Ascension Avatar note: This brought a chuckle, but I suppose it would be no laughing matter for those who have experienced it (I’ve always kept narcissists out of my life…).
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Post Narcissist Stress Disorder or PSND affects those who have just managed to extricate themselves from a relationship with a narcissist. It is very much like PTSD.
PSND can be easily triggered by even the smallest thing the sufferer associates with the narcissist, be it a familiar smell or sound or taste.
Three major symptoms of PNSD:
1. Intrusive memories of the narcissist
Sometimes people suffering from PNSD are unexpectedly faced with triggers that send them into a nightmarish flashback about some incident with the narcissist.
They being to relive painful moments that involve narcissistic rage and other traumatic memories without being able to stop themselves.
Sometimes they begin to doubt their own sanity. Long periods of abuse may have conditioned them into believing that they are lacking in something.
They suffer nightmares and often have difficulty rebuilding their confidence in themselves.
2. Avoidance and emotional numbing
If you’re suffering from PNSD, you might begin to actively keep away from society and the things you once loved to do.
You’ll try your best to not dwell on the narcissist who hurt you. You’ll begin to feel like your mind is numb to all emotions.
Some try to overcome their issues by overusing recreational drugs or sedatives. Others might repress bad memories and have trouble focusing on even the simplest day to day tasks.
Forming new emotional connections will be hard and you might prefer to just hide yourself away from the world.
3. Anxiety and increased emotional volatility
Sufferers become very volatile and are prone to fits of irritability and rage while at the same time suffering from overpowering guilt which they try to hide.
Some may gaslight themselves (i.e., they begin to question every little action and memory and somehow bring all the blame onto themselves).
Insomnia, hyperventilation, hypervigilance, paranoia and distrust are also common symptoms.