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narcissistic abusers

However, the residual effects of any abuse can be devastating when most people think of abuse, be it spousal, parental, etc. – Tend to focus on physical abuse. Mental and emotional abuse can be just as or more damaging, especially when the abuser is someone close to the abused.

Perhaps the worst kind of abuse comes at the hands of those who are so preoccupied with themselves that they don’t see or care about the results of their actions. This type of narcissistic abuse can be found in many different types of relationships, including parent-child, spouse/partner, and even friendships. Emotional abuse by a narcissistic parent can be especially insidious as it can damage the child’s ability to form stable relationships in the future. It has been proposed that due to the lack of an appropriate healthy relationship model, those who experienced emotional abuse as children tend to end up in abusive relationships similar to those of adults.

In the United States, the 1980s were considered a time when self-centeredness and self-centeredness were not only acceptable, but expected. The “Me Generation” had created new extremes of narcissism. Many were willing to ignore the welfare of others for their own good.

Despite this internal focus, most of the people we think of when we think of this time period were not true narcissists in the strictest sense. The term narcissism is derived from the Greek story of Naissus, a hunter who was the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. He possessed such beauty that even he could not free himself from the attraction. The god Nemesis tricked him into staring into a pond in which he saw and fell in love with his own reflection, only to die there beholding his own beautiful features.

Narcissism is defined as “excessive fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity” or in psychoanalytic terms as “erotic gratification derived from the admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition in the infantile level of development of the personality”. This term is used for common self-absorption. In 1968, an extreme form was added to the psychological literature as a definable diagnosis.

The current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) of the American Psychiatric Association defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (eg, exaggerates accomplishments and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate accomplishments).
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 be associated with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
4. Requires excessive admiration.
5. You have a sense of entitlement, that is, unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic fulfillment of your expectations.
6. Is interpersonally exploitative, that is, he takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends.
7. Lacks empathy: Unwilling to acknowledge or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

In addition, the following criteria must be met to justify a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

Significant impairments in personality functioning are manifested by:
1. Impairments in autonomous functioning (aob):
has. Identity: Excessive reference to others for self-definition and self-esteem regulation; exaggerated self-assessment may be inflated or deflated, or vacillate between extremes; emotional regulation reflects fluctuations in self-esteem.
b. Self-Direction: Goal setting is based on gaining the approval of others; personal standards are unreasonably high to view oneself as exceptional, or too low based on a sense of entitlement; often unaware of their own motives.


2. Impairments in interpersonal functioning (aob):
has. Empathy: Impaired ability to recognize or identify with
feelings and needs of others; overly attuned to the reactions of others, but only if perceived as relevant to oneself; overestimation or underestimation of one’s own effect on others.
b. Intimacy: Relationships are largely superficial and exist to serve the regulation of self-esteem; reciprocity restricted by little genuine interest in the experiences of others and predominance of a need for personal benefit

Pathological personality traits in the following domain:
1. Antagonism, characterized by:
has. Grandiosity: Feelings of entitlement, whether overt or covert;
egocentrism; hold firmly to the belief that one is better than others; condescending to others.
b. Attention Seeking: Excessive attempts to attract and be the focus of others’ attention; amazing.
against Deficits in the functioning of the personality and the expression of the individual’s personality traits are relatively stable over time and constant in all situations.
d. Impairments in personality functioning and the expression of the individual’s personality traits are not best understood as normative for the developmental stage or sociocultural environment of the individual.
me. Impairments in personality functioning and the expression of an individual’s personality traits are not due solely to the direct physiological effects of a substance (eg, a drug of abuse, medication) or a general medical condition (eg, eg, a severe head injury).

While all of this may seem overwhelming, by focusing on a few key parts of the diagnosis, we can see how a relationship with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder could easily turn into hell. As stated in the first quote, people with narcissistic personality disorder feel that they are more important than other people. They don’t just put themselves on a pedestal, they think everyone else does the same. A healthy relationship is not one where one person lords it over the other, but these narcissists cannot form healthy relationships.

As we see in the second quote, there is an inability to form proper bonds due to a lack of empathy for others or to form intimate relationships. The fact that it is especially revealing “Relationships [are] largely superficial and exist to serve the regulation of self-esteem.” (emphasis added).

A relationship with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a one-way street. All attention and emotional support flow from the individual to the narcissist. These relationships are characterized by verbal and mental abuse, belittling, complaining, and even physical abuse. Narcissists believe that they can’t do anything wrong, so any problems with the relationship, and even problems that arise in everyday life, are the other party’s fault. If a mistake is made, the partner is somehow to blame.

Narcissists’ need for attention and admiration leads them to constantly seek out those who will bolster their inflated sense of self-worth. This results in a series of short relationships and a long stream of discarded partners. If the narcissist is married, there is a high probability that he will not be faithful. Naturally, if the infidelity is discovered, the partner will be to blame for not being pretty enough, loving enough, etc.

Victims of a narcissistic abuser often display similar characteristics. The most common is a poor sense of self-esteem, often accompanied by an inability to make decisions for themselves. They spend years telling them they’re not good enough, they’re not smart enough, they’re not good enough. Over time they come to internalize these negative statements. They doubt their own abilities. This makes them more dependent on the narcissistic abuser, creating a cycle of codependency.

This is one of the most concerning aspects of narcissistic abuse in terms of parental care. When children are constantly put down, they grow up believing that they are not capable. When they are finally out of their narcissistic parent’s control, they lack the coping skills necessary to survive on their own. Doubting their own decision-making abilities and paralyzed by low self-esteem, they gravitate toward someone who will accept them despite their self-perceived flaws and make decisions for them. In short, they enter into relationships with narcissistic abusers. They leave their parents only to end up with someone exactly like the same people who abused them in the first place.

Those who have suffered at the hands of a narcissist may display a number of emotional and physical symptoms that can be difficult to attribute to the relationship, as they are a result of the stress they face on a daily basis. These include confusion, dissociation, poor eating and sleeping habits, and even signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It is especially difficult for those in a relationship with a narcissist to get help, as they have become conditioned to seek out their abuser for most, if not all, decision-making activities. Their low sense of self-worth makes it easy for them to ignore the idea that they deserve better. Obviously, in their minds, no one else would have them. They must be happy with the relationship they have, even though they are unhappy. This is a theme that the abuser will also reinforce.

While difficult, it is possible to escape the cycle of narcissistic abuse. The first step must be to accept that no one deserves the constant humiliation and demands of the narcissist. As self-image is restored to a healthy level, it becomes easier to make decisions without input from the abuser. Naturally, this is an extremely difficult process that may require the help of outsiders, including professionals. Unfortunately, it is common for narcissistic abusers to restrict their partners’ access to others, especially those who express opinions that run counter to their grandiose sense of self.