Last Updated on August 1, 2022 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
Narcissistic abuse refers to a form of emotional abuse in which someone is manipulated to change or harm their thoughts, behavior, or feelings. People who engage in this kind of abuse in relationships are often suffering from sociopathic tendencies or narcissistic personality disorder. So, have you ever wondered if there is any guide directed to narcissistic abuse recovery?
- 1 Narcissism and Sociopathy
- 2 The Long-Term Effects of Narcissistic Abuse
- 3 When Does Narcissistic Abuse Become Fatal?
- 4 Steps on Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
Narcissism and Sociopathy
A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) has an exaggerated sense of importance and fantasies about power. People with NPD need constant admiration. Sociopathic tendencies can cause people to not understand the feelings of others or simply lack empathy for them. They are also unable to feel guilty when they make mistakes.
You may be experiencing narcissistic abuse in one of several ways. In the beginning stages of a relationship, a narcissistic partner might act perfectly. But patterns start to change when they use manipulative tactics.
Another sign is feeling upset, confused, or guilty about events that weren’t your fault, but for which you feel responsible. Public humiliation disguised as a joke may be another sign of narcissistic abuse. Narcissistic abuse can be very damaging. However, it is possible to recover from it. Continue reading to learn more about narcissistic abuse and how you can get help.
The Long-Term Effects of Narcissistic Abuse
Narcissistic abuse can have long-lasting effects that can be difficult to deal with. Some of these effects can be mild while others can cause serious consequences that could lead to death.
- Depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Headaches, stomachaches, and body aches are all possible physical symptoms.
- High levels of stress and racing thoughts can cause insomnia.
- Memory loss in the short-term
- You may feel vengeful, or even hateful toward your abuser.
- Trust issues due to the years-long manipulation you suffered
- Sensitivity to criticism and judgment increases
- People-pleasing tendencies to gain approval from others
- You feel like you have to punish yourself by engaging in self-destructive behavior, such as overeating or substance abuse
When Does Narcissistic Abuse Become Fatal?
Although abuse is not directly fatal, it can have long-lasting effects that could lead to other potentially life-threatening behaviors like substance use disorder. Suicide is a higher risk for those who have suffered narcissistic abuse.
Steps on Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
Neglecting someone is narcissistic abuse can have a negative impact on their entire lives. Many people suffer from narcissistic abuse and lose their friends, family, and even their jobs. Although Narcissistic Abuse Recovery can be difficult and time-consuming, it is possible.
1. Stop Justifying their Behavior
You must acknowledge the abuse before you can begin to heal from it. Narcissistic abuse is often subtle. you might wonder if you ever were abused. You may have tried to justify the behavior during the relationship for so long it was difficult to accept that it wasn’t rational or excusable.
Sometimes it’s easier to blame someone for something than to admit that they hurt you. You can’t deny that it happened and you don’t have the right to fix it. Children who have been subjected to narcissistic abuse might have difficulty acknowledging it because they may be confused about the situation. Sometimes they may believe that the abuse is their fault. Recognizing abuse must precede the realization that they didn’t do anything wrong to deserve it.
2. Set Boundaries
Narcissistic abusers will often attempt to make amends with you by promising to be better. However, they only want to manipulate you more. It is crucial to set boundaries. You can cut ties with your abuser and have no contact by blocking their phone number. Also, you can prevent them from contacting you through other means.
You must establish boundaries with your abuser if you cannot live without them. Although it can be difficult to see your abuser, you must be strong and maintain your boundaries. You can do this by clearly stating that you won’t be subject to their abusive behavior, and that you will leave any interactions with them when they are.
3. Let Yourself Process Your Emotions
There will be difficult emotions associated with any type of relationship ending, such as sadness, anger and grief. If you are in a relationship with a narcissistic abuser, it is possible to feel shame, fear, anxiety, and other symptoms of PTSD.
You will need to deal with complex emotions in order to be able to manage them. A therapist can help with your emotional needs in a neutral and safe environment. Although it is not pleasant to feel pain or be hurt by abuse, it is important to experience those emotions. It is important to let yourself feel the emotions you are feeling and not judge them.
4. Shift Your Focus to Yourself
When you are able to break free, it is important to focus on yourself. This can be done by rediscovering yourself, your relationships with others, and practicing self care techniques. Self-care can dramatically improve your self-esteem and help you heal from abuse. You can use these self-care methods:
- Positive affirmations can help you improve your self-esteem.
- Exercise can help you release anger, rage or grief.
- Use breathing exercises to control emotions and deal with any reactions that could keep you in a state of abuse.
- As a way to express yourself, try a new hobby.
It can be hard to shift gears and put your needs and feelings first after focusing so much on another person. It can be difficult to focus on your healing when you are so focused on someone else. These things take time. Change doesn’t happen overnight.
5. Ask For Professional Help for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
Because the trauma and long-term consequences of narcissistic abuse are difficult to overcome on your own, professional help is a great option. A qualified mental health professional can validate your emotions and help you to process negative and complex feelings. They will also guide you towards the right therapy.
You may be able to recover from abuse with the following types of therapy:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): a form of talk therapy, is a method that alters automatic negative thoughts patterns.
- Trauma-focused CBT (CBT): Geared towards children, adolescents and their parents
- Motivational interviewing: Psychotherapy that encourages patients to heal by increasing their motivation
- Eye movement desensitization reprocessing: This therapy focuses on changing how memories are stored in your brain to reduce the negative emotions associated with trauma.
- Art therapy: A form of therapy that uses creativity and self-expression in order to heal from trauma.