The term syndrome is derived from the Greek word “syn”, meaning together, and “dramein”, meaning to run. Hence, the word syndrome refers to correlated symptoms which run together and are associated with a certain physical or mental disorder or condition. Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome or Narcissistic Victim Syndrome is a set of symptoms caused by spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical abuse by a narcissist. Christine Louis de Canonville, a psychotherapist and author of the book The Three Faces of Evil: Unmasking the Full Spectrum of Narcissistic Abuse, explains “In order to be able to diagnose a client suffering with Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, the therapist needs to be able to gather together the signs and symptoms and access the client’s psychological make-up as their story unfolds.” This will help the therapist to understand if you are actually suffering from NAS or a milder form of abuse that has affected your mental well-being.
Coping with Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome
One of the first steps of dealing with this condition is identifying that you are actually suffering from Narcissistic Victim Syndrome. Validating the reality of your situation is essential despite your narcissist trying to gaslight you and make you doubt yourself. As most victims of narcissists are programmed and conditioned, they often fail to realize that they are experiencing abuse. Hence, it appears like you are willingly subjecting yourself to narcissistic abuse. “Of course, this is far from the truth,” writes author Christine Louis de Canonville. Most victims are unconscious of the mind games and emotional manipulations that occur in narcissistic relationships. “This ignorance leaves them open to the danger of forming another dangerous liaison and being victimized yet again,” adds Christine.
Read also: How To Handle Narcissistic Abuse
This is why it is imperative that you identify the signs of Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome before it leaves a lasting effect on your emotional and physical well being. If your loved ones are doubting you or if you feel isolated, then it is crucial that you seek professional help immediately. Talking to a therapist can help you better understand how the abuse is affecting and what you can do to heal yourself – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Going for therapy is the first step towards recovery. Therapy can help you set healthy boundaries, rebuild your self-esteem and confidence, and help you relieve your mental health symptoms.
“Consult a trauma-informed counselor who understands and can help guide you through the symptoms of trauma. Make a safety plan if you have concerns about your abuser getting violent,” concludes author Shahida Arabi. They can also help you realize that it is not your fault and you do not deserve to be abused by anyone. So make sure to reach out for help if you are experiencing the symptoms of NAS, particularly suicidal ideation.
Although leaving an abusive relationship may not be easy, with determination, therapy and support from loved ones you can recover fully and live a better, happier life.
Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful: