6 Types of Childhood Abuse – Which Others do You Know?

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Childhood abuse can have far reaching effects. From insecurities to intimacy issues, from not daring to trust people to difficulties making friends, the effects of childhood abuse can show in any area of your life. These last much longer than just the moment or year(s) the abuse took place. Childhood abuse can develop into lifelong issues, or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Today on psych2go, we will learn about different types of abuse. Needless to say, these might be triggering for people so be watchful of what you are comfortable with reading about. There are many more types, so feel free to add others in the comments.

  1. Name Calling, and other Forms of Verbal Abuse

 While some people might say that words will never hurt them, words can and often DO hurt, especially when you are very young. Of course, the words from a carer or parent have an even more complex ability to hurt. A study by Johnson, Cohen et al. suggested verbal childhood abuse could increase the risk of PD’s, or as you would normally call them: “Personality Disorders.” (Johnson, Cohen et al.) Research by Teicher and colleagues even suggested that verbal abuse can alter the development of some parts of the brain. In this way verbal childhood abuse can even have physical effects (Teicher)

  1. Shaming

“One of my parents always made jokes about things I liked or didn’t like,” says Mary*, one of our readers. “It resulted in some deep insecurities. I don’t even dare to share what kind of music I like with my friends, because I’m afraid they’ll leave me if it’s not the music they like.” As you can see from Mary’s example, even seemingly joking things or small things can result in deeply rooted insecurities.

Shaming people for something that is not wrong can be a very toxic behavior. Especially when it comes from a parental figure or caretaker.

You might also be interested in: What is Your Best Personality Trait QUIZ 

  1. Extreme Helicopter Parenting

  This is different from being a pushy parent. Extreme Helicopter parenting occurs when parents are so overbearing that children do not have any say whatsoever in even minor details. Parents might be constantly checking in on or even tracking their children digitally. Furthermore, it might include children being consistently pushed too far emotionally, physically or otherwise, providing mental and possibly also physical scars. Especially when the above results in total loss of privacy or autonomy, things turn particularly dangerous.

  1. Sexual Abuse

Needless to say all of these things are very wrong, and often very damaging to a child. Sexual abuse, however explicit or implicit, can cause far reaching and long lasting issues.

  1. Neglect

  Not providing a child with proper emotional or physical needs can lead to problems later in life. Many of those can be socially oriented, or have a psychological basis. However, neglect of physical needs like food can also result in physical problems such as muscle weakness.

  1. Physical Abuse and Physical Neglect Childhood Abuse

  Physical abuse can incude anything from kicking, slapping, hitting, throwing, biting, choking etc. The physical neglect type describes failure to provide food, clothing, supervision or child-appropriate living space. This of course, can include any improper

So these were several types of childhood abuse, which others have you heard of? Which ones have unexpected effects? Open the discussion below. See you in the next post.

You might also like: What is Your Best Personality Trait QUIZ 

References and Sources

Baumeister, Roy and Ellen Bratslavsky, Catrin Finkenauer and Kathleen D. Vohs, “Bad is Stronger than Good,” Review of General Psychology (2001), vol.5, no.4, 323-370.

Cooper, Christine (1985) ‘Good-enough’, border-line and ‘bad-enough’ parenting. In: Adcock, M. and White, R. (eds.) Good-enough parenting: a framework for assessment. London: British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF). See pp.60-1.

Horwath, J. (2007) Child neglect: identification and assessment. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.



*names have been changed for privacy reasons.

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  1. As a child and even now (im 26) my mother likes to manipulate me into doing her bidden and lord if you didn’t do as she was told. Things would get ugly fast. From making sure I am not getting food, or wasn’t allowed outside the house, precious things would be taken away from me. Especially the items that would allow me to run away from her or to call for help.

    Thankfully I can cook for myself now, though the other things are still a big problem as I am still living under the same roof as her and I am financially still unable to get away. I even suggested it would be healthier for me to live out of the house but when I did that she basically threatened to make me homeless and kick me out of the house then and there with nothing but clothing on my back.

  2. Hey, btw, #6 is cut off a bit.

    Also, I’ve dealt with verbal abuse and somewhat physical abuse. Due to those, I have a mood disorder. I thought i had a BPD but apparently not, as I have some form of bi-polar disorder.

    Although, I’m on medication that deals with both.

    Also: Where would threats go? He’s threatened to hurt me such as knocking my teeth in. I’ve been chased and have had my door almost knocked down. I once hid on the roof. I still have nightmares occasionally and flashbacks of the incidences. I’m 18, and my anxiety prevents me from getting an actual job. I can’t move out, I still live with him; I have nowhere to go.

  3. We all have a wounded inner child, and a harmful inner critic from a deep dark pain and we blame and shame each other 4 it. we should all just get 2 a plane spiritually, 4 healing and freeing ourselves from the mental slavery and the emotional baggage. why are we repeating improper influences of abuse? why are we venomously casting bad spells on one another? Whats beautiful to me is kindness, respect, compassion, encouragement, forgiveness, peace, caring, carefulness. Inspiring each other with dignity, and integrity and pride, values and virtues that utterly liberates and make u happy 4 a life long journey.

  4. I remember always feeling like i did’nt belong anywhere, then when i was 8 yrs old something clicked in my head.
    I remember walking up to my mother and saying, “Mom, i want to be a girl.” The next thing i knew is i was flying across the room landing with my back against the far wall!
    She started yelling at me, “Don’t ever let me hear that again! If your father hears that shit he’ll kill you!!!”
    Now I’m 53 yrs old and all i ever think about is how desperately i want AND need to finally become a woman!!! My desire to be female has never been to far away, but due to different circumstances beyond my control i could not even think about what i needed! I did my best to ignore/hide my true nature. But, i always knew that somewhere inside i was this knowledge that i was really a female, and i also knew that one day she/i would finally be free to live the life i was meant for. The life of a woman!
    But, now it seems there are so many rules (guidelines) about what a person must do in order to get what they need to feel like a normal member of society, it only adds more tension to an already stressful situation!!!!
    There are some days i feel so desperate to be a woman that i can’t function, and feel like i don’t know how much longer i can continue on living as a man. Even though i know that if i want to finally be a woman i must keep going as i do everyday!!! I keep telling myself that everything i do is helping me get closer to achieving my goal!!!
    But, each day i find myself not getting any closer to becoming a woman than i was the day before!!! And i think how much more of this shit can i take before i really lose it!?! And my desperation grows!!!
    I can’t help but wonder if most of what i’m going through can be attributed to early childhood abuse or my own mental problems!!! I’m pretty sure that at least part of my problem is due to my mother’s attitude about my needing to be a girl! But, what about the rest???
    I desperately need help with this, but, i work at a minimum wage job and can’t afford any kind of therapist!!! Somedays i strongly feel that if only i could start taking the much needed female hormones i will need to begin transitioning that it will be what i have been needing to start feeling somewhat normal! But, their damn “guidelines” make it next to impossible for some of us that can’t afford what they “require”. So we continue to suffer or miserable existence, with no hope of ever getting closer to a happy ending!!!
    I’m so very sorry for rambling on, and getting so far off topic!!! I guess i just had to get it off my chest before i went crazy. (crazier) I just wish you could understand how fucked up it is to be a man, knowing his whole life that he was really female, with no way of changing things in site!!!! Something HAS to change, SOON!!!!!! Thank you for listening to my problems!!! God Bless!!!!!

    1. I completely understand, I’m trans as well and it can be hard to deal with. You’re not alone though, and you can transition at any age. Best of luck, and the GLAAD website might be able to provide you with more information.

  5. I delt with extreme helicopter parenting from my mom, and sexual abuse from my step dad. The effects have been so great I now deal with PTSD even at 21 years old. When I first moved out my mom would constantly drive by the house calling me anytime I left and knocking on my door every morning, shouting and refusing to leave until I came to answer. I’m absolutely terrified to let her know anything now, as I don’t want her controlling nature back in my life. I’ve even had full panic attacks when dealing with people or things that remind me of her or the way she’s treated me.

  6. the Parent can have kind of PTSD and the result of thees can not be nice if never know abut the implication on the kid.
    DID can happen form all kinds of abuse


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