Lately, I have gotten many comments on my posts about various topics surrounding narcissism about how it is not a real disorder and shouldn’t be labeled as such.
These comments range from saying that narcissism is blown up by our society, that I should feel sorry for someone who can’t feel empathy, and I am a narcissist myself for throwing out these“labels”.
I would like to set the record straight as I believe that this lack of education is extremely dangerous for victims and encouraging for narcissists.
First of all, narcissism does exist on a spectrum. Narcissistic traits can exist without someone having the disorder.
However, narcissism, when referred to as NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is a completely different story,
As Shahida Arabi states in her book “Power, Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse:
“Abusive narcissistic partners engage in chronic manipulation and devaluation of their victims, leaving victims feeling worthless, anxious, and even suicidal. This type of continual manipulation which includes an idealization-devaluation-discard cycle where they “love bomb” their partners, devalue them, then discard them until the trauma begins again is known as narcissistic abuse.”
Here is what I want to say to you if you believe that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not a real disorder or a credible diagnosis.
You are hurting victims more.
By not acknowledging this as a disorder we are damaging victims instead of lifting them up when they need your support the most.
We are shaming them by saying that their experiences weren’t real and it was just a “bad relationship.” By devaluing their experiences we are conveying the message that once again, they are the ones to blame for the psychological abuse that they have been going through.
No one is EVER to blame for abuse except for the abuser.
You claim “They should have left.”
This is a comment that will only ever be uttered by someone who has never been through abuse or happens to be an abuser themselves.
Anyone who is even mildly familiar with abuse will understand that leaving is never easy regardless of what kind of abuse it is.
Abuse, especially long-term abuse, usually results in emotional and psychological damage to the victim. In some cases, trauma bonds are created between the victim in the abuser.
In other cases, PSTD happens which causes a huge lack of self-esteem and causes them to lose their sense of self.
You neglect to research it’s a real diagnosis.
Narcissism Personality Disorder isn’t something that has just come out of the blue in the last few years.
Narcissism has roots in mythology and ancient text but it has been in the last few decades that more and more research has been done resulting in it being classified as a true “personality disorder”.
In 1980, narcissistic personality disorder was officially recognized in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder and criteria were established for its diagnosis. — VeryWellMind
More and more psychologists are doing their research and validating Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the detrimental damage it does to its victims.
You fail to provide support and validation.
The internet gives us the means to say what we want, when we want, however, we want, to people we don’t know.
As a victim and a survivor, there is an anger that burns deep within me when I receive comments or read them on other victims' stories saying that the relationship was just a “bad” one.
A “bad” relationship doesn’t include physical and emotional abuse.
A “bad” relationship isn’t a mix of gaslighting, devaluing, manipulation, someone tearing apart everything they had claimed to love about you.
A “bad” relationship isn’t something that makes you question the very world you live in as your sense of self is torn away right before your eyes.
If you are reading this and you have experienced abuse from a relationship with any kind of abuser, know that your experience is real and valid.
Please know that there are people who will continue to support and validate what happened to you, even though some people will try to tear you don’t. Don’t let them, and rise above it.
Because although you can identify as a victim, you must also realize that you can identify as a thriving survivor.