Narcissistic Abuse and PTSD….


Life with a narcissist can make you think you’re crazy. They blame everything on you. Tell you that what you saw with your own eyes isn’t true and generally make your life a living hell. Don’t expect any support or your life to be about anything other than them. These are some of the most selfish, self-absorbed people you will ever meet. Worse than that they can do a lot of damage to a person’s psyche and self-esteem, even causing PTSD. What a narcissist does is psychologically abuse whoever they form relationships with, be it someone they are dating, a husband or a wife, a friend, their own children, and even a boss.

I’ve already posted that psychological/emotional abuse can be a cause of PTSD and these people are masters at it along with being master manipulators too. Not only will they convince you that you are crazy, but if you go against them and their control and ability to manipulate you, they will convince others that you are crazy too by manipulating them into believing it. They spread rumours, gossip  and speak negatively about you, anything so people wont believe what  you have to say about the narcissist. Their greatest fear is for people to see them for who they and to be exposed.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

Here are DSM’s requirements (link is external) (slightly condensed, and with minor bracketed amendments) for “earning” the unenviable diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
4. Requires excessive admiration [regularly fishes for compliments, and is highly susceptible to flattery].
5. Has a sense of entitlement.
6. Is interpersonal exploitative.
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling [or, I would add, unable] to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty [rude and abusive] behaviors or attitudes.

“So what’s left out here? Actually, as regards identifying descriptors, quite a bit. And I’ve no doubt that other therapists could add further to the six additional characteristics I’ll provide here—features that, although regrettably minimized or omitted from DSM, I‘ve routinely seen displayed by the many dysfunctional narcissists I’ve worked with. So, to enumerate them, such individuals:”

1. Are highly reactive to criticism. Or anything they assume or interpret as negatively evaluating their personality or performance. This is why if they’re asked a question that might oblige them to admit some vulnerability, deficiency, or culpability, they’re apt to falsify the evidence (i.e., lie—yet without really acknowledging such prevarication to themselves), hastily change the subject, or respond as though they’d been asked something entirely different.

2. …Have low self-esteem. This facet of their psyche is complicated, because superficially their self-regard would appear to be higher and more assured than just about anyone else’s. That is, in various ways they’re constantly driven to prove themselves, both to others and to their not-so-confident “inner child” self. This is the self-doubting, recessive part of their being that, though well hidden from sight, is nonetheless afflicted with feelings and fears of inferiority.

3. …Can be inordinately self-righteous and defensive. Needing so much to protect their overblown but fragile ego, their ever-vigilant defense system can be extraordinarily easy to set off. Further, their “my way or the highway” attitude in decision-making—their stubborn.competitive insistence that their point of view prevail—betrays (even as it endeavors to conceal) their underlying doubts about not being good, strong, or smart enough. And the more their pretentious, privileged, exaggerated puffed-up self-image feels endangered by another’s position, the more likely they are to…

4. …React to contrary viewpoints with anger or rage. In fact, this characteristic is so common in narcissists that it’s always surprised me that DSM doesn’t specifically refer to it among its nine criteria. Repeatedly, writers have noted that angry outbursts are almost intrinsic to both narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. And although (unlike the borderline) it’s not particular fears of abandonment that bring out their so-called “narcissistic rage,” both personality disorders generally react with heated emotion when others bring their deepest insecurities too close to the surface.

5. …Project onto others qualities, traits, and behaviors they can’t—or won’t—accept in themselves. Because they’re compelled from deep within to conceal deficits or weaknesses in their self-image, they habitually redirect any unfavorable appraisal of themselves outwards, unconsciously trusting that doing so will forever keep at bay their deepest suspicions about themselves. Getting anywhere close to being obliged to confront the darkness at their innermost core can be very scary, for in reality their emotional resources are woefully underdeveloped.

6. …Have poor interpersonal boundaries. It’s been said about narcissists that they can’t tell where they end and the other person begins. Unconsciously viewing others as “extensions” of themselves, they regard them as existing primarily to serve their own needs—just as they routinely put their needs before everyone else’s (frequently, even their own children). Since others are regarded (if they’re regarded at all!) as what in the literature is often called “narcissistic supplies”—that is, existing chiefly to cater to their personal desires—they generally don’t think about others independently of how they might “use” them to their own advantage. Whatever narcissists seek to give themselves, they generally expect to get from others, too (which is yet another dimension of their famous—or infamous—sense of entitlement).

To conclude, I can only hope that these additional characterizations of the pathological narcissist (vs. those with less pronounced narcissistic qualities) may be helpful in enabling you to identify them before their “malignancy” does a number on you. And if you’ve already been duped by their machinations or manipulations, perhaps this piece will be a “heads up” for you to prevent them from wreaking any further havoc in your life.

Narcissistic Abuse:

They include put downs, outbursts, humiliating remarks, lies, “gaslighting”, rages, assaults, yelling, intimidation, threats, belittling, betrayals, judging and criticizing. The reaction can be a mixture of rage, fear, timidity or confusion. Quite often the person controlling or manipulating is trying to define the victim so his actions are validated. If lies are told about the victim, making her appear in a negative light, the abuser then feels justified in his actions. At this point, he may enjoin others in his betrayal and manipulation by telling them lies about her, and by portraying himself as the victim he is rewarded with their sympathy.


“Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse used by narcissists in order to instill in their victim’s an extreme sense of anxiety and confusion to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception or judgment. The techniques used in “Gaslighting” by the narcissist are similar to those used in brainwashing, interrogation, and torture that have been used in psychological warfare by intelligence operative, law enforcement and other forces for decades.”

“As you can see, this “Gaslighting Tango” is a form of psychological warfare that is both deliberate and progressive in nature between one individual (the gaslighter) and another (the gaslightee). The Gaslighting Effect involves an insidious set of psychological manipulations that are carried out gradually in stages, and repeated time after time, in order to undermine the mental stability of its victim. It is truly a convoluted dance, where finally the unsuspecting gaslightee believes that they are going crazy. Anyone can become the victim of these gaslighting maneuvers; age, intelligence, gender, creed is no barrier against narcissistic abuse of this kind. It does not only happen in romantic relationships “

If you find yourself involved with a narcissist, my advice is to get out. The person you are involved with, be it family, friends, married to, or working for, will never change, simply because they are never willing to look at themselves and to admit they are the problem and take responsibility for their actions.



5 thoughts on “Narcissistic Abuse and PTSD….

  1. messyspaghettithoughts says:

    This was my last relationship. I had PTSD before but he did so much damage, that I even hooked him up with my friend because I thought I was the reason for the breakup because I wasn’t enough. Thank you for this post


  2. shelleyb552 says:

    I don’t think enough people are aware of narcissists and the damage they can do. That’s one thing they are good at is making you think it’s all you, so I can see why you thought you weren’t enough. Just be thankful you are free now and thanks for sharing my post. The more people who are aware, the better.


  3. shelleyb552 says:

    Yes, there are some good books out there, once a person realizes that they are actually dealing with a narcissist. You’re welcome, I find it really important to discuss this stuff, things that nobody really likes to talk about out loud, but it’s important none the less.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s