When You Can’t Stop Obsessing Over the Narcissistic Abuse You Endured

When You Can’t Stop Obsessing Over the Narcissistic Abuse You Endured

“Why do you still think about the abuser after you have been removed/no contact with the abuser for months? Not longing to be with them, but thinking about the abuse and what happened,” a YouTube follower asked me. Here’s what I told her. 

Going through a relationship with a narcissist is absolutely soul-crushing. It sounds like you’re dealing with rumination and most likely trauma bonding. Depending on how long you spent with them, and depending on how you were raised (and by whom), you might struggle with rumination for a long time. But there are things you can do to overcome it, and there are ways you can move forward. Let’s talk about it.

What is Rumination?

Rumination is what we call it when, during narcissistic abuse recovery, when you can’t stop the repeating thoughts in your head. These thoughts tend to be sad or dark, or replaying your abuse over and over in your head. This habit can be dangerous to your mental, physical and spiritual health because it prolongs and can intensify the struggles most of us have during recovery. You might find yourself feeling increasingly depressed and you might be having a difficult time thinking straight. This will make processing your emotions feel next to impossible.

Why Do Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Struggle with Rumination? 

Rumination keeps you feeling stuck, and it is sadly common for survivors of narcissistic abuse, especially after the relationship ends – but even when they’re still in it. In my opinion, there are a number of reasons for this.

After a relationship with a narcissist, a lot of us have become “overthinkers,” even if we weren’t before. See, the narcissist’s selfish, manipulative behavior has led us to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to “fix” our broken relationships (and often, ourselves) while we were still in these relationships. And even if we recognized that something was just kind of “off” about it, or that we were dealing with a toxic relationship during the relationship, we might have either second-guessed ourselves, doubted ourselves, or blamed ourselves – or some combination of all three, thanks to the ongoing invalidation and manipulation we suffered at the hands of the narcissist.

We find ourselves trying to figure out exactly what went wrong, and we try to understand why. We want to know how much of it really was our fault, and we try to wrap our heads around what we’ve gone through. We wonder if the narcissist ever loved us, and we wonder what the heck is so wrong with us that we would put so much of ourselves into this toxic, abusive person. We doubt that we can move forward alone (sometimes as a result of being told that we’ll never be loved again, or that we aren’t capable of doing so). We think we are worthless and we doubt we deserve to be happy, anyway.

All of this leads us to struggle with cognitive dissonance, which is a form of psychological stress or discomfort that happens when you simultaneously hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. In other words, because we see one thing and are told (or shown) it’s something else by the narcissist during the relationship, and because we try to (or actually) start to believe it, it messes with our heads in some big ways.

Closure is Essential to Your Healing After Narcissistic Abuse

So, how do you begin to overcome overthinking and ruminating about the narcissist and what they did to you? Let’s start here: you need closure. And as it turns out, that isn’t something most of us get from narcissists.

The Narcissist Didn’t Give You Closure

Most narcissists do not offer their victims any sense of closure. Either they leave without a word or they aggressively discard you and refuse to acknowledge any fault at all – or, in some cases, their victims find the strength to leave them and they play the victim. In nearly all cases where a narcissist is involved in a relationship that ends, they leave you with no closure, feeling confused and spinning. They either do this intentionally or instinctually, depending on their intelligence, their “level” of narcissism, or their place on the Cluster B spectrum. The higher their intelligence and level of narcissism, the more likely they do this intentionally.

A Powerful Way to Create Your Own Closure

One powerful way you can get closure is to write the narcissist a special kind of letter. This exercise actually came to me personally in a very strange way. At the age of 20, I found myself ruminating about a painful experience I’d had with a person I’d been involved with. While I was, in so many ways, finding peace and happiness after ending that relationship, I could NOT stop thinking about this person and feeling angry about what he had done to me.

One morning, while I was having my coffee and again feeling all this anger, I threw my hands up and screamed at the ceiling, “What do I need to do to get this person out of my head?”

I realized in that moment that I had continued to allow him to control me, even though I was no longer in contact with him. And it was right about then that I thought I was going crazy – because, though I was alone in my apartment, I literally heard someone whisper in my ear. I was FURIOUS at this mysterious voice and knew for sure it didn’t come out of my own head, because it said something absolutely ridiculous – it said, “you have to forgive him!”

Well, after calming myself down and getting my head together, I sat down with a pen and a notebook, and I started writing a letter that would not only help me to create my own closure, but one that would change my life forever in some surprising ways – and I inadvertently created an exercise I have used with my clients over the years.

How to Do the Letter Exercise

Create Your Own Closure After Narcissistic Abuse

Here’s how you can do the same thing.

  • Get yourself a pen and a notebook. If you struggle with writing by hand due to some physical issue, then you can type it out on your computer or phone – but if at all possible, I suggest you write with a pen or pencil as it seems to have some additional therapeutic value here.
  • You’re going to write a letter to the narcissist. In the letter, say ALL the things you wish you had said to them but never did, or the things you needed the narcissist to hear and they refused.
  • Be sure to take your time, and if you need to, write a little bit at a time, put it up, and then come back to it when you’re ready or when you have time.
  • Put all of your anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, and any other feelings you have about the narcissist and the way they treated you in the relationship in the letter.
  • You can say all the curse words you want or need to say, and you can scribble all over the paper if you want to – just put all of your feelings into the letter. No thought or feeling is too small to include – think “brain dump” or “soul-cleansing” – so make sure you include any and everything that comes to mind, no matter how petty or unimportant it seems in the moment.
  • When you’re finished writing, let it sit overnight or for a couple of days. Then, pick up the letter again, and read through it.
  • Add anything you’d like to add, and if you want to, you can rewrite and edit the letter.

This is when you’ll add the final paragraph in the letter, and you’ll want to make it something like this:

And now, though you do not deserve it, I am forgiving you (or releasing you, if forgiveness feels too painful right now), not because you deserve it, but because I no longer want your toxic, negative energy in my space. I trust that you’ll get exactly what you deserve from here on out and I release the need to know what happens for you next. Goodbye, forever. 

At this point, you have two choices. You can mail the letter, or not. Personally, I did not need to mail the letter and would not necessarily recommend that you do – because, in reality, the letter is for you, not the narcissist. It’s all about getting the negativity out of your head and out of your life, and it’s an ideal way to start to create your own closure. I suggest you burn or shred the letter and get it out of your life – and as you do, you imagine the negative energy and anger and all of the other emotions burning away – or being shredded up. Some people like to float their letter down the river or to clip it to a balloon and let it fly away. Do whatever feels best to you. Heck, you could even just throw it in the trash. But whatever you do, once the letter is written, get it out of your life.

This simple exercise provided me with SO much relief, and many of my clients report the same thing. Have you tried this? Will you give it a shot now? Let me know in the comments section, below.

There is additional information on why you feel stuck and how to overcome it in this video.

Question of the day: The question of the day is: have you struggled to stop overthinking what happened to you in your toxic relationship? If so, were you able to get past it, or are you still struggling with it now? Have you tried the letter exercise, and did it work for you? If not, what did work? Share your thoughts, share your ideas, share your experience in the comments section below this video, and let’s talk about it. 

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Resources

Helpful Videos for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

Social Anxiety Disorder and Toxic Relationships: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Social Anxiety Disorder and Toxic Relationships: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

If you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, you might have found yourself avoiding social situations and feeling a lot of anxiety when you’re forced to go out into the world. And if you consider yourself an empath, this could be magnified by your ability to sort of “feel” everyone around you. I know that’s been the case for me in the past. Whether you could be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (SAD) or you just struggle with social situations, it could be a result of your toxic relationship.

This can be an ongoing issue for many people, even after narcissistic abuse recovery. For example, while I have recovered from my own narcissistic abuse, I sometimes still struggle with a little social anxiety. But there are things you can do to deal with it, and I’ll be covering some of those here at QueenBeeing over the next few weeks.

What is social anxiety disorder (SAD)?

Also called “social phobia,” social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that causes you to have an extreme, unrelenting fear of being watched and especially judged by people, including not only strangers but also people you know. This crippling fear can affect your ability to function in the world – whether at work, school, or any of your other daily activities. Many sufferers of SAD report that it is difficult for them to make and keep friends.

What does SAD have to do with narcissistic abuse recovery?

Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships can cause you to feel overwhelmed and isolated on their own, but they also cause what psychologists call a “toxic internal environment” that can lead to stress, depression, anxiety, and a wide variety of other physical health problems. Social anxiety can be a side-effect of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) as well – and many survivors of narcissistic abuse suffer from C-PTSD.

Don’t underestimate the effect of a toxic relationship on your health.

Consider this: a 12.2-year study that launched in 1985 and followed more than 10,000 people found that people who reported being in unhealthy or negative relationships were far more likely to develop heart problems, including a fatal heart attack or cardiac event, than study participants who had healthier, less negative relationships.

And on a more practical level, since narcissists are so likely to isolate and control us in these relationships, we become hypervigilant of their moods and behaviors and this can leave us not only exhausted emotionally but also unwilling or unable to deal with other people during the relationship. This could be because we are too overwhelmed by the narcissist’s need for attention and supply or because we grow tired of trying to behave “correctly” in public (so that the narcissist doesn’t further abuse us when we get home). It could also be for a number of other reasons (or a combination of reasons).

What are the symptoms of social anxiety disorder (SAD)?

According to NIMH, the symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:

  • Blush, sweat, tremble, feel a rapid heart rate, or feel their “mind going blank”
  • Feel nauseous or sick to their stomach
  • Show a rigid body posture, make little eye contact, or speak with an overly soft voice
  • Find it scary and difficult to be with other people, especially those they don’t already know, and have a hard time talking to them even though they wish they could
  • Be very self-conscious in front of other people and feel embarrassed and awkward
  • Be very afraid that other people will judge them
  • Stay away from places where there are other people

What does social anxiety disorder (SAD) feel like?

One of the worst aspects of suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder is the feeling that you are entirely isolated and alone in the world – even (and sometimes especially) if you’re in a room full of people. It can feel as if you are cut off from the world and your inner self. Worse, it feels like you have no control over the bad feelings and that you’re trapped forever in feeling anxious and alone.

It may be helpful to hear that even if you’re feeling alone, there are some symptoms that therapists have noted are the hallmarks of SAD and just about everyone suffers from them.

  1. The feeling that no one understands you.

When you’re in the grip of social anxiety, it feels like you are cut off from everyone and that no one can understand what it feels like inside your head, not even your therapist or your best friend.

  1. You’re trapped forever in anxiety

SAD transcends time and space. It feels as though you’re stuck in a cycle of perpetual anxiety, even though part of you knows that SAD doesn’t define you and that no matter how severe your current flare-up is, it will pass. Anxiety tells you that you are stuck and can’t move out of the trap you’re in, even if your rational mind understands it’s not like that.

  1. You feel like a fish out of water.

Chronic anxiety feeds on negative messages that tell you over and over that you don’t belong, you don’t fit in, that there’s something wrong with you. The deeper you get into this negative mindset, the more isolated and alienated you feel, and you withdraw from friends and family. A vicious cycle sets in to keep you apart and deepen the feeling of alienation.

  1. A negative mindset takes over

When you’re suffering from anxiety, you tend to look at the world through very gray-colored glasses. Your brain’s default setting becomes irrational and negative. You can misinterpret things people say or do, even kindly-meant advice from your therapist or counselor.

That can spill over into feeling like a failure.  You can fall into a spiral of self-criticism and self-loathing, raking over perceived mistakes and failures from the past.

  1. Overwhelming self-consciousness

Social anxiety can make you feel as though you have a layer of psychological skin missing. You feel self-conscious like everyone is looking at you and judging you. You worry over every little detail of your behavior, your clothes, what you say and what you do.

The self-loathing and stress that comes with chronic social anxiety can make it virtually impossible to live in the moment and get on with enjoying life.

Note: Because this issue is so prevalent for narcissistic abuse survivors, I’m working on a new course on the subject over at Life Makeover Academy. I’m currently searching for people to beta-test the course. While it’s normally a $99 course, I’m offering it to people who are willing to beta-test it for half-price. If you are interested in testing the course and sharing your thoughts with me, you can click here to get lifetime access to the course (and all future updates/additional material) for just $49. Please note: the beta testing period will close at the end of July, when the course will be ready to roll out at full price, so get in there now if you are interested. 

You might also enjoy this video I made on the topic.

Dealing with Fibromyalgia Pain?

Dealing with Fibromyalgia Pain?

On a scale of one to ten, fibromyalgia pain can swing from the low end to the high end of the chart. The pain is always changing in duration and strength. It can be light in the morning and excruciating by evening.

You might have pain free days and the turn around and have several days of pain in a row. People who have this condition have something that’s been labeled as ‘trigger points.’

These points are places on the body that cause pain when touched. In gathering information about this condition, those in the medical field discovered that most patients complained of pain in common areas: in the neck (both front and back), in the fold of the elbow, just below the knee, in the lower back and just above the top of the thigh. These common trigger points are instrumental in getting a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

There are some things that can make fibromyalgia pain increase in intensity and those things are insomnia or not getting enough sleep, mood changes, illness, stress and a lack of exercise to name a few.

Maintaining a time every day to unwind and sleep when your body needs it is essential to keeping the often overwhelming fatigue on the low end of the pain chart. When you get more fatigued than usual with fibromyalgia, it can make the pain get worse.

This fatigue is not an ordinary feeling of tiredness you get from overexertion but rather a deep state of not being able to rest the body. Eventually, this fatigue can greatly affect your health if it’s not managed.

The treatment for your condition should treat you as a whole and not just focus on the times when your condition is worse. You will not find a cure for your condition in any treatment option known but you can effectively manage the pain so that you can continue to lead your life with modifications.

Medication can help to take the edge of the pain when it reaches the point it become unbearable and getting massages from those trained in understanding conditions like arthritis can give you some relief from the joint and muscle pain.

Accept that you have a condition that will at times limit your ability to handle things.
On the days when the fibromyalgia pain is worse, don’t be ashamed to ask for someone to help you do the tasks around the house that you would ordinarily do.

Save the things that don’t tax your strength for the days when the flare-ups are at their worst. You won’t be able to predict the days when your symptoms will deplete your energy but you can plan ahead so that the impact of those days aren’t as hard to deal with.

Narcissistic Abuse, C-PTSD and Fibromyalgia: The Connection

Narcissistic Abuse, C-PTSD and Fibromyalgia: The Connection

In 2017, I noticed a kind of odd trend among my readers, viewers, and clients: many of them reported having chronic pain and often, fibromyalgia. In fact, as far as I could tell, it looked like the percentage of people in the narcissistic abuse recovery community who reported having been diagnosed with these issues was much higher than in the general population. Instantly, I thought, “There must be a connection!”

After spending a week or two pondering the possible connection between fibromyalgia and being abused by a narcissist, I gave in to my curiosity and got busy researching.  Here are some of the things I learned in my research.

Is there a connection between narcissistic abuse, C-PTSD, and fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia Symptoms Sound Familiar to Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

If you’ve experienced narcissistic abuse, you might be able to relate to this list of symptoms. They include things like deep tissue pain, fatigue, depression, mood swings, and insomnia. This is because, according to WomensHealth.gov, “Lower levels of certain brain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin or norepinephrine, may cause you to be more sensitive to pain and have a more severe reaction to pain. Imaging studies of the brain show that people with fibromyalgia feel pain when people without fibromyalgia do not. Some medicines prescribed to treat fibromyalgia try to bring the levels of those neurotransmitters back into balance. ” REFERENCE

What the Medical Community Says About the Connection Between Narcissistic Abuse C-PTSD and Fibromyalgia

Yes, It’s a Real Diagnosis, But …

The official word in the medical community, from what I can tell, is that the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown and that it exists among people whose brains “process pain differently.”
The diagnosis has sometimes been considered controversial, with some people saying it’s “not real” or “an imagined condition,” but even traditional medicine now acknowledges the condition as a “real” diagnosis. Even so, there’s no official test for fibromyalgia, so diagnosis is based on a cluster of symptoms rather than a “positive result,” which may account for some of the doubters.

Some Doctors Ignore or MIsdiagnose Your Symptoms

But for anyone who has ever experienced the pain and isolation that fibromyalgia involves, there’s no doubt: it’s very real – and it makes your life hard. Even worse is that some doctors may ignore your symptoms and blame them on your imagination, leaving you to deal with your pain unassisted.

So, is fibromyalgia associated with narcissistic abuse?

Update 2021: Yes, it turns out that it is. In fact, the NHS website now lists being in abusive relationships as a possible cause of fibromyalgia, along with a list of other possible “triggers,” including an injury, a viral infection, giving birth, surgery, breaking up with a partner or divorce, and death of a loved one.

“Fibromyalgia is often triggered by a stressful event, including physical stress or emotional (psychological) stress,” the report adds. “But in some cases, fibromyalgia does not develop after any obvious trigger.”

WebMD also acknowledges that “significant psychological stress” is one way that the symptoms can be triggered.

I share my thoughts and some additional research in this video.

Are You Mistaking Fibromyalgia Symptoms for ‘Getting Older’ or Stress?

Fibromyalgia symptoms will often show up as common aches or pains, so you might miss them, not realizing how significant they really are. That and a couple of other issues can lead to your family doctor overlooking the warnng signs or misiagnosing you.

For example, if you have muscle pain, you might brush it off and not even go to the doctor. And even if you do, it might be inadvertently misdiagnosed as a sprain or another type of muscle injury, if that’s the only symptom you share in your doctor visit.

Or if you’re feeling tired all the time, you might not tell your doctor, because you’ll search Google or call your mom who will both tell you to get more sleep, eat better, drink more water, stop eating so damn much junk food – and maybe even get more exercise. And all of those would be valid and useful bits of advice, in my experience.

But when you’ve got fibromyalgia, you’re not just tired.  You’re dealing with fatigue – the kind that leaves you feeling exhausted all the time. And no matter how much and how long you sleep, you never feel refreshed. When your muscles are stiff, you laugh it off and say it’s hell getting older.

People joke that you’re too young to be this senile, or that you’re too brunette to be this blonde. I mean, you’d never mention your flightiness to your doctor, right? But what you might not know is that the moments when you can’t focus and you can’t concentrate – along with those blonde moments, senior moments and brain farts – could be symptoms of fibromyalgia.

So, yeah, our lack of focus and sense of concentration and the fact that you can’t remember things as easily might be connected to getting older, or to being stressed out. But it’s also something you might want to mention to your doctor, just to be safe.

And either way, knowing what you’re dealing with is usually the first step to solving ANY problem, and this one’s no different.

Tell your doctor about any unexpected or unexplained pain in your body, or if you’re feeling dizzy at random times. And don’t write off those moments where your leg falls asleep as nothing. Tell your doctor if you’re regularly losing sensation in any part of your body, the feeling of “pins and needles.”

One more really important thing to remember: fibromyalgia symptoms can range from mild to severe and can change depending on the time of day, so don’t ignore those intermittent symptoms – you know, the ones that only happen “sometimes.”

This condition doesn’t just go away, and getting help from your doctor can significantly impact your health and your quality of life. So, if you believe your symptoms are consistent with fibromyalgia, or even that you have several of these symptoms but not others, make an appointment with your doctor and get yourself checked out. Bring a list of your symptoms with you so you don’t forget (and yes, include those blonde/senior moments and brain farts!).

Signs You Might Have Fibromyalgia

The pain is real but it isn’t constant.

People who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia say that sometimes it hurts most in the evening. And, you might have some totally pain-free days followed by a week of excruciating misery.

Just being touched in the wrong way can hurt you.

Fibromyalgia causes little “trigger points” or little “spots” on your body that seem to cause an inordinate amount of pain when anyone – or anything – touches them. Common trigger points include in your neck, that little spot in the fold of your elbow, or the one just below your knee, You might also have these little “spots” in your lower back, and just above the top of your thigh. (Note – this is another one of those things you need to mention to your doctor).

You can’t party like a rock star.

Even if you were once an all-night party kind of person, those days might be over. When you have fibromyalgia, not getting enough sleep and overeating, among other not-so-healthy habits, can exacerbate your symptoms, causing you even more pain. Fast food, sugar, and preservatives will also become a thing of the past if they haven’t already.

You’re sick, tired, and you can’t get anything done.

Since stress and illness can intensify your symptoms, which can lead to other physical effects, mental stress, forgetfulness, increased pain, and a number of other life-altering symptoms, And even if you WANT to get stuff done, something keeps stopping you and you can’t seem to be productive to save your life. And, stress and a lack of exercise might make your symptoms worse. Can you see how this could snowball?

What You Should Know If You Are Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 

A fibromyalgia diagnosis might feel scary, but it isn’t a death sentence. First, take a deep breath and know that you are not alone. There are others who successfully deal with this condition and there are many support groups available both online and off that can help you learn about your condition. If you’ve been diagnosed, start learning everything you can to proactively empower yourself.

There’s no cure yet, but there’s a lot you can do to manage your symptoms. 

While there’s no cure for fibromyalgia, there so many different options for treating and managing your symptoms.  Once you’ve been diagnosed, you can start with your doctor’s advice for your situation. If your doctor approves, you can look into some of the alternative and self-help options out there. You should build your own little support team, depending on the treatments and therapies you choose. Depending on your symptoms, your care team may include a variety of members, including doctors and medical specialists, chiropractors, therapists, coaches and counselors, and a number of holistic and alternative healers. A dietician or nutritionist can help you learn what you need to add (or subtract) from your diet to reduce your symptoms, and you might even find that physical therapy can help reduce pain.

You might have to educate the people around you about fibromyalgia.

You may need to educate your family and friends on the limits your fibromyalgia places on you. Since you might need to make lifestyle changes to keep your health on track, anyone you spend time with is going to be affected by it. For example, you might have to rest more frequently, do less around the house or even find a less physically demanding job.

You might have to give up stuff you really like literally forever. 

In other words, you can’t only address symptoms when they’re happening. Survivors who have fibromyalgia have told me that they are the most successful at lessening the symptoms of fibromyalgia when they shift their whole lives toward healing. That means that even when you’re not having symptoms, you have to take extra care and precautions just as you would during active flareups. That means that a change in your lifestyle, even if it feels uncomfortable at first, will pay off in the long run by allowing you to have fewer flare-ups (and therefore a higher quality of life) as a result of your efforts.

Everyone is forced to accept your limits (including you).

You don’t need to make excuses to anyone, but you (and they) are going to have to accept that you have fibromyalgia. And you’ll need to accept that this means you will have certain limits, and no amount of being angry at yourself is going to change that. If anything, being angry at yourself could make it wors So do yourself a favor and , not only because of the negative energy it draws into your life, bu also because of the physical effect it can have on you (not to mention the fact that it will intensify your fibromyalgia symptoms – and there goes the snowball again).

You need a little help or at least a little patience.

You might need to ask for help sometimes, and that’s okay, even if normally, the thought would never occur to you. But when you have fibromyalgia and you’re having one of those days where your pain is taking over, you might need to ask someone for help getting things done. And give yourself permission to put off certain chores and responsibilities if they can wait a day or two. It’s really important that you try to be compassionate to yourself and realistic about the limitations that fibromyalgia cause for you. To balance things out, maybe you can save the things that don’t tax your strength for the days when the flare-ups are at their worst. Obviously, you won’t be able to predict when your symptoms will rear their ugly head, but planning ahead and knowing what you’ll do when flare-ups happen can make life a lot easier for you.

Your life will never be the same, but it can still be good.

Fibromyalgia might force you to change your lifestyle, but with treatment combined with self-help and self-care, you can still enjoy your life. You’ll definitely want to involve your doctor in your care plan and get medical clearance for any kind of treatment you decide to try, even if it’s an alternative one. You need to be sure it’s safe.

Plus, your doctor may be able to prescribe something to take the edge off your pain. You might find that it’s even more effective if you combine it with massage therapy or a visit to your chiropractor. Other helpful things survivors say can help include mindfulness, meditation, regular exercise, and a number of alternative therapies and programs. Some people even say essential oils have been helpful in easing their symptoms. And this is just a fraction of a percent of the possibilities and options out there to consider.

I say explore your options, but please always check in with your doctor on anything that might affect your health, even if you’re not sure. I stress this because I care – and because you and I both know that there are always people out there who might want to take advantage of vulnerable targets. So, be aware, do your research, get medical approval on anything you need to, and be careful. That being said, still explore, research, read, and know your options. Knowledge is always power, and no one knows every single thing.

Paying Attention to Diet Can Help With Fibromyalgia Symptoms

You can use a fibromyalgia diet to help control the symptoms associated with this condition better. Scientists have known for years that eating certain types of foods can work with the body to bring a sense of well being. But did you know that for some people, certain foods, including some that are considered healthy, could actually exacerbate your health issues?

In other words, you will need to get really personalized with your diet – there’s no one-size-fits-all here. For example, gluten, a protein that can be found in many types of foods, cause a variety of issues for some people diagnosed with fibromyalgia – but some people don’t have a problem with it. And some people say that MSG can make the symptoms of fibromyalgia worse, while others tolerate it fine. Caffeinated diet sodas with artificial sweeteners are also reportedly a common issue for many people.

It’s best to avoid processed foods, preservatives, and excessive sugar, but since there really is no one size fits all diet for those with this syndrome, you’ve got to learn to tune into your body and pay attention to what it tells you.

You might find It helps to keep a food journal and write down any adverse reactions to the meals you eat. If one particular meal makes you feel more lethargic or leaves you feeling uncomfortable or in pain, then you might consider eliminating them from your diet.

So what can you eat? There are some doctors who will prescribe a diet consisting only of vegetables and there are studies showing that a vegetarian diet can have other health benefits as well. Still, others believe sticking with a normal healthy diet works just as well for patients with fibromyalgia.

In this video Interview, Functional Medicine Coach and Holistic Healer/Nutritionist Sharon Chud offers additional insight into the connection between narcissistic abuse and fibromyalgia as well as how diet can help in alleviating symptoms of fibromyalgia.

More Resouces on Using DIet to Relieve and Reduce Fybromyalgia Symptoms

Trauma-Induced Weight Gain as a Symptom of Narcissistic Abuse

In this video interview, Sharon Reese Chud shares her thoughts on weight struggles during and after narcissistic abuse.

Sharon Reese Chud: Functional Medicine Coach/Holistic Practitioner/ Nutritionist

Is your relationship making you sick? Take the quiz and find out now.

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support

Helpful Reading for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

Are You Getting Enough Essential Vitamin K?

Are You Getting Enough Essential Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that your body requires for optimal health. This vitamin is necessary for proper cell function and tissue healing.

Learn more about this important nutrient:

1. What is vitamin K? Vitamin K is considered an essential vitamin that you can’t live without. Vitamin K supports these bodily processes:

  • Blood clotting 
  • Balancing calcium levels in the body
  • Maintaining blood vessels
  • Bone health

2. How much vitamin K do you need? The amount of vitamin K you require will depend on your age and gender.

  • In general, it’s recommended that adult men have 120 micrograms (mcg) of this vitamin a day.
  • Adult women should have 90 mcg of vitamin K a day.
  • Teens should have 75 mcg of vitamin K a day, while younger children may need lower amounts.

3. Vitamin K diet sources. Dark, leafy greens are the most common source of vitamin K. Kale, spinach, broccoli and other dark green vegetables tend to have large amounts of this vitamin.

4. Are you getting enough? If you’re eating a healthy diet with many vegetables and fruits, you may have enough vitamin K. However, it’s not always easy to tell.  A healthy diet tends to include enough vitamin K. For example, one cup of kale has more than the recommended daily value of vitamin K that an adult needs.

  • Nevertheless, it’s possible you may not be getting enough. If you have digestive problems, malabsorption, or liver problems, it may be necessary to take supplements. Conditions such as cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease can cause a vitamin K deficiency. In other cases, your medications can interfere with the absorption of this essential vitamin.
  • If you think you might be short on this important nutrient, talk to a medical professional about your concerns. If you need to supplement your diet, there are many types of vitamins that include vitamin K. Choose one that works for you.

5. Special precautions. If you take any type of blood thinners, it’s crucial to be careful with vitamin K. Blood thinners can interact with both food and supplements that contain large amounts of vitamin K. Talk about your medications with your physician and discuss how much vitamin K is in your diet and vitamin pills. You may need to make adjustments to avoid complications.

6. Symptoms of low vitamin K levels. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate medical care:

  • First, you may have trouble after a small cut with the blood refusing to clot.
  • Bleeding and blood clotting issues are common with this type of deficiency.
  • You may experience internal digestive system bleeding, gum bleeding, nose bleeds, or other types of issues.

Talk to your doctor about vitamin K and ensure that you’re getting enough for optimal health. Always consult a medical professional before making drastic dietary changes or trying new supplements or pills.

7 Side-Effects of Narcissistic Abuse That Can Kill You

7 Side-Effects of Narcissistic Abuse That Can Kill You

Narcissistic abuse can KILL YOU! Do you think I’m joking? Maybe being a little dramatic?

Listen, we all know how hard it can be to live with, work with or really be in any sort of relationship with a toxic person, and this is especially true in the case of relationships with narcissistic people. A toxic relationship with a narcissist can literally kill you

Narcissists have a lot of major issues, right? One of the most perplexing is how horribly mean they can be to the people closest to them. It seems like own self-esteem is so low that they are often “on a mission” to destroy the self-esteem of everyone else in their path – this includes, of course, their favorite source(s) of narcissistic supply. But as if this drama weren’t enough, being a victim of narcissistic abuse leaves you with yet another (much more sinister) issue to worry about.

Narcissistic abuse and the trauma related to it can really negatively affect your health, and in certain extreme cases, can literally kill you. But before we talk about how narcissistic abuse can kill you, let me explain what I mean when I use the term “narcissistic abuse.”

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is a type of relationship abuse that is committed by a malignant narcissist (or someone who is or would be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder) and someone close to them, often a spouse or partner, a child or other family member, or a close friend. In some cases, narcissists will also abuse coworkers, subbordinates, neighbors and service people too.

Narcissistic abuse is hard to detect in many cases, as from the outside, everything might seem perfect. In fact, even in the mind of a narcissist’s victim, it can seem that the problem isn’t with the narcissist at all, but with the victim’s shortcomings and failures. In reality, this is so common because narcissistic abuse involves subtle manipulation, pervasive control tactics, gaslighting, and emotional and psychological abuse.

Many narcissistic abusers might be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder – if they actually go to a psychologist for diagnosis, but this rarely happens as narcissists don’t feel that there’s anything with them. They may be overtly narcissistic, or they may be more of a covert narcissist. In either case, anyone in a close relationship with one of these toxic people will be used as a form of narcissistic supply and not treated like an actual person. Sadly, even the most intelligent and educated people can be manipulated and abused by a narcissist.

7 Side-Effects of Narcissistic Abuse That Can Kill You

So, we’ve established the fact that that narcissistic abuse can cause a lot of problems – both emotionally and physically. If you want to stay healthy, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Perhaps recognizing how seriously this pervasive kind of abuse can affect your life might help you find the catalyst you need to get out of an abusive relationship with a narcissist. I hope it helps you to at least see that you’re not being dramatic when you feel abused by the narcissist in your life. It’s not as harmless as it seems.

Here are seven side-effects of narcissistic abuse that can literally kill you.

Depression

Depression is common in narcissistic abuse victims. During a toxic relationship, the narcissist will emotionally batter you. This will lead you to begin to feel worthless. Plus, the narcissist will abuse you to the point that you can’t stand dealing with anyone else’s emotional issues or concerns. This, along with a few other factors, will eventually isolate you from your friends and sometimes even your family. Isolation only gives you time to think about all the things that are wrong with you – of which of course, the narcissist is happy to remind you. This leads you to doubt yourself on literally every level, which causes you to go into a deeper depression. And depression, on its own, can lead to so many other issues.

Anxiety

Anxiety is another big issue for narcissistic abuse victims. The constant emotional abuse and psychological torment narcissistic people inflict on those closest to them cause a victim to live in a constant state of being alert (or even alarmed), and this can lead to extreme episodes of anxiety and panic attacks. Low self-esteem is pretty common in victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse. The side-effects of the lack of confidence combined with the ongoing emotional torture lead you to live in constant fear.

Stress 

Stress is a part of everyone’s lives, but it can be brutal and excessive for someone who’s dealing with narcissistic abuse. And due to the nature of narcissistic abuse, victims aren’t not likely to take the steps necessary to avoid some of their stress, which combined with all of the other effects of ongoing psychological abuse, causes their anxiety to build.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is very common for narcissistic abuse victims. A lot of narcissistic abuse survivors find they struggle with their relationships with food during the abuse and even in narcissistic abuse recovery later. I personally still struggle with this one on occasion. Of course, for anyone, gaining too much weight can cause life-threatening health issues, such as heart problems, sleep apnea, diabetes, and a host of other illnesses. And in most cases, it can further reduce your self-esteem and even lead to most other symptoms on this list.

Weight Loss 

In some cases, we make an intentional choice to lose weight. But while some people gain weight as a side effect of narcissistic abuse, others tend to develop different eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. So, rather than overeating, they binge and purge their food or starve themselves, whether as a coping mechanism or in an effort to maintain a figure acceptable to their abusers. Unfortunately, the health complications associated with these eating disorders are as significant as the ones associated with being obese, if not more so. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, it really is life-threatening. I’m asking you personally to please get help immediately. You can call this Helpline for support, resources, and treatment options, and according to the organization’s website, “helpline volunteers are trained to help you find the information and support you are looking for.”

Addictions 

While some narcissistic abuse victims may find themselves addicted to food or shopping (and both of these can cause devastation in their own ways), others end up with more dangerous addictions. For example, some survivors end up being addicted to gambling, or sex. And then, there are the many who end up being addicted to alcohol, street drugs, or even prescription drugs. These addictions are common for narcissistic abuse victims as they often feel the need to sort of “numb out” during and after abuse episodes. Some say they get high on these drugs and live that moment in time in a different world where they have no cares and no problems. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always end well. Some addicted victims end up brain-damaged or even dead if the addiction isn’t dealt with in a healthy way. If you are struggling with an addiction that could risk your life, please don’t feel ashamed of yourself. I totally understand how you could end up where you are, and so does every other survivor of narcissistic abuse. What’s important now is that you do not give up on yourself, because you have a chance to live again.

Start by getting help with your addiction. SAMSHA (US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association) has a free helpline you can call if you’re struggling with an addiction or even with mental health issues. Here’s the phone number: 1-800-662-4357 According to the website, “SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders,” and the service offers “confidential free help, from public health agencies, to find substance use treatment and information.”

Brain Damage

In addition to the brain damage that can be caused by certain addictions, most long-term narcissistic abuse victims experience a form of brain damage that results in some C-PTSD symptoms. Another common issue that could be related to the brain damage caused by narcissistic abuse is fibromyalgia and some related conditions, such as chronic pain and certain autoimmune issues. Trauma bonding is a also major factor in the structural changes the brain goes through during ongoing abuse.

These are only a few of the major health issues that narcissistic abuse can cause. I want you to ask yourself: is this toxic abuser worth your health? And without your health, what do you have left?

Please remember that you do not deserve to be abused. You do not deserve to have your life put at risk every day, nor do you deserve to have your health chipped away, bit by bit, by someone who genuinely does not care about how you feel, and who doesn’t believe that you are even a whole person.

Get help with your anxiety and PTSD or C-PTSD symptoms!

You might also like to read my latest book on narcissism in toxic relationships –  The Ultimate Toxic Relationship Survival Guide for Victims and Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse

More Books & eBooks on Narcissism and Relationships

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