If you’ve been wondering about reactive abuse and its possible effect on your health and well-being, it may be worth considering professional help in the form of trauma treatment. Searching for trauma treatment options near Austin, TX? Reach out to Santé Center for Healing today by calling 866.238.3154 or contacting our team online.
What Is Reactive Abuse?
All cases of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse are extremely stressful and can be traumatic for people. Having an emotional, verbal, or physical outburst that’s expressive of what your state was during an abusive event is nothing to be ashamed of because it’s a normal reaction. It is common for an abused person to lash out at their abuser. They may cry, hurl insults, scream, or even physically defend themselves. In fact, outbursts like these are part of the body’s natural defense mechanism that it deploys against danger.
During times like this, the body releases stress hormones to enhance its ability to react to a threatening situation. An outburst can be part of the stress response of a person, also known as the fight-or-flight response. An action like this often happens automatically, so it can be hard to gain control of it. This is especially true in the midst of an abusive event. Regardless, abusers may utilize these unconscious but displayed behaviors to gain power over an abused person. This is called reactive abuse. It may also be considered a form of gaslighting.
Reactive abuse is extremely dangerous for an abused person, as it allows abusers to hold something against them. Abusers rely on reactive abuse because it gives them what could be considered evidence that the abused person is delusional, mentally ill, or simply unstable. It is a method of manipulation and abuse that attempts to make an abused person feel responsible for acts of violence.
What’s the Best Way To Learn How To Stop Reactive Abuse?
Now that you know what reactive abuse is, it’s going to be easier to learn how to stop it from happening in your life. If you find yourself reacting to abusive events with expressive outbursts, keep in mind that doing so may allow room for an abuser to manipulate the situation against you. Before this happens, there are a few things you can try:
Recognize a red flag when you see it
When you notice that someone makes you react in these expressive manners, it’s time to consider leaving. If you can do so safely, physically and emotionally remove yourself from your relationship with the abusive person.
Change how you react to abuse
If you can’t remove yourself from the situation without maintaining your safety, try to reclaim some power by forcing yourself to start reconsidering how you’d normally respond to an abusive event. This can be challenging and may require careful training when it comes to handling your stressful thoughts and almost automatic behaviors. As hard as it may be, keeping a calm and collected presence makes it difficult for an abuser to manipulate the situation and gaslight you.
Recognize that you’re not at fault
If you can’t help yourself and an abuser does try to use your reactive outbursts against you, verbally recognize that you’re not at fault. Proving that you see right through an abuser’s manipulative tactics can make them realize they have little control over you and your feelings.
However, if instances of abuse are causing you to fear for your physical or emotional well-being, you must contact a domestic violence hotline or ask your close friends or family members for help. It’s important to safely seek assistance on how to exit your abusive situation.
What Is Trauma Treatment?
There’s no real way to learn how to stop reactive abuse. As long as you’re in contact with the abusive person, it can happen. It will only stop when the abusive person changes their behaviors. And that can happen only if they seek professional treatment for their possible mental health issues.
To stop reactive abuse from happening to you, though, it’s as easy as removing yourself from an abusive relationship and getting professional help. You may be processing trauma because of recent abusive events and relationships. Or you could be living with unprocessed childhood trauma that’s coloring how you make life decisions. Professional help that will help you process trauma can change your life and help you avoid or recognize abusive events in the future.
Trauma treatment involves assisting clients as they learn how to cope with the effect of trauma healthily. Treatment usually involves psychotherapy — and if some symptoms of trauma make daily living difficult, inpatient care may be recommended.
Ready To Learn More About Santé Center for Healing’s Trauma Treatment Options?
If you’re looking for trauma treatment options near Austin, TX, contact Santé Center for Healing today. Reach out to our team online or call 866.238.3154.