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Mental & Emotional Health Signs of Physical Abuse

Okabe & Haushalter Apr 19, 2023 Physical Abuse

Anyone can be a victim of physical abuse. However, it’s not uncommon for victims to be those who might not feel comfortable coming forward and reporting the abuse they have experienced.

This might be because their abuser is someone who has power over them. For example, an elderly resident of a senior care home who is being abused by a staff member might be frightened to speak out about their experiences due to fear of retaliation. Or, a child who is being abused by any adult could understandably be reluctant to talk about what has happened to them.

It is thus important for virtually anyone to be familiar with the signs that a loved one is the victim of physical abuse. Be aware, this doesn’t just include physical signs, such as bruises or injuries.

A person’s emotional and mental well-being will also typically deteriorate as a result of abuse. Signs this is occurring include the following:

General Signs of Depression

Does a loved one generally seem sadder or less enthusiastic about life than they normally do? Or, are they no longer interested in activities that used to excite them?

There are many potential reasons a person may become depressed. You shouldn’t necessarily assume abuse is the clear explanation if a person begins exhibiting signs of depression. However, you may want to investigate the matter further if signs of depression correlate with other signs of abuse.

At the very least, you should speak to your loved one about the changes you’ve noticed. They may be entirely willing to discuss the issue.

Signs of PTSD

Many physical abuse victims struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Common signs of PTSD include:

  • Nightmares
  • Feelings of extreme anxiety, particularly in situations or environments that may remind one of a traumatic experience
  • Flashbacks

Even if a loved one hasn’t been abused, if they are nevertheless experiencing PTSD for any other reason, they could benefit from mental health services. It might be your responsibility to help connect them with such services if they are unwilling or unable to do so themselves.


Some victims of physical abuse choose to socially isolate themselves. There are many reasons they might do so.

In some cases, victims are unable to choose for themselves whether they will socialize with others. This might occur in a nursing home or similar setting if an abusive staff member is isolating a victim from other residents.

In other instances, a person may feel shame over the nature of the abuse they have experienced and might respond to these feelings by choosing not to engage in social activities. Or, someone who has been abused may simply be too depressed to want to spend time with others.

When a Loved One Has Been Abused

Again, none of these signs guarantee a loved one has been an abuse victim, but they are all signs you should pay attention to. If you discover your loved one was abused, they may be eligible for financial compensation.

Review your case with a Los Angeles physical abuse attorney at Okabe & Haushalter for more information. Our compassionate team will gladly discuss your legal options. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 310-430-7779.