Effects Of Narcissistic Abuse On The Brain

Understanding the effects of narcissistic abuse on the brain is crucial for those who have endured such trauma. Being around a narcissist, who often believes they are superior and demands constant respect, can be damaging not just emotionally, but also neurologically.

Narcissistic abuse, inflicted by someone with narcissistic tendencies, can lead to more than just hurt feelings; it can result in actual brain damage. Such abuse has the potential to alter brain functions and cause lasting harm. This article aims to delve into these effects and offer coping mechanisms for recovery.

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What is the definition of narcissistic abuse?

Pubmed's study "Recognising Narcissistic Abuse and the Implications for Mental Health Nursing Practice" states that someone who holds very high standards for themselves and demands special attention from others brings on narcissistic abuse. They could be highly egotistical and indifferent to the needs or feelings of others.[1]

Physical, mental, or emotional abuse by narcissists is possible. Anything that makes someone uncomfortable or hurt can qualify.

Name-calling, pressuring someone into doing something they don't want to do, or even physically harming someone are some signs of an abusive partner. It's crucial to remember that, regardless of the circumstance, it is never acceptable for someone to abuse you.

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The prevalence of narcissistic abuse

The following figures highlight the need for increased awareness and understanding of narcissistic personality disorder, particularly among these populations, as The Recovery Village explains. The prevalence of narcissistic personality disorder varies among different demographics. [2]It is estimated to occur in;

Many believe it is a reasonably common abuse, especially in romantic partnerships. Any interaction, including friendships, families, and work partnerships, can experience narcissistic abuse.

It is crucial for those who have experienced narcissistic abuse to seek support and assistance to heal and rehabilitate since narcissistic abuse can lead to actual physical brain damage.

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey[3];

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How does narcissistic abuse affect the brain?

Abuse at the hands of narcissists can have negative and protracted repercussions on the brain. There is an exceptionally high correlation between narcissistic abuse and trauma.

According to Hack Spirit's article, Neuroscience: The shocking impact narcissistic abuse has on the brain, the brain of a victim of narcissistic abuse interprets the abuse as a danger to their safety and well-being. This may trigger the brain's "fight, flight, or freeze" response - a normal reaction to danger. The brain then releases cortisol and other stress hormones to aid the person in overcoming the perceived threat.[4]

The brain can be harmed by prolonged stress, such as that brought on by narcissistic abuse.

The hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning, memory, and emotion regulation, can shrink due to chronic stress. It causes alterations in brain structure and function. The likelihood of developing mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, can rise due to these brain changes.

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The connection between narcissistic abuse & mental health problems

There is a connection between narcissistic abuse, the emergence of mental health problems, and the relationship between narcissistic abuse and trauma.

Chronic stress and trauma can alter the brain in ways that can result in the emergence of mental health conditions, including PTSD and depression. This cycle of abuse and mental health problems can be exacerbated by these mental health problems, which can also affect how the brain functions.

To address the effects of the abuse on their mental health and to stop this cycle, those who have experienced narcissistic abuse must seek treatment.

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The long-term effects of narcissistic abuse

An individual's mental health and well-being may be adversely affected by the long-term effects of narcissistic abuse. Research Gate explains that experiencing a traumatic event, such as narcissistic abuse, will have victims exhibiting signs of;[5]

Increased chance of acquiring mental health issues such as PTSD and depression

Narcissistic abuse can be painful, and the experience of that consistent emotional trauma can lead to the emergence of symptoms similar to PTSD and depression. These ailments can be difficult to manage and negatively impact a person's quality of life.

Trust, attachment, and intimacy issues

Issues with intimacy, trust, and connection can result from narcissistic abuse, making a victim feel unsafe emotionally and physically. Because of this, it may be challenging for someone who has suffered from narcissistic abuse to build solid relationships or feel comfortable being vulnerable in front of others. As a result, a person's social and emotional health could suffer.

Cognitive dysfunction and poor decision-making

Cognitive functions are the mental operations that allow us to think, learn, and remember. Decision-making is the capacity to choose and make decisions. The consequences of narcissistic abuse on the brain can affect these abilities, making it difficult for a person to think clearly and make good decisions. As a result, a person's ability to complete daily duties may remain the same.

Difficulty managing emotions

Narcissistic abuse can make a person feel various feelings, such as fear, guilt, shame, and grief. These strong feelings might be challenging to control, and one could have trouble regulating them.

Flashbacks of the traumatic events

Narcissistic abuse might bring on flashbacks of the traumatic event. These flashbacks can be incredibly vivid and lifelike, giving the impression that the horrific incident is currently occurring.

Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in routinely enjoyable activities

Sadness, helplessness, and a lack of interest in often festive activities are depression symptoms that may develop over time due to narcissistic abuse of the brain.

Chronic stress and trauma can alter the brain in ways that can result in the emergence of mental health conditions

The hippocampus may atrophy due to the consistent emotional trauma caused by narcissistic abuse, and other brain structure and function changes may also occur. These changes may pave the way for the onset of mental health illnesses, including PTSD and depression.

Difficulty establishing solid connections

A narcissistic abuser can make a person feel physically and emotionally uncomfortable. This might make it challenging for someone who has suffered from narcissistic abuse to build strong relationships with others. Establishing and keeping healthy relationships with them may be difficult since they may feel uneasy and untrustworthy.

Social and emotional health may suffer

Abuse of the selfish kind can hurt a person's social and mental well-being. A person may find it challenging to interact with others, partake in social activities, and develop lasting relationships due to the trauma and stress brought on by the abuse. This may make it difficult to sustain good connections and cause feelings of loneliness and isolation.

The abuse may impact the capacity to carry out daily tasks

Narcissistic abuse can impair one's concentration and clear thinking, making it challenging to do daily chores. Additionally, it may lead to cognitive dysfunction and lousy decision-making, making it difficult for a person to organize, plan, and carry out everyday tasks.

Increased tendency to avoid triggers

Narcissistic abuse can lead to the development of triggers or stimuli that bring up terrible memories in the victim's mind. People with PTSD may avoid particular situations, people, or activities that bring up their horrific experiences. They may find it challenging to participate in specific actions, affecting their quality of life.

Panic attacks, and chronic anxiety

Because narcissistic abuse makes a person feel uneasy, afraid, and on edge all the time, it can lead to panic. The victim of narcissistic abuse may experience confusion, loneliness, and persistent doubting of their reality due to manipulation, gaslighting, and verbal abuse.

This pervasive feeling of emotional and psychological distress might result in an elevated level of anxiety that can bring on panic attacks. It would help if you addressed the long-term repercussions of narcissistic abuse on the brain, and those who have suffered them should seek therapy to learn coping mechanisms.[6]

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Recovering from long-term narcissistic abuse

It's critical to get support if you or someone you know has endured narcissistic abuse to deal with the repercussions on the brain and start the healing process. Very Well Mind's blog, Stages of Healing After Narcissistic Abuse, suggests the following is among the most crucial things you can do[7];

Support groups

Becoming a support group member can offer a secure and encouraging setting where people can connect with others who have gone through comparable situations. Support groups can be an effective aid in the recovery process by fostering a sense of belonging and validation.


Self-care involves caring for one's physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This can include working out, meditating, practicing yoga, keeping a journal, and spending time in nature.

Setting boundaries

Setting boundaries is essential for people who have experienced abuse in a relationship. It's crucial to learn how to say "no" to additional abuse and create boundaries with the abuser.

Safety planning

A safety plan is crucial for people who have experienced abuse in a relationship. This can involve making a list of secure locations to go to, virtual phone numbers, and a strategy for getting out of an abusive situation.


Drugs can effectively address some signs and symptoms of misuse, such as anxiety and depression. Before ingesting any medicine, get medical advice.

Seek Legal Help

If you are being abused, you should take legal action. Getting legal assistance can aid with custody, divorce, and restraining orders.

Seek Professional Help

Getting professional assistance might help you comprehend and view the situation differently. You can start to understand the complexities of the abuse and begin to process the trauma with the aid of a therapist, counselor, or counselor.


Journaling can be a powerful emotional freedom technique for recovering from trauma. It can offer people a private and secure forum for expressing their feelings. Writing about one's experiences might be a method to process them and release bottled-up emotions, as explained by the APA's study, Writing to heal.

Additionally, keeping a journal can help one keep track of their development and gauge how far along they are in the healing process.[8] And for daughters who's suffered under a narcissistic mother, we suggest reading The Best Books On Healing From Narcissistic Mothers For Daughters.


Using meditation to assist in managing the effects of abuse can be very beneficial. It can encourage quiet and inner serenity while helping in reducing stress and anxiety. According to Medical News Today, meditation allows you to focus the mind and develop emotional management abilities.[9]


Bodybuilding or physical exercise can be a great way to help individuals heal from abuse. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety and can promote feelings of well-being.

It can also provide a sense of empowerment and control, which can be especially beneficial for those in a controlling and abusive relationship, as stated in IOI's blog "Rape victim muscles up, opens gym for abused women." Additionally, bodybuilding can help individuals feel stronger and more confident in themselves, which can be an essential step in the healing process.[10]

It's crucial to remember that recovering from narcissistic abuse requires time, and it's acceptable to move at your own pace. Asking for assistance when you need it is also good. Resources are available to help you on your path to recovery and healing.


The effects of narcissistic abuse are both mental and physical. As we now know, narcissistic abuse can cause brain damage. This is due to the stress on the victim's body and the cognitive dissonance caused by gaslighting.

Narcissistic abuse is a form of domestic violence and should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please seek help from a professional and call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) (the national domestic violence hotline).


Can narcissistic abuse cause brain damage?

People who have been subjected to narcissistic abuse may develop changes in their hippocampus, which controls memory, emotion regulation, and stress response. Additionally, this kind of abuse can cause chronic stress and inflammation, which can harm other parts of the brain including the prefrontal cortex, which is in charge of making decisions, and the amygdala, which is in charge of processing emotions.

How does narcissistic abuse affect the development of the brain?

It is true that narcissistic abuse can cause PTSD and despair. Narcissistic abuse can set off the body's fight or flight reaction and result in PTSD symptoms like nightmares, anxiety, and flashbacks. Additionally, it influences how the brain processes emotions, which may result in depression.


  1. Pubmed: Recognising Narcissistic Abuse and the Implications
  2. therecoveryvillage: Narcissistic Personality Disorder Statistics
  3. National Data on Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking
  4. hackspirit: The shocking impact narcissistic abuse has on the brain
  5. researchgate: The Effects of Emotional Abuse and Neglect in Adulthood
  6. researchgate: The Effects of Emotional Abuse and Neglect in Adulthood
  7. Very Well Mind: Stages of Healing After Narcissistic Abuse
  8. APA: Writing to heal
  9. Medical News Today: Mindfulness meditation helps to control emotions, says study
  10. IOI: Rape victim muscles up, opens gym for abused women

How To Deal With A Passive Aggressive Boss?

Learning how to deal with a passive aggressive boss is crucial, as we often encounter difficult people in the workplace, where interactions with co-workers are as significant as the job itself. To maintain sanity and job security, it's important to have strategies for handling passive aggressiveness, whether it comes from a challenging boss or a bothersome colleague.

Let's explore effective methods for managing passive-aggressive bosses.

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Steps on how to handle a passive aggressive people in general?

Since passive-aggressive people can come in all shapes and sizes, it's essential to know how to handle them. One should keep a cool head, give the other person their personal space, and refrain from playing their games. Here are some more strategies:

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Subtle Discontent

in a post about how to deal with a passive aggressive boss

Procrastination and Avoidance

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Guilt Tripping

Shifting Blame

Pro Tip for Self-Awareness

"The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" is recommended for insight and developing self-awareness.

Strategies for Employees


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Effective Communication

Pro tip

For additional insights on enhancing communication and interpersonal relationships in the workplace, visit Shrink's Office - How to Improve Interpersonal Relationships in the Workplace.
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Offering Solutions

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Setting Boundaries and Self-Care

Pro Tip for Self-Care

"Self-Care: A Day and Night Reflection Journal (90 Days)" is recommended for self-awareness and reflection.
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Group Support

Online Therapy Can Help

Online therapy emerges as a vital resource for individuals grappling with the challenges of a passive-aggressive boss. It offers a confidential and accessible platform for employees to explore and understand their feelings, frustrations, and reactions in a safe environment. With professional guidance, individuals can develop effective coping strategies and communication skills tailored to navigate the complexities of passive-aggressive dynamics in the workplace.


Passive-aggressive behavior can be challenging, especially when you don't know what is happening. Your first step should always be to talk to the passive aggressor, but if that doesn't work, then it's time to make some tough decisions. In many cases, your only option may be to quit your organization and find a new one where there are better people skills in the workplace.

In other instances, if you're just not getting along with your passive-aggressive boss or co-workers, it may not be worth leaving because the company is excellent in other areas. In this case, think about speaking up more at meetings and giving constructive feedback to your new boss about how he could improve his communication skills.


What are the first steps I should take when dealing with a passive-aggressive boss?

The initial step is to objectively assess the situation. Keep a detailed record of instances where your boss displays passive-aggressive behavior, noting dates, times, and the context. This documentation can be crucial for identifying patterns and providing concrete examples if you need to discuss the issue. It's also important to reflect on your own actions to ensure that you're not inadvertently contributing to the dynamic. Seeking advice from trusted colleagues or mentors who might have observed similar behavior can also provide additional perspectives and support.

How should I communicate with my boss about their passive-aggressive behavior?

Communication should be approached carefully and strategically. Choose a private and calm setting to discuss your concerns. Use specific examples from your documentation to describe the behavior without being accusatory. Focus on how the behavior impacts your work and well-being. Express your willingness to understand their perspective and work together to improve the situation. It's crucial to remain professional, calm, and empathetic during the conversation, avoiding any confrontational tone.

What if direct communication doesn't improve the situation with my passive-aggressive boss?

If direct communication doesn't lead to a positive change, consider escalating the issue to higher management or human resources, especially if it's affecting your work performance or mental health. Provide your documented instances of passive-aggressive behavior as evidence. Additionally, seeking external support, such as online therapy, can provide you with coping mechanisms and strategies to handle the stress and emotional toll. Remember, it's important to prioritize your well-being and professional growth, even if it means seeking opportunities in a more supportive work environment.


  1. Medical News Today: 7 Examples Of Passive-Aggressive Behavior
  2. Business Insider: 11 signs your boss is passive aggressive
  3. Forbes: How To Handle A Passive-Aggressive Supervisor
  4. MindTools: Managing Your Emotions at Work
  5. Hubspot: How to Communicate Effectively at Work With Your Boss
  6. Verywell Mind: What Is Passive-Aggressive Behavior
  7. Medical News Today:  7 Examples Of Passive-Aggressive Behavior
  8. Havard Business Review: How To Deal with a Passive Aggressive Colleague
  9. HBR: How to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Boss
  10. HBR: How To Deal with a Passive Aggressive Colleague
  11. HealthPrep: Conditions And Causes Linked To Passive-Aggressive Behavior
  12. Workology: How to Handle Your Abusive or Aggressive Boss
  13. Chron: How To Handle A Boss On A Power Strip

Can you get PTSD From Spousal Abuse? The Shocking Truth

Can you get PTSD From Spousal Abuse?
How It Causes PTSD?
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Yes, it is indeed possible to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from spousal abuse. Spousal abuse, also known as domestic violence or intimate partner violence, can have profound psychological impacts, including the development of PTSD.

Spousal abuse, a traumatic event, can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the intense fear, helplessness, or horror it instills. Victims of such abuse might experience recurrent distressing memories, nightmares, or flashbacks of the abuse, causing severe emotional distress and physical reactions.

Over time, this repeated psychological stress can manifest as PTSD, with victims avoiding reminders of the trauma, experiencing negative changes in mood or thinking, and heightened reactivity, a state of constant alertness for danger.

Physical Abuse:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, or injuries
- Frequent accidents or injuries
- Clothing that's inappropriate for the weather, possibly worn to cover up injuries
- Emotional and Psychological Abuse:
- Decreased self-esteem or confidence
- Signs of depression, anxiety, or PTSD
- Social withdrawal or isolation
- Fearfulness or constant worry about pleasing their partner
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns

Behavioral Signs:
- The partner exhibits excessively controlling behavior
- The partner exhibits extreme jealousy or possessiveness
- Frequent arguments or tension between the partners
- The partner threatens violence or harm
- The victim seems afraid of their partner

Financial Abuse:
- The victim has limited access to money or financial resources
- The partner controls their spending or financial decisions
- The victim is not allowed to work or is sabotaged at work

- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Prolonged exposure therapy (PE)
- Cognitive processing therapy (CPT)

- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
- Anti-Anxiety medications
- Prazosin
- Support groups
- Mindfulness and relaxation techniques

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe mental health condition that can occur after experiencing a traumatic event. Many people think of PTSD as something that only happens to those who have served in the military or experienced a natural disaster, but it's also caused by spousal abuse.

In this article, we'll discuss how domestic violence can cause victims to develop PTSD and how to seek help if you or a family member is a victim.

We'll also discuss ways to cope with the effects of PTSD after experiencing spousal abuse.

Does Domestic Violence Cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence is any form of physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse that occurs between two people in an intimate relationship.[1]

Unfortunately, domestic violence can have a devastating impact on victims, leading to physical injuries, emotional trauma, and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). [2]

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur after someone has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it's estimated that one in eleven Americans will be diagnosed with PTSD as a result of domestic violence. [3]

You can take this quick PTSD test to confirm if you have PTSD.

How Does Spousal Abuse Cause PTSD?

Spousal abuse causes PTSD

Spousal abuse can take many forms, including verbal insults, physical intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and financial exploitation. All of these can have a traumatizing effect on the victim. For many domestic violence survivors, the traumatic events may lead to the development of PTSD. [4]

Those who have complex PTSD may experience flashbacks, nightmares, extreme feelings of guilt or shame, panic attacks, and feelings of detachment from their loved ones. [5]

Furthermore, victims of an abusive relationship often suffer mental illness and psychological injuries, which can lead to severe depression, sudden inexplicable anger, and other mental health problems. [6]

It’s critical to recognize that PTSD is a serious condition and should be treated as such. With proper support and treatment, those affected by substance abuse disorders or by PTSD can begin their healing process and move forward with their lives.

Symptoms of PTSD from Spousal Abuse graphic

What Are The Symptoms of PTSD from Spousal Abuse?

The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that may result from spousal or child abuse can vary depending on the severity of the abuse and the period it started. [5]

Generally, PTSD symptoms include trouble sleeping, emotional outbursts, feeling numb, suicidal thoughts, flashbacks, and avoiding reminders of the traumatic experience. [5]

We have provided brief explanations to help people understand the specific symptoms they are experiencing.

What Treatments Are Available for PTSD After Spousal Abuse?

Therapy for PTSD patients

Domestic abuse victims can find several mental health resources online.

For example, an Online therapist specializing in treating mental illnesses can help you heal since they have the knowledge and experience.

You will receive the following treatment plan from a board-certified psychiatrist:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT helps you identify and challenge unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that lead to symptoms such as avoidance. As part of CBT, you can learn relaxation techniques and gradually expose yourself to distressing memories and situations. [7]
  2. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE): EMDR involves identifying areas of distress in your life and then using eye movement or tapping to desensitize them. In PE, you practice facing feared situations or memories without avoidance or distress and talk about the traumatic event in a safe haven. [8]
  3. Medications: The psychiatrist may prescribe antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications for PTSD. However, medications are not a cure-all, and they should always be used in combination with therapy. [5]
Domestic violence hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

If you're a victim or witness of domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and they'll listen and provide confidential help anytime.

If you've been affected by spousal or intimate partner abuse, you should seek help as soon as possible. You can be provided with a mental health professional who can help you work through the symptoms of PTSD, develop healthier coping skills, and live a more fulfilling life.


PTSD is a severe consequence of domestic violence. Victims of spousal abuse often suffer both physical abuse and mental trauma, with some cases leading to PTSD.

Victims of domestic violence need to seek help from trained mental health professionals that provide effective treatments for PTSD.

With the right kind of support and treatment, those with PTSD after spousal abuse can find healing and begin to move forward in their lives.


Can you get PTSD from emotional abuse?

The short answer is yes - emotional abuse can lead to PTSD.

Emotional abuse is a form of psychological abuse that can cause significant distress and anxiety.

It involves controlling behavior, manipulation, belittling, and criticizing. Over time, the effects of this kind of trauma can be severe and long-lasting

How long does PTSD from abuse last?

PTSD is an emotional disorder that can arise in individuals who have suffered from trauma. It can be caused by several different types of abuse, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Victims of intimate partner violence can experience PTSD symptoms for months or even years after the abuse has ended.


  1. What Is Domestic Abuse?
  2. The Connection Between Domestic Violence and PTSD
  3. What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
  4. Domestic Violence
  5. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - Symptoms and causes
  6. Abuse, trauma, and mental health
  7. What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
  8. EMDR vs Prolonged Exposure Therapy

A Comprehensive Guide on the Complex Stages of Domestic Violence

Stages of Domestic Violence
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- Tension building: In this stage, tension and stress build up between the abuser and the victim. The victim may feel like they're walking on eggshells, trying to avoid triggering the abuser's anger.

- Incident or acute violence: This is when the actual abuse takes place. It may involve physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual violence, or a combination of these.
Reconciliation or "honeymoon" phase: After the abusive incident, the abuser may express remorse, apologize, or make promises to change. They might be affectionate or shower the victim with gifts, making the victim hopeful that things will improve.

- Calm or "honeymoon" phase: During this period, the abuser might seem genuinely committed to change, and the relationship appears to be improving. The victim may start to believe that the abuse is over.

In today's society, domestic violence remains a pervasive and complex issue, affecting countless individuals and families across the globe. Understanding the stages is crucial for victims, loved ones, and professionals to identify, intervene, and support those in need.

This blog post will discuss the steps of domestic violence, offering insights and strategies to navigate these difficult situations.

A woman suffering in a abusive relationship

The Tension Building Phase: Recognizing the Warning Signs

The first stage in the cycle of domestic violence is the tension-building phase, characterized by a gradual increase in stress and strain within the relationship. Victims may experience various negative emotions during this stage, such as fear, anxiety, and confusion. It is crucial to recognize the warning signs of this phase, which include:

Victims should be proactive in seeking help and support during this stage, as early intervention can prevent escalation into more severe forms of abuse like physical violence. If you or someone you know needs assistance, consider contacting a mental health professional or therapist through platforms like this.

A woman suffering from a abusive partner

The Acute Battering Episode: When Violence Strikes

In the second stage of domestic violence, the tension-building phase culminates in an acute battering episode(2). This stage involves abusive behaviors like physical abuse incidents, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse and may result in severe injuries or even death. Recognizing the signs of an acute battering episode by an abusive partner is crucial for the safety and well-being of the victim. These signs can include:

During a physically violent episode, the victim's priority should be to ensure their safety and the safety of any children involved. This may include calling the police, seeking medical attention, or leaving the abusive situation.

An abusive person about to hit a woman

The Honeymoon Phase: A False Sense of Security

The third stage of the domestic violence cycle is the honeymoon phase, marked by calm and reconciliation following the acute battering episode. During this stage, the abuser may display remorse, make promises to change and engage in acts of kindness or affection. However, this phase is often a reprieve, and the cycle of violence is likely to continue unless appropriate action is taken.

Victims should not be lulled into a false sense of security during the honeymoon phase. Instead, they should use this time to develop a safety plan, gather resources, and seek professional help to break the cycle of violent behavior by their partner. (4)

A battered woman who is physically and emotionally abused

Breaking the Cycle: Strategies for Empowerment and Healing

To break free from the cycle of violence and abusive incidents, victims must be empowered with the knowledge, resources, and support necessary to make informed decisions and take action. Some critical strategies for empowerment and healing include:

Remember, help is available through various channels, including online therapy services. (5)

A young man setting an example of how abuse occurs for men too

Legal Resources and Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence

Understanding and accessing legal resources is essential in breaking free from the cycle of domestic abuse. In many jurisdictions, laws, and protections are in place to assist victims and hold abusers accountable. Some of the legal resources available include:

A woman being abused by her partner

The Importance of Self-Care and Mental Health Support

Recovering from domestic violence is not only about ensuring physical safety but also about healing emotionally and mentally. Self-care and mental health support are crucial components of this process. Some ways to prioritize self-care and mental health include:

Online therapy platforms like this one can be an accessible and convenient way to access mental health support from the comfort of your own home.

The Role of Community and Society in Combating Domestic Abuse

It's essential to recognize that domestic abuse is not just a personal issue but a public concern requiring collective effort from communities and society. By fostering awareness, promoting education, and advocating for policy changes, we can create a safer environment for all. Some ways that communities and culture can help combat domestic violence include:

The Path to Prevention: Addressing the Root Causes of Domestic Abuse

To effectively prevent domestic violence, it's vital to address the underlying causes that contribute to its prevalence. Some key areas to focus on include:

By addressing these root causes, we can work towards creating a society free from violence, where everyone can live safely and without fear.

An woman being abused by one of her family members

Empowering Voices: Survivor Stories of Resilience and Hope

One of the most powerful ways to understand the impact of domestic violence and the journey toward healing is through the personal stories of survivors. These accounts offer valuable insights into the challenges faced, the resilience required, and the hope that emerges from overcoming adversity. By sharing their experiences, survivors not only empower themselves but also inspire and support others who may be facing similar situations.

Below are some resources where you can read or listen to domestic violence survivor stories:

  1. Domestic Shelters - True Survivor Stories: This blog features stories from survivors, providing a glimpse into their experiences and the challenges they overcame.
  2. Safe Lives - Survivor stories: Safe Lives supports victims of abuse and violence. Their website includes a collection of survivor stories that shed light on personal experiences related to domestic violence.
  3. Safe And Equal -Stories from survivors: This organization is dedicated to ending violence against women and children worldwide, and its website features a section dedicated to the inspiring stories of survivors.
  4. Tessacs - Survivor Stories: This organization is committed to ending abusive relationships and violence against women and children. Their website includes a section where you can read about the experiences of individuals who have faced abusive behavior and incidents.

Remember, when sharing or citing personal stories, it's crucial to respect the privacy and wishes of the individuals involved.

By amplifying the voices of survivors, we can foster understanding, empathy, and a sense of community, ultimately contributing to the collective effort to break the cycle of violence and domestic abusive behaviors.


Domestic violence is a complex and pervasive issue that impacts individuals, families, and communities worldwide. Victims can navigate toward safety and healing by understanding the stages of domestic violence, recognizing the warning signs, and seeking appropriate support. As a society, it's crucial that we raise awareness, promote education, and advocate for policy changes to address the root causes of domestic violence and create a safer environment for all.

Remember, help is available for those in need, including online therapy platforms offering convenient and accessible mental health support. Together, we can work towards a future free from domestic violence, where everyone can live a life of safety, dignity, and respect.


How can I support a friend or family member experiencing domestic violence?

  1. Listen without judgment: Create a safe space for your loved one to share their experiences and feelings. Be supportive, empathetic, and non-judgmental.
  2. Offer resources: Share information about support groups, counseling services, and legal resources available for victims of domestic violence.
  3. Help develop a safety plan: Assist your loved one in creating a personalized plan to ensure their safety and the safety of their children, if applicable.
  4. Be patient and persistent: Remember that leaving an abusive relationship is a process that takes time and courage. Offer ongoing support and encouragement.

How can I identify the warning signs of domestic violence in my relationship?

Some common warning signs of domestic violence include:

Controlling behavior: Your partner tries to control aspects of your life, such as your finances, social activities, or appearance.

Jealousy: Your partner is excessively jealous and possessive, often accusing you of being unfaithful without cause.

Emotional abuse: Your partner constantly belittles, humiliates, criticizes, or gives you the silent treatment, which lowers your self-esteem.

Isolation: Your partner isolates you from friends and family, making you dependent on them for support.

Threats and intimidation: Your partner uses threats or intimidation tactics to maintain control over you.

If you recognize these warning signs in your relationship, consider contacting a professional counselor or therapist for guidance and support.


  1. Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence - EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF POTENTIAL ABUSE
  2. Walker, L. E. (1979). The Battered Woman. New York: Harper & Row.
  3. Research Gate: Cycle of violence in women victims of domestic violence: Qualitative analysis of OPD 2 interview
  4. NLM: Strategic analysis of intimate partner violence (IPV) and cycle of violence in the autobiographical text –When I Hit You
  5. Research Gate: Breaking the cycles of violence
  6. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO DOMESTIC
  7. NIH: Caring for Your Mental Health

Gaslighting: A Form of Emotional Abuse That Can Leave Lasting Trauma

What Is It?
How It's Implemented
How To Stop It
Helpful Products

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic used by one person to make another person doubt their own perceptions, memories, or even sanity.

- Blatant lies
- Denial
- Discrediting your memory
- Confusing or contradicting information
- Shifting blame
- Isolating you
- Trivializing your feelings
- Using your vulnerabilities against you
- "Crazy-making" behavior

- They may tell blatant lies or distort the truth
- The gaslighter denies having said or done something
- They may undermine the victim's credibility or cast doubt on their memory
- Gaslighters provide inconsistent, misleading, or conflicting information
- They deflect responsibility for their actions onto the victim or others
- Gaslighters may attempt to isolate the victim from friends and family
- They dismiss or minimize the victim's feelings
- The gaslighter uses the victim's insecurities, fears, or weaknesses against them
- Gaslighters may intentionally withhold important information

- Trust your instincts
- Document events
- Set boundaries
- Seek support
- Educate yourself
- Avoid engaging in arguments
- Prioritize self-care
- Consider professional help
- Evaluate the relationship

Gaslighting is a type of emotional abuse. It can make people feel confused, alone, and helpless. In this article, we will talk about gaslighting.

We will explain what it is and how to know if you are in an abusive relationship by paying close attention to your partner's behavior. We will also share some ideas for what you can do if you are being gaslit.

What exactly is gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that occurs often in an abusive relationship. It's when someone messes with your mind, making you doubt your thoughts and feelings. They might deny facts, tell lies, or blame you for things that aren't your fault.

Anyone can be a victim of this behavior - it happens in different types of relationships, including romantic ones. Gaslighting is harmful and can lead to mental health issues. It makes people question their memory and judgment, making it hard for them to see that they're in an abusive relationship. The constant doubt and confusion can cause severe stress and anxiety.[1]

Gaslighting Techniques and Tactics

Gaslighters employ various tactics to manipulate their victims, including:

Effects of Gaslighting on Mental Health

Gaslighting can harm a person's mental health. Victims might feel anxious, sad, or suffer from PTSD because they are constantly manipulated and made to doubt themselves.

Gaslighting in Different Relationships

Gaslighting can happen in different relationships like dating, family, and work. It's essential to spot and stop this abuse early.[3]

Signs someone is gaslighting you

To recognize gaslighting behavior, pay attention to the following signs:

How does gaslighting work?

By Lying

People who engage in gaslighting often lie a lot. They never back down or change their stories, even when you show them they are wrong. They play games with the victims' memory by saying: "You're making things up," "That never happened," or "You're crazy."

By discrediting you

People using gaslighting tell others false stories about you. They act concerned but say you're not stable. This can make others believe them, not knowing the truth.

They distract you

When you ask an abusive partner a question or say they did something wrong, they avoid answering. Instead, they ask you a different question. This can make you confused and unsure of yourself.

They minimize your thoughts.

When someone is gaslighting you, they try to make you feel like your emotions or thoughts are wrong. They might say things like "Calm down," "You're overreacting," or "Why are you so sensitive?" By saying these things, they are trying to take away your power.

They shift the blame onto you.

Another way people try gaslighting you is to control you by making you think everything is your fault. They twist every conversation, so you take the blame for everything, even if it's not your fault. For example, they might say that if only you behaved differently, they wouldn't have to act as they do.

They deny that they've done anything wrong.

People who bully or emotionally abuse others often deny that they did anything wrong. They do this to avoid taking responsibility for their poor choices. This denial can make the victim feel unseen, unheard, and unimportant. This gaslighting tactic makes it very hard for the victim to move on or heal from bullying or abuse.

Their compassionate words are weapons.

Sometimes, when people are caught out or questioned, they try to improve the situation by saying kind words. They might say, "You know how much I love you. I would never hurt you on purpose."

What can you do when someone is gaslighting you?

The Role of Therapy in Overcoming Gaslighting

Therapy can help victims of gaslighting regain their sense of self and heal from the emotional abuse they have experienced. Online therapy platforms like OnlineTherapy.com can be a convenient and effective way to access support. [7]


Experiencing dissociation in the workplace can significantly hinder your efficiency and concentration, making it essential to remain attentive and anchored. We've touched upon the triggers, indicators, and manifestations to be vigilant about, in addition to offering guidance on handling dissociation.

If the sensation becomes too intense or unmanageable, don't hesitate to consult a therapist for assistance. We invite you to share your insights on online therapy in the comments section below, and let's foster a constructive, English-language conversation around this vital topic.


How can gaslighting affect your mental health?

It can affect your mental health by causing feelings of confusion, anxiety, low self-esteem, as well as depression. Recognizing the signs of gaslighting and taking steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim is essential.

Is gaslighting always intentional?

No, it does not have to be intentional for it to be damaging your mental health. It can also happen unintentionally, and the person doing the gaslighting may not even know that they are gaslighting you.


  1. Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People--and Break Free
  2. Gaslighting How To Recognize Hidden Behaviors
  3. Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Psychopaths Use to Silence You.
  4. Psychological Manipulation Techniques
  5. The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life.
  6. Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse
  7. Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved

⚠️Disclaimer: The information provided on this health blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Breaking the Silence: Recognizing the Signs Of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is when someone makes another person feel bad on the inside, like how physical abuse can hurt on the outside. It can be hard to spot because it doesn't leave visible marks like bruises. Some people might not realize they are experiencing emotional abuse, so they don't seek help.

It's super important to know the signs of emotional abuse, like when someone always puts you down or tries to control you. Learning about these signs is the first step to get help, talk to someone about it, and stop the abuse from happening.

The definition of emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is when someone hurts your feelings on purpose. It can happen with words, when someone makes you do things you don't want to do, or when someone doesn't let you interact with people close to you.

If you learn to recognize these behaviors, you can start to protect yourself from them. [1]

Types of emotional abuse

A table with four columns highlighting the types of emotional abuse, their impacts, the most likely abusers, and how it's executed.

Recognizing Emotional Abuse

The Subtlety of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can be sneaky and hard to notice. It unfolds gradually, so the people it affects might not recognize it immediately. Others don't take it seriously since it doesn't leave any bruises. That's why it's essential to know and remember the warning signs.

Signs that someone is emotionally abusing you

They act superior to you

They try to control you

Emotional blackmail

They create chaos in your life

The impact of emotional abuse

Research shows that emotional abuse can be just as bad as physical abuse. An emotionally abusive relationship leaves invisible wounds;

Long-Term Impact on Mental Health and Well-being

The long-term effects of emotional abuse can be severe and impact a person's mental health. Victims may experience depression, anxiety, and even PTSD. It's essential to recognize these effects and seek help to heal from the damage caused by emotional abuse.[4]

A teen girl showing signs of emotional abuse

Emotional Abuse in Different Situations

Emotional Abuse in the Workplace

Emotional abuse at work means that someone is being mean or hurtful to others, making the workplace unhappy. It can manifest as bullying, belittling, manipulation, excessive criticism, financial manipulation, or even isolation. This abuse can make people stressed, depressed, and not want to come to work.

Because of this, companies need to pay attention to and stop emotional abuse. They should ensure everyone is respected, people can talk openly about their problems, and everyone supports each other. This way, the workplace can be a happy and safe place for everyone to do their best work. [5]

Emotional Abuse Among Friends

Emotional abuse between friends means that sometimes a friend can be mean or hurtful, and it's not always easy to notice. They might criticize, use mean words, lie, or purposely leave someone out. It's important to recognize when this occurs so the person experiencing the hurt can learn to stand up for themselves and seek kind and supportive friends.

This kind of mean behavior isn't okay. It's important to recognize when this occurs so the affected person can learn to stand up for themselves and find kind and supportive friends. Every person deserves friends who help them feel happy, safe, and valued. [6]

What to Do if You Are Being Emotionally Abused

Finding Support and Building a Safety Net

Finding support is vital when dealing with emotional abuse. Confide in trusted friends or family members, join support groups, or seek professional help from a therapist. Establishing a strong support network can make a significant difference in the healing process.

One option for seeking professional help is online therapy. It provides convenient and accessible support for individuals experiencing emotional abuse. To learn more, visit our affiliate partner's website: Online Therapy.


Knowing the signs of emotional abuse is essential to stop it from happening. If you or someone you care about is going through this, it's okay to ask for help and support.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on getting help - you can tell us in the comments below. Let's discuss how online therapy can be an excellent way to deal with emotional abuse.


How can I get help if I'm in an emotionally abusive relationship?

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional abuse, it is important to reach out for help. This can include talking to a trusted friend or family member, seeing a mental health professional, or contacting agencies like the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

What are some coping mechanisms for dealing with emotional abuse?

Coping with emotional abuse can include self-care activities such as spending time outdoors, engaging in creative projects, or connecting with supportive people. Also, creating boundaries and maintaining open communication can be essential for protecting yourself from further harm. We also recommend seeking professional help.


  1. Springer Link: Beyond Correlates: A Review of Risk and Protective Factors for Adolescent Dating Violence Perpetration
  2. Research Gate: The Impact of Psychological Aggression on Women's Mental Health and Behavior: The Status of the Field
  3. Science Direct: Reconstructing the Risk–Need–Responsivity model: A theoretical elaboration and evaluation
  4. Research Gate: Awareness for Emotional Abuse
  5. Faculty Experiences with Bullying in Higher Education
  6. Research Gate: Overt and Relational Aggression in Adolescents: Social-Psychological Adjustment of Aggressors and Victims

⚠️Disclaimer: The information provided on this health blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.