Modern science in many ways seems to suggest there is a serious link between exposure to narcissists and developing anxiety disorders, among other mental health issues. While this is not something talked about often, it is a topic well worth covering.
When you go through emotional or mental neglect at any age, it takes a serious toll on your mind and how you process things. The longer it goes on the worse things become and there is no arguing that. When we become the victim of a narcissist we end up as time passes questioning our sanity, mistrusting others, feeling worthless, and being unable to appreciate the things that make us who we are. Narcissists do a lot more damage than most people stop to realize.
A lot of literature present in the world of psychology today connect anxiety disorders as well as depression itself to emotional and psychological neglect or adverse experiences overall. These kinds of mental attacks carried out by narcissistic people over time can actually be much more detrimental than physical aggression itself.
Because narcissistic exposure itself could be broken down as an environmental stressor, it is something we should never underplay. A lot of things that narcissistic people and their presence feed into are considered to be causes of anxiety disorders within their victims. If you have ever spent time with a narcissist, you know how blaming, detached, and painful it can be to deal with in general. After walking on eggshells for so long, you become the person you are when they’re around, all the time.
That being said, anxiety regardless of the kind of disorder you are diagnosed with is something you can work on. If you find that you have been the victim of a narcissist, be it a partner, parent, or someone else, you can cut ties and overcome all they’ve put you through. Yes, it takes time, but it is well worth it.
Psych Central wrote as follows in regards to what should be done once you’ve recognized what you’re facing:
If you are currently in an abusive relationship of any kind, know that you are not alone, even if you feel like you are. There are millions of survivors all over the world who have experienced what you have. This form of psychological torment is not exclusive to any gender, culture, social class or religion. The first step is becoming aware of the reality of your situation and validating it – even if your abuser attempts to gaslight you into believing otherwise.
If you can, journal about the experiences you have been going through to begin acknowledging the realities of the abuse. Share the truth with a trusted mental health professional, domestic violence advocates, family members, friends or fellow survivors. Begin to ‘heal’ your body through modalities like trauma-focused yoga and mindfulness meditation, two practices that target the same parts of the brain often affected by trauma (van der Kolk, 2015).
Reach out for help if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially suicidal ideation. Consult a trauma-informed counselor who understands and can help guide you through the symptoms of trauma. Make a safety plan if you have concerns about your abuser getting violent.
It is not easy to leave an abusive relationship due to the intense trauma bonds that can develop, the effects of trauma and the pervasive sense of helplessness and hopelessness that can form as a result of the abuse. Yet you have to know that it is, in fact, possible to leave and to begin the journey to No Contact or Low Contact in the cases of co-parenting. Recovery from this form of abuse is challenging, but it is well worth paving the path back to freedom and putting the pieces back together.
To learn more about this connection, please feel free to check out the video below. What do you think about all of this? Does it make sense in your mind or is it a bit reaching?