PTSD from emotionally abusive relationship is a real thing.
PTSD can affect people long after the narcissist is out of their lives.
Many people fail to understand about PTSD is that it is not just something associated with soldiers who have been through a war.
It can also develop in people who have been in emotionally abusive relationships.
Living with a narcissistic person is like living in a war. You have to continually watch your every step so as not to make that partner “blow up.”
They literally are like minefields. One wrong step and…BOOM!
Living on edge can cause your psychological foundation to crack. And for many people who have left their narcissists, years after, they can still suffer from what the narc had done to them.
PTSD is a real experience that affects many people who have been hurt by their narcissistic partner.
In this article, I will explain what PTSD is, the symptoms of PTSD, and I will also offer some ways for you to heal from PTSD.
Note: I am not a psychologist but a survivor, and a FIGHTER, of narcissistic abuse. If you find any of these articles helpful and know someone who may need to hear this, feel free to share it with them.
Note: This article includes affiliate links!
What Is PTSD?
PTSD, as defined by WebMD, is:
Posttraumatic stress disorder(PTSD), once called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome is a severe condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horrors, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster.
What Causes PTSD?
There are several things that can cause PTSD in people who have been in relationships with narcissists. Narcissists are very good at psychological warfare.
And this is why living with a narc can be like living through a war. Narcissists have a strong desire to control and to DESTROY anything that they deem unimportant to them.
A narcissist destroys our psyche by:
- Gaslighting us
- Blame shifting
- Having their flying monkeys watch us (Gangstalking)
- Project their wrongs on us
- Physically assault us
A narcissists favorite pastime BLAME SHIFTING IS WHAT NARC’S DO BEST!
11 Symptoms Of PTSD From Emotional Abuse
Some of the symptoms of PTSD from emotionally abusive relationship are:
- Recurring nightmares/ emotional flashbacks
- Hypervigilant (Always looking for the worst things to happen)
- Panic Attacks
- Feelings Of Guilt and Shame
- Feelings Of Anxiety
- Suicidal Ideations
- Negative Self Talk That Leads To Self Hatred
- Becoming Emotionally Numb
Waking up having night terrors because of the violent, abusive relationship is common. This is why I associate living with narcissists as living through a warzone.
These night terrors that many survivors go through and the emotional flashbacks (things that trigger us and bring us back to those bad times) are common in many people who leave their narcissistic toxic partner.
Many partners who have developed ptsd from abusive marriage and even after divorce still have these toxic ruminating invasive thoughts.
Hypervigilant: PTSD From Emotionally Abusive Relationship
Being hypervigilant, looking for the worst in everyone you see and come across in life, is also one of the symptoms of PTSD from emotional abuse.
Seeing insults where there are none is common. Seeing attacks where there aren’t any attacks is because of all the abuse that a person has been through.
They have been so conditioned to see threats everywhere that it can be very difficult to reach these people.
And this is easily one of the saddest symptoms because narcissists conditioned so many people to think EVERYONE is against them.
Which is what they want.
And because they know how to smear campaign and play the victim, they come out looking like the good guy, while we are the bad guys.
It is not uncommon for someone to develop something called reactive aggression.
This comes in relation to the last symptom. Because so many of us become hypervigilant, we see threats EVERY WHERE, and this, in effect, pushes us to develop a panic attack.
Feelings Of Guilt And Shame: PTSD From Emotionally Abusive Relationship
The feelings of guilt and shame we feel for putting up with them for so long are undoubtedly one of the most tortuous forms of hurt we will feel.
The thoughts of relaying how many red flags we overlooked, how stupid we feel for trying to see the good in these monsters where there is no good, and the shame we feel for having ever loved them can make healing so difficult.
This shame and guilt leads to PTSD from emotionally abusive relationship and can linger for years and decades if not treated correctly.
Due to all the stress of developing PTSD in abusive relationship or developing PTSD after abusive relationship both culminate in many of us developing anxiety and sadly having to be placed on some form of drugs.
Depression: PTSD From Emotionally Abusive Relationship
Depression, one of the many mental illnesses that we can develop because of being with these toxic people, is not uncommon.
And sadly, so many of us get stuck with this disease and only know how to handle it and cope in life because of taking pills.
For some, they use alcohol to manage throughout the day or drugs.
For others, they need to make them feel some pleasure, so sex with as many people becomes the norm.
And then, for others, when life is just too unbearable because the constant attacks from our memories are just too much, and people usually end up committing…
The one symptom that makes me pause every time I hear it or read it and leaves me feeling so sad and so angry, where I want to get revenge for the person who does it, is the act of committing suicide because of the nasty deranged, twisted malevolent evil garbage creatures called a narcissist.
My heart goes out to people who take their lives because the thoughts of what the narcissist put them through were just too much to bear.
It is because of this very symptom that overcoming PTSD from abusive relationship is a must.
A person can take their lives, and the narcissist will STILL tease, taunt, and spit on that person’s grave.
THIS IS NEVER THE ANSWER.
Insomnia: PTSD From Emotionally Abusive Relationship
Nightmares that keep you up at night. This is not too dissimilar to the first symptom.
Negative Self Talk That Leads To Self Hatred
Waking up and the first thing on your mind is how much of yourself you hate. Narcissists know how to condition and convince people to hate themselves.
Becoming Emotionally Numb: PTSD From Emotionally Abusive Relationship
Having been criticized and devalued for so long and then having everyone turn against us because of the smear campaign can leave so many people numb to life.
They give up and just think, “what is the point?”
It also is not uncommon for many people to develop many other phobias because of being with their ex-narc, an example being agoraphobia.
For some people they are scared to leave their homes, or even their bed.
Read more about Children and Narcissistic parents in this article: SIGNS OF DYSFUNCTIONAL PARENTS: THEY AFFECT THEIR KIDS.
Overcoming PTSD From Abusive Relationship
Healing, I know, can seem like it is not attainable, is possible.
Overcoming PTSD From Abusive Relationship is not going to be easy, but it sure as heck is worth it.
PTSD from emotionally abusive relationship doesn’t have to be a lifelong experience that consumes so much of your time.
As mentioned, I am not a therapist, but a survivor and fighter.
And therapy is easily one of the best ways that I learned how to heal. By talking and letting that pain OUT, instead of keeping it in, you will be able to unravel all the hurt and pain that you keep buried within.
Keeping that pain in, is like holding a ticking time bomb on you, never knowing when it will explode and destroy you.
If you have left your narcissist and still suffer from memories because of them, I highly recommend that you seek a therapist, as well as seeking a life coach.
Let the narcissist completely go by moving on with your life.
Feel free to visit my other blog post, “How To Let Go and Move On,” I outline ten ways that you can start to heal and move forward with your life.
Stay strong. Be happy. And always become better.
PTSD After Abusive Relationship: There Is No Shame In Therapy
Narcissistic people can do a wonder on someone’s mind and psychology.
In fact, I wrote an article called “10+ Mental Illnesses Caused By Staying With A Narcissists“.
The narcissists and their legion of fools can slowly drive you insane. And sometimes the best help you can ever receive is from a stranger.
When everyone around you is trying to convince you that YOU are the bad person, sometimes an objective view of you from someone you don’t know maybe what saves you from drowning in the sea of insanity the narc and their legion of fools try and drown you in.
Therapy can help heal in ways that reading blogs, listening to videos, and talking with other WARRIORS (we are not survivors, we are warriors) can ever do.
Join my Facebook Fan Page “No Shame In Therapy” to get a 20% discount on your first-month session, as well as articles and updates on the benefits of therapy.
Narcs have a legion of fools behind them to hurt you, I think it would be a good thing to build your own army of warriors and allies to help stand by your side.