Psychological Abuse

Psychological Abuse

Rosie, 75, lived alone in an independent senior housing community. Her next door neighbor, a disabled retiree, repeatedly emailed her rude messages and sent vulgar and threatening messages to her cell phone. Fearing her neighbor might harm her if she told him to stop Rosie contacted local law enforcement, and filed criminal charges as well as a petition for a civil restraining order. She also notified housing management.
Title: 
Stranger

Did this happen to you or someone you know?

  1. Has anyone verbally attacked, scolded, or yelled at you so that you felt threatened or intimidated, or afraid for your safety?
  2. Has anyone made you feel embarrassed by calling you names such as “stupid,” telling you that you or your opinion was worthless or blaming you for things that you did not do?
  3. Has anyone talked to you so that you felt that they were talking to a child?
  4. Has anyone forcefully or repeatedly asked you to do something so that you felt forced into doing something against your will?
  5. Has anyone close to you completely refused to talk to you or ignored you for days at a time, even when you wanted to talk to them?
  6. Has anyone kept you away from family, friends, or regular activities against your will?
  7. Has anyone close to you looked at you in such a way that you felt afraid that they were going to hurt you?
  8. Have you felt that someone was watching your every move to try to control you or that that person was stalking you?
  9. Has anyone you know made unwanted phone calls to you or left messages or sent unwanted emails, texts, or instant messages to you? 

Warning signs of emotional/psychological abuse include:

  • Being emotionally upset or agitated
  • Being extremely withdrawn, non-communicative or non-responsive
  • Unusual behavior, such as sucking, biting, rocking
  • An elder's report of being verbally or emotionally mistreated
  • Witnessing a caregiver controlling a senior or isolating a senior
  • Exhibiting a change in sleeping patterns or eating habits
  • Personality changes such as apologizing excessively, or depression or anxiety


To read all Psychological Elder Abuse stories, visit the Abuse Stories page.

Licensed material is being used for illustrative purposes only. Any person depicted in the licensed material is a model.

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