Abuse comes in many forms: emotional, mental, physical, sexual or even financial. Verbal abuse or manipulation often goes unidentified, because it disguises itself in different layers in a relationship between the abuser and the victim. The most commonly occurring cases of abuse are enlisted in romantic relationships, where one person dominates the actions, thinking and feelings of the other by different degrees of manipulation.
Over and above classic abuse, a new kind of psychological condition has come to light over the last few years, called the narcissistic abuse syndrome. This happens in a situation where there is one narcissistic person in the couple, and the other suffers abuse at the expense of his narcissism. The abuser uses his narcissistic traits to make the other person a puppet of their own will and inflicts all kinds of the aforementioned abuses on them. This is becoming a widespread problem in the recent times due to the normalization of abuse, and because it is happening so frequently around the world.
This syndrome has not been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) yet and does not yet qualify as a diagnosed syndrome, but it still shows substantial patterns and symptoms to affirm its existence.
The narcissistic abuse syndrome is characterised by several symptoms that may be confused with sociopathic or general abuse. It must be remembered that sociopaths and narcissists are not in the same psychological spectrum. Sociopaths are mostly always narcissists, but not the other way around.
Some signs of this syndrome are:
- Negative thoughts about self, including no confidence and declining will to be happy.
- Irritability and being easily startled or upset.
- Nightmares, horrid flashbacks, memories and constant fear of them repeating.
- Difficulty in sleeping and concentrating on work.
- Detachment and isolation from people, almost willingly.
- Actively avoiding people, places or events that may induce or bring back old trauma and abuse memories.
- Irregular eating habits, sometimes anorexia due to narcissist induced body images.
- All basic symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and clinical depression.
RELIEF AND TREATMENT
It is understandably difficult for an abuse victim to escape the effects of narcissistic abuse syndrome. Once you identify yourself or someone else to be a victim of this complication, it is advised to get immediate help from professionals. Perhaps the trickiest aspect of mostly all abuse related problems is the diagnosis, as it is a littledifficult to tell abuse apart from daily banter. Sometimes the happiest couples have a routine of emotional abuse: it is impossible to detect from a distance. Once abuse is detected, medical experts in this field may be able to offer you appropriate counselling that will help you escape the syndrome and the relationship.