Your Anxiety and Depression May Have Been Caused by Narcissistic Abuse, Study Says

Your Anxiety and Depression May Have Been Caused by Narcissistic Abuse, Study Says

Until the last decade or so, I rarely felt super happy. My life seemed to alternate between feeling stressed and anxious and feeling depressed. Sure, there were occasional bouts of feeling ALMOST happy, and there were a few high points I could share. But in general, my resting state was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t focus.

I was so dissociated that I struggled to even feel like a real person. But when I learned about how my toxic relationships with narcissists had affected me on some fairly profound levels, I also learned how to choose my own perception and eventually managed to switch it up. These days, my resting state is usually at the very least calm, if not actually happy.

And while my life wasn’t so great back then, it turns out that I’m not unusual in this way. See, living with constant anxiety, depression and stress is a common problem for people who are or who have been involved in longterm relationships with narcissists – whether they’re your spouse, partner, parent or someone else. And, according to a study I’m going to share with you today, we’ve been right all along: narcissistic behavior in toxic relationships literally causes anxiety and depression – even after the relationship ends.

In this video, I’ll explain all of that and give you tips on how you can manage and resolve it in your own life.

(See video on YouTube)

You might already know that the feeling of being anxious is something we’ve inherited from our ancestors, but did you know that anxiety developed early in our evolution in order to help prehistoric humans survive in their unstable and dangerous environment? It’s true!

Defined as an overall feeling or sense of nervousness, worry and general unease, humans of today are still plagued with anxiety, though it isn’t necessary in our current world since, for the most part, we’re not fighting to stay alive every day.

So then why is it that we still struggle with it to the point that there are a number of officially diagnosed anxiety disorders? And how is it that going through a toxic relationship and dealing with common narcissistic behaviors causes these disorders, along with clinical depression and various forms of PTSD? Well, this is where that study I mentioned comes in.

If you were raised by a narcissist, you won’t be surprised to learn that a study published by the National Library of Medicine reports that being raised by narcissistic parents can cause anxiety disorders and major depression.

But just to summarize it for you, the study collects a number of academic psychology reports and scientific research papers that point to the issue: the anxiety orders of today all seem to indicate that any sort of psychological or emotional trauma in childhood is the culprit.

How Narcissistic Abuse Leads to Anxiety and Depression

It turns out that going through what the study authors termed “early life stress” can profoundly affect the central nervous system (CNS). In layman’s terms, that means that your nervous system becomes almost disabled, compared to that of someone who didn’t experience such traumas. That’s because these kinds of traumas and the levels of stress you experience during narcissistic abuse will lead to high amounts of inflammatory hormones being dumped into our systems. And even when we’re not actively being traumatized – and this is the worst part – our bodies begin to release these same hormones even at the memory of these traumas. Essentially, we become overloaded with emotional stress.

The study confirms what I’ve been saying for years: going through narcissistic abuse, whether as a child or as an adult, is now considered a major risk factor that can contribute to anxiety disorders, depression and PTSD. And, going through psychological abuse can be equally and even more profound on its effects on your mental health when compared to experiencing physical abuse and aggression.

On the plus side, psychologists say, going through this as a kid doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll absolutely develop anxiety in your lifetime. Still, traumatic events in childhood – especially while your brain is still developing – can definitely contribute to the supersensitivity seen in the neuroendocrine and stress response systems. That means that going through additional emotional and/or psychological traumas as you get older can trigger anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders.

Because of the increased stress and the fact that in time, most sufferers of narcissistic abuse experience adrenal fatigue, this can be the most dangerous kind of abuse.

When the adrenal fatigue hits, you’re going to be dealing with several possible outcomes – again, including an anxiety disorder, clinical depression, or both.

Worse, feeling anxious and depressed means you’re more susceptible to narcissistic abuse and therefore less likely to be able to extricate yourself from a toxic relationship, which explains why so many of us struggle to leave or go no contact with the narcissists in our lives.

Narcissists tend to target sensitive, empathic and compassionate people. People who are wired to always see the best in other people and who by nature are helpers or fixers. People who make an effort to understand the narcissist, and who often see their glaring flaws and choose to love them anyway. People who will put the narcissist’s needs above their own at nearly any cost.

This of course leads to the narcissist’s initial recognition that this is someone they want to keep around – so they begin to create the web of crazy that we end up stuck in during these toxic relationships. They begin to try to make you emotionally, physically and/or financially dependent on them. And they do it by whatever means necessary.

But how do they accomplish it? They start by devaluing you – at first, maybe with little jabs and undercutting comments. Later, it becomes more direct and aggressive, and before you know it, they’re deep into gaslighting. That’s where they intentionally and willfully psychologically “game” you by making you doubt your reality and question your own perception.

They start to make you feel crazy, and while some part of you KNOWS that you’re perfectly sane, deep down, the constant repetition eventually wears you down and you find yourself wondering if you really ARE crazy.

This part is exactly where you begin to experience adrenal fatigue. You start to feel foggy and confused, and you question your very sanity. You doubt your morals and your ethics and honestly; you don’t even know who you are anymore.

You are living in a constant state of stress and a complete lack of self=confidence. This, of course, leaves you feeling lost, confused and alone in your relationship and in your life. You avoid your friends and extended family members. You start to feel uncomfortable in any social situation. You forget how to talk about yourself. You start to dissociate.

You might even get physically sick. It’s like you’re not even there sometimes.

This makes it feel impossible to free yourself sometimes, and many unfortunate people find themselves feeling completely stuck with literally no options.

You might blame yourself for being in this situation. But you shouldn’t – instead, you should recognize that while the narcissist dragged you down, and while a coach, therapist or support group can help, only YOU can ultimately pull yourself out of it.

The question of the day is: are you as unshocked by this study as me? Have you experienced this kind of relationship? Share your thoughts, share your ideas, share your experiences in the comments below this video, and let’s talk about it.

5 Key Differences Between A Narcissist And A Sociopath

5 Key Differences Between A Narcissist And A Sociopath

Is a narcissist the same thing as a sociopath? A lot of people mistakenly think so, which is understandable considering that they share many of the same characteristics and that they’re both on the cluster B spectrum. (See video here)

What qualities do narcissists and sociopaths share?

Both narcissists and sociopaths can be very charming and charismatic. Each is known for being self-serving and manipulative, and they each tend to have no empathy. Both have personality disorders and value themselves above all others. Both are known to harm others and to negatively affect their own lives with their behaviors. Neither can step outside of their own heads enough to recognize or concern themselves with the needs of others, but each is fully focused on their own needs. It is also true that all sociopaths are narcissists. But not all narcissists are sociopaths.

How are narcissists and sociopaths different?

In most cases, sociopaths, who might be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, are a lot more dangerous than those who are purely narcissistic. That is unless you’re talking about a malignant narcissist, who might present very much like a sociopath, but their motivations are different.

Let’s talk about five ways this manifests differently between the two personality disorders.

1. A Narcissist is Motivated by Ego and a Sociopath is Motivated by Self-Interest

The narcissist’s destructive and manipulative behaviors are all about feeling important and superior and being the center of attention, and this is driven by their overinflated ego that needs constant stroking – aka, narcissistic supply. But a sociopath’s self-interest doesn’t require stroking in the same way – so the sociopath will be whomever they need to be in order to get their needs met.

So, what’s the difference?

Since sociopaths really don’t need to have their ego stroked, they can be more sneaky and strategic with their manipulation. They don’t need you to be impressed with them and will only seek out your approval if you have something they want. They have no actual personality.

A narcissist, on the other hand, needs your approval and your attention. And since they are ego-driven, they will be less calculated in their reactions and behavior. So the narcissist is more likely to demonstrate narcissistic rage and to react emotionally than a sociopath.

2. A Narcissist Wants to Be Adored and a Sociopath Could Care Less.

Narcissists need to be adored. They are very concerned with their own image and how other people perceive them. They are known to want power, success, and plenty of admiration and adoration from the people around them and while they’re often willing to work hard to get it, they’ll also exploit and torture people along the way without a second thought. Their motivation and focus are all about themselves and their own agenda (getting the praise and attention they need). Again, they’re driven by their ego, so that makes sense.

But a sociopath doesn’t care what anyone thinks of them, which makes them more dangerous. They will spend months or years planning and scheming against you if it serves them to do so. They are much more calculating and far less emotional overall.

3. A Narcissist Talks About Themselves And A Sociopath Talks About You

As you know, narcissists only want to talk about themselves and their interests. At least after the initial love-bombing or idealization phase of the relationship, where they’ll ask you all about yourself in order to store up ammunition to use against you later. But as the relationship goes on, they make it painfully clear that they have no interest in what you care about and will always turn the topic back to themselves. In fact, many survivors of relationships with narcissists literally almost forget how to talk about themselves because they grow so accustomed to being shut down this way.

But sociopaths are very interested in knowing about your interests and everything else about you. They will ask you about what you like and what strikes your fancy. They often masquerade as empaths – as in, they appear to really care about you. They know exactly what to say and how to hold themselves so it’s almost impossible to tell that they don’t genuinely care about you. But remember that they have no empathy. They have their own reasons for caring. If they want something from you later on, they will use anything to do with your interests as a manipulation tactic to get what they want. Sociopaths are often so smooth that you miss the fact that they’re manipulating you – at least at first.

For example, a sociopath asks you what your favorite band happens to be. If you say Fleetwood Mac, they will surprise you with a Fleetwood Mac CD. It is not from the goodness of their heart. They want something from you and are using this as a jumping-off point to get it from you.

4. Neither Care About The Rules, But For Different Reasons

You already know that a narcissist is not concerned about the rules due to the fact they are so self-absorbed that they are not even aware of the rules. Or, in many cases, they literally feel that they’re above the rules or deserve special exceptions to every rule.

But a sociopath does not care about the rules for the sake of manipulating situations for their purpose. If they can get away with breaking the rules (or even the laws), they’ll do so without remorse if it serves them.

5. Narcissists Are Mean But Sociopaths Have Plans To Take You Down

This is where you see how dangerous a sociopath is as opposed to a narcissist who is mostly dangerous for your mental health. Narcissists are bullies and braggarts. They can also mess with your head, especially if they see you as a threat to their ego or fear abandonment. And, of course, that’s when they’ll throw your most painful experiences and insecurities back in your face in order to hurt you if and when they feel the need to drag you down.

So, for example, if you tell a narcissist that you are insecure about your weight, they might later try to make you feel bad about yourself by suddenly beginning to point out people who are thinner than you and telling you how attractive those people are. And then, once you’re good and insecure, you might tell them it bothers you that they’re doing this. Instantly, the narcissist will freak out and attack you, swearing that you’re excessively jealous and controlling. They’ll say something like, “What, do you want me to close my eyes and not look at people? There are other people in the world. I’m not blind!”

In this case, the narcissist is out to take your self-esteem down a couple of notches so that you’ll feel like you can’t do any better than them. The idea is that you’re more likely to stick around and be their source of narcissistic supply if you don’t feel good enough about yourself.

So once again, the narcissist is driven by ego and the need for ongoing, reliable narcissistic supply.

Sociopaths, on the other hand, will do what they can to take you down (or out completely) if they see you are trying to get in the way of what they want, even if that means you just won’t give them your time and attention. And, regardless of who you are and what your relationship happens to be, you aren’t exempt from a sociopath’s manipulation and abuse.

In fact, even if you aren’t purposely causing them trouble, but they perceive you as a threat to them or their end goals in any way, they will strategically destroy you in any way they can, and without remorse. Sociopaths want to win and will do it at the expense of anyone.

Are you dealing with a narcissist or sociopath? You might be interested in our free and low cost services.

 

 

Who invented the Myers-Briggs test and how does it work?

Who invented the Myers-Briggs test and how does it work?


Myers-Briggs Test – The Story Behind the 16 Personalities (Plus Q&A) Did you know? Two women, Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers are credited with creating the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, the most popular personality test in the world. More than two million people take the MBTI every year.

You can take the test yourself at 16personalities.com.

It is used in 26 countries to assess employees, students, soldiers, and even potential marriage partners. It is used by Fortune 500 companies and universities, in self-improvement seminars and wellness retreats.

Katharine was born in 1875, Isabel was born in 1897. When Katharine died in 1968, the MBTI test was nearly forgotten. But Isabel had codified the method of testing and categorizing personalities and copyrighted in 1943.

In 1968, a third woman, Mary McCaulley, discovered the test and teamed up with Isabel, helping to make the test a more “professional operation.” By 1980, when Isabel passed, the test’s popularity was just taking off.

While it has now become a 2-billion dollar industry, the women were not in it for the money – they actually believe they had discovered a way to help people be happier and also a way to make working more efficient (by putting people in positions that worked for them).

The basic theory behind the MBTI is that there are 16 kinds of people in the world, but that each personality type reduces to a set of elements taken from four either/or binaries.

Everyone is either extroverted or introverted, sensing (meaning relying on sense data) or intuitive, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving. Your “score” on the test is the combination of the 4 characteristics indicated by your answers to the 93 questions

While it is widely used in organizations and HR departments around the world, the MBTI is also promoted as a means of self-discovery, and that is undoubtedly why it is so widely used today – and it is the purpose of our discussion today.

So, I test as ENFP-A, which is considered the “Campaigner.” What’s your MBTI personality type?

 

Am I Being Gaslighted? (Test)

Am I Being Gaslighted? (Test)

Ever feel like you’re going crazy and you can’t quite figure out why? Does someone in your life make you doubt yourself and your own reality? Do you ever ask yourself, “Am I being gaslighted?”

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a very toxic manipulation tactic that is employed by most narcissists. Not only is this tactic pervasive and highly-effective, but it is nearly impossible to detect unless you know what you’re looking for, specifically. Gaslighting is meant to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.

Take this Am I Being Gaslighted Test right now, and find out if you might be dealing with a toxic person who is gaslighting and manipulating you.

You are not alone

Let us walk you through it.

Subscribe for an enhanced recovery experience designed especially for survivors of narcissistic abuse – and customized for your personal current situation.

New Study Says 17 Qualities Make Your Personality Healthy, Plus Q&A Replay

New Study Says 17 Qualities Make Your Personality Healthy, Plus Q&A Replay


New Study Says 17 Qualities Make Your Personality Healthy, Plus Q&A Replay for CPTSD, NPD relationships and overcoming narcissistic relationships recovery – toxic relationship rehab. Recorded live.

New research from scientists at the University of California, Davis: Read the full study here. 

Researchers found that these 17 qualities are most likely to indicate a “healthy” personality.

In the two-part study that was recently published in one of my favorite reads – the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, study-author Wiebke Bleidorn and her colleagues asked 137 trait psychology experts to identify what a “healthy personality” would look like, according to them.

They based their findings on a surprisingly simple method, in which they rated 30 facets of the five key personality traits, which include:

  • Neuroticism – people who score high on neuroticism are more likely than average to be moody and to experience such feelings as anxiety, worry, fear, anger, frustration, envy, jealousy, guilt, depressed mood and loneliness.
  • Extraversion – all about how outgoing and social a person is. Those who score higher in extraversion on a personality test tend to become the life of every party. They enjoy being with people, participating in social gatherings, and are full of energy.
  • Openness to experience – involves six different facets/dimensions, including active imagination or fantasy, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety and intellectual curiosity.
  • Agreeableness – people with a high level of agreeableness in a personality test are typically very warm, friendly and tactful, with an optimistic view of human nature. They tend to get along well with other people.
  • Conscientiousness –  all about being careful, or vigilant. People who score high in conscientiousness tend to want to do their tasks well, and they are most likely to take obligations to others more seriously. They are often seemingly efficient and organized, but not as easy-going and definitely not disorderly.

Their ratings helped researchers create an expert consensus profile of the psychologically healthy individual.

The “healthy” qualities for a personality, according to the study authors, include:

  1. psychologically well-adjusted
  2. open to feelings
  3. ability to resist temptation
  4. straightforward
  5. competent
  6. high self-esteem
  7. spontaneous
  8. responsible
  9. ambitious
  10. good self-regulatory skills
  11. optimistic outlook on the world
  12. clear, stable self-view
  13. low in aggression and meanness
  14. unlikely to exploit others
  15. relatively immune to stress
  16. self-sufficient
  17. warm connection to others

What do you think? Are they right?

9 Advantages of Assertiveness

9 Advantages of Assertiveness

As survivors of narcissistic abuse, many of us find it hard to be assertive. Passivity is often viewed as a form of politeness. We’re raised to make others happy, even at our own expense.

The other end of the spectrum has its own unique set of challenges. Aggression isn’t pleasing to others. Others are likely to give up too much when faced with aggression. This creates negative feelings and damages emotions.

Assertiveness is an attractive option and provides multiple benefits to you and those around you.

Learn to be assertive rather than passive or aggressive and enjoy these perks:

1. Boost your self-esteem. What could be better for your self-esteem than speaking up for yourself and taking action to influence the world around you, Depression is often caused by feeling a lack of control. Assertiveness is a form of taking control and responsibility.

2. Strengthen your self-confidence. When you’re assertive, things start to go your way. As your results get better, your confidence in yourself will increase, too.

3. Increase your communication. Part of being assertive is speaking up for what you want and being open with your desires. If you think about the least assertive people you know, you don’t know them very well. They keep everything to themselves. Assertive people have an openness to them that non-assertive people do not.

4. Accomplish more. When you’re open with your opinions and wants, and you’re taking action to make them happen, you’ll be shocked by how much more effective you can be.

5. Others assume you are confident. There are multiple benefits to being perceived as confident. People will assume you’re more capable, intelligent, and have better leadership skills than someone that is less confident. It’s also attractive to others.

6. Get what you want more often. Imagine you’re in a group of people, and the subject of choosing a restaurant for dinner comes up. The person that offers a suggestion usually “wins.”Most people are too passive to offer an opinion. This tendency can be found in all facets of life. Those that are too passive sacrifice too much in making others happy. This might seem noble, but it’s a frustrating way to live. The belief is that you’ll eventually receive what you want if you let others have everything they want. This rarely works in real life.

7. Get in touch with your feelings. When you suppress your emotions and desires, you lose touch with yourself. By consistently pursuing that which you desire, you’ll gain a much better understanding of yourself.

8. Win-win situations become the norm. When you’re too passive, the other person gets things their way. When you’re too aggressive, you might have things go your way more often, but the other person is resentful. The best opportunity for both of you to be satisfied with the outcome is to be assertive.

9. Enhance your decision-making skills. Passive people often base decisions on the least confrontational solution. Aggressive people are biased in the opposite direction. Those that are assertive have a more neutral stance. Their passivity and aggressiveness don’t taint their perspective. Decisions are less emotion-based.

Assertiveness is a combination of honesty and respect for others and yourself. When you’re assertive, you’re honest about your intentions, wants, and desires. You aren’t forcing them on others, but you’re willing to express them and own them. You’re also being respectful by not hiding your intentions.

Passivity and aggressiveness aren’t pleasing to others and are less effective than assertiveness. Allow others to respect you by being more assertive in all your interactions. You’ll enjoy the results!

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