How does child abuse affect survivors' mental health?

Adverse childhood experiences (which include other household dysfunctions in addition to child abuse and child neglect) are linked to a range of long-term health impacts, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the following mental health disorders, addictions and related issues:
  • risk for intimate partner violence
  • alcoholism and alcohol abuse
  • illicit drug use
  • depression and suicide attempts
In one study, 80% of 21-year-olds who reported childhood abuse met the criteria for at least one psychological disorder.

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Child Abuse

In most cases of child abuse, the abuser is someone the child knows; parent, relative, or family friend. Abuse can be emotional, neglect, sexual, or physical abuse. All types of abuse can cause permanent mental or emotional damage ...

to the child as they age. Many will turn to alcohol or drug use, and some may become withdrawn and depressed.

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.