Anxiety Disorders May Be Caused by Exposure to Narcissistic Abuse

In this modern world anxiety has become a part of our lives but the number of people being affected has been increasing and currently in the states about 40 million people are fighting with this mental illness.

There is not only one type of this mental disorder but there are several like posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder. They can be triggered by anxiety-causing foods, personality disorders, brain chemistry, traumatic events, etc. Among them there is one rarely discussed potential cause of anxiety and that is narcissistic abuse.

Narcissistic Abuse

The cause for this type of abuse comes from severely self-centered person that inflicts mental and physical harm to other people. This person has a high opinion of himself and greatly seeks an auditorium and admiration from other people without caring for anyone.

You can be easily fooled by such person as in the beginning this person seems charming, but later on, he or she shows the true face becoming manipulative and demanding. In the company of such person one feels anxious, neglected, unworthy to love, and guilt-tripped.

According to the recent scientific findings narcissistic abuse from childhood could contribute to the formation and exacerbation of anxiety disorders in adulthood thus affecting physical and mental health.

Children cannot properly cope with the persistent systematic abuse of power and exposure to bullying behavior such as verbal abuse, threats from narcissistic parents or traumatic physical abuse. They are deeply hurt from such behaviors and they tend to internalize and externalize their hurt feelings thereby becoming depressed and anxious with low self-esteem. This for sure will make them more susceptible to PTSD.

Contrary to this behavior they may become aggressive, develop delinquent behavior, might act out, and turn to the overuse of substances abuse. This can start in the childhood but also continue or reappear in their adulthood.

It goes without saying that being around a person with narcissistic behavior is unhealthy, and not to mention starting or staying in a relationship with them.

Experiencing an emotional or mental abuse can affect the well-being of the overall health. If the person is persistently being told that he or she is the problem and that his or hers response to the abuse that is quite normal and rational in fact contributes to the ongoing abuse makes the mind of the affected person to go overdrive. As a result of that the body reacts in different ways and shows many symptoms and the distinction between the rational and the irrational becomes blurred.

If the narcisstic abuser comes within the family, things for the affected person are even becoming significantly worse. In this case the only way to avoid such influence is to go away. The sad part is that even if the person has managed to escape from such surrounding there is great risk of developing mental disorders later in life and the experienced trauma may affect any normal and sound adult relationship.

Abusers are in fact toxic people that intentionally abuse other people by telling them that they are in a way intellectually, emotionally, and socially below the others. This abuse can have even higher form by making the affected person believe that he or she is the actual abuser. Moreover, when an abuser is being confronted for his current behavior he is always the one acting as victim.

The common targets for these narcissistic abusers are the good people, the ones that are compassionate and empathic and believe in the good nature of humankind. As a result of this abuse they are the ones that are prone to mental and physical health concerns.

However, the narcisstic abuse is very difficult to recognize due to the persistent emotional manipulation, denial, and self-victimization. Here are some signs revealing to you that you are a victim of narcissistic abuse.

Signs That You Are a Victim of Narcissistic Abuse

  • If you have been made to believe that you are incompetent or doubt.

  • If you have been used by the abuser and meantime kept isolated from friends or family.

  • You have been neglected and there is no reciprocation for your friendship, love, or respect.

  • In case when the abuser verbally or physically belittled or bullied you, and made you feel guilty for his unhappiness.

  • If you have been loved and appreciated only when you acted according to the wishes of the abuser and in that process he made you dependent on him.

  • You have heard gossips and lies about you coming from your abuser and he is persistently lying or cheating on you.

  • If you have been given a conditional reward like friendship or making love so that your behavior is being controlled.

  • Being harshly criticized over and over again.

If you find yourself in some of these instances that have been present in the past or now you should act in this way:

Tips How to Protect Yourself from Narcissistic Abuser

  1. First of all it is not your fault that you have been exposed to a narcissistic abuse; therefore try to keep a positive attitude.

  2. ASAP stop any relation with the abuser or simply ignore him.

  3. There is no shame if you ask for professional help and thus prevent any possible mental traumas.

  4. If you are personally in an immediate threat either physically or emotionally, do not hesitate to contact the police, a helpline, and a local shelter for victims of abuse, or a medical expert.

Fortunately, anxiety is not a serious mental disorder and it is highly treatable when a treatment of psychotherapy and medication is being applied. However, you can try something less formal like the following tips:

  • Introduce in your lifestyle yoga, meditation, and mindfulness exercises.

  • Implement regular physical activity for 30 minutes every day.

  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.

  • Focus on having a proper sleeping pattern every night at least for 7 hours.

  • Try not to eat sugary and processed foods, and instead of them consume a healthy and balanced diet that is high in anxiety-reducing foods.

  • Spend quality time with friends and family.

  • Have an efficient timetable that will allow you good time organization.

Sources:

themindsjournal.com

iheartintelligence.com

psychologytoday.com