NPD short for Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a severe mental illness. Narcissistic abuse is a type of emotional abuse that, in extreme circumstances, can also encompass sexual or physical violence.
Consider seeking treatment from a mental health professional if you believe you are or were in a relationship with a narcissist or know someone who has narcissistic traits. NPDs are drawn to some of the most sympathetic and empathic people who lack emotional substance.
On the other hand, online narrative therapy is a powerful tool for resolving trauma or abuse you have suffered or are currently experiencing. You can find good therapist on several websites like BetterHelp.com for example.
To support the work of the people working on TherapyHunter.com, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.
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What is Narcissistic Abuse?
Those who have been mistreated by someone with NPD may develop narcissistic abuse syndrome. Since narcissists are typically masters at disguise, identifying the illness can be difficult.
You may feel guilty, at fault, imprisoned, powerless, or responsible for the other person if you are in any form of relationship with a narcissist. A partner, spouse, sibling, parent, friend, employer, or another close relative might be the abuser.
According to studies, 2% to 16% of the psychiatric population has a narcissistic personality. Furthermore, while men account for 75% of narcissism, women can also be narcissists.
Additionally, for their advantage, narcissists frequently deceive, manipulate, and dominate the people in their life. They may make you feel as if you have to walk on eggshells around them all of the time to avoid disagreement.
They have the potential to make you feel like a total failure. Furthermore, narcissistic abuse in relationships may be stressful and have a significant impact on one’s health and well-being.
Signs of Narcissistic Abuse
To be classified as a narcissist, someone must satisfy five or more of the following criteria:
- No empathy for others
- Imagines having boundless power, intellect, prosperity, attractiveness, or the perfect love
- An exaggerated sense of self-worth
- Exploitative of relationships
- The belief that they are unique and special
- The desire for excessive attention and appreciation
- A feeling of being entitled
Narcissism is a spectrum disorder that can be difficult to diagnose in many circumstances. Hence, identifying a real narcissist without a professional diagnosis may be impossible.
Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a narcissistic abuse recovery therapist.
Narcissistic Pattern of Abuse
Narcissistic abuse usually follows a pattern. Idealization, devaluation, and rejection are the three primary stages.
- Idealization starts in the first few months of a relationship with a narcissist might feel fantastic.
- In the devaluation phase as your relationship settles into a routine, you may notice certain red flags in your partner. Moreover, they may begin to dismiss you, blame you for their problems, and withdraw from you.
- In the third phase which is rejection, the narcissist may eventually drop you from their life. Furthermore, you might try to reach an agreement, request that your limits be respected, or demand honest and straightforward responses. However, the narcissist may recognize at this time that their partner is not only there to soothe their ego.
Therapy can help you better understand what you receive out of a relationship so you can figure out how to stay in it or leave it securely. If you have already ended the relationship, counseling might help you work through the pain and loss you have experienced.
Symptoms of Narcissistic Abuse
Victims may spend years unconscious of what is going on. Unaware that their abuser has built a world to isolate, demoralize, and degrade their victims to feed and fuel their condition.
Moreover, using strategies such as “gaslighting” and projection, the narcissist causes havoc for everyone around them. For the victim, these methods cause a great deal of perplexity.
Victims tend to separate themselves from their emotions, bodies, and environment. Furthermore, the potential of abuse is more prominent when you live in a conflict zone where all forms of power and control are utilized against you.
Several victims of narcissistic relationships seek help from their narcissistic partner in therapy. The narcissist dons their mask, manipulates the situation, and the victim is re-victimized. Following are the possible symptoms or consequences of narcissistic abuse:
- Flashback of trauma
- They are extremely concerned about their safety
- Continuously examining the surroundings for dangers
- Depression, anger, and guilt
- Self-harm is a possibility
- Anxiety attacks
- Numbness and denial
- Concentration and memory problems
- Feeling as though they are going insane
- Nightmares and insomnia
- Eating disorders or obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCD)
- Suppressed rage may be dissociative
- Frequently second-guessing your decisions
- Making basic decisions is difficult
Online Therapy For Narcissistic Abuse
You may experience discomfort as a result of spending your time in a fruitless relationship. You may have used all of your resources to keep the connection alive.
It may take a long time to recover from narcissistic abuse, but you may recover and live a happy life. The best place to start is to find a therapist who has dealt with trauma before.
You can get online help from virtual therapy sites such as BetterHelp.com. Online therapy for narcissistic abuse encourages you to become more self-aware of your own needs. The goal is to establish stronger and healthier boundaries and communication skills.
As well as a strong and healthy sense of self, so that you are no longer exploited by manipulative and self-centered people. You will learn to understand yourself and how to get what you deserve: a happier and more reciprocal relationship by working with a skilled therapist.
Your virtual therapist will need to help you uncover the anguish and misery that has been buried inside you to heal the deep wounds of narcissistic abuse.
Engaging in therapy will assist you in developing a new feeling of love for yourself, maybe for the first time. Furthermore, as well as recognizing your independence, autonomy, potential, and inner strength.
They will teach you how to deal with big emotions and learn to experience them without becoming overwhelmed. Furthermore, as you learn to comprehend and develop compassion for your wounds, you will grow stronger and more resilient.
Does Online Therapy Help?
A trained virtual mental health expert can assist you in recovering and healing from narcissistic abuse, as well as helping you create healthy relationships with yourself and others.
Therapy for narcissistic abuse can help you build your voice and support you. Moreover, you can learn to understand yourself, as well as, acquire compassion for the traumas you have encountered while attempting to make a relationship with a narcissist work through counseling.
Counseling can assist you in learning more about yourself and resolving the hurt and anger you are experiencing as a result of your relationship.
It can help you break away from the entanglement and perplexity of attempting to relate to a narcissist and reconnect with yourself. Furthermore, you can reclaim your life and enjoy relationships again with the help of counseling with a sympathetic, and skilled therapist.
You might become quite confused about what is “normal” or proper treatment over time and through frequent gaslighting or manipulation. Therapy can assist you in recognizing what was abusive and allowing you to begin to recover.
You may learn to recognize, define, and enforce limitations and boundaries to feel respected and free. It does not matter what you do.
All that counts is that you do something to improve your spirits and assist you to overcome your lethargy, reconnecting with those you were told were off-limits. Also, resuming any hobbies or interests that have fallen by the wayside might be a good place to start. Reconnect with your passion, reconnect with old acquaintances, and try new things. Do not self-restrict!
Writer for Therapy Hunter as well as psychology
professor at Malta University.