Quora Answers: Is There A Formal Test/Assessment Procedure For Narcissistic Victim Syndrome?
When I began to heal after ending my 18-year marriage to a Malignant Narcissist, I sought help from a psychiatrist for my son and myself.
The doctor talked to us at length, both together and separately.
He explained that Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome isn’t recognized as an official diagnosis.
It is, however, a very real condition that is often accompanied by complex PTSD, which is a recognized diagnosis.
I had heard of PTSD, of course, but I knew nothing about CPTSD.
The difference is that PTSD is generally associated with trauma caused by a single event.
Complex PTSD is the result of long-term physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, and involves an additional set of symptoms.
Both my son and I were officially diagnosed with CPTSD, as well as suspected Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome.
The psychiatrist prescribed anti-depressants and continued to see us on a monthly basis.
He also recommended therapy with a counselor specializing in treating Victims of Narcissistic Abuse.
The symptoms of PTSD and CPTSD are listed below.
I found them in an article from Healthline, written by Gary Gilles and Kelly Morrell, and medically reviewed by Dr. Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD, CRNP, ACRN, CPH.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder with the following symptoms:
- Reliving the traumatic experience, including having nightmares and flashbacks.
- Avoiding certain situations that serve as reminders of the traumatic event.
- Changes in beliefs about other people and yourself, including the inability to trust and feeling that the world is a dangerous place.
- Hyperarousal, including difficulty concentrating, insomnia, being easily startled, and feeling jittery or constantly on alert.
- Having physical symptoms with no underlying medical cause when reminded of the traumatic event, such as dizziness or nausea.
CPTSD includes the above symptoms, along with the following additional symptoms:
- Having uncontrollable feelings, such as pervasive sadness or explosive rage.
- A feeling of detachment from your body or emotions, called disassociation, that can include forgetting traumatic events.
- Feelings of extreme guilt or shame.
- Relationship difficulties, including avoiding people, feeling awkward around others, or quickly jumping into another abusive relationship.
- Preoccupation with the abusive relationship, including getting revenge on the abuser.
- Loss of religious faith and long-held beliefs, resulting in feelings of despair and hopelessness.
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