Are you being abused by someone who is always right no matter what you do and their resulted action is always justified?
Have you heard of Narcissism?
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a disorder that is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behaviour), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. (See more on Narcissism by clicking here)
Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.
Narcissistic abuse is a term that emerged in the late twentieth century, and became more prominent in the early 21st century because of the works of Alice Miller and other Neo-Freudians, rejecting psychoanalysis as being similar to the poisonous teachings.
The following are some of the signs from someone who is being abused by a narcissistic person:
Flashbacks of the behaviour and trauma.
Extreme fear for their personal safety.
Highly strung or nervous.
Constantly scanning environment for potential threats.
Depression, irritability, and guilt.
Multiple physical complaints.
Might engage in self-harm.
Numbing and shock.
Impaired concentration and memory.
Feeling they are going mad.
Insomnia and nightmares.
Obsessive compulsive behaviours or eating disorders.
Might be dissociative
Might be suicidal
Constantly second guessing
Difficulty making simple decisions
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) clients often feel like they could cry at any moment, they aren’t good enough for others. They often are fearful of forming relationships.
They have difficulty performing simple tasks, and are constantly distracted.
Over time, victims may develop eating disorders, obsessive disorders, depression, hyper vigilance, substance abuse or co-dependency.
Unfortunately, the revised definition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the best option for diagnosing victims of narcissistic abuse.
Here is the criteria:
- Traumatic event. Survivors must have been exposed to actual/threatened death, serious injury or sexual violence. The exposure can be direct, witnessed, indirect (hearing it from others) or repeated exposure.
- Intrusion or Re-experiencing. This could look like intrusive thoughts/memories, nightmares, flashbacks, or psychological distress/reactions to reminders of the traumatic event.
- Avoidant Symptoms. Ways that someone may try to avoid memories of the event. It must include one of the following: avoiding thoughts, feelings, memories, people, places, conversations or situations connected to the traumatic event.
- Negative Alterations in Mood or Cognition. A decline in someone’s mood or thought patterns after the event. Includes: inability to remember, negative beliefs or expectations about one’s self or the world, distorted thoughts about the cause/consequence of the event, fear, horror, anger, guilt, shame, diminished interest in activities, feeling detached, feeling estranged or inability to experience happiness.
- Increased Arousal Symptoms. Ways that the brain remains “on edge,” wary and watchful of further threats. Symptoms include: irritability, increased temper/anger, reckless, self-destructive behaviour, difficulty falling/staying asleep, hyper vigilance, difficulty concentrating, or being easily startled.
- The severity of the symptoms have to have lasted at least a month, seriously affect one’s ability to function and can’t be due to substance use, medical illness or anything except the event itself.
- Subtype: This is set apart from the other symptom clusters. There are several types of dissociation, only two are included here: depersonalization which is feeling disconnected from oneself and de-realization which is a sense that one’s surroundings aren’t real.
The new definition of PTSD clearly incorporates the concepts of Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (NVS), Trauma-Associated Narcissistic Symptoms (TANS), Post Traumatic Narcissism Syndrome (PTNS) and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD).
However, it does not open the eyes of clinicians into the severity of narcissistic abuse. More education is needed to help identify when a person has been victimised so the right therapy can be utilised.
More on writers of Narcissism
- NHS self help guide- click here
- Helpguide- click here
- Come aiutare se stessi con lo stress post-traumatico- click here
- Comment vous puver vous aider avec le stress post-traumatique- click here
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