Verbal abuse is just as damaging as mental abuse because verbal abuse is mental abuse. Think about it. When a person puts down another person by calling them names, nagging, arguing, badgering, making threats, or saying otherwise cruel things, where does this information go? It goes right inside of the mind of the person who is receiving it and causes them mental anguish. Does that not constitute "mental" abuse?
Any kind of abuse is bad. It does not matter whether someone is physically beating on another person, name calling, tongue lashing, abandoning, gas lighting, fire setting, or fight starting. It is all abuse and it is all damaging. All forms of abuse have severe damaging effects on the mind, body, and soul. Suffering one type of abuse is not any less harmful than suffering from another. However, the verbal/mental and emotional appear to take a longer period of time to recover from.
Many abusers are also jacks of all of the abuse trades. Just because an abuser is currently exercising his verbal abuse skills does not mean that he will not one day get physical, especially if his mate becomes unruly. He will use whatever works best to keep the victim "in line" and under control. A victim should not feel lucky if she is receiving one kind of abuse and not the other.
Death can occur from all kinds of abuse. A person can be literally beat to death by a physical abuser or she can be left emotionally void or out of her wits by an emotional or mental abuser. Which one is worse? Being physically dead or mentally and emotionally dead but physically still breathing? Does it matter? Abuse destroys people so it is better for those who suffer to learn how to stay away from it rather than to compare the different kinds and measure the levels of damages.
For the sake of a good article I will make a comparison. Verbal and mental abuse can not be compared because they are too close to being the same thing. Emotional abuse is different as it deals with matters of the heart and emotions. In these kinds of relations the abuser is sucking the victim dry of emotions and playing with her heart continuously. Physical abuse is the obvious: being punched, slapped, kicked, thrown around and so forth. I have suffered them all. The verbal/mental abuse was more damaging than the physical but the emotional abuse trumped them all.