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Can mental abuse affect teen relationships?

Because mental abuse erodes self-image, self-confidence and self-worth, teen relationships are definitely affected. Even more so because teens have less experience with establishing relationships outside their families. They are just establishing those interpersonal skills to use to become a good friend, a partner or an intimate. 

A mentally abused teen is more likely to fall in with an abuser, although the abuser may cleverly disguise themselves as an adorer until they can take control. The teen may become a follower with little ability to choose their own path away from the leader, even if intellectually they realize the leader is wrong. The teen may become a loner, feeling they have no value or worth to anyone.

Mental abuse is common, unfortunately and one of the most difficult things to deal with because there are no visible scars, bruises, etc. to rely on to identify the abuse.

Teen dating violence may include physical, sexual, and mental abuse. In a 2007 nationwide survey, 9.9 percent of teens admitted to being abused by a partner. Teen mental abuse involves harming the teen's self-esteem through name calling, bullying, isolation from family and friends, and shaming. An unhealthy emotional relationship can have long-lasting effects as the teen matures and can affect the health of future relationships.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.