Post narcissistic stress disorder for those who might not be aware is basically something people refer to as a disorder stemming from the aftermath of narcissistic mistreatment. This is very similar to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and is more common than you might think.
While not a medically recognized term this is something used to differentiate things as they don’t exactly line up perfectly with PTSD and stem from the same place for those who are affected. PNSD stems from narcissistic mistreatment in all its forms and if you’ve been someone who allowed a narcissist too close in their life, you know how damaging their presence can be. Narcissistic mistreatment/manipulation can happen in a number of ways but it all works to gain control over the victim and break them down.
Those who have PNSD can and usually do deal with things like intrusive memories, avoidance, anxiety, and boundary issues. They find reminders of their manipulators in lots of things and are in some cases plagued by nightmares as well. Moving on from this kind of situation isn’t always as easy as we would like for it to be and that is something that everyone should keep in mind.
Below I am going to go over some of the more prominent symptoms of PNSD. If you are facing these symptoms or are recently coming out of a narcissistic relationship or toxic situation don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Your support system will be there for you and those who care don’t mind if you come to them to talk if you’re struggling.
5 Common Symptoms of PNSD:
1. Triggers lead you to think about your narcissist frequently.
Things like specific smells, foods, sounds, or so forth bring your narcissist to mind. You relive some of the things you went through with him/her on a daily basis and cannot seem to move forward. This is because you’re still very stuck in the time you spend with him/her and the things you experienced.
2. You struggle to start new relationships or maintain any at all.
When we go through a toxic situation of course relationships are going to be hard but if you’re struggling in all aspects of relationships, not even just the romantic ones there could be something serious going on inside. Trusting others isn’t easy especially after mistreatment but in this life relationships and connections are everything.
3. You are very emotionally volatile and quite numb.
The more we go through in our own minds after everything is said and done, the more volatile we will become. You have to express yourself and address the things you’re feeling. If you’re bottling the pain you’ve gone through you’re only going to explode and become numb.
4. You’re constantly questioning other people and their intentions towards you.
People with PNSD are usually very closed off to a seriously unhealthy degree. They refuse to socialize at all and are cocooning themselves away from the world. While we should question others on some level, once trust is established we need to be willing to open up. You can’t pick every one you meet apart.
5. You’re having difficulty sleeping.
If you’re struggling with nightmares about your narcissist, staying up unable to sleep because of your past, or anything else of the sort you need to get some help. PNSD can cause serious insomnia and that in itself will enhance the other symptoms you end up facing if you do not deal with it. We all need our sleep.