Mental Abuse

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There are a number of different types of abuse that may occur among the elderly population, or within a nursing home or assisted living facility. Elderly people may be particularly vulnerable to mental abuse, especially if they are suffering from dementia, confusion or memory loss. If you have a relative or loved one who is residing in a nursing home, or who receives care from another person, whether a paid employee or not, it's important you are able to recognize the signs of mental abuse in order to put a stop to it when it occurs.

Mental Abuse
Whenever a person does something that makes another person feel pain or any other negative response it is viewed as being abusive in nature. There are two main forms of mental abuse.

Psychological Abuse: Psychological abuse is perpetrated against a person to make him or her feel mentally deficient in some way, which results in that individual being in a constant state of mental stress. Making suggestive comments or subtly prodding a person are both forms of psychological mental abuse. Psychological abuse often contains strong emotionally manipulative content designed to force the victim to comply with the abuser's wishes. Many times, the abuser is also struggling with his or her own feelings of doubt and worthlessness, and uses their relationships as a chance to gain personal power at the expense of someone else.

Emotional Abuse: When you consider emotional mental abuse the main thing to remember is that the end result is a negative emotion being displayed by the person that has been abused. This might be intense crying or anger, but as long as it is a negative emotion that has been incited by another person through actions like blaming or yelling it constitutes mental abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when one person controls information available to another person, manipulating the victim's sense of reality and security. This kind of abuse may alter behavior and cause the victim to do things that they might not normally do. The abuser may use strong, manipulative words and other content (video, etc) to force the victim to comply with the their wishes. This abuse also has long lasting effects and should be dealt with carefully.

Neglect: Neglect is another form of mental abuse; it occurs when someone who is charged with the care of another human being fails to provide for their basic needs. These needs include food and water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and other basic needs. Love and care may be categorized as basic needs as well. Neglect is made even worse when the person neglected cannot care for themselves, such as a small child or someone who is mentally or physically challenged. Neglect is only applicable to someone who is dependent of someone else. Neglect can take a serious emotional toll and have lifelong effects on someone, no matter what their mental capacity is to understand what is going on.

Common Scenarios
Abuse is something that many people brush off as anger or just as a personality quirk. In emotionally abusive relationships, the abuser has power over the other person, and all too often the victim never seeks help until it is too late. Many people also do not know that legal action can be taken against someone who is abusive, such as getting a restraining order or suing for emotional damages. If the person has committed a crime, they can be charged and convicted as well.

If you are looking for legal advice regarding the consequences of mental abuse, the best thing you can do for yourself or for a loved one who may be in distress is to contact a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to provide you with legal advice regarding the current problem.


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