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.
Have you been in a toxic relationship with a narcissist? If so, you might have also be at risk for complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Most people have heard of PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A disorder often diagnosed in soldiers, PTSD happens, on the most basic level, when someone has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event, such as the horrors often reported from the battlefield. It may also happen when someone witnesses a murder, has a car accident or experiences another type of short-term or single event trauma. But not everyone knows about C-PTSD, or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. C-PTSD is often seen in abuse survivors, and it is sometimes referred to as Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome in the online narcissistic abuse recovery community.
Take the C-PTSD Quiz
Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Self-Assessment – Do you think you have C-PTSD? Take this test and find out if you might be a victim of this pervasive disorder.
Ready to get results on your C-PTSD Quiz? Press “Ready to Send” and scroll down for results.
What is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
While C-PTSD is closely related to PTSD, it refers to a reaction to longer-term trauma that can take place repeatedly or continuously over the course of weeks, months or years.
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a serious mental health condition affecting a large percentage of victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse and other types of ongoing trauma. Symptoms for C-PTSD are similar to PTSD but also include other symptoms that can lead to significant impairment in relationships and your quality of life.
This disorder can take years to treat and many professionals aren’t familiar with its symptoms or misdiagnose it. They may even victim-blame if they aren’t familiar with the subtle tricks of a narcissist. Unfortunately, it can be a lifelong condition, but it can be managed with mindfulness and behavior modification, among other therapies and modalities.
What are the Symptoms of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
As a survivor of narcissistic abuse, you may also experience dissociation, which is a separation of normally related mental processes. Dissociation manifests as brain fog, or feeling disconnected from reality. Sometimes developed as a trauma response, it offers a victim a way to “get away” in their mind. Dissociation can in extreme cases lead to multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder.
Another common symptom for survivors of narcissistic abuse is the avoidance of certain social situations, including a feeling of not wanting to leave the house You might also find yourself prone to triggers and flashbacks to your abuse, among other things.
How is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) Treated?
There are a number of different treatments available for people with C-PTSD, and no one treatment will work for everyone. Each situation and each person is different. We do find that survivors are best served by therapists who have had similar experiences (and who therefore have a deeper understanding of their situations). Coaches can also be effective when they’ve shared similar experiences and have had appropriate training adn there aren’t other mental health issues. Additionally, coaching can be an ideal complement or followup to an ongoing therapy relationship.
Traditional “Talk Therapy” – Talking it through for C-PTSD patients is sometimes the best way to treat the disorder. Counselors and psychotherapists that are specially trained in PTSD treatment can usually help the person find closure for the traumatic incident that has caused such a lifestyle change.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This type of therapy helps a C-PTSD patient realize that events that took place weren’t his fault and helps alleviate feelings of guilt. A therapist listens to the PTSD patient describe the traumatic event(s) in detail and then helps the person understand the incident and why it happened.
Coaching– When the person suffering from C-PTSD is otherwise mentally stable, a good narcissistic abuse recovery coach can help them discover the answers they seek and learn new coping techniques for dealing with the issues that come along with it. This can work together with or independently from traditional therapies.
Is your mother someone who always seemed to make everything about herself, on one level or another? Did she make you feel not good enough? Did she pit you against your siblings, if you had any? Did she ever seem to try to live her own dreams out in your life? Did she ever seem oddly jealous of you, or did she ever act inappropriately around your friends? These are just a few of the many signs that your mother might be toxic.
What is a toxic mother?
A toxic mother is one who is neglectful, controlling, abusive, or otherwise toxic to her children. This behavior is likely to continue into adulthood as long as the adult child allows it. If you have a toxic mother, chances are she often might make you feel bad about yourself or your life. She will also use you as a source of narcissistic supply and attempt to control and manipulate you to get what she wants, or to get you to surrender to her wishes. You’ll often feel like you’re walking on eggshells with her, especially when she feels upset or offended (or when you know she might, based on previous experiences with her).
An adult’s relationship with their toxic mother will also generally involve more negativity than positivity, and it doesn’t emotionally support the adult child emotionally. In many cases, the adult child of a narcissistic mother might feel responsible for their mother’s emotions. The relationship will often also involve resentment, contempt, communication problems, and varying forms of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse delivered in varying iterations over the course of the adult child’s life.
Self-Assessment: The Toxic Mother Test
If any of these signs sound familiar to you, or you’ve just been wondering whether your own mother is toxic, take this quick self-assessment test to find out if your mother could be toxic. If the self-assessment finds your mother to be toxic, you’ll be directed to a list of resources for support, including a lot of free and helpful videos, articles, and information and a free support group for adult children of narcissists, among other resources.