Welcome to the other side. You left the fucktard. You’re working on yourself. Now comes something you didn’t expect. The final hard fall before you land. Post-Narcissistic Stress Disorder (PNSD) is real. Identifying what they are will help you to truly heal. Keep in mind that PNSD manifests differently for each person. Below are 6 common signs among most survivors.
You should make time to understand these PNSD signs and how they can affect you long-term. This is the only way you can start to heal from narcissist abuse.
1. ANXIETY IS YOUR BEST FRIEND!
Those who experience emotional pain and abuse due to a narcissist typically experience high levels of continuous anxiety. Emotional abuse often leaves the survivor feeling off-balance because of the way the abuser manipulates situations to achieve their ends.
They worry about the abuser’s reaction, doing or saying the wrong thing, and attempting to keep the peace. This hyper-vigilant state can lead to chronic anxiety, even after the narcissist is no longer abusing the individual.
Individuals can even develop anxiety disorders due to PNSD, such as social anxiety disorder or specific phobias.
2. LET ME JUST IGNORE IT
Avoidance behaviors also often arise when a narcissist emotionally abuses an individual. Specifically, those with PNSD avoid actions that cause anxiety or remind them of the experiences they had with narcissists in the past.
In severe cases, avoidance behaviors can lead to struggles with daily living, such as being unable to leave the house. It may also lead to an individual not setting healthy boundaries to avoid negative experiences, which can result in further emotional pain and abuse.
For many, the more certain experiences are avoided, the harder it is to return to regular daily routines. As a result, what begins as a way to cope with negative emotions can become a severe problem.
3. OVERWHELMING FEELINGS OF SHAME OR GUILT
Since narcissists often manipulate and use people to get what they want, those with post narcissistic stress disorder experience feelings of shame and guilt. The reasons behind these feelings vary based on what individuals have gone through.
Some feel guilt and shame because of the way their abusers treat them and speak to them. Others feel this way because they allowed themselves to be treated that way without realizing the damaging effects until much later.
The longer an individual is in a relationship with a narcissist, the worse these feelings of guilt or shame can become. These feelings can also lead to symptoms of depression and a sense of being a failure.
4. INACCURATE PERCEPTIONS OF SELF, PAST, AND RELATIONSHIPS
One of the ways a narcissist manipulates victims is through a method called gaslighting, which is a way of causing someone to doubt their perceptions of events and their memories. This is a way for the narcissist to maintain control over their victim.
After going through this, particularly over a long period of time, someone with post narcissistic stress disorder will likely doubt themselves frequently, including in other relationships.
This can make it difficult for survivors to overcome their insecurities; they may need frequent reassurances from loved ones that they remember things correctly or that their perceptions of events are accurate.
5. AVOIDANCE OF INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS
Post narcissist stress disorder often occurs in intimate relationships, such as spouses or parent-child relationships. This can significantly impact an individual’s ability to engage in successful, healthy intimate relationships.
Survivors of narcissistic abuse are afraid that they will be treated the same as they were in their toxic relationship. As a result, they may be more closed off emotionally. Plus, they find it difficult to be happy in a healthy relationship. Healthy relationships and support systems are essential for recovery from PNSD. Therefore, further abusive behavior slows down the healing process.
6. NIGHTMARES, FLASHBACKS, AND RELIVING PAST EXPERIENCES
Post narcissistic stress disorder is similar to PTSD. And some common signs of PTSD are nightmares, flashbacks, and reliving past experiences. Survivors of narcissistic abuse may be triggered by conversations, events, sounds, or any number of things, even a smell that is familiar.
The triggers for these flashbacks or nightmares vary based on the individual and what they went through the abusive narcissist. These flashbacks can lead to panic attacks, avoidance behaviors, and other symptoms of PNSD.
It is very difficult to control these symptoms except through a treatment program that addresses the causes of the symptoms, such as therapy.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MANAGING POST NARCISSISTIC STRESS DISORDER
Narcissist abuse can be insidious and painful for anyone who experiences it. Over even a short period of time, emotional abuse can lead to serious emotional and mental problems. Indeed, one such result is post narcissistic stress disorder.
The signs of this disorder, which primarily focus on how the survivor adapts based on their interactions with the narcissist, vary based on the individual, with common signs that occur for most people.
Most often, individuals who experience narcissistic abuse experience multiple signs that point to post narcissistic stress disorder. However, if you are unaware of narcissistic abuse or PNSD, it can be hard to recognize the danger of your negative situation.
Indeed, you might not even recognize the help needed to get out of it. But by recognizing these red flags of PNSD, you can start to see your situation as it is. From there, you can seek help and begin to heal from the emotional abuse.