Nowadays considered as a disorder, anxiety has got its evolutionary roots back in the earliest beginnings of human evolution. Humans needed it to survive in the harsh and unpredictable environment they lived in.
Anxiety nowadays is considered to be an inexplicable feeling of unease, nervousness, and worry. It’s true that we have come too far to be affected by the same conditions which gave rise to the protective role of anxiety for our ancestors. So why and how does it occur now?
A lot of literature connects today’s anxiety disorders to some kind of psychological and emotional abuse during the person’s childhood. It has been found that early-life stress has a profound effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and that the same effect can occur in adults.
This abuse is now discussed as a major factor contributing to anxiety disorders, major depression, and PTSD. In fact, it has been established that psychological abuse is more detrimental than physical aggression and that it leaves a deep scar in the victim’s mental health.
Children who have been victims of psychological abuse don’t necessarily develop anxiety in their lives, but such traumatic events in times where their brains are still developing contribute to supersensitivity in the neuroendocrine stress response systems.
This means that any additional stress from emotional or psychological abuse later in life bears a high possibility of triggering psychological disorders such as anxiety and major depression.
Narcissistic abuse is one of the most harmful types of psychological abuse. It renders the victim unable to think and reason clearly due to the increased stress and the eventual adrenal fatigue.
This, in turn, triggers a number of possible outcomes, among which the most devastating effect could be an anxiety disorder, major depression, or both. This further increases your susceptibility to the narcissistic abuse and your inability to escape it.
That is why some victims tend to remain in the victim-abuser loop until the rest of their lives and are not even aware that their abuser feeds off them with every passing day.
The most common targets for a narcissist are people who are empathetic, compassionate and choose to see the best in others. This sensitive type of people will choose to trust and understand the narcissist.
And this is what they need to start weaving their web around their good-willing victims. In the process of their flawless manipulation, they will use whatever means necessary to make their victim feel smaller and more dependent on them.
They do it by constantly trying to lower their self-confidence and make their victims believe that they are going crazy. If they see themselves caught in the act, they will skillfully get out of the situation by convincing the other person that they are imagining the situation and are psychologically unstable.
While this is not the truth, you know what they say: a lie told a hundred times becomes truth. The more they make their victim question their morality, sanity, and ability to love unconditionally, the more they nail them to their cross and feed off them.
From the victim perspective, this lowered state and constant stress will eventually lead to adrenal fatigue and a constant fear that they may be doing something wrong. In certain cases, the victims start avoiding people, feel unable to function properly, and are generally in a disabled state.
This process is what will eventually lead the victim to a state of a shattered self-confidence and a completely destroyed mental state, where a lot of mental disorders have a space to start festering.
In this state, the victim is prone to develop extreme social anxiety, illnesses related to pervasive stress, a complete sense of disassociation from the self, and symptoms of major depression.
If you find yourself in such situation, it’s best that you talk to a psychologist and ask for help. While there are people who are able to recognize narcissistic abuse and get out of that relationship before it develops, some people are very much trapped in the cycle and find it impossible to get out.
It’s not that they don’t want to, but the psychological damage they have endured has left them unable to fight off the abuser and has made them shut themselves off from the rest of the world.
Psychological abuse is more dangerous than physical abuse. It leaves terrible consequences on the mental health of the victim and it renders them unable to recognize it.
In the case of narcissistic abuse, the victim will be certain that they are the ones who are in the wrong, and they will blame themselves for the dark reality they are in. This, of course, is far from the truth.
If you are or have been a victim of narcissistic abuse, know that it has never been your fault and that you did your best to pull that disturbed soul out of its own darkness. The truth is, most narcissists prefer their darkness, and they want to pull you in it.