Narcissistic abuse is a serious issue that can have a long-lasting impact on the victim. It is not only emotionally draining, but it can also negatively affect the victim’s mental and physical health. Narcissistic abusers use manipulation, gaslighting, and other tactics to control and belittle their victims.
One of the main reasons why narcissistic abuse is so damaging is because the victim may start to doubt their own thoughts and feelings. The abuser will often make the victim believe that their reality is not accurate, which can lead to a lot of confusion and self-doubt. This can also make the victim feel isolated and unsupported because they may feel like no one else understands what they are going through.
Additionally, narcissistic abuse can have a significant impact on the victim’s mental health. It is not uncommon for victims to experience depression, anxiety, and PTSD as a result of the abuse. These conditions can be debilitating and may require professional treatment to manage.
Physical health can also be impacted by narcissistic abuse. Victims may experience a range of symptoms, such as headaches, back pain, and digestive issues due to the stress and anxiety caused by the abuse.
Narcissistic abuse can have a devastating impact on those who are subjected to it. If you or someone you know has been a victim of this type of abuse, it’s important to understand the common ways in which it can affect one’s well-being and sense of self-worth. Here are 15 ways that narcissistic abuse can negatively impact victims:
- Emotional trauma: Narcissistic abuse can cause deep emotional trauma, leaving victims feeling scared, anxious, and unsure of themselves.
- Low self-esteem: When constantly belittled and criticised, victims can begin to believe that they are worthless, leading to a diminished sense of self-esteem.
- Depression: The constant negativity and emotional abuse can lead to depression, often leaving victims feeling hopeless and disengaged from life.
- Anxiety: Victims may develop anxiety as they anticipate their abuser’s next move. They may also become fearful of making mistakes and facing the abuser’s wrath.
- Isolation: Narcissistic abusers often seek to isolate their victims from loved ones, leaving them feeling lonely and unsupported.
- Guilt: Abusers can make their victims feel guilty for things that are not their fault, which can lead to a sense of shame and self-blame.
- Confusion: Abusers can often engage in gaslighting, causing victims to doubt their own perceptions and reality.
- Hypervigilance: Victims may become hypervigilant, always on the lookout for signs of danger or abuse. This can lead to constant stress and anxiety.
- Chronic stress: The ongoing stress of living with a narcissistic abuser can take a toll on the body, leading to physical symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.
- Difficulty setting boundaries: Victims of narcissistic abuse may find it difficult to set healthy boundaries with others, as they have been conditioned to accept mistreatment.
- Trust issues in future relationships: After experiencing narcissistic abuse, it can be challenging for victims to trust and build healthy relationships with others, as they may fear being hurt again.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): In some cases, the severe and long-term nature of narcissistic abuse can lead to PTSD. This condition can cause flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.
- Misplaced anger and blame: Narcissistic abusers often try to shift the blame onto their victims. This can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame, causing confusion and misplaced emotions.
- Physical health problems: The stress and anxiety caused by narcissistic abuse can lead to physical health problems like headaches, insomnia, and even chronic pain.
Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional abuse that can leave victims feeling confused, hurt, and overwhelmed. It is characterised by manipulation, gaslighting, and a lack of empathy on the part of the abuser. Victims of narcissistic abuse often experience a range of intense emotions that can be difficult to navigate. Next, we will explore 10 common emotions experienced by victims of narcissistic abuse and provide some guidance on how to cope with these challenging feelings.
One of the most common emotions experienced by victims of narcissistic abuse is confusion. The abuser may send mixed signals or use tactics to make the victim doubt their own perceptions of reality. This can leave victims feeling unsure of what is real, and can make it difficult to trust their own instincts.
Victims of narcissistic abuse often feel angry at their abuser for the hurt and pain they have caused. However, this anger can also be directed at themselves for allowing the abuse to happen or for not recognising the signs sooner. It is important to acknowledge and process this anger in a healthy way, such as through therapy or by engaging in physical exercise.
Many victims of narcissistic abuse feel guilty for not being able to make the relationship work or for not living up to the unrealistic expectations of the abuser. It is important to recognise that this guilt is not justified and to work on letting go of these feelings over time.
Fear is another common emotion experienced by victims of narcissistic abuse. This fear may be related to the abuser’s angry outbursts or to the possibility of retaliation for leaving the relationship. It is important for victims to seek support from friends, family, or professionals in order to feel safe and secure.
Shame is a complex emotion that can be difficult to shake off. Victims of narcissistic abuse may feel ashamed of how they were treated or may feel ashamed for not being able to leave the relationship sooner. It is important to recognise that the shame is not deserved and to work on building self-esteem and self-compassion.
Victims of narcissistic abuse often experience intense sadness over the loss of what they thought the relationship was or could have been. It is important to give oneself permission to grieve and to work on building healthy coping mechanisms.
Narcissistic abuse can also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. The abuser may have isolated the victim from friends and family, or the victim may feel too ashamed to reach out for help. It is crucial for victims to reach out for support from safe and trustworthy sources.
Anxiety is another common emotion experienced by victims of narcissistic abuse. The abuse can create a constant state of heightened arousal and fear, making it difficult for victims to relax or feel safe. It is important to work on calming techniques such as deep breathing or meditation in order to manage these feelings.
In some cases, victims of narcissistic abuse may feel desperate to win back the approval or love of their abuser. It is important to recognise that this is not a healthy coping mechanism and to work on building self-esteem and self-worth.
Finally, many victims of narcissistic abuse experience a sense of relief once they are able to leave the relationship. The relief may be accompanied by feelings of guilt or sadness. Still, it is important to recognise that leaving the relationship was the right decision and to work on building a healthy and fulfilling future.
In conclusion, recovering from narcissistic abuse is a challenging journey that can be full of intense emotions. However, by acknowledging and processing these emotions in a healthy way, victims can move forward and build a fulfilling and happy life for themselves. Remember to seek support from safe and trustworthy sources and to practice self-care and self-compassion as you heal. Remember, you are not alone, and healing is possible.
If you have experienced narcissistic abuse, know that you are not alone. These effects are common, but with support and healing, it is possible to move past them and rebuild a sense of self-worth and resilience. Seek counselling or support groups to help you navigate the healing process and rebuild your life. Remember, you are worthy of love and respect, no matter what your abuser may have led you to believe.
- Seek professional help: It is essential to work with a professional who specialises in narcissistic abuse recovery. They can help you address the underlying reasons that led you to be in an abusive relationship and provide tools to cope with the aftermath.
- Practice self-care: Engaging in activities that promote self-care, such as meditation, yoga, exercise, and journaling, can help you reconnect with yourself and promote mental and emotional well-being.
- Set boundaries: Setting boundaries is an important step in the healing process. It is the process of stating what you are comfortable with and what you are not. This will help you feel safer and more empowered.
- Surround yourself with supportive people: Being around supportive individuals can provide a safe space that will allow you to share your experiences and receive validation and reassurance.
- Identify and challenge negative self-talk: Narcissistic abuse can damage self-esteem and self-worth, leading to negative self-talk. Try to identify these negative thoughts and challenge them with positive affirmations.
- Practice forgiveness: Forgiving yourself can be a long and challenging process but it is essential to move on.
- Embrace your strengths and talents: Narcissistic abuse can make you doubt your abilities. By embracing your strengths and talents, you will help yourself see the positive aspects of your personality and help you build your self-esteem.
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Elizabeth Shaw is not a Doctor or a therapist. She is a mother of five, a blogger, a survivor of narcissistic abuse, and a life coach, She always recommends you get the support you feel comfortable and happy with. Finding the right support for you. Elizabeth has partnered with BetterHelp (Sponsored.) where you will be matched with a licensed councillor, who specialises in recovery from this kind of abuse.