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If you have ever endured a relationship with an abusive narcissist, then you already know how damaging that can be. Narcissists are individuals with a disorder characterized by a grandiose sense of self (to the extreme of immense selfishness) and dysfunctional interpersonal relations (to the extreme of @buse.)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a disorder caused by those who have endured a traumatic event that shaped them in such an extreme way, they end up with flashbacks, anxiety attacks, and become anxious in situations that remind them of their trauma, or even slightly trigger them. Post narcissistic stress disorder is a version of that, with the trauma being brought on by a narcissist.

Because narcissists emotionally destroy those closest to them, being in a relationship with one long-term can leave devastating effects. Most people who have endured abuse from a narcissist have very similar effects as those who have been through severe trauma because narcissistic assault is immensely traumatic. If you or someone you know has been in a relationship with a narcissist, here are 5 signs you should look out for.

1. You often doubt your reality.

Narcissists gaslight their partners by making them doubt their reality. This is the equivalent of mental torture, and when someone endures gaslighting for a long period, it can cause them to question their reality entirely. In some cases, because the victim becomes so entrapped in the mindset of “What is real?” and begins doubting everything they perceive, they may even end up with psychosis.

2. You have flashbacks to abusive moments.

Touch, smell and sight triggers cause you to mentally travel back to the worst aspects of the abuse, causing literal flashbacks. Sometimes the flashbacks are so intense that you can’t make them stop. In turn, you find you have panic attacks frequently.

3. You feel numb.

Narcissists break their targets down. Due to this, even the happiest and most empathetic people can end up being broken down to the point of feeling empty and numb. After suffering so much emotional and even physical trauma, the victim may find that it’s easier to feel nothing than to feel the pain the narcissist caused them.

4. You avoid others and isolate yourself.

After a relationship with a narcissist, someone who is enduring post narcissistic stress disorder may completely isolate themselves and avoid others for a long period. They do this because they are afraid of ever being put through such horrific treatment ever again.

5. You constantly apologize.

Another symptom of post narcissistic stress disorder is constantly apologizing. Because nothing is ever enough to a narcissist, those who endure their hurt are torn down and belittled, constantly made to beg for acknowledgment and forgiveness. In turn, they may always over apologize.