Narcissistic abuse causes survivors to feel attacked, trapped and fully stuck in a situation that feels like absolute hell. And sure, suicide is a complicated final action to choose, but it’s unfortunately a risk for survivors of narcissistic abuse.
Nobody wants to commit suicide and it takes time to develop the courage to go through with it. It’s not that easy of a decision to make so some people don’t just wake up one morning and decide they want to kill themselves. Those people require help, lots of help, and sometimes you can’t be around them because they can hurt themselves or others around them.
Depression Needs to Be Taken Seriously During and After Narcissistic Abuse
Depression is one suicide warning sign to watch for when someone has been abused by a narcissist. When yoou’ve been experiencing neglect and emotional distress, being humiliated and subjugated — this kind of life can sow the seeds of suicide. Characterized by erratic mood swings, loss of interest in hobbies and activities, depression is a very serious emotional disorder affecting about 9.5 percent of the nation. Worse, if someone is going through narcissistic abuse, chances are higher that they’re depressed.
Narcissistic Abuse is Pervasive
Narcissistic abuse can be hard to spot at first. It’s not like a physical wound that you can see, or an emotional wound that’s obvious right away. It’s something that takes time to develop, and you won’t even notice it happening at times. This is why mental health is so important: taking care of yourself and knowing the signs of suicide warning signs can help protect the people around you who might be struggling with suicidal thoughts or feelings. Learn more about how to spot narcissistic abuse.
Depression Suicide: Warning Signs to be Aware of
Here are some signs to know if your loved one is considering suicide as a result of depression.
1. Mentions of Suicide or Death
2. Wanting to tie up loose ends or give away personal belongings
3. Engaging in reckless behavior such as heavy alcohol and drug use
4. Withdrawing from family and friends
5. Erratic mood swings
6. Inappropriately saying goodbye.
7. Verbal behavior that is ambiguous or indirect: (for example: “I want to go to sleep and never wake up.”, “I’m so depressed, I just can’t go on.”, “Does God punish suicides?”
Though the signs and warnings may vary from person to person, it is important that you are able to recognize such warnings and take some steps to help your loved one.
Helping a loved one who is showing signs of Depression Suicide
If you believe someone is contemplating suicide do seek help immediately, however, there are several suicide prevention websites and hotlines available to help those in need, but in case these are not within your reach, you can try the following:
1. Cultivate Physical Closeness: Simple hugs, kisses on the cheeks, loving pats and compliments go a long way in healing a broken heart or depressed mind. Remember, sometimes the little things DO count.
2. If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him or her alone.
3. Remember: suicidal behavior is a cry for help. Thus if someone contemplating suicide turns to you, it is likely that he believes that you are more caring and more informed about coping with depression, and more willing to help. This in itself is positive, thus it will be time to empower yourself to be what a suicidal person views you to be; stronger and you are.
4. Other steps to take include reassuring them that help is available and that with appropriate treatment they can feel better. Try not to patronize them by simply telling them that “everything will be fine,” or that “they have everything to live for.
5. Try to search the house for dangerous items such as guns and knives that could be potentially harmful.
In addition to the factors above, if you are of a spiritual inclination, this will be a good time to pray according to the framework of your faith. Indeed, prayer when used effectively can work wonders to aid in curtailing depression suicide.
Moreover, in the hopes that your loved one begins to show signs of improvement from the warnings indicating depression suicide, it will be great to start to include such drug-free approaches for depression treatment such as exercise: namely Yoga, a proper diet for physical health which in turn heals the mind and positive thinking and affirmations.
Naturally, we all would get concerned or frightened if a loved one seems on the brink of suicide resulting from depression, however as with all life’s problems, if we can catch it early and nip it in the bud, depression suicide can be prevented. If things may have gotten more advanced, then it may be time to seek professional help or as an alternative double up on our efforts to steer the loved one back to a positive outlook on life.
What is your core wound? Narcissistic Abuse Recovery FAQ
As you go through the narcissistic abuse recovery process, one of the biggest breakthroughs you can have is to discover, understand and overcome your core wound – the biggest issue that’s holding you back in your life and preventing you from getting what you really want.
In today’s vlog extra, I’ll tell you what a core wound is and offer several examples – plus, I’ll help you start to discover yours.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. (Little Gidding)” ― T.S. Eliot
There are no victims here, only warriors of truth.
If I tried to explain the last five years of my life to someone who knew nothing of the abuse, who knew nothing of “narcissists,” it would be like trying to explain color to the blind. For this reason, I am sharing my story of narcissistic abuse and how I survived it.
Five years ago, I met a girl. I hadn’t necessarily been looking for love or even the One. I know now that that mentality of looking without, instead of within, to fill the void was perhaps the greatest weakness of my character. To believe in love at first sight, to believe in princess charming, to believe that one day I would be saved from my own inner loneliness…
How wrong was I, in this whole experience?
Experience, that I sorely needed; I have come out now with fresh new eyes, a new mind set, new knowledge of what people can truly be like. I once believed in monsters, the ones hiding under the bed, the ones lurking in the shadows of our closets, ready to pounce at us, to grab at our ankles.
It was the same for believing in love, I think. I grew out of being afraid of the monsters but still believed in Love, with a capital L.
How naive I was, how innocent. How trusting, how loving was I to trust the Devil with my heart. I look back on my life, realizing that I had always had a brush with narcissists, but this last one was the worst, staying in my life like a piranha on prey. Something about me, some inner vulnerability must have led her to me, like a shark to blood in the water.
She love bombed me, made me feel like the only person in her whole universe. Made me feel like we were soulmates; made and created for one another. She made me feel safe to share everything about me with her, my strengths and weaknesses. My hands are trembling, memories just below the surface, twisting and fighting, like a pit of hungry snakes, writing and slithering.
I try not to dwell on what was, but what will be. I do not see myself as a victim. I am a survivor. The day I realized that all those years she was simply abusing me, using me; with a fake smile on her lips, reveling in the misery I felt, her nails painted red with my blood as she had clawed at me, like a hysterical animal snared in a bear trap; I knew what madness had claimed her.
She was not like me.
She would never be like me.
These creatures, these human “beings,” lack everything necessary to grow, to become whole themselves. For this reason, they seek us out, hoping to capitalize on our own securities and vulnerability, brainwashing us, taking us for a ride. They mirror all of who we are back onto us. The saddest part of all this is that despite having all of our wondrous qualities and strengths mirrored at us, we think we can never be without them. This is all an illusion. A perfect performance worthy of an Emmy.
The truth lies in understanding that we fell in love with ourselves. That we fell for an illusion of who we thought they were. Nothing about her was real. It was like falling in love with a dream, one that felt so real; a lie we wanted to believe so strongly, out of fear, out of desperation.
She was my everything and I hers.
But soon, after the months and years of struggling for money, and her tearing into me like a hungry shark, that illusion was being challenged, every day. Why was she always criticizing me, why was she always talking about herself as a victim, why were things always going wrong, why did I feel so nervous and unsure in her presence? Why was I always doubting myself? Why was my health, slowly but surely, getting worse?
I spent years fighting to get her to admit to her faults, to take responsibility for her words and actions. I tore myself in two trying to get her to love me as I loved her. I burned the candle at both ends to prove to her that I was worthy of her love, her trust, of her time. I spent so much of myself trying to get my ex-narcissist to love me.
And in all this madness, I felt like I deserved it. Some sort of karmic retribution? But for what? Even God himself was not that spiteful, and yet, I allowed this daily ritual of chastising to happen to me, to allow my whole soul, mind, and heart to be assaulted by her own damaged thinking, and her own twisted version of what love was.
I felt I deserved it, even as she brought an ex-lover into the picture. I allowed it, out of love, trust, and to prove I wasn’t insecure or jealous. I should have left so many times before that day. But I think the worst emotion to have when it comes to these kinds of people, is to have hope. Hope that they can change, that they will change, that if you work at it things will get better.
They use hope to keep us captive; we basically put our own selves in chains and give them the key.
I had no boundaries. No self-respect for my own self. The worse thing I thought while with her was, “If she loved me, she wouldn’t do this.” “If I trust her, she’ll respect me enough not to do this.” “If I do this for her, she’ll need me.”
All these thoughts I’ve had, all created to keep me trapped and in a relationship that was eating away at my soul. I became a ghost of my old self. I was ashamed to show my face to my mother, to my father, to my siblings. I was ashamed at my own weakness, at how love had made me a victim. I was also stubborn; I never asked for help. I just rolled with the punches, every single one aimed at my soul.
This whole time, there was a spark in me, that would rise up for a week, every month, coming out of hiding, crying and screaming at me that I wasn’t happy, that I deserved better, that this was not love. That I had to end things, I had to move on, I did not deserve this…
THIS ISN’T LOVE.
It was like having Tinkerbell, arising out of the shadows, shedding light and reason into my world.
The day it all ended was when I said NO!
No to giving her money, to disregarding my feelings, to being abused, used, and discarded. NO! to having my own kindness turned into a weapon against me. NO! to having my boundaries constantly tested. NO! to being treated like an object.
It was over. I had reached my limit.
On the drive home, my face red from a numbing slap unmistakable with the scratches on my face, neck, and arms, I cried. I hadn’t even touched her. Nothing in my behavior had warranted that attack on my person. I was numb. There was only numbness for how I felt but there was also acceptance.
There was Tinkerbell’s voice, chiming in my head telling me, “I told you this did not love.”
As I drove home, I cried, talking to myself out loud.
“This is not love. This isn’t love. This is not love!”
The last came out in a scream as I gripped the steering wheel, blinking away tears to clear my blurred vision. I was done, so done with all the pain, the madness. I exhausted. I was tired of trying to save someone who didn’t even have a soul, tired of throwing myself down the rabbit hole. She could stay there, in her own version of Hell. She didn’t need me there when all I was was something to keep her afloat in her own madness, while drowning me at the same time.
I was done with it all.
And when I left, she didn’t fight for me. She already had her next supply. A girl that I had hated, a girl that mirrored my own kindness. A girl that was also in love with the idea of love itself. Another person who wanted to save an already lost soul, and who was just as naive and innocent as I had been, despite being present in more than half of all the drama.
There was anger and hate, but I realized that wasting that kind of energy on those emotions is like drinking poison, waiting for the other person to die. I take it one day at a time, being grateful for the experience, for the pain I had endured. It was something I needed to learn, pain that I needed to feel, madness that I needed to touch, and have it envelop my whole world to know that I did not want this in my life any longer.
So, I say this; your kindness to the world, your naivety, your innocence is not a weakness. It is only such viewed in the eyes of those who have none. Be as pure of heart as you can possibly be in this world. Not all who love, can hurt us as much as their kind can. Be pure, be honest, if a little bit cautious. You aren’t blind to the truth of the monsters. You know they exist, and they walk among us.
Be strong, be brave, my survivors.
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The question: What are the differences between bi-polar disorder and NPD?
For example, one client told me her ex-narc has been diagnosed by a psychologist as bi-polar, but that she doesn’t believe this to be the case – and no one will listen to her. While I haven’t experienced this exactly, I can certainly relate to her pain – how about you?
Why Are Narcissists Are Often Misdiagnosed by Psychotherapists?
Narcissists tend to be misread by many therapists, and generally in one of two ways – either the therapist doesn’t see an issue, or they are diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Why does this happen? Well, there are a few reasons, so let’s talk about that.
Psychology schools haven’t taught about NPD.
First, many schools didn’t teach psychologists a lot about narcissistic personality disorder, so a lot of therapists aren’t educated on NPD at all. Others just don’t even recognize it as a possible diagnosis. One of my clients told me that she mentioned gaslighting during a therapy session, and her therapist told her that he not only hadn’t heard of it but asked her how to SPELL it. No, I’m not kidding.
Bi-polar and NPD symptoms overlap.
Another reason this happens is that so many of the symptoms overlap between these two disorders.
“Clinicians have long noted overlap in some of the key features of narcissism and bipolar disorder, including excessively high goals and impulsivity. In addition, empirical findings consistently document high levels of comorbidity between the two conditions. To better understand the similarities and differences in psychological qualities associated with mania- and narcissism-related vulnerabilities, we administered to 233 undergraduates a broad range of measures pertaining to goals and affects (both their experience and their dysregulation) and impulsivity. As hypothesized, tendencies toward both narcissism and hypomania related to elevations on measures of affective and goal dysregulation. In addition, hypomania tendencies were related to higher impulsivity, but that association did not appear for narcissistic tendencies. Results highlight key commonalities and differences between those at risk for mania versus narcissism. Future research should examine these relationships in clinically diagnosed samples.”
Putting it in layman’s terms, both someone with NPD and someone with bipolar disorder will present with grandiose perceptions of themselves sometimes, and both will have unrealistic fantasies of power or success – plus, both may also feel a heightened sense of their own abilities or accomplishments.
This is most commonly misdiagnosed when a therapist believes that the person is experiencing mild hypomania – an elevated mood that hasn’t reached the full manic level yet – due to bipolar disorder. Of course, based on these symptoms alone, even a well-trained professional may misdiagnose their patient.
Psychologist on Bi-Polar and NPD Diagnosis Confusion
Now, as you know, I’m a certified life coach, NOT a psychologist – so I figured I’d bring some advice from a psychologist who IS qualified to offer it here.
Peterson adds: “Personality disorders are pervasive patterns of relating to others and situations that are long-standing. In bipolar, manic or depressed periods typically last weeks to months, but are not always present.”
Of course, as I said, these symptoms can definitely overlap, and Peterson advises that other factors could play a part in the confusion.
He says: “Many of the core symptoms of bipolar can be confused with normal variability in mood, changes associated with personality disorders — including narcissistic or borderline personality disorder — or changes associated with alcohol or drug use.”
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms Vs NPD Symptoms
Let’s cover the basics here – bipolar disorder is mostly characterized by dramatic and overwhelming shifts in mood or energy – the bipolar person may hit the highest highs and the lowest lows, and these will alternate, often in a pattern. During the manic period, they’ll have lots of energy and be much more extroverted – while when the “down” side hits, they’ll find themselves exhausted, withdrawn, and generally in despair.
Another big marker for bipolar disorder: those who are most seriously affected sometimes can’t function in normal day-to-day life. They can’t keep jobs or relationships due to their disorder. Of course, when it comes to NPD, you’re dealing with someone who is self-absorbed to an unhealthy point, and who does not experience real empathy for the people around them.
So, in order to correctly diagnose or differentiate between the two disorders, psychologists must pay attention to the patterns in the lives of the disorder and be aware of the specific phases, if they believe the patient is bipolar.
Cluster B and Bi-Polar Can Be Co-Morbid Conditions
Sometimes the two CAN coexist: A recent study found that cluster B (which includes borderline, narcissistic, antisocial, and histrionic personality disorders) features were evident in about one-third of bipolar patients, with possible associations to childhood emotional and/or physical abuse.
Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
Exaggerating your achievements and talents
Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
Requiring constant admiration
Having a sense of entitlement
Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
Taking advantage of others to get what you want
Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
Being envious of others and believing others envy you
Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
According to the DSM – 5, these are the basic symptoms for bipolar disorder – and please note this is a VERY high overview – bipolar disorder is far more complex than you’d expect.
Bipolar Disorder Symptoms
First, you cannot self-diagnose bipolar disorder – the DSM5 requires a medical diagnosis. “Mania symptoms include periods of elevated mood or irritability. When experiencing a manic episode, a patient often has high energy levels with reduced need for sleep. Less often, people may experience psychosis. Depression symptoms include feeling sad, low energy, low motivation, or loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.”
Mood: mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, inability to feel pleasure, or loss of interest
Behavioral: irritability, risky behavior, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, crying, excess desire for sex, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or self-harm
Cognitive: unwanted thoughts, delusion, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority
Psychological: depression, manic episode, agitated depression, or paranoia
Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or excess sleepiness
Whole body: fatigue or restlessness
Weight: weight gain or weight loss
Also common: rapid and frenzied speaking
Bipolar Disorder Has Periods of Remission, NPD Does Not
A final thought on this – while people with bipolar disorder might have episodes of “remission” in which the disorder doesn’t dictate their lives, people with NPD are pretty consistent about their behavior. Sure, there might be varying levels of intensity with the gaslighting and the manipulative behaviors with a narcissist, but it’s a character-type that doesn’t go away – and even when there is some success in treatment (rarely is the disorder even treated), it doesn’t usually go away. That fact, along with the fact that the narcissistic person can’t experience real empathy, are, in my opinion, the two most obvious differences between these disorders.
Now it’s your turn – what do you think? Do you know anyone who seems to be a narcissist but who was diagnosed as bipolar? How do you feel about it and what would you say to my suggestion that the easiest way to detect the difference lies in both the patterns and the empathy factor?
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The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. It 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 and 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.
July 6, 2016, something kind of unexpected happened to me – I accidentally found a connection with a whole bunch of other people across the world, who, luckily, included my kids.
In fact, I was far from alone – and within 24 hours of the game hitting the US app stores, the game had more active users than freaking Tinder!
Yeah, I’m talking about Pokemon Go, the app that has taken over your Facebook news feed and has already changed the lives of millions. But this one’s different than Candy Crush and all kinds of other games I never managed to get addicted to – it’s a whole other thing.
See, the way the game is played, it almost forces you to go out and move your butt a little, and to do so in places in the community around you.
You’re a Poke trainer and you are tasked with a few different things – including collecting/catching/hunting these little Pokemon creatures (monsters?) who you can then train and use to battle other players at the Pokemon gym.
But here is the reason I’m talking about this today – I believe that this app could literally change our society.
I’ve met neighbors I didn’t know before. I’ve run into all kinds of people that I couldn’t have or wouldn’t have ever run into – and I’ve got a whole new way to connect with my kids.
And what’s better is the latest news: apparently, people are reporting lots of benefits – in addition to the obvious benefits (moving your ass and getting into the community more often), there’s the whole mental health factor.
(Not to mention that local landmarks and businesses are seeing more traffic than ever – our St. Louis Zoo seeems to find itself busier than ever since that date).
And, while I’m brimming with ideas on how this app could change the whole world, I’m even more excited about the mental health part.
“In terms of the phenomena of people expressing the benefits of playing the game to their real-world mental health status, I think that’s very unique and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that,” Dr. John Grohol, the founder of Psych Central, told Engadget.
“The research is really, really clear on this, that the more you exercise, the more it would help decrease feelings of depression,” he told the tech news site. “It actually works as an anti-depressant and it has a really, pretty strong effect. It’s probably one of the most beneficial things a person with depression can do, especially if they’re not accessing other types of treatments, such as psychotherapy or medication.”
“That way of taking a break and letting the mind think about something different is better than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, which is what a lot of people do to de-stress,” he said.
And, he added, in addition to making people less isolated, an augmented reality game like Pokemon Go does force people to go outside and exercise.
Maybe even better, if you’re hanging out at a Poke-stop and there are 10 or 20 other people there all catching Pokemon, guess what? You’ve got something to talk about.
Of course, it’s a well-documented fact that physical exercise is one of the best ways to combat depression, and almost every other mental health issue. And in addition, the social aspect and the whole changing your scene deal are also standard practice when it comes to getting through the tough times.
Some users say that the game has actually become a better treatment than anything their doctors could prescribe and anything their therapists recommended.
So that’s what I’ve got for today – how about you – are you playing? What do you think about this phenomenon? What other unique ways have you found to get through the hard times? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section and let’s discuss it.