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Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome, also known as Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, NAS or NVS, occurs in victims subjected to narcissistic abuse, either intensively and/or over a long period of time.
Narcissistic abuse itself takes many forms (see Types for further explanation):
- Coercive control
- Intellectual / Mental / Spiritual
- Isolation from friends, family and other support groups
- Legal & Process (and obstruction thereof)
- Intruding / spying / stalking
- Lying, twisting, gaslighting
Low to High-Functioning Narcissists
Whilst a low-functioning narcopath might be so stupid as to perpetrate types of abuse that are obviously out of order and easy to detect (especially physical, verbal and sexual), mid- and high-functioning narcopaths take great care not to allow their victims to notice or understand that their abuse is just that – abusive. Incredible though it may seem, whilst many victims will have twigged that there is “something” off in their relationships, most don’t regard it as abusive per se – not until some considerable time after the demise of the relationship. I include in this a number of top flight psychologists who have gone decades with a narc before realizing them for who they are – narcs can really be that convincing, that insidious, that subtle. And it is only at the discard phase, when it is “gloves off” and the mask truly slips, that the victims sees the extent of the narc’s cruelty as the Mission to Destroy kicks in. The toxic monster who is Mr Hyde emerges from behind the fake, but thoroughly convincing charade that is Dr Jekyll.
Symptoms of NAS / NVS
Sufferers of NAS experience or feel:
- A loss of self-esteem;
- A drop in sense of purpose and worth;
- A feeling that they are having a mid-life crisis – and even going insane;
- Anxiety, insomnia, hypervigilance;
- Mistrust in close friends and family;
- Abandonment by their close support group;
- Mistrust in their own judgment and ability to make decisions.
- Powerless to standup to the narc, or to hold them to account for maltreatment
- A powerful urge to idealise and protect their narcopath;
- A need to make excuses for the narc’s misdemeanors, and to apportion blame elsewhere;
- Hopelessness – that neither they nor anyone will really understand their predicament;
- Helplessness – that neither they nor others are able to rescue them from their predicament;
- Utter bewilderment and confusion;
- Overwhelmed by their predicament – with no clear way out. In need of a superhero or magic that can somehow mysterious whisk them out of their predicament, allowing them to turn a page;
- Numb, and unable to sense a number of feelings as they once did;
- A near complete loss of self-identity.
Healing from Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome
Whilst in many instances victims are able to maintain some sense of normal and functioning exterior, internally they are empty, becoming a hollow husk of the person they once were.
It is possible to heal from NAS through therapy – but please choose a specialist who understands NPD extremely well.
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