Narcissistic Abuse is extremely traumatic for survivors. An emotional warzone, if you will. That's why, more often than not, survivors are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD as a result of Narcissistic Abuse can be quite debilitating to survivors. So much so, that it can consume a survivor's life.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health disorder that can happen to anyone brought on by a severe event, like war, disaster or trauma. The person can experience it firsthand or witness it.
I learned that for PTSD to be diagnosed, symptoms must last for one month and cause significant distress or greatly interfere with a person's daily activities. The ONLY therapist of mine to acknowledge my symptoms and properly diagnose me with PTSD was the therapist I saw in the city where I currently live. (Because of my emotional trauma, she made good use of EMDR therapy. Read my post EMDR: How It Helped Me for more information.)
Before I could be properly diagnosed, my therapist wanted to know my symptoms. PTSD symptoms fall into 3 categories - re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance and numbing symptoms, and arousal symptoms.
1. Re-experiencing: This is the symptom that I suffered from the most. I kept reliving the trauma over and over and over. I spoke of the most disturbing memory I had in my EMDR post (see the link above). Every time I closed my eyes to fall asleep, I would inevitably place myself right back into that hotel room that night. I would become startled and sit straight up in bed with my heart pounding. I felt such fear and terror each time.
2. Avoidance and numbing: This occurred with me often as well. I would avoid high conflict situations. I had incredibly poor conflict resolution skills and always avoided confrontations. I didn't want to upset anyone and create fights! I avoided anything or anyone that remotely gave me any reminders of the trauma that I experienced. I also trained myself to become numb to certain emotions or situations so that I didn't have to deal with them.
3. Arousal: This symptom includes such a heightened sense of awareness and it's sometimes referred to as "hyper-vigilance." Survivors can often become angered and irritable more easily. I found myself snapping at friends and family more quickly. I also had extreme difficulty sleeping, too - I kept reliving many of the Narc Rages that my NX unleashed. (Read my post on The Narcissistic Rage for more information.)
Survivors can also experience other conditions in conjunction with PTSD, including depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. I had been previously diagnosed with depression and anxiety. But no one seemed to sit up and take notice that it was partly because of my PTSD and the abuse I endured!
Many survivors can also have many problems functioning in daily life because of PTSD. So much so, that they can be fired from a job, struggle with interpersonal relationships with family and friends, as well as increased incidents of violence. I became scared of myself, actually, because I had become increasingly prone to anger outbursts. I thought I was becoming a violent person!
Have you been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of Narcissistic Abuse? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
The Top 10
Here you will find my most popular posts for easier discovery.
How Narcissists Make Sure You Never Solve Problems In A Relationship
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How I Lost My Identity
Effects of Emotional Abuse
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Tightening Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Why You Should Never Defend Yourself Against The Narcissist's Smear Campaign
Going No Contact: A List Of What To Do And What Not To Do
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
The Great Manipulator
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.