Psychological Effects Of Child Abuse And Neglect

While most are busy with the 2019 Singles Day Event, children worldwide are constantly experiencing maltreatment. Maltreatment comes in the form of abuse like physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, and neglect.  The initial and visible result of damage may seem only skin deep like bruises, cuts, and marks. But these physical wounds, though painful, will heal quickly.

The emotional trauma is the bigger picture of child abuse and neglect. This trauma doesn’t heal overnight and can have long term effects and may lead to more severe problems growing up. Here are some of the grave repercussions of child abuse and neglect.


Abuse during childhood is a common cause of adult depression. Unpleasant experiences from childhood can alter brain chemistry and structure.

When abuse happens, there is an increase in stress hormones. These hormones cause the early depression symptoms like interrupted sleep, negative feelings, and loss of enthusiasm. But when the abuse gets adequately addressed, there is a good possibility of preventing the adverse effects.


Low Self-esteem

A person’s self-esteem develops while growing up when they start to recognize their sense of self. For children, how they view themselves are dependent on their caregivers. By how these authority figures see them, the child internalizes it and forms a self-image. 

Children who are victims of neglect find it hard to develop their self-image, or if they do, it might be a misrepresentation. Most victims carry this self-image until later on in life when they barely learn to develop self-esteem.


Children who were brought up in an abusive environment and had traumatic experiences tend to develop coping responses. They learn to constantly anticipate future trauma and always in an attempt to manage it. This foretelling induces anxiety.


These effects of child abuse and neglect are not dead ends because there are available treatments. A combination of medications, regular therapy, and a reliable support system can ease these undesirable consequences of a sad and bitter past.

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