Narcissistic Victim Syndrome: What The Heck Is That?

When a human or girl suffers from a condition named Narcissistic Personality Disorder, they display patterns of deviant or abnormal behaviour that are so terrible, that they generate bloodbath on those people who are unfortunate enough to have a close relationship with them.

The dysfunctional behaviour involves such callous exploitation of their victims that it has given birth to a new condition known as Narcissistic Victim Syndrome( or Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome ). While plenty has been written medically about Narcissistic Personality Disorder( NPD ), little or nothing has been written about Narcissistic Victim Syndrome( NVD ). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders( DSM-IV ), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association, and it is considered the “bible” for all professionals, coverings NPD extensively.

However, the DSM-IV has not written anything about the effects on those who live or work with the narcissist’s torturous behaviors, and the consequences of that behavior on the mental health of child victims. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of many psychotherapists, it has become clear that a decide of detectable characteristics occur when working with victims of narcissistic abuse. The good news is that American therapists are calling for an acknowledgement of this syndrome to be included in the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual( DSM-V, to be published in 2013 ), in the hope that all therapists will be given standard guidelines for formulating a way of working with this syndrome.

First, what do we mean by “Syndrome”?

The word “syndrome” comes from the Greek “syn” which entails, and “dramein” which entails. So a syndrome is a situated of signs and symptoms that tend to run together in a cluster that can be recognized as causing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse. In order to be able to diagnose a client suffering with Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, the therapist needs to be able to gather together the signs and symptoms and access the client’s psychological make-up as their narrative unfolds. That route they will be in a position to know if the person is suffering from Narcissistic Victim Syndrome or a lesser form of abuse on their mental well-being.

Do therapists know enough of the implications of Narcissism on the Victim?

Speaking for psychotherapists in Ireland, I can confidently say, definitely not! Narcissistic Personality Disorder is predominately the domain of psychiatrists, psychologists, and the mental health services; so naturally, rarely would a diagnosed narcissist be consciously referred to a psychotherapist outside of the Mental Health Service. Naturally, as a consequence, the mental health services only concentrated on the vulnerability and therapy of the narcissistic patient in their care, their priority is not the main victims; unless the main victims aims up in psychiatric care themselves somewhere down the line at a later date.

Victims are more likely to present themselves in counseling or psychotherapy , not because they know that they may be suffering from NVS, but since they are not coping with their lives. I have spoken to many other psychotherapists, and although they know of narcissism , none was of the view that they have been sufficiently trained for distinguishing narcissistic behavior and its effects on victims, let alone work with Narcissistic Victim Syndrome.

Because most Irish psychotherapy courses do little or no training in this area, and the fact that little or nothing has been written in the medical literature regarding the victims of narcissistic abuse, it is my observation that the majority of therapists, through no faulting of their own, are ill-equipped to work with clients with this syndrome. If you read any of the Support Forums for survivors of narcissistic abuse, you will constantly hear them say that their therapists did not understand the depth of suffering they had been subjected to, and that the word “narcissistic abuse” had rarely been mentioned to them.

Understanding Narcissistic Victim Syndrome( NVS) first requires an understanding of Narcissistic Personality Disorder( NPD ):

In order to be an effective therapist in the area of narcissistic victim abuse, it is vital to understand all that you can about the spectrum of narcissistic behavior. The spectrum of narcissism exists on a continuum, from healthy narcissism to unhealthy traits, and all the way to pathological Narcissistic Personality Disorder. By the way, the narcissist does not “re going to have to” display all of the traits associated with the full-blown pathological stage of narcissism in order to do untold damage to their victims. For the above reasons, therapists need to familiarize themselves with narcissistic traits and the relationship dynamics between the narcissist and their victim. I am talking about the narcissist’s overwhelming need for entitlement, control, power, grandiosity and specialness, and how they use these traits to keep their omnipotent fictions and their vulnerable ego intact.

Due to their own absence of receiving reasonably attuned caregiving as a child( whether it was being under protected or overprotected ), the narcissist does not develop the authentic “True Self” that is necessary for confident living. A disregard of the child’s basic needs disturb their development of self-esteem and the ability to function effectively. In order to protect themselves, they expend a lot of energy building up defenses.

One of those defenses is to develop a “False Self”; which is a mask of behavior that allows them to put one over a show of being real in public. However, this affectation leaves the narcissist constantly guarding themselves against being “found out ,” inducing them too sensitive to narcissistic injury. Narcissistic trauma is any perceived menace( real or imagined) to the narcissist’s self-esteem or self-worth. So in order to maintain their illusion and protect their false ego from any fluctuations of a disappointed ego-ideal, the narcissist demands that they receive perfect mirroring, stroking, and responses from their victims; this attention is known as narcissistic supply.

What is Narcissistic Supply?

Narcissistic furnish is anything, in fact, that shields the narcissist from feeling a sense of dishonor or abandonment, and this is an integral part of narcissism. The narcissist requires narcissistic furnish in order to preserve their fragile ego, and this can be provided by two distinct sources 😛 TAGEND

Primary Narcissistic Supply offer all of the attention that the narcissist addict craves. The nature of “members attention” can be experienced in either a public forum( such as renown, celebrity , notoriety, or infamy etc .), or in a private form( such as admiration, flattery, acclaim, dread, revulsion etc .). Secondary Narcissistic Supply alludes to those people or things that provide render on a regular basis( such as a spouse, children, friends, colleagues, partners, clients, etc .). This latter kind of supplying allows the narcissist to lead a more normal existence, it provides them with pride, fiscal safety, social distinction and the alliance that they need.


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