What Does Narcissistic Abuse Look Like?

3 Signs You May Be in a Narcissistic Abusive Relationship

  1. Despite having a partner, you feel alone and abandoned. You feel more like a burden than a comfort, and conversations with your partner result in you feeling worthless and irrelevant.
  2. Your relationship is your entire life. Narcissists suffocate and manipulate their partners so that they slowly pull away from their family and friends. Actions are driven by fear that they may or may not please the narcissist.
  3. You have entered a cycle of “Hurt and Rescue.” Narcissists often employ the silent treatment as a means of enforcing fear of abandonment. When your partner begins speaking to you again, you are elated and can finally relax.. until the cycle restarts.

Like any abusive relationship, a victim of narcissistic abuse rarely feels like a victim. In fact, they typically blame themselves and consider their NPD or ADP partner the victim. There is significantly less information and research regarding Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (NVD) than Narcissistic Personality Disorder itself. Mental Health Services tend to focus more on the patient with NPD than the victim with NVD. This is likely due to a combination of psychiatrists knowing more about the mentality behind NPD than NVD and lacking training regarding NVD as the syndrome is relatively novel. In order to help NVD patients, therapists who do practice treatment for NVD first and foremost educate the victim about what NPD is, and how their relationship paralleled the behavior. Counseling similar to that given to victims of other subtypes of emotional abuse then follows.

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