The victims of abuse often develop depression. Bruce Linton, a family therapist, speculates that we are inclined to underestimate the damage that verbal assaults -- harsh words, or even words spoken in a harsh manner -- can inflict. Over time, the unremitting assault on individuals' autonomy and sense of identity can erode their confidence and self-esteem.
After being abused over time, victims can become emotionally numb. In order to cope with the constant abuse they withdraw and are unable to have any sort of emotional response, either happy or sad. The numbness protects him (or her) from experiencing too much pain.
Abuse victims can feel isolated and helpless. One of my friends who has escaped two abusive relationships told me, "If you don't have hope, you don't have anything."
This piece is informed from specific cases of abuse, as told and experienced by me, my friends, and family. Mental illness can often be a factor in cases of abuse and is common among those who have Borderline Personality Disorder. When making this piece I was specifically thinking about BPD and its role in the abusive situation my family member is dealing with. With BPD things are very unpredictible and fragile; a person with this illness can switch from black to white and back again and you don't know "which person" you will be dealing with on any given day.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a diagnosable medical disorder that some people develop after experiencing a dangerous event, like a natural disaster or violent attack, or living through a sustained trauma, like an abusive relationship.