Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S, affecting about 40 million Americans every year. There are various anxiety disorders, from generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder to social anxiety disorder.
It is generally believed that this disorders stems from causes like personality disorders, traumatic life events, brain chemistry, and anxiety-causing foods.
However, turns out there is yet another potential cause, which is unfortunately rarely discussed.
Narcissistic Abuse May Cause Anxiety Disorders
The term narcissistic abuse refers to physical and mental harm caused by self-center people or narcissists. These people think very highly of themselves and seek admiration from others. They tend to be manipulative and demanding, leaving the people they are close with feel unworthy of love, neglected, and anxious.
It has been scientifically shown that narcissistic abuse from childhood can lead to formation of anxiety disorder, both in youth and adulthood. Narcissistic abuse experienced in childhood negatively affects both physical and mental health of the individual, in both short and long-term.
How to Recognize Signs of Narcissistic Abuse
The largest problem with any type of abuse is that the symptoms can be difficult to spot due to emotional manipulation, denial, and self-victimization. Here are some of the signs, so review them to see whether you were or are victim of narcissistic abuse.
1. Abuse and manipulation. The abuser bulled you either physically or verbally, making you believe that their unhappiness is caused by YOU.
2. Blackmail. The abuser criticized you if you didn’t do what they wanted you to do.
3. Gaslighting. The abuser made you feel unworthy of love and incompetent by comparing you to people who are more successful.
4. Neglect. The abuser wasn’t supportive and didn’t reciprocate the love and respect you needed.
5. Lying and cheating. You were constantly cheated or lied to by the abuser. Narcissists often lie and cheat in order to stroke their ego and avoid responsibility.
6. Exploitation and isolation. The abuser exploited you generosity and kindness for their personal gain. Also, they neglected your boundaries and kept you isolated from friends and relatives so that you don’t get the support you need.
7. Projection (in the case of a narcissistic parent). The abuser was dependent on you and wanted you do be dependent on them too, so that you never leave.
Tips for Dealing with Narcissistic Abuse and Anxiety
Here are a few tips to consider if you have been abused as a child or you experience narcissistic abuse now:
- Seek professional help (police, a medical professional, a helpline, or a local shelter for victims of abuse)
- Cut ties with the abuser (whether it is a friend, family member, or coworker)
- Keep a positive outlook (recognize your worth)
- Learn more about narcissistic abuse
When it comes to anxiety, you shoul consult a doctor or medical professional