Anxiety Disorders Could Be Caused By Being Exposed To Narcissistic Abuse
People who believe in the good nature of others are highly sensitive or emotionally intelligent. Therefore they are the most common targets for narcissistic abuse.
Residing where any kind of emotional or mental abuse takes place is going to affect your health. In addition, your self-confidence and self-esteem will suffer greatly.
When you are constantly told that you are the problem and that your rational and completely normal ways of responding to their abuse are contributing to the issue, what else could possibly be expected to happen? Your mind goes into overdrive and, as a result, your distinction between the rational and the irrational becomes blurred. The body reacts in several different ways, all displayed through types of anxiety disorders.
Just being in the presence of people who possess some narcissistic character traits is unhealthy, let alone starting or staying in a relationship with them.
But for some people, the abuse comes from a family member or parent. In this case, the escape is only possible if you can afford to move out. Those individuals might have developed a mental disorder as teenagers, and it may still be hampering their adult relationships today.
The most common types of anxiety disorders that may be intensified by narcissistic abuse
The Mayo Clinic has compiled a list of several types of anxiety disorders, and describes the most common conditions as follows:
Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
Anxiety disorder due to a medical condition includes symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are directly caused by a physical health problem.
Generalized anxiety disorder includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues.
The worry is out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and affects how you feel physically. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.
Panic disorder involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a rapid, fluttering or pounding heart (heart palpitations). These panic attacks may lead to worrying about them happening again or avoiding situations in which they’ve occurred.
Selective mutism is a consistent failure of children to speak in certain situations, such as school, even when they can speak in other situations, such as at home with close family members. This can interfere with school, work and social functioning.
Separation anxiety disorder is a childhood disorder characterized by anxiety that’s excessive for the child’s developmental level and related to separation from parents or others who have parental roles.
Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) involves high levels of anxiety, fear and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness and concern about being judged or viewed negatively by others.
Specific phobias are characterized by major anxiety when you’re exposed to a specific object or situation and a desire to avoid it. Phobias provoke panic attacks in some people.
Substance-induced anxiety disorder is characterized by symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are a direct result of abusing drugs, taking medications, being exposed to a toxic substance or withdrawal from drugs.
Other specified anxiety disorders and unspecified anxiety disorders are terms for anxiety or phobias that don’t meet the exact criteria for any other anxiety disorders but are significant enough to be distressing and disruptive.
Why do narcissists abuse those around them?
Those toxic people who willfully abuse others get a kick out of telling their victims that they are somehow socially, emotionally, and intellectually substandard. You’ll notice that whenever these people are caught or confronted about their behavior, they will always resort to playing the victim. In extreme cases, they even try to make it seem as though you are the abuser.
People who feel like they have become trapped in the poisonous whirlwind of narcissistic abuse should do everything possible to break away from their abuser.
The irrational and maddening claims the narcissist makes never fully sit well with them. However, unless they are educated about these toxic personalities and abusers, they will continue to go round in this vicious circle.
Why is that?
Because narcissists target those who are compassionate, empathic and believe in the good nature of humankind. And because these people are the ones who are more likely to be the victim of narcissistic abuse, they are also the ones who are prone to suffer from mental and physical health issues.
Words that can really hurt
According to a study by Muhammad Gadit from Memorial University of Newfoundland, “Verbal abuse can cause significant psychological problems in later years and brain damage, including anxiety, depression, anger-hostility, and dissociation.”
Doctor Douglas Fields reports on PsychologyToday, “When [an] environment is hostile or socially unhealthy, development of the brain is affected, and often it is impaired. Early childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, or even witnessing domestic violence, have been shown to cause abnormal physical changes in the brain of children, with lasting effects that predispose the child to develop psychological disorders.”
Anxiety disorders are quite difficult to cope with. They can take over your life at a moment’s notice. Worst of all, they don’t make sense to those who don’t have them. To be honest, they don’t make much sense to those who have them either. That’s why this information is important.
Reclaiming your life
>It’s important to know that if you suffer from any of the above-mentioned anxiety disorders, and have been a victim of narcissistic abuse, you can take your life back. As a first step, you should create your support network – a close circle of relatives or friends to help you get through this difficult period of your life.
The next step is to rebuild your identity. Go back to what you used to like or dislike prior to your exposure to that narcissist’s manipulations. Ask yourself what you really want to achieve in your life and go for it.
Step three involves boosting your inner confidence and self-esteem. For a start, you can make a list of your greatest life achievements so far. Then, try to remember all occasions when you help other people or contributed to a worthy cause.
Finally, you can take up yoga classes, aerobics or jogging so as to cleanse your mind and body from that person’s toxic influence. As the ancient saying goes “Mens sana in corpore sano”, which roughly translates from Latin as “A healthy mind in a healthy body”.