo­ple in abu­sive re­la­tion­ships are likely to deny that they are in one due to the fear of be­ing hurt fur­ther. Peo­ple who have a his­tory of phys­i­cal or men­tal abuse rarely ques­tion it.

You be­come the per­son your part­ner wants you to be. When your part­ner con­stantly crit­i­cises you for be­ing who you are and keeps on try­ing to change you and blames you for any is­sue, it should be a warn­ing that you are in a toxic re­la­tion­ship.

A per­son con­stantly try­ing to not show that he or she is un­happy in a re­la­tion­ship be­cause of the part­ner may also be a sign of an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship.

An abuser may also try to bring the other per­son’s morale down by say­ing or do­ing things that are not ap­pre­cia­tive or help the other part­ner reach their in­di­vid­ual goals in life. – Neeta V Shetty, psy­chother­a­pist and life coach — Kavita Mungi, men­tal health coun­sel­lor

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