Table of Contents
Learn about narcissism and see if you are caught in the cycle of abuse.
We are supposed to feel happy and good about ourselves when we are in a relationship. In a healthy one, this is the case. But if you are caught in the net of a narcissist chances are you feel pretty badly about yourself.
A narcissist is a person who seems to thrive on making you feel sad and inferior. For them, seeing you kept off balance is satisfying, as it makes them feel powerful. If they can convince you that you are not worthy of love, they have won.
An abuse cycle evolves when you are in a relationship with a narcissist. A constant cycle starts with mental abuse leads to pain and insecurity. Once you reach the point where you know you have to get out, the perpetrator swoops in to charm you into staying. And so the cycle repeats, over and over.
Being able to recognize the signs of a narcissist, and to resist their tactics, can begin the process of saving yourself from a life of pain. Keep reading to learn more about how to break free from a narcissist.
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a type of mental health disorder that features the use of cold, cruel tactics to demean the victim. The person with NPD seems to derive great pleasure in causing their prey to doubt themselves or their abilities. They cause this result in the victim by a steady stream of critiques and gaslight tactics.
Someone with NPD will slowly pick away at his or her victim’s sense of self-worth. Over time the victim will shrivel up and cease to resist the daily assaults. In effect, they turn themselves over for the NPD to control and feast on.
NPD is a highly abusive type of mental health disorder. This is because the person has no sense of remorse or guilt about the way they mistreat the victim. They won’t say they are sorry because they simply do not feel bad about their actions. By belittling the victim they know they will remain in control, and control is what NPD is all about.
What are the Signs of Narcissism?
There are many common symptoms and traits that define NPD. In all, there are about 40 clinical traits, but here are the main features of NPD:
- Bloated sense of self; huge ego
- Plays mind games with the victim; gas lights.
- Often puts down the victim.
- Angry outbursts; fits of rage.
- Lacks empathy for others.
- Talks down to others.
- Does not like to be criticized.
- Takes advantage of others for their own gain.
- Torments the victim by causing fear.
- Does not care about other people’s feelings or needs.
- With not admit guilt or say they are sorry.
- May isolate the victim from family and friends.
- Thinks people are jealous of them.
- Expects constant praise; believes people envy them.
- Not willing to go to therapy.
- Closed off emotionally.
- Focused only on their desires and needs.
Being in a close relationship with someone with NPD can be very harmful to mental health. The person will make you feel so bad about yourself that you may even become suicidal. They will never admit they have the problem. If you are in a relationship with an NPD you will need expert guidance to help you break free.
What is the Abuse Cycle?
Getting caught in the narcissistic abuse cycle can have very serious results. This is because the perpetrator will chip away at the victim’s self-esteem to the point where they may give up. This may mean you are ruled over by the NPD person to the point where you feel you no longer exist. It can also result in an increased risk of suicide.
The classic abuse cycle goes as such:
- The person with NPD charms you at first, sweeping you off your feet.
- Slowly the perp begins a slow and steady campaign of putt-downs.
- The perp may use gaslighting to keep you unsure of yourself and placing them in control.
- They may be highly suspicious or jealous and begin to isolate you from friends or family.
- You begin to suffer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- You notice what is going on and decide to get out of the toxic relationship.
- The perp goes all out to woo you and win you back.
- You give the perp another chance, thus repeat the co-dependent abuse cycle again and again.
Classic symptoms of NPD victims:
- Becomes weak physically.
- Becomes emotionally numb and detached as a means to self-protect.
- Ignores their own needs and desires.
- Blames self for the abuse.
- Distrust everyone, including self.
- Begins to withdraw from others.
- May defend the abuser.
- Thinks about suicide.
- Becomes dependent on the NPD.
How to Escape the Grip of a Narcissist
It is very hard to break free from a person with NPD. If married to the person, with children, they may have to stay if they are not earning an income. There is also fear of abuse should they attempt to escape the toxic marriage.
If you find yourself under the control of an NPD it is crucial that you get the help you need. You must get the support you need to break free from them and get to a safe place. This will take some time and planning, but it is critical to get away from the person.
Once you are free you will need to work with a mental health expert who can guide you toward making changes in your life. You will learn how to put down healthy boundaries in all relationships going forward. Also, you will work on your self-esteem and learn to become more self-empowered.
Mental Health Hope Offers Free Assessment and Guidance
Mental Health Hope is an online resource that provides free mental health info and treatment guidance. Get help to break free from an NPD and restore mental wellness. A mental health retreat offers tailored treatment plans designed just for your unique needs. Reach out to the team at Mental Health Hope for support today at (877) 967-9274.