Mums’ psychological abuse could ruin kids’ career, romance

Updated: May 08, 2010, 19:11 PM IST

New York: If your mother has a habit of berating you all the time, it could take a toll on your future self-esteem, career and romantic relationships.

Many studies have showed that when mothers criticize, humiliate and withhold their affection, the toll it takes can last for a lifetime, revealed ABC News.

Women comprise 56pct of all abusers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the most common form of abuse is psychological.

“It happens a lot. Neglect and emotional abuse are every bit as damaging as sexual abuse,” the New York Daily News quoted Columbia University clinical psychiatry professor Dr. Philip Muskin as saying.

Such psychological scars can last for a lifetime because kids look to a mother for a reflection of themselves, said psychiatrist Carole Lieberman.

“If the mother is mean, the message to the child is that he is bad, worthless and unlovable. So that child grows up with this identity and expects the rest of the world to treat him like that, too. It affects them in their career and in their love life,” she explained.

Having an abusive mom has a terrible effect on self-esteem, said psychologist Daniela Schreier of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

“You internalize the abuse and don’t trust yourself. It can affect your self concept. There is also a heightened level of anxiety in a person who was abused by their mother. And they may doubt themselves in their relationship choices,” she said.