Psychological abuse (also referred to as psychological violence, emotional abuse, or mental abuse) is a form of abuse, characterized by a person subjecting, or exposing, another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.there are "no consensus views about the definition of emotional abuse." As such, clinicians and researchers have offered sometimes divergent definitions of emotional abuse.

This varies throughout the various types and lengths of emotional abuse.

Long-term emotional abuse has long term debilitating effects on a person's sense of self and integrity.

Withholding includes refusing to listen, refusing to communicate, and emotionally withdrawing as punishment.” Even though there is no established definition for emotional abuse, emotional abuse can possess a definition beyond verbal and psychological abuse.

Blaming, shaming, and name calling are a few identifiers of verbal abuse which can affect a victim emotionally.

″Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature.

It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. Three general patterns of abusive behavior include aggressing, denying, and minimizing'″; "Withholding is another form of denying.

Modern technology has led to new forms of abuse, by text messaging and online cyber-bullying.

In 1996, Health Canada argued that emotional abuse is "based on power and control", and defines emotional abuse as including rejecting, degrading, terrorizing, isolating, corrupting/exploiting and "denying emotional responsiveness" as characteristic of emotional abuse.

It may be intentional or subconscious (or both), but it is always a course of conduct, not a single event." Domestic abuse—defined as chronic mistreatment in marriage, families, dating and other intimate relationships—can include emotionally abusive behavior.