Verbal abuse may not utilize physical actions, but it can bring about physical symptoms nonetheless. Children who are verbally or emotionally abused frequently exhibit a number of psychosomatic symptoms. (Physical conditions brought about by psychological stress.)
These can include physical ailments such as stomach aches, nervousness, muscle tension, body aches, problems breathing, nightmares, increased rates of physical illness, or anxiety attacks. (Ellis & Powers, 2000) Victims often report feeling numb or disoriented. It can result in lethargicness, a lack of energy, or it may reduce a child to an almost catatonic state.
But perhaps most troublesome of all, verbal abuse tends to leave a child feeling generally worn down, preoccupied, and distracted. Their overall ability to perceive, think, and reason is diminished. They frequently have trouble concentrating. This is because social stress in general tends to occupy our mental resources, as we hash it out over and over again in our mind. (Thus leading to feelings of lethargy.) This can have a significant impact on a child's schooling and academics. Verbally abused children tend to have a lot of social stress mulling around inside their heads.