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  • Writer's pictureDana Arcuri

Narcissistic Abuse Wreaks Havoc on Your Brain & Body

Were you scapegoated by a covert narcissist? If so, it's important for you to learn credible facts about how narcissistic abuse can wreak havoc on your brain, body, and health.

According to Medical News Today, “Narcissistic abuse is a form of abuse stemming from narcissistic behaviors. It can be emotional, psychological, or physical. Narcissistic characteristics can include volatile behavior, lack of empathy, and aggression. Narcissistic abuse may include gaslighting, constant criticism, humiliation, and coercion.”

The long-term effects of narcissistic abuse come with many devastating consequences, especially for those who were raised by a narcissistic father, mother, caregiver, or sibling.

Simply stated, if you grew up in a dysfunctional family with one or more narcissists, there is medical evidence that children who are scapegoated can suffer a wide range of medical and mental health conditions.

Up above are interesting facts about having high cortisol levels. It's common and normal for abuse survivors' bodies to be flooded by cortisol, adrenaline, and other hormones. It also can wreak havoc on your body, brain, and health.

Ongoing Narcissistic abuse changes your brain, body, and health. If you remain in a relationship with the narc, you could suffer serious implications.

17 Mental & Physical Health Conditions Linked to Narc Abuse:

1. Autoimmune Disorders (Lupus, Fibromyalgia, etc.)

2. Thyroid Conditions (Hypothyroidism & Hyperthyroidism)

3. Complex PTSD/PTSD

4. Depression & Anxiety

5. Gut Health Issues (Leaky gut, IBS, Crohn’s, etc.)

6. Amygdala Brain Damage (Memory loss, lack of focus, cognitive issues. MRI’s & brain scans have proven this.)

7. Central Nervous System Damage (Your body is flooded by cortisol, adrenaline, and other hormones. You may be constantly reliving trauma over and over again.)

8. Emotional Liability (Mood swings, depersonalization, irritability, etc.)

9. Cancer (It's directly linked to chronic stress, high cortisol levels, & dysregulated CNS.)

10. Emotional Trauma (Very likely to be compounded trauma)

11. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

12. Migraines/Cluster Headaches

13. Eating disorders, addictions, etc.

14. High Blood Pressure

15. Insomnia/Nightmares

16. Chronic Pain

17. Suicidal ideation, thoughts, and/or attempts

After enduring and suffering child neglect and abuse, narcissistic abuse, sibling abuse, and sexual abuse, it is no surprise that I was diagnosed with primary fibromyalgia in March 2008. In addition, it didn't shock me when I was officially diagnosed in June 2019 with Compounded Trauma and Complex PTSD.

Although my recovery process took me many years to heal, I am doing much better today in comparison to 2008. My fibromyalgia and trauma journey is shared candidly in my book, Soul Cry: Releasing & Healing the Wounds of Trauma. To order your own copy, here is the Amazon link:

In many medical studies, over 80% of women who had suffered child abuse or sexual assaults had later been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. There is a body/mind connection to abuse and the manifestation of chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, and other illnesses. Dr. Gabor Mate', a trauma-informed expert, shared that repressed and suppressed emotions (anger, grief, betrayal, heartbreak, abuse, etc) can manifest into a full-blown illness. This is exactly why it's essential to work with a trauma-informed mental health professional or myself, a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach.

Because each abuse survivor is so worthy to be seen, heard, validated, understood, and emotionally supported. Make certain that whoever you work with has personal and professional experience in narcissistic abuse, sibling abuse, and the specific area that you need to heal.

Complex PTSD is due to ongoing abuse and multiple traumatic experiences. Whereas, regular PTSD is a one-time traumatic event. CPTSD/PTSD isn't a mental health illness. Rather, it is a psychological injury, due to emotional abuse and trauma. CPTSD/PTSD isn't about "what's wrong with us." It is about what "happened" to us.

After experiencing narcissistic abuse, many people find themselves stuck in a cycle where their abuser continues to contact them after the relationship has ended. The narcissist may hoover you or love bomb you in an attempt to get you back. It’s common for them to threaten you, manipulate you, and retaliate against you.

Remember, the malignant narcissist needs narc supply. This is their tactic to keep you trapped as their victim so you stay in a vicious cycle of abuse. Victims of narcissistic abuse live in a chronic state of hypervigilance. They are in survival mode.

It is common for the scapegoat to be slammed by fight, flight, freeze, or fawn mode. It is a normal trauma response to narcissistic abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, and other types of psychological abuse.

Are you tired of feeling sick and tired? Are you ready to look outside the Western medicine box? The average person walks into their doctor's office ready to accept whatever is said and handed to them. Without taking time to research or gain more insight, they accept pills and treatment without looking into other options.

Our nation overeats. We put toxic fake food into our bodies, but wonder why we're sick. We continue a vicious cycle of consuming the wrong foods and drinks along with a stressful lifestyle, yet question why cancer is so rampant. Most of our society live in fear and believe they have no control.

My positive message is that we do have control. We need to take back ownership of our bodies and minds. Don't blindly fill prescriptions without first checking into potential side effects, adverse reactions, and long-term damage to your body and mind.

Be conscious of what you are consuming. Be informed. Take the initiative to gain more knowledge. Understand your options so you may be in a better position to make an informed choice.

According to credible medical resources, there is hope for reducing your symptoms by going no contact with the narcissist. For we can only heal when we are safe and we are free from abusive relationships.

In one medical study, a woman who had suffered narcissistic abuse had been diagnosed with MS. Her doctor ordered brain scans and MRI testing during her early days of still being in contact with her narcissistic mother.

The doctor followed her through a six year process. The patient with MS had gone no contact with her narc mom. After six years of being free from narcissistic abuse, the woman's new brain scan and MRI tests revealed:

  1. Her central nervous system was more regulated & balanced compared to before.

  2. Her brain appeared healthier & it wasn't as lit up as six years ago.

  3. Her MS symptoms were significantly reduced.

  4. Her overall quality of health & life were improved.

The Bottom Line: It doesn’t matter who the narc is. Regardless of it being your father, mother, sibling, caregiver, relative, spouse, partner, friend, co-worker, or a stranger, all types of abuse, including narcissistic abuse, can have dire consequences.

The habitual abuse can destroy your brain, your body, and your health. It can complicate your ability to function and recover.

Healing trauma isn't overnight. There is no quick fix. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes self-advocacy, wisdom, as well as trial and error.

Healing from abuse is like an onion. As you process one layer of trauma to release your pain and heal, a new layer will come to the surface. Have hope that you are healing. Best wishes to each of you and your trauma recovery.

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