Joanna Kujath has helped me to see the truth of what it can mean being in an abusive relationship. Even reflecting on the past, growing up with a narcissistic parent, can, still, be healed when using the right steps, it certainly did help me. In the following article, Joanna describes how narcissistic abuse syndrome can destroy our health if not recognized.
Abuse is Toxic
Narcissistic abuse is very ambient and most victims don’t realize the severity of the impact that one relationship, one person can have on their health. To clarify the confusion about the word “toxic“- these relationships poison our sense of safety, self-esteem, and eventually destroy our self-worth.
They are toxic to our peace of mind and eventually, our permanent state of uncertainty and apprehension manifests on a physical level. Our body often communicates what we cannot via symptoms of pain, dis-ease, and dis-regulation.
Victims of narcissistic abuse learn to tolerate extreme stress levels which they’ve been brainwashed to believe is “normal“. What they don’t realize is that abusers will “normalize” the effects of their abuse, so it can continue. It becomes imperative that you understand how narcissistic abuse destroys your health because education is an essential part of healing.
Recovery often takes a very long time because narcissistic abuse encompasses physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, psychological and/or sexual abuse. Healing is multifactorial and thus requires a holistic approach; one size does not fit all. Every person, each situation is different.
Emotional abuse has devastating effects on the body, and the wounds cannot be seen. Words carry a frequency, as do emotions. So even though we may try to convince ourselves that we are “fine“, or “it’s not so bad“, by participating in this self-betrayal our body will eventually raise the volume by amplifying the symptoms.
When we live in an environment where we don’t feel safe, to express ourselves, to make choices, to be who we are, our nervous system becomes hyper-aroused. In order to survive, we exist in a hyper-vigilant state. Put simply, living with a narcissist translates that we are in a threatening environment.
It eventually escalates to living with an emotionally ‘vacated‘ stranger, and as if we were in a ‘war zone‘. Thus most, if not all, victims of narcissistic abuse present with some form of CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Common experiences of those victimized by pathological narcissists, or psychopaths, include overwhelming feelings of anxiety, self-blame, random panic attacks, feelings of isolation, chronic insomnia, depression, nightmares, and traumatic flashbacks.
Psychological abuse puts an enormous strain on the nervous system, where we permanently reside in “fight or flight” and find it difficult to “switch off“. This eventually has a detrimental effect on our digestive system. The stress can present as stomach ache at first, then an inability to digest certain foods, which can lead to food allergies, and nutrient deficiencies.
Effects on metabolism are common, resulting in weight gain, or an inability to lose weight. I’m sure most people now can see the connection between “fat” representing a buffer that protects us. We ‘comfort eats’ as one of the few ways to soothe the unrelenting stress we feel. And perhaps develop “bad” food cravings to overcompensate for numerous nutritional deficiencies.
Stress has an undeniable impact on our digestive system. Problems with digestion can be linked to allergies, depression, inflammatory conditions, and immune dysregulation. An impaired digestive system coupled with a highly aroused nervous system impacts on the endocrine system.
Elevated levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, wreak havoc on our hormones. You can also see how chronic stress can also detrimentally affect the cardiovascular system too, perhaps manifesting at first as just elevated heart rate or high blood pressure.
I’ve tried to simplify this process and how all body systems are related. One having an impact on all others. But to summarize it all, relationships with abusive personalities are exhausting. Our body is revved to full capacity, always on alert. The health consequences are manifested in the victim, as their resources are slowly siphoned and depleted.
I made a video related to this aspect of narcissistic abuse which got an overwhelming response. Titled: ‘10 Ways A Narcissist Destroys Your Health‘ you can watch it here.
Please don’t disregard your body’s messages, don’t wait to hit rock bottom. You don’t need a serious diagnosis for a permission slip or validation of the hell you may silently be enduring. Don’t deny the implications of being in abusive situations; it’ll only be at your peril.
Educate yourself about how narcissistic abuse destroys your health, and implement self-care strategies today. And most of all, please know you are not alone. Healing is possible, you deserve the very best life has to offer!
About the Author
Joanna Kujath is a social influencer who has an extensive background in Naturopathic Medicine. She’s passionate about educating survivors of narcissistic abuse and empowering people who recognize themselves as Highly Sensitive empaths.
Due to her strong You-Tube presence, tens of thousands of lives have been empowered by her insightful content. Joanna’s first book
‘Unveiling The Narcissist: Gain Clarity & Set Yourself Free‘
is now available via www.journeythruwellness.com