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Caring For Your Brain After Narcissistic Abuse

by | December 10, 2017

Caring For Your Brain After Narcissistic Abuse

Unfortunately, for most survivors of narcissistic abuse, ending an emotionally abusive relationship and going no contact doesn’t immediately put an end to or erase the damage left behind from the trauma of being in a toxic relationship. We anticipate having to deal with the normal emotions and grief that accompanies any major loss, especially the loss of a significant relationship, but what many of us don’t anticipate is having to deal with the unexpected and extremely debilitating symptoms following the aftermath of a pathological relationship.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Intrusive or obsessive thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional flashbacks
  • Irritability
  • Hypervigilance
  • Fear
  • Social isolation

The trauma of emotional abuse may be invisible to the naked eye, but it wreaks havoc on our body’s stress response system and over time changes our brain. The long-term effects of living in a toxic environment marked by unpredictability, hypervigilance, walking on eggshells, brow-beating, cruelty and mixed messages can linger long after the relationship is severed. What’s even more devastating is that many survivors are told by well-meaning friends and family members “to just get over it” or are shamed for not bouncing back from the breakup quick enough.

Since narcissistic abuse is a new, emerging specialty and healing resources are few and far between, survivors are left to their own devices and their own internet research to find answers and tools to use to help them recover. The false assumption that many survivors find themselves under is all they need to do to heal is educate themselves about narcissistic personality disorder and go no contact. But, not surprisingly, many find that this is simply not the case.

If you’re not including any self-care techniques to nurture your brain and provide the best conditions for healing and recovery, you’re missing a very effective and important component of your trauma recovery regime. With recent advances in neuroscience, we are learning what neuroscience has to say about reactions to severe stressors, caring for our brain, and ways to create the optimal conditions for healing.

Teaching these techniques and explaining the neuroscience behind them would take hours and would be very costly, which is why neuropsychologist, Dr. Rhonda Freeman, Ph.D., has created an at-home course specifically for narcissistic abuse survivors. She gave me the opportunity to review the course and I highly recommend it and wanted to share this special offer with you. If you’re interested in purchasing the course or would like to learn more, you can click here.

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A LITTLE ABOUT ME

Bree Bonchay, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist with over 18 years of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships. Her articles have been featured in major online magazines and she has appeared on radio as a guest expert.
She is a dedicated advocate, educator and facilitates survivor support groups and workshops.

GET THE BOOK “I AM FREE”

Healing stories about surviving toxic relationships with narcissists and sociopaths.

Caring For Your Brain After Narcissistic Abuse

Unfortunately, for most survivors of narcissistic abuse, ending an emotionally abusive relationship and going no contact doesn’t immediately put an end to or erase the damage left behind from the trauma of being in a toxic relationship. We anticipate having to deal with the normal emotions and grief that accompanies any major loss, especially the loss of a significant relationship, but what many of us don’t anticipate is having to deal with the unexpected and extremely debilitating symptoms following the aftermath of a pathological relationship.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Intrusive or obsessive thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional flashbacks
  • Irritability
  • Hypervigilance
  • Fear
  • Social isolation

The trauma of emotional abuse may be invisible to the naked eye, but it wreaks havoc on our body’s stress response system and over time changes our brain. The long-term effects of living in a toxic environment marked by unpredictability, hypervigilance, walking on eggshells, brow-beating, cruelty and mixed messages can linger long after the relationship is severed. What’s even more devastating is that many survivors are told by well-meaning friends and family members “to just get over it” or are shamed for not bouncing back from the breakup quick enough.

Since narcissistic abuse is a new, emerging specialty and healing resources are few and far between, survivors are left to their own devices and their own internet research to find answers and tools to use to help them recover. The false assumption that many survivors find themselves under is all they need to do to heal is educate themselves about narcissistic personality disorder and go no contact. But, not surprisingly, many find that this is simply not the case.

If you’re not including any self-care techniques to nurture your brain and provide the best conditions for healing and recovery, you’re missing a very effective and important component of your trauma recovery regime. With recent advances in neuroscience, we are learning what neuroscience has to say about reactions to severe stressors, caring for our brain, and ways to create the optimal conditions for healing.

Teaching these techniques and explaining the neuroscience behind them would take hours and would be very costly, which is why neuropsychologist, Dr. Rhonda Freeman, Ph.D., has created an at-home course specifically for narcissistic abuse survivors. She gave me the opportunity to review the course and I highly recommend it and wanted to share this special offer with you. If you’re interested in purchasing the course or would like to learn more, you can click here.

Suffering from Narcissistic Abuse?

Join Narcissistic Abuse & Toxic Relationship Recovery & Support Forum on Facebook

"𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚" 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝟒 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝟐𝟐𝟎 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐉𝐮𝐧𝐞. 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐬𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐡 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐎𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟒‒𝟏𝟎. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐃𝐫. 𝐆𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐫 𝐌𝐚𝐭é, 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝’𝐬 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐬, 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐠𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐲:🍃𝐑𝐮𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝🍂𝐓𝐢𝐦 𝐅𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐖𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞. 𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚-𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞, 𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚-𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐝, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬, 𝐜𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐬𝐥𝐢𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐞, 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝. 𝐓𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐝𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐚 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐒𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟐. 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝟑𝟎+ 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐬 …🍂𝐁𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐥 𝐯𝐚𝐧 𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐊𝐨𝐥𝐤🍃𝐉𝐞𝐰𝐞𝐥🍂𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐞 𝐋𝐞𝐞 𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬🍃𝐑𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐳🍂𝐀𝐬𝐡𝐥𝐞𝐲 𝐉𝐮𝐝𝐝…𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 — 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞’𝐯𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐧𝐞, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞’𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡… 𝐖𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐢𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝. 𝐓𝐨 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟐 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐰——->🍂https://freefromtoxic--sand.thrivecart.com/supporter-fall/🍃***I want to be transparent and share that I do receive a small affiliate fee on any sales. ... See MoreSee Less
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You can’t expect to get your needs met or have true emotional connection with someone who at their core has an “All About Me Agenda”. Intimacy- “into me see” is not going to happen when the other partner is blinded because he/she only operates in the “me, my, mine” mode. Follow me on IG @breebonchay and join my over 65k followers on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/freefromtoxic#narcissist #narcissisticabuse #smearcampaign #flyingmonkeys #wnaad #freefromtoxic #ifmywoundswerevisible ... See MoreSee Less
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Don’t waste your time and emotional energy trying to convince mutual friends of the truth or to side with you. The narcissist has already anticipated what you might say and has been preemptively planting a very credible- sounding rendition of the truth in the mind’s of mutual friends and anyone else who would listen. The narcissist, most likely, has been doing this for a very long time and that’s why reversing the damage and trying to change people’s minds is absolutely futile. Follow me on IG @breebonchay and join my over 65k followers on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/freefromtoxic#narcissist #narcissisticabuse #smearcampaign #flyingmonkeys #wnaad #freefromtoxic #ifmywoundswerevisible ... See MoreSee Less
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You can also follow me on Twitter and Pinterest 

Get the book

‘I Am Free” is both a cautionary warning and illuminating light. It empowers readers dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship and serves as a wake-up call to those who are in-or think they may be in- an abusive relationship with a narcissists or sociopath.

Get the book

‘I Am Free” is both a cautionary warning and illuminating light. It empowers readers dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship and serves as a wake-up call to those who are in-or think they may be in- an abusive relationship with a narcissists or sociopath.

About me

Bree Bonchay, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist with two decades of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships and shares her insights about narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy in her blog, FreeFromToxic. She is the author of the book, “I Am Free” and has appeared on radio as a guest expert. She is also a board member of the Association for NPD/Psychopathy Educators & Survivor Treatment, a member of the International Association of Trauma Specialists, and is also the founder of WNAAD.

About me

Bree Bonchay, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist with two decades of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships and shares her insights about narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy in her blog, FreeFromToxic. She is the author of the book, “I Am Free” and has appeared on radio as a guest expert. She is also a board member of the Association for NPD/Psychopathy Educators & Survivor Treatment, a member of the International Association of Trauma Specialists, and is also the founder of WNAAD.

5 Comments

  1. Carol Davis

    Bree and her blogs and other writings literally saved and face me a new way to see my life. 72 years old, reared by a “5 star” narcissist and attracting narc after narc, and FINALLY I get it. Woot!!! THANK YOU Bree

    Reply
  2. Rory

    Not only is it hard to find a therapist who specializes in PTSD and narcissism, but combine that with the severe depression that keeps my feet firmly planted in a few tiny places I deem safe, and I can’t find the energy to research therapists. I’m tired. I’m terrified. I’m sad. I’m angry. And I’m alone. I trust no one. And I can’t go no contact because I have children with my ex. I fight daily just to get up because I am so defeated. It’s exhausting. And I’m sick and tired of people telling me to think myself well. And second guessing every thing I do or every thing that happens to analyze it to death to see if I overreacted or caused it or saw something that didn’t really happen because maybe I am paranoid and crazy. It’s like falling into be deepest darkest pit you can imagine and losing your voice.

    Reply
    • Wendie

      So totally with you, Rory.

      Reply
    • BraveHeart

      Rory, maybe the blog “Knowing the Narcissist” could help you. I know it helped me tremendously. The blog is written by an admitted Narc (HG Tudor). HG will teach you everything you need to know about Narcissism and the different levels he breaks them down to. He also breaks down Empaths to different levels and it is all very eye opening. Please know, his writings are very overwhelming to begin with, but they are brilliant and he tells the brutal truth. If you’re interested, go to, Narcsite.com and read the “About” section first so you can understand why he’s chosen to do his blog. As I said, his writings can be very overwhelming at first, but try reading at least 5-7 articles before giving up. Some of his writings will make you angry, but in the long run, they saved my life. I wish the very best for you and pray that you find peace within.

      Reply
    • Tina

      My heart goes out to you… I understand your pain, fears, and thoughts.

      Reply

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Copyright © 2021 - Bree Bonchay/ Free From Toxic ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No material on this website may be reproduced in any format without prior written permission of Bree Bonchay.

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Copyright © 2021 - Bree Bonchay/ Free From Toxic ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No material on this website may be reproduced in any format without prior written permission of Bree Bonchay.