Here’s a brief history of narcissistic personality disorder that will take you back thousands of years to the very first mention of narcissism (yeah, we’re talking about Narcissus), and Angie and the rest of the ragtag bunch will take you through the centuries to today’s official DSM diagnostic criteria of NPD or narcissistic personality disorder. Featuring the theories of Sigmund Freud, among other psychoanalysts and psychiatrists. Might offer some insight into the psychology of NPD, including gaslighting and more.
Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today
Even so, my experiences and my personal research, study and healing have given me a pretty unique perspective – one that not a lot of people have. As someone who has been involved in narcissistic relationships in my life and survived, I feel compelled to share my experiences, at least to the extent that they are valuable to my readers.
I don’t always share my darkest moments or specific details because they’re not always relevant for my audience, but as a journalist and a seasoned researcher, it’s in my nature to learn about things that concern me. And as someone who is always working toward becoming a better version of herself, it’s also in my nature to use the information I learn to both understand and overcome the issue in my own life.
I also lost 100 pounds and found myself growing more successful in my career and in other relationships in my life. Yep.
Plus, as so many of my viewers, readers and coaching clients tell me – many people in their lives just don’t get it – and they are relieved to find someone who does. Those who work with me one-on-one even tell me their own stories and are visibly and audibly affected when I can relate. They have had so many people tell them they’re “just too picky,” or that they’re just being dramatic, or that they might need to go get some help – and that’s because narcissists are so good at fooling people into believing they are honest, kind and generally victimized by their “crazy” source of supply – aka wife, child, parent, partner, etc.
It’s because of you. YOU, my viewers, SPAN members, readers and clients, are the reason I do what I do. And since I recently reached the 4000 subscriber point, I want to say thank you, honestly.
I write about narcissism because it is my intention to help other people go from being victims of narcissists to being survivors.
And finally, I’d like to say thanks to those viewers who have offered their opinions, tips and advice for improving my videos and making them much more watchable for you –
I’d say my top viewer advice has included:
1. Show your face! My original videos were straight up slideshows – not so much of “me.” I initially didn’t really see the point in showing my face – because these videos generally aren’t about me, save for sharing my personal (related) experiences. But since so many people asked, I started including this little window in my videos – and it seems to do the trick. 2. SLOW DOWN! Yep. I talk really fast, and this is especially problematic for those who have different accents or who don’t speak English as a first language. So, I’m working on that one. 🙂 3. Get rid of the background noise! Put batteries in your damn smoke detector! I have hard-wired smoke detectors and one of them was malfunctioning for a long time. So long that I stopped hearing the “beeP” that rang out every ten minutes or so. This became quite annoying for my viewers and I had to fix that. I guess the point here is really that I needed to clean up my background noise. Done, for the most part, and a very effective change. 4. Dump the music. I used to play background music in my videos, thinking it made them sound more professional. This might be the case for some genres on YouTube, but it wasn’t the case for mine. I dumped the music, except the intro an outro, and it seems to have been a positive change. 5. Stop referring to the narcissists as “he” – a LOT of male viewers (and a few females) asked me to stop saying “he” when referring to narcissists. Initially, I didn’t take this suggestion because I figured I was talking to mostly women. But as my subscribers increased and my video views grew, I noticed something interesting – a full 25 percent of my viewers are male. And from my calculations, nearly a third of my viewers were dealing with female narcs in some area. So, I made the change in videos that followed.
Oh – and one more – people asked me to get to the point at the beginning of my videos, so now I wait until the end to share info about my websites and stuff.
And then, there are the trolls and haters. They exist, and all YouTubers have to deal with them. Initially, they really bothered me, but at this point, I recognize that haters are unavoidable…in my case, they are often narcs themselves, or they are just trolls who are looking for a reaction. I do my best to acknowledge those who have good intentions (there are a few who simply disagree with my methods and state so a bit rudely) – and to ignore those who don’t (those who are just being rude for the sake of it). No point in stressing over something I can’t control.
But, to end this video on a positive note, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has subscribed to my channel, and to those who are watching my videos. My goal is to get to 10k subscribers so that I can have access to a YouTube adviser who will help me to better serve you by teaching me more about creating better videos and delivering my information in the most effective way possible!
My plans for the future include coming up with an expanded and more specific lineup of weekly content and possibly adding personal vlogs to the lineup. I’d love to know if you think that would be a positive or negative change, so please share your thoughts on that in the comments below.
Now, I have one more quick question before I go – if you have found value in my videos, or if you have suggestions, tips or thoughts on how I can do better, I’d really appreciate a quick comment sharing your thoughts. Please leave it below – I’d love to know how I can better help you with my videos.
This is me, signing off for today in gratitude and love. Thank you for watching. Thank you for your support. And thanks for being your amazing self. Hugs and love to you all!
A report in Cosmopolitan Magazine offers ten very insightful points into the psyche of your everyday, average narcissist – and if you keep these in mind when you’re dealing with one, you’ll find yourself feeling much more in control of the situation.
2. The reason they’re so fragile and insecure on the inside and mean and hateful on the outside goes all the way back to childhood. Though researchers believe there might be a genetic component, the truth is that the way a child is raised has a great deal to do with how they turn out.
There are two ways to “create” a narcissist – by denying a child unconditional love so they never feel comfortable in the emotional love, or to totally go the opposite direction and overindulging, overpraising and underdisciplining the child – making them believe they’re overly special.
This would indicate that the term “happy medium” could apply to good parenting (My note)
3. Kids who got big responsibilities at early ages are more often narcissists than those who didn’t, whether it was direct responsibility such as for a sibling or indirect such as for the emotional health of a parent. This leads to their adult selves always seeking approval and trying too hard, never allowing themselves to just “be,” rather requiring to be the center of attention.
4. A narcissist desperately needs to feel superior to everyone around him, because inside they don’t feel like they’re good enough. And they react with contempt to anyone who seems to have something they lack.
8. If you must confront a narcissist, do it carefully – they respond best to “empathic validation,” Cosmo says. So you should always “affirm the relationship first before you share anything that doesn’t feel right,” said a psychologist interviewed by the mag. “For example, if it’s someone you’re dating, say to them: ‘I care about you a lot, so when you don’t listen to what I’m saying, I feel like I’m nothing in your eyes,’ instead of ‘Why don’t you ever listen to me?'”
About the book: Do you find yourself giving all you’ve got and people still want more? Do you sometimes do without what you want or need in order to keep the people around you happy? Are you afraid to deal with confrontation and do you often find it easier to just go with the flow in order to keep the peace?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be a people pleaser. Many people pleasers are also very empathic people, who are especially attractive to toxic types who love to take advantage every chance they get.
In this book, you’ll learn how to stop feeling the need to make everyone else happy and start figuring out what makes you happy, personally, and really – not someone else’s idea of what’s supposed to make you happy,
9. The only thing that might motivate a narcissist to change is having a meaningful consequence for their bad behavior. For example, a healthy narcissist might avoid cheating on a spouse in order to preserve the relationship, because “if the consequences are high enough, they might start to reevaluate their actions.”
10. No matter how intelligent and together a narcissist is in other ways, they are emotional toddlers. Cosmo’s experts both noted that the best way to deal with a narcissist who is raging is to consider them like you would a two-year-old who is throwing a tantrum, and that most of that is just their way of “putting on a show.” Both agreed that as long as you’re not in physical danger, you have to pick your battles and decide what you will and will not tolerate, and then make your choices accordingly.
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” ~ James Baraz
Brain fog is the feeling of dissociation or disconnectedness that is very often experienced during and after narcissistic abuse. It can also be a symptom of C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder), which is commonly seen in people who have experienced traumatic, abusive relationships with narcissists and other toxic people. If you have dealt with brain fog, you will have struggled with feeling lost, like you’re not really there, or like you’re watching your life through a screen or a bubble. But why do you feel like you’re living in a fog after narcissistic abuse?
Many of my narcissistic abuse recovery coaching clients tell me they struggle with feeling like they’re “not really here,” as though they’re on a sort of numb autopilot as they float through life, surrounded by some kind of barrier between themselves and the world. Everything feels sort of foggy and surreal. This is also called dissociation, and while it may have originally started as a way to survive the gaslighting attacks, name-calling, and manipulation, it can very quickly become a way of life.
Do you recognize your “automatic” behaviors and habits?
When you do something over and over, it can reach the point where it becomes a mindless task. You can do a task and finish it, then realize your body worked to complete the project while your mind was actively engaged in something else.
Mindfulness can help you learn to be present, to refocus your thoughts so that you’re actively experiencing your life rather than walking through it on autopilot. Sometimes, people assume that mindfulness is a time-consuming practice where you have to sit quietly somewhere for a lengthy amount of time.
While you can enjoy sitting quietly, it doesn’t have to take a long time. In fact, if you don’t want to or don’t have time to just be still and practice mindfulness, then you don’t have to – putting yourself under pressure will do no good,
Do you feel out of control? There’s no denying that having chaos in your life is going to happen, and that’s especially true when you’re going through or have recently remove yourself from a toxic abuse situation with a malignant narcissist in a relationship.
If you’ve already left, it might not be a constant, but it will happen. When chaos does occur, it puts a lot of narcissistic abuse survivors in a state of anxiety or panic.
You know the feeling I’m talking about, right? It’s when you get that knot in your stomach that seems to rise up into your throat and make you feel sick.
It’s when you simply don’t know what to do and how to calm the chaos – when you can barely even focus on ANYTHING as a result.
What causes you to feel so out of control?
Regardless of what type of chaos you’ve experienced with your narcissist or are going through as you recover, focused, intentional mindfulness can help. It lets you be in charge and not your emotions or your thoughts.
What happens when chaos hits is that the outward or inward situation isn’t taking place in the present. The chaos is because of what might have happened or what’s going to happen as a result of this chaos.
When you experience turmoil, your stress levels will skyrocket. When that happens, it can be difficult to keep calm. Your mind will start to race and the negative emotions will spring up, multiplying one after another.
Chaos causes you to become distanced from peace. It hijacks your thoughts and pummels your emotions. But when you practice mindfulness, it doesn’t give in to the chaos.
Mindfulness as a Tool for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
One of the fastest ways to begin to reduce brain fog is through mindfulness, which is a very simple practice can be done by anyone at any time.
What is mindfulness?
In narcissistic abuse recovery, mindfulnessis an intentional focus that you use in the psychological process of bringing your attention to what is happening right now, in this moment. This can be developed by anyone through the practice of meditation and through other types of training, such as the Intentional Vibration Management technique I developed.
How can mindfulness help reduce brain fog?
Mindfulness allows you to have peace and focus despite the physical or emotional storm you might be caught up in. It keeps you focused on the present and anchors your thoughts and emotions.
This helps you feel at rest even when you’re not. It bolsters your sense of purpose and ability to make decisions. Mindfulness calms the anxiety and lets you be in charge of what you need to take care of.
During the turmoil, your mind gets an influx of negative toxic thoughts and when you don’t practice mindfulness, those thoughts then cause the emotions to become more intense.
How does mindfulness work?
Mindfulness doesn’t stop the negative emotions from coming, but it helps you to be in charge of what’s going on in your mind and with your emotions because it lets you corral the thoughts that are trying to stampede.
It brings the wayward emotions back to the present and floods your mind with peace and purpose.
Mindfulness brings a feeling of peace to the negative emotions and thoughts so that you’ll be aware of them, but they won’t control you.
When chaos happens, most people end up being controlled by their emotions, by the anxiety and turmoil they feel. But mindfulness will allow you to take a pause, view the situation, and be able to make decisions that are based on reality rather than hyped-up feelings.
Mindfulness will allow you to keep order in your thoughts and emotions even when everything around you is in crisis. Being mindful will help to give you space to be able to keep yourself at peace.
How do you become mindful?
There are many simple ways that you can be mindful throughout your day without ever having to take a break from whatever it is that you’re going. Knowing this has helped many extremely busy people to be able to get into the habit of practicing mindful activities. One of the best ways I’ve found to use mindfulness in narcissistic abuse recovery is to use pattern interrupts to stop yourself from having extended triggers and falling into the spiral of depression and anxiety that can be so dangerous for a survivor.
What is a pattern interrupt?
Used in various forms of therapy and personal development, pattern interrupt is a neurolinguistic programming (NLP) technique. When you use a pattern interrupt, you’re essentially breaking your typical routine or habits around any sort of negative behavior or repeating experience in your life. This can be especially helpful when combined with other coping and healing tactics in narcissistic abuse recovery.
What are some examples of pattern interrupts?
That might feel pretty confusing, so let me give you a few examples of pattern interrupts that have worked for me over the years.
Brush Your Teeth
One simple way to practice mindfulness is by brushing your teeth. You do this so often that you probably do it without even thinking about it. Instead of brushing your teeth on autopilot, take the time to focus on the steps involved in this routine.
Feel the bristles of the brush as they cross your teeth and tongue. Pay attention to the thickness of the toothpaste of the flavor of it. While you’re brushing your teeth, pay attention to the process and don’t let your mind think about worries or negative thoughts.
Another way that you can practice mindfulness as you go about your day is through mindful listening. So many times, there are sounds around you and yet you don’t even hear them because you’re not listening with a focus.
Wherever you are, you can take a few seconds to listen to the sounds. You might be able to hear a bird singing, the wind blowing or the distant roll of thunder. You can practice mindful listening with popular music or with instrumentals.
Hear each sound and focus on it for a few seconds while tuning out anything but the sound.
Mindfulness can be practiced by focusing on breathing. It doesn’t take long and can be done any time of day and in any place.
As you breathe, focus on the breath that you’re drawing in. Then focus on the breath that you’re exhaling. Keep your mind centered on the movement of your body as you breathe in the air and release it.
Feel the air move within you and tune in to the sensation as you’re going through the exercise. You can practice mindfulness through many other activities including walking, eating, while cooking or cleaning, and even while taking a shower.
Other Ways You Can Pattern Interrupt Your Stressful Moments in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups– We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
After I went no-contact with my narcissist, a funny thing happened. I kind of got my life together (eventually) and I dropped more than 100 pounds
When my PhD friend heard about this, she reached out to me and mentioned that she, too, found herself uncomfortably overweight after her narcissistic abuse experience. And, she said, that “without any effort at all (no dieting),” she had managed to drop 40 or more pounds once she’d escaped from her toxic relationship – all of which she has kept off without effort since.
Like me, she said she just didn’t “see it” in the mirror – and that though she can look back and see it in old photos today, she really didn’t realize how heavy she’d become. She also noted that she sees a very sad and depressed look about her when she looks at those photos. If you ask me, she was wearing her pain, just like I had been doing.
Everyone Can See It But You
Everyone copes with the emotional pain and trauma in their own way. For people who are addicted to gambling, it shows in their bank accounts. For those who are addicted to alcohol or drugs, the damage shows first in their relationships, and then on their faces and in their health. For those of us who have a tendency to comfort ourselves with food, it shows on the outside sooner and in more obvious (and less socially acceptable) ways – PLUS it can often directly affect our physical and mental health profoundly.
“During the marriage, there were many discards, and I did seem to lose significant amounts of weight during these phases, only to put the pounds back on when he would decide to re-cycle me,” she told me in an email, adding that she wondered if this was a pattern I observed in narcissistic relationships. “It would be interesting to see if there is a pattern of weight gain over the years of time spent with a narcissist.” So, what’s the answer?
Do Weight Gain and Narcissistic Abuse Have a Connection?