Here are some quick answers to the questions that have been nagging you.
Am I being abused?
If you are asking yourself this question, then you probably are. Trust your gut. Here are the signs of domestic abuse.
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?
Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism. Click here to go to the Mayo Clinic website to learn more.
How do I get help for my Narcissist?
The better question is "How do I get help for myself?"
If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, there is a strong chance that you are a nurturer and you want to help fix him or her because they are so damaged. You can't. You can't because they don't want you to. They don't think they have a problem.
Adults with NPD seldom seek help for themselves and, due to their personality disorder, will typically do anything to avoid therapy (except for depression). When they do seek help, the success rate of treatment isn't promising.
For parents of children with diagnosed with NPD or showing it's symptoms, seek out mental health professionals and resources that specialize in NPD immediately. The earlier you get treatment for them, the better chance of success.
What is Narcissistic Abuse?
Originally used to describe emotional abuse of a child by a narcissistic parent, Narcissistic abuse may also occur in adult-to-adult relationships, where the narcissistic person tends to seek out an empathetic partner in order to gain admiration of their own attributes and feelings of power and control – narcissistic supply.
Through a cycle of abuse that slowly escalates, the narcissist creates an an increasingly abusive relationship that makes it hard for their partner to leave.
Narcissistic abuse is traumatic and can leave victims in crisis, with conditions like Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome, PTSD and C-PTSD. These conditions are treatable, but often require professional help and time to recover.
What can I do about a loved one being abused by a narcissist?
Because the techniques narcissists use to control their victim are quite literally mind control, your loved one may be resistant to help.
I was lucky to have a close friend that recognized the abuse for what it was. She was a survivor of narcissistic abuse herself. While she pointed out to me that I was being abused by a narcissist, I had no idea what that meant. I thought, "Yup, he's a selfish bastard." But it wasn't until I left my ex that I learned exactly what narcissistic abuse was.
The thing that helped me the most was the loving support that built up my self-confidence and knowing that I had a safe place to stay when I was ready. She didn't pressure me. She didn't turn away from my complaints about my guy or judge why I chose to stay in it as long as I did. She was just there for me. I cannot express enough how much that meant. It saved me.
My sister was my safety plan. I had nothing when I left. While she didn't know the full extent, she knew I was a victim of abuse. She helped me escape the abuser's state and gave me safe shelter and emotional support until I got on my feet. She is still there for me.
Victims need a strong support system. They've been isolated and they needs friends, family and the support of domestic violence resources. Domestic violence centers understand that abuse is more than just physical. The psychological damage, in many ways, can be much more damaging. They take it very serious.
Hopefully, you are not a victim of narcissistic abuse yourself. Learn more about narcissism and how victims are effected.
Also learn about the local resources your loved one will absolutely need for support.
Learn more about supporting a victim of domestic abuse at the National Domestic Violence Hotline section for Friends and Family.