The effects of narcissistic abuse are long-lasting and dangerous.
While it is generally advised to avoid narcissists, this may not be possible as they could be your family members like your spouse, parents or siblings, your colleagues, or friends.
You may need to develop ways in which you can relate to them better including encouraging therapy for narcissistic people.
Narcissistic abuse occurs when you're in a relationship with a person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). NPD is a mental health condition.
Narcissistic abuse is very difficult especially since narcissists have little to no compassion and they tend to be abusive, toxic, and harmful.
It can take the form of verbal manipulation, intimidation, or abuse.
Most times, narcissistic abuse is not always glaring and may not be easy to detect, mostly because narcissists tend to come across at first as supportive, kind, and charming.
Some of the effects of narcissistic abuse include feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression, and physical symptoms.
Narcissistic abuse tends to cause feelings of fear, isolation, worry, and nervousness, and you are always watchful of your actions.
Also, loss of sense and self-worth is another effect of narcissistic abuse.
Most times, people in relationships with narcissists have damaged self-esteem as constant interactions with narcissists would affect your self-esteem.
The following are the effects of narcissistic abuse.
Feelings of Isolation
A narcissist may try to prevent you from interacting with your other friends and family including accessing your normal support groups.
They would isolate you and remove your support systems, thereby making it easier to perpetuate the abuse.
Most times, the narcissist becomes the main source of support, validation, and affection.
You would then become very reliant on the narcissist thereby making it difficult to exit the relationship.
The feeling of isolation is one of the major effects of narcissistic abuse.
Over time, feelings of physical and emotional detachment from your immediate environment as well as disruptions in your sense of self, perceptions, memory, and consciousness are bound to occur.
Also, you may have attempted to confront the narcissist (fight) or escape the situation (flight).
If these methods don't work or you feel unable to use them, you then withdraw and isolate yourself.
Due to the shame and fear of what others would think or say, most victims choose to keep everything to themselves.
Also, victims may even be retraumatized by law enforcement, family members, friends, and the goons of narcissists who might invalidate their perceptions of the abuse.
So instead of reaching out for help, they choose to withdraw from others to avoid judgment and retaliation from their abuser.
Anxiety is one of the common effects of narcissistic abuse.
There is a constant feeling of fear, isolation, worry, and nervousness.
Also, you tend to doubt your worth and feel hopeless.
You also lose interest in things that used to bring you joy and you are not optimistic about the future.
The narcissist would most likely accuse you of being the cause of the abuse.
When you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, you may experience extreme fear or anxiety in relationships with new people.
You will be anxious and worried about if you would be criticized and how to best handle the abusive behaviors.
You may not know how to relax anymore since you may not feel safe letting your guard down.
Some people experience symptoms such as anxiety attacks, panic attacks, or hypervigilance.
If you experience these, you should reach out to a professional.
You would be very conscious, and your memories can cause an anxiety attack.
You will always be on top alert, looking out for danger.
It also affects your other relationships with your parents, siblings, co-workers, and others as you are very watchful of your words and actions to avoid a rash reaction from them.
The effects of abuse may also be physical and not just mental.
Some typical symptoms for persons enduring narcissistic abuse often experience headaches, and body or stomach aches.
They also have trouble sleeping.
This may be due to the trauma they experience from the trauma; therefore, it feels impossible to turn the brain off or not think about what happened to them.
They may also have nightmares.
Other physical symptoms associated with the effects of narcissistic abuse include changes in appetite and nausea.
Those who have experienced narcissistic abuse may also develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), like extreme irritability and feeling constantly on guard.
Some of the health conditions chronic narcissistic abuse can lead to are high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and substance dependency among others
During narcissistic abuse, most victims tend to change their personalities to fit the preferences and expectations of the abuser.
They majorly do this to please the narcissist.
Over time, you would lose your person and forget who you are.
Narcissistic abuse is a form of brainwashing, and as such, it can destroy your sense of self-worth.
You may lose a sense of the person you were before all this started.
A consistent feeling that you are wrong or not enough or that you caused the abuse is bound to occur.
This can lead to shame and embarrassment, which may often stop you from reaching out for help.
After a while, you would have trouble making personal decisions because you already imagine that you are wrong or wonder what the narcissist would prefer.
Depression is another effect of narcissistic abuse.
Having been manipulated and gaslighted several times over the years, you may choose to distance yourself from others.
This would however negatively affect you and can make feelings of depression worse.
Depression typically sets in when you constantly live in fear, stress, and under fear.
Over time, you are no longer able to make the right choices and decisions.
This may lead you to be unsatisfied with your life and ultimately, feelings of despair and hopelessness set in.
Narcissistic abuse could make you feel unfulfilled and empty.
All these lead to depression.
If you are experiencing depression it is advisable to seek immediate help.
There are several treatments available including therapy.
Survival from narcissistic abuse is very difficult and the effects of narcissistic abuse are long-lasting and dangerous.
Narcissists typically have little to no compassion therefore therapy for narcissistic people is greatly encouraged.
Some effects of narcissistic abuse are anxiety and depression, physical symptoms, feelings of isolation, and loss of sense and self-worth.
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