Symptoms of narcissistic victim syndrome can manifest whether a person has been dealing with a narcissistic parent or romantic partner.
And while some people experience only some of the symptoms, others can display many of them.
In this article, we’ve included the most common symptoms of narcissistic victim syndrome, and how they can manifest. If you’ve suffered abuse at the hands of a narcissist, you may already be familiar with some of the signs. Your experiences with them may also be different than those of others, as every person feels things in their own way.
So, here are 6 signs of narcissistic victim syndrome.
Those who have experienced (or still are experiencing) narcissistic abuse may feel a dark sense of hopelessness. They may think that cruelty and the limitations of life is all they get to look forward to during their time in this world.
They often feel like caged birds, living lives that they despise, but have no control over.
In truly bad cases, long-time victims of narcissistic abuse feel like there’s no escaping their agony, and may even attempt suicide.
Not only is this behavior destructive to the victim and devastating to their loved ones, but it can also make their lives even more difficult if they survive.
Many victims of narcissistic abuse find themselves constantly on the lookout for potential abuse. They might get jumpy each time they make a sudden noise on the off chance that the sound will cause their abuser to attack them.
They may flinch at loud voices because they’re used to being shouted at. They may have a hard time unwinding after a difficult day because they’re constantly waiting for the lurking abuse.
This makes life extremely difficult to go through. Also, this kind of never-ending anxiety can trigger physical problems such as constant headaches, irregular heartbeats and gastrointestinal problems such as heartburn, ulcers, and IBS.
When a person who should be your rock in life ends up causing you pain, betraying, and gaslighting you on a daily basis, they also make it extremely hard for you to trust others.
At the end of the day, if this person was able to trick you into thinking that they were wonderful, only to turn out to be a complete villain later, how likely is it that your trustworthiness for human beings will remain intact?
Once you’ve been manipulated by a narcissist, you might start seeing anyone else as a potential threat.
You might find it difficult to feel at ease almost anywhere. This can lead to anxiety and difficulty concentrating at work, as well as insomnia and hypervigilance at home.
4. Eating disorders
Many people who are victims of narcissistic abuse develop some kind of eating disorder. When feeling helpless, or unable to control their life, victims might turn to food for comfort.
Furthermore, someone who always feels on the edge due to fear of being abused might go without eating for long periods of time.
Also, many narcissists are extremely domineering and insulting about the appearance and behaviors of others. A plethora of unpleasant conditions may be triggered as a result.
In many narcissistic relationships, the couple has a dark codependency on one another. They enable each other’s behaviors because, on some level, their relationship “works” that way.
Someone who was raised by a narcissistic parent, for example, might feel secure in a relationship where they’re always being under their partner’s boot. They know it is unhealthy, but those behaviors are so familiar to them that they’re comfortable with them… in a bizarre way.
The victim knows how to survive the narcissist’s irregular behavior, and may actually feel they’ve made an achievement when and if they get the narcissist to be nice to them.
In turn, the narcissist has someone by their side who is willing to play along with their sick games without making actual attempts to break free from their grasp. What’s even worse is that their partner will keep trying to please them because they believe they sincerely love them.
6. Extreme self-doubt
Narcissists are expert gaslighters and their ability to manipulate can undermine other people’s self-esteem. The narcissist does this in order to gain control over their victim’s life while stomping out their self-esteem so they won’t leave them. As a consequence, you may start second-guessing anything you say or any decisions that you make.
You have come to believe that you cannot trust your own gut and the choices you make and that only the opinions of others matter when it comes to your own life. And that is soul-crushing, but you can regain the belief in yourself. It just takes some time.
If you feel that you experience most of these things, you need to seek help immediately.
Seeking help in order to heal from the abuse you experienced is nothing you should be ashamed of and doesn’t mean that you are not strong or brave enough.
Your life has been poisoned by this person and you have suffered enough. And now, you may need a helping hand to guide you out of the darkness and back into the light.
We hope this article was helpful to you. Let us know your thoughts on the topic by joining the conversation in the comments and please share if you’ve enjoyed the read.