Support is essential for anyone living with a mental illness. It helps ground the person by preventing them from engaging in dangerous behaviors and reeling them back from destructive ways of thinking. Unfortunately, supporting these loved ones is not always easy and should never come at the expense of your own wellbeing.
If you or someone you know has a person in their life living with a narcissistic family member, you may already be aware of the struggles you or that person may face.
Narcissistic abuse support can help caretakers and loved ones of people with NPD come to terms with and understand their condition while still setting boundaries.
Learn more about how NPD manifests, what living with a narcissist may look like, signs of abuse, and where you or your loved ones can get help for individuals with narcissistic personality disorder. Through family or individual therapy, Miami Hypnosis and Therapy can create an individualized plan to help you find balance in your life. Contact us today for more information on our approach to narcissistic abuse support.
NPD, like other mental health conditions, provides a unique set of challenges for the person living with the disorder. People who are diagnosed as narcissistic tend to focus primarily on themselves and the idealized image they have of who they are. This inflated sense of self can be the result of insecurity and lack of self-love. However, when challenged or forced to face criticism that doesn’t align with their self-image, they might lash out in order to protect themselves.
Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder may also act out in dysfunctional ways due to their self-centric behavior. They often rely on positive affirmation from the people around them in order to maintain a superior self-image and respond poorly when this need is not met.
Help for narcissistic personality disorder requires a formal diagnosis from a licensed mental health professional. After reviewing symptoms and coming back with a positive diagnosis, treatment typically involves therapeutic counseling.
Living with a Narcissistic Family Member
All areas of a narcissist’s life are affected by their condition. The need for narcissistic abuse support stems from the fact that loved ones with NPD can come across as demanding and selfish. Arrogance and a lack of empathy can make living with this person a challenge, especially when their inflated self-image affects your own sense of self. Working and romantic relationships can also be difficult, as the person with NPD will be unable to see a problem with their dysfunctional behavior and may blame problems on others instead of self-reflecting.
Other issues that may arise from living with someone with NPD are extreme reactions to perceived slights. Because their focus is primarily on themselves, any criticism may be taken as a personal attack. This distorted thinking—without narcissistic abuse support—can leave the people around them in a constant state of exhaustion from walking on eggshells to avoid retaliation. The result is often a one-sided relationship where one person is constantly feeding into the narcissist’s demands for admiration while being too afraid to oppose their sense of entitlement.
Watching for Signs of Abuse
Abuse takes many forms with some being easier to recognize. Physical abuse like hitting, punching, or kicking are more obvious ones that may result in visible marks that are harder to discredit. While we cannot see whether or not mental, emotional, or sexual abuse is occurring in a relationship, that doesn’t make it any less real or its side effects less damaging.
If you have a narcissistic family member or loved one, you should seek help from a narcissistic abuse support network if you are suffering from any of the following. These are all common signs of abuse and cannot be taken lightly. Seeking support before things become unmanageable is the best way to ensure your own happiness as well as your ability to be there for others if you so choose.
- Unwanted name-calling or derogatory language—These all fall under the category of bullying, which is something people with NPD may fall back on in order to assert their worth. By belittling others, they can maintain their feelings of superiority over that person. Finding proper narcissistic abuse support may be necessary in order to determine the severity and risk of this type of verbal abuse to one’s wellbeing.
- Excessive punishment—We’re all capable of giving someone the cold shoulder when we’re angry with them. However, people with NPD tend to take this up a notch when their demands are not met by another person. Aggression and the silent treatment may be taken to extremes in order to make the object of their focus feel guilty.
- Exploitation—Asking for help from others is fine, but there is a line between providing assistance and being exploited. Exploitation typically involves extreme, one-sided demands with little care for the other person’s wellbeing and how these demands may affect them. This can be asking for large sums of money and other inconvenient favors. Oftentimes, it requires the help of a narcissistic abuse support network to realize how outrageous these exploitative requests may be.
- Gaslighting—People with NPD often exude confidence and authority, even if they haven’t earned it. This is part of the reason why many narcissistic family members are capable of persuading you to think one thing and doubt yourself. This tactic, called gaslighting, can cause self-doubt and leave the sufferer unable to recognize themselves. A person who works with a narcissist may point out that they need to pull their own weight on a project. When the narcissist denies this observation and calls their teammates judgment into question, they are gaslighting the other person.
Getting Help for Individuals and Families Living with Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Miami Hypnosis and Therapy offers narcissistic abuse support as well as individual counseling for narcissistic family members. Learn how to draw boundaries and protect your own mental health by utilizing our team of licensed professionals trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Under the guidance of Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M., we can get you and your loved ones the help they need to thrive while living with narcissistic personality disorder.