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Narcissistic abuse is a type of emotional abuse that involves manipulation to alter or damage the way a person thinks, behaves, or feels. Those who conduct this type of abuse in their relationships often have narcissistic personality disorder or sociopathic tendencies.

Signs of Narcissistic Abuse

There are several signs that indicate you may be suffering from narcissistic abuse. For example, in the early stages of a romantic relationship, a narcissistic partner may act perfect, but then patterns begin to change and manipulation tactics begin.

Other signs include feeling confused, upset, or guilty about incidents that were not your fault but for which you are made to feel responsible. Narcissistic abuse may also involve public humiliation that is disguised as a joke.

While narcissistic abuse is damaging, recovery from it is possible. Read on to find out more about narcissistic abuse and how you can recover from it.

Being the victim of narcissistic abuse can lead to long-term effects that are difficult to cope with. While some of those effects are mild, others can be so severe that they are fatal. Some of the long-term effects of narcissistic abuse are:

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Low self-worth and feeling as though you have lost yourself

  • Feeling as though you need to punish yourself with self-destructive behaviors, such as substance use, overspending, or overeating 

  • Short-term memory loss

  • Mood swings and irritability

  • A lack of emotions and feeling as though the world around you is off somehow

  • Feeling vengeful or hateful towards your abuser

  • Nightmares

  • An inability to forgive yourself because of feelings of unworthiness

  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or body aches

  • Trouble sleeping because of high levels of stress and racing thoughts

  • Having an increased risk of developing mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD, especially if abused as a child

  • Trust issues because of the long-standing manipulation you endured

  • An increased sensitivity to criticism or judgment

  • People-pleasing tendencies in an attempt to win approval from others

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