It’s very similar to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some people who had a narcissist in their lives may experience some changes in their personality which will resemble the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is known as post narcissist stress disorder (PNSD).
The post-traumatic stress disorder is usually developed after a person has experienced a situation or event that has caused intense feeling of hopelessness, fear or disbelief.
Everyone needs a certain period of time when they adjust and recover after an experience with a narcissist. However, some of us may face with prolonged adjustments that last for more than a year. All we need to do is take some time, calm down, take care of ourselves and let go of the narcissist. After a while these traumatic reactions will get better and completely disappear too.
Any factor can provoke a PNSD, like for example feeling the smell of the same perfume on a stranger walking by, a song playing on the radio that reminds you of that person or even certain foods. These simple things can bring back some of your memories from the past that are both mentally and emotionally disturbing. These kinds of memories are also known as ‘triggers’.
HERE ARE THE THREE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF PNSD:
- Disturbing memories of the narcissist.
- Emotional numbing or avoidance.
- Increased emotional instability and anxiety.
Here is what the symptoms of disturbing memories actually include:
- Memories of their intense rage or short flashbacks of the traumatic events.
- All of a sudden you start to question your own mental stability because of the mental abuse that lasted for months or years while you try to perform some everyday tasks.
- Inability to adjust your self-confidence or self-worth and inability to feel good about yourself in social situations. This is also one of the consequences of months/years of mental, emotional, verbal and sometimes even physical abuse.
Here are some of the symptoms of emotional numbing and avoidance:
- Stay away from social activities or situations and avoiding some people or relationships.
- Feeling emotionally numb towards love and life in general.
- Overuse of sleep aids and substance abuse.
- Problems with your memory
- Difficulty to concentrate or perform simple actions
- Distancing themselves from the whole world around them – not participating in conversations
- Inability to start a new relationship or to maintain close relationships
- Feeling hopeless about the future
Here are some of the symptoms of increased emotional instability and anxiety:
- Uncontrollable anger, rage and irritability
- Inability to adjust to their everyday tasks, constantly questioning their motives, memories and sanity. Loss of self-worth and self-confidence.
- Enormous guilt or shame, constantly blaming themselves and Stockholm syndrome too.
- Behavior that leads to self-destruction, like drinking or smoking a lot, not eating in the proper way, having sex with strangers, quitting their job etc.
- Frequent crying or panic attacks
- Becoming easily upset or frightened
- Thinking of the worst possible scenarios of a certain situations or paranoia
- Flashbacks of some narcissistic rages or arguments that occurred in the past.
Everyone who has lived close to a narcissist for a long period of time knows how hard that experience might be. It interferes with your whole life, changes the way you think and is definitely something you don’t want to experience again in your life.