I sat down this week with Dr. Harper, talk show host for MUTV1’s Mental Health Matters. It was a very candid discussion about domestic violence, my personal experiences and the importance of protecting our mental health.
One of the most important points I wanted to make on the show is that emotional abuse can be just as, if not more, damaging than physical abuse. If you fall and bruise your knee, it may bleed, swell or turn black and blue. In time, the bleeding stops, the swelling goes down and your skin returns to its original color. The original pain you felt from the fall is no longer there. When a person is emotionally abusive, they have gained control over your mind. Their words penetrate, and if heard often enough, they become part of you. It’s like a tape recorder set on rewind. It is difficult to believe anything other than what your abuser has told you. After all, your abuser ‘loves’ you. And, if your abuser views you in such a negative way, then, at least to some degree, it must be true.
Taking care of your mental health is key. A mental breakdown leads to depression, anxiety, physical sickness and even suicide if not properly treated. We must view our mental health as seriously as our physical health for they are truly one in the same.