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Narcissistic Abuse Affects Over 158 Million People in the U.S.

by | December 21, 2017

Narcissistic Abuse Affects Over 158 Million People in the U.S.

World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day is June 1, and everyone, unless you’re living under a rock, has heard the word narcissist. In fact, the word is tossed around so liberally these days, its meaning becoming so diluted, that posting an occasional selfie can make people suspect you of being a narcissist.

Ironically, despite the popularity of the word, most people have never heard of the phrase “narcissistic abuse.”

Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. It is primarily inflicted by individuals who have either narcissistic personality disorder (NPD, which is characterized by a lack of empathy), or antisocial personality disorder (ASPD, also known as sociopaths or psychopaths), and is associated with the absence of a conscience.

You may be wondering if most people haven’t even heard of narcissistic abuse, then why is it so important to raise awareness about it? Unfortunately, since it’s such an under-recognized, understudied public health issue, statistics are hard to come by regarding this form of abuse.

So, how do I justify the need to raise awareness about a major public health issue when there are no statistics regarding its prevalence? Sandra L. Brown, founder of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education, describes in her article, 60 Million Persons in the U.S. Negatively Affected by Someone Else’s Pathology, how she arrived at this staggering figure:

“There are 304 million persons in the U.S. One in 25 people will have the disorders associated with “˜no conscience’ which include anti-social personality disorder, sociopath, and psychopath. Three hundred and four million divided by 25 = 12.16 million people with no conscience.

Each anti-social/psychopath will have approximately five partners who will be negatively affected by their pathology = 60.8 million people!”

Brown goes on to describe that 60 million is actually a conservative estimate because the calculation doesn’t include the children who are victims of narcissistic abuse. Nor does it factor in the percentage of people with narcissistic personality disorder, many whom also inflict narcissistic abuse on others. So, in keeping with Brown’s formula, I did some calculations of my own.

Here’s what we do know: Approximately one in every 10 people is walking around without a conscience, or at best, lacks empathy. According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the prevalence in the general population for antisocial personality disorder is estimated at 3.3% percent and the prevalence of narcissistic personality disorder is as high as 6% percent.

There are approximately 326 million people in the U.S. (The U.S. population has increased) and 6% percent of them have narcissistic personality disorder, which equals 19,560,000 people. If each of those people narcissistically abuse just five people during their lives, that amounts to an additional 97.8 million people!

If you apply the same formula to the world population using the current population estimate of 7.5 billion, are you ready for this?

3.3% of 7.5 billion = 247,500,000 people with antisocial personality disorder

6% of 7.5 billion= 450,000,000 people with narcissistic personality disorder

247,500,000 + 450,000,000 = 697,500,000 people who lack empathy, or are without a conscience. If each of those people narcissistically abuse just five people during their lives, the tally of potential damage affects over 3.4 billion people!

Brown also raises the point that if some other medical or mental condition, such as diabetes or heart disease negatively affected that many people, there would be public education campaigns, walk-a-thons, and celebrity endorsed, public service announcements to raise awareness about them. Comparatively, narcissistic abuse negatively affects more people than depression (approximately 80.8 million people) and yet the public awareness about narcissistic abuse is as invisible as the wounds of those abused.

This begs the question, why hasn’t narcissistic abuse received the public attention, education, and funding that it so desperately deserves?

The answer may lie in fact to what I eluded to earlier. Narcissistic abuse is invisible to the naked eye. Unlike physical abuse, narcissistic abuse doesn’t leave visible marks such as bruises or broken bones. This is one of the reasons why so many people don’t even realize that what they’re experiencing is a legitimate form of abuse, and that it has a name “” narcissistic abuse “” until the damage has been done.

Another possible explanation why narcissistic abuse is such an under recognized public health issue is because describing what you can’t see or prove presents a huge challenge. Thus, the theme of the awareness campaign is #IfMyWoundsWereVisible.

Narcissistic abuse is covert, and often disguised as love and care, but it’s anything but. It’s not a single act of cruelty like an insulting comment, or verbal abuse laced with a string of profanities. It’s the insidious, gradual, and intentional erosion of a person’s sense of self-worth. It’s a combination of emotional and psychological abuse aimed at undermining a person’s identity for the sole purpose of obtaining control for personal gain. It can involve patterns of dominance, manipulation, intimidation, emotional coercion, withholding, dishonesty, extreme selfishness, guilt mongering, rejection, stonewalling, gaslighting, financial abuse, extreme jealousy, and possessiveness.

A partner who never calls you a derogatory name and tells you he loves you every single day can be a narcissistic abuser. A parent who never misses a softball game, someone who appears to be the pillar of her community, can be narcissistically abusive.

But all the homemade dinners, all the love and concern for you, all the perfect attendance to your extracurricular activities won’t mitigate the damaging emotional and mental toll of the silent treatments when you assert your opinion or disagree. There are disapproving looks or criticisms over the most trivial things. There is the subtle, but constant way you’re made to feel you’re not good enough, and wholly incapable of pleasing your abuser for any length of time. The moments of kindness or the surprise bouquet of flowers don’t erase the dizzying, circular conversations that exhaust you into submission. When narcissistically abused, you can never express a differing opinion or suggest your partner isn’t perfect or right.

The sweet gestures don’t cancel out the hundreds of ways your compassion and love are exploited and used to manipulate you. These gestures actually make the unpredictable changing climate that shifts from kindness and tenderness to coldness and subtle cruelty more confusing and stressful.

Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That?, provides an unsettling description of how abuse can be inflicted. His example shows it can cause great psychological harm, without the use of anger, yelling, or name calling: “˜…He (or she) can assault his partner psychologically without even raising his voice. He tends to stay calm in arguments, using his own evenness as a weapon to push her over the edge. He often has a superior or contemptuous grin on his face, smug and self-assured. He uses a repertoire of aggressive conversational tactics at low volume, including sarcasm, derision“”such as openly laughing at her“”mimicking her voice, and cruel cutting remarks. Like Mr. Right, he tends to take things she has said and twist them beyond recognition to make her appear absurd, perhaps, especially in front of other people. He gets to his partner through a slow but steady stream of low level assaults…”

The emotional damage caused by narcissistic abuse is cumulative, which is one of the reasons why the abuse is so hard to pinpoint. We often don’t recognize or become alarmed at what appears small and innocuous in a particular moment. Most of us subscribe to the mantra: “No one is perfect.” We don’t suspect we’re being used, deceived, or conned. We assume the best intentions from the people who claim to love us. The lack of public awareness and education blinds us from seeing the pieces of our self-esteem and identity slowly being chipped away.

Many people who’ve experienced domestic violence will tell you that the emotional and psychological abuse that is characteristic of narcissistic abuse is more painful and lingering than the pain of physical abuse. As a practicing psychotherapist, I know all too well that it’s much harder and takes a lot longer to heal a broken spirit than it is to heal a black eye.

It’s challenging enough to try to describe what narcissistic abuse is, but even more challenging to try to spark the concern of people who haven’t experienced it. Some may feel they are too smart or too strong for it to ever happen to them, or impact their life in any way.

A commonly held misconception is that only weak-minded, fragile, co-dependent types are vulnerable to being abused. Sadly, this stereotype only intensifies the danger of the current lack of public awareness, and provides a false sense of protection.

The damage caused by narcissistic abuse is not limited to the individual victim. It bleeds into society, and impacts us all. Numerous studies caution us about the correlation between psychological and emotional stress, and its relationship to increased risk of illness and disease. The chronic stress of narcissistic abuse gradually wears our bodies down over time. The prolonged activation of the body’s stress response systems can take its toll, and wreak havoc on our physiology, and overall well-being.  Some of the common illnesses associated with the chronic stress of narcissistic abuse include but are not limited to: heart attack, adrenal fatigue, weight gain or loss, hair loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) autoimmune disorders, digestive problems, asthma, migraines, epilepsy, cancer, arthritis, slower wound healing, Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and increased dependency on alcohol, or other substances.

Consequently, many victims wind up missing work due to illness, or are laid off from their jobs because of excessive absences or poor work performance. As a result, they are forced to rely on taxpayer funded government and state programs, such as disability, low-income housing, welfare, food stamps, and so on. Children who are victims of narcissistic abuse often perform poorly academically, act out, and develop behavioral and/or substance abuse issues. Instead of receiving proper care and treatment for abuse, these children are identified as “˜behavioral problems,’ and placed in federally funded discipline and safety programs. The financial costs narcissistic abuse places on society would unarguably be more wisely and effectively spent if we were to use those funds for public awareness and education.

This article originally appeared in Psych Central on June 1, 2017

References:

Brown, S. L., MA. (2010, August 08). 60 Million Persons in the U.S. Negatively Affected by Someone Else’s Pathology. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pathological-relationships/201008/60-million-people-in-the-us-negatively-affected-someone-elses

Personality Disorders. (2017). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (pp. 659-672). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Bancroft, Lundy (2003). Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men New York: Berkey, Print

SIMILAR ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU ARE:

The 4 Most Common Narc-Sadistic Triangulation Tactics

How To Permanently Detach From A Narcissist

Tips & Tricks To Move On After Narcissistic Abuse

Copyright © 2015 Bree Bonchay. All Rights Reserved.

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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.

Narcissistic Abuse Affects Over 158 Million People in the U.S.

World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day is June 1, and everyone, unless you’re living under a rock, has heard the word narcissist. In fact, the word is tossed around so liberally these days, its meaning becoming so diluted, that posting an occasional selfie can make people suspect you of being a narcissist.

Ironically, despite the popularity of the word, most people have never heard of the phrase “narcissistic abuse.”

Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional and psychological abuse. It is primarily inflicted by individuals who have either narcissistic personality disorder (NPD, which is characterized by a lack of empathy), or antisocial personality disorder (ASPD, also known as sociopaths or psychopaths), and is associated with the absence of a conscience.

You may be wondering if most people haven’t even heard of narcissistic abuse, then why is it so important to raise awareness about it? Unfortunately, since it’s such an under-recognized, understudied public health issue, statistics are hard to come by regarding this form of abuse.

So, how do I justify the need to raise awareness about a major public health issue when there are no statistics regarding its prevalence? Sandra L. Brown, founder of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education, describes in her article, 60 Million Persons in the U.S. Negatively Affected by Someone Else’s Pathology, how she arrived at this staggering figure:

“There are 304 million persons in the U.S. One in 25 people will have the disorders associated with “˜no conscience’ which include anti-social personality disorder, sociopath, and psychopath. Three hundred and four million divided by 25 = 12.16 million people with no conscience.

Each anti-social/psychopath will have approximately five partners who will be negatively affected by their pathology = 60.8 million people!”

Brown goes on to describe that 60 million is actually a conservative estimate because the calculation doesn’t include the children who are victims of narcissistic abuse. Nor does it factor in the percentage of people with narcissistic personality disorder, many whom also inflict narcissistic abuse on others. So, in keeping with Brown’s formula, I did some calculations of my own.

Here’s what we do know: Approximately one in every 10 people is walking around without a conscience, or at best, lacks empathy. According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the prevalence in the general population for antisocial personality disorder is estimated at 3.3% percent and the prevalence of narcissistic personality disorder is as high as 6% percent.

There are approximately 326 million people in the U.S. (The U.S. population has increased) and 6% percent of them have narcissistic personality disorder, which equals 19,560,000 people. If each of those people narcissistically abuse just five people during their lives, that amounts to an additional 97.8 million people!

If you apply the same formula to the world population using the current population estimate of 7.5 billion, are you ready for this?

3.3% of 7.5 billion = 247,500,000 people with antisocial personality disorder

6% of 7.5 billion= 450,000,000 people with narcissistic personality disorder

247,500,000 + 450,000,000 = 697,500,000 people who lack empathy, or are without a conscience. If each of those people narcissistically abuse just five people during their lives, the tally of potential damage affects over 3.4 billion people!

Brown also raises the point that if some other medical or mental condition, such as diabetes or heart disease negatively affected that many people, there would be public education campaigns, walk-a-thons, and celebrity endorsed, public service announcements to raise awareness about them. Comparatively, narcissistic abuse negatively affects more people than depression (approximately 80.8 million people) and yet the public awareness about narcissistic abuse is as invisible as the wounds of those abused.

This begs the question, why hasn’t narcissistic abuse received the public attention, education, and funding that it so desperately deserves?

The answer may lie in fact to what I eluded to earlier. Narcissistic abuse is invisible to the naked eye. Unlike physical abuse, narcissistic abuse doesn’t leave visible marks such as bruises or broken bones. This is one of the reasons why so many people don’t even realize that what they’re experiencing is a legitimate form of abuse, and that it has a name “” narcissistic abuse “” until the damage has been done.

Another possible explanation why narcissistic abuse is such an under recognized public health issue is because describing what you can’t see or prove presents a huge challenge. Thus, the theme of the awareness campaign is #IfMyWoundsWereVisible.

Narcissistic abuse is covert, and often disguised as love and care, but it’s anything but. It’s not a single act of cruelty like an insulting comment, or verbal abuse laced with a string of profanities. It’s the insidious, gradual, and intentional erosion of a person’s sense of self-worth. It’s a combination of emotional and psychological abuse aimed at undermining a person’s identity for the sole purpose of obtaining control for personal gain. It can involve patterns of dominance, manipulation, intimidation, emotional coercion, withholding, dishonesty, extreme selfishness, guilt mongering, rejection, stonewalling, gaslighting, financial abuse, extreme jealousy, and possessiveness.

A partner who never calls you a derogatory name and tells you he loves you every single day can be a narcissistic abuser. A parent who never misses a softball game, someone who appears to be the pillar of her community, can be narcissistically abusive.

But all the homemade dinners, all the love and concern for you, all the perfect attendance to your extracurricular activities won’t mitigate the damaging emotional and mental toll of the silent treatments when you assert your opinion or disagree. There are disapproving looks or criticisms over the most trivial things. There is the subtle, but constant way you’re made to feel you’re not good enough, and wholly incapable of pleasing your abuser for any length of time. The moments of kindness or the surprise bouquet of flowers don’t erase the dizzying, circular conversations that exhaust you into submission. When narcissistically abused, you can never express a differing opinion or suggest your partner isn’t perfect or right.

The sweet gestures don’t cancel out the hundreds of ways your compassion and love are exploited and used to manipulate you. These gestures actually make the unpredictable changing climate that shifts from kindness and tenderness to coldness and subtle cruelty more confusing and stressful.

Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That?, provides an unsettling description of how abuse can be inflicted. His example shows it can cause great psychological harm, without the use of anger, yelling, or name calling: “˜…He (or she) can assault his partner psychologically without even raising his voice. He tends to stay calm in arguments, using his own evenness as a weapon to push her over the edge. He often has a superior or contemptuous grin on his face, smug and self-assured. He uses a repertoire of aggressive conversational tactics at low volume, including sarcasm, derision“”such as openly laughing at her“”mimicking her voice, and cruel cutting remarks. Like Mr. Right, he tends to take things she has said and twist them beyond recognition to make her appear absurd, perhaps, especially in front of other people. He gets to his partner through a slow but steady stream of low level assaults…”

The emotional damage caused by narcissistic abuse is cumulative, which is one of the reasons why the abuse is so hard to pinpoint. We often don’t recognize or become alarmed at what appears small and innocuous in a particular moment. Most of us subscribe to the mantra: “No one is perfect.” We don’t suspect we’re being used, deceived, or conned. We assume the best intentions from the people who claim to love us. The lack of public awareness and education blinds us from seeing the pieces of our self-esteem and identity slowly being chipped away.

Many people who’ve experienced domestic violence will tell you that the emotional and psychological abuse that is characteristic of narcissistic abuse is more painful and lingering than the pain of physical abuse. As a practicing psychotherapist, I know all too well that it’s much harder and takes a lot longer to heal a broken spirit than it is to heal a black eye.

It’s challenging enough to try to describe what narcissistic abuse is, but even more challenging to try to spark the concern of people who haven’t experienced it. Some may feel they are too smart or too strong for it to ever happen to them, or impact their life in any way.

A commonly held misconception is that only weak-minded, fragile, co-dependent types are vulnerable to being abused. Sadly, this stereotype only intensifies the danger of the current lack of public awareness, and provides a false sense of protection.

The damage caused by narcissistic abuse is not limited to the individual victim. It bleeds into society, and impacts us all. Numerous studies caution us about the correlation between psychological and emotional stress, and its relationship to increased risk of illness and disease. The chronic stress of narcissistic abuse gradually wears our bodies down over time. The prolonged activation of the body’s stress response systems can take its toll, and wreak havoc on our physiology, and overall well-being.  Some of the common illnesses associated with the chronic stress of narcissistic abuse include but are not limited to: heart attack, adrenal fatigue, weight gain or loss, hair loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) autoimmune disorders, digestive problems, asthma, migraines, epilepsy, cancer, arthritis, slower wound healing, Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and increased dependency on alcohol, or other substances.

Consequently, many victims wind up missing work due to illness, or are laid off from their jobs because of excessive absences or poor work performance. As a result, they are forced to rely on taxpayer funded government and state programs, such as disability, low-income housing, welfare, food stamps, and so on. Children who are victims of narcissistic abuse often perform poorly academically, act out, and develop behavioral and/or substance abuse issues. Instead of receiving proper care and treatment for abuse, these children are identified as “˜behavioral problems,’ and placed in federally funded discipline and safety programs. The financial costs narcissistic abuse places on society would unarguably be more wisely and effectively spent if we were to use those funds for public awareness and education.

This article originally appeared in Psych Central on June 1, 2017

References:

Brown, S. L., MA. (2010, August 08). 60 Million Persons in the U.S. Negatively Affected by Someone Else’s Pathology. Retrieved April 16, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pathological-relationships/201008/60-million-people-in-the-us-negatively-affected-someone-elses

Personality Disorders. (2017). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (pp. 659-672). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Bancroft, Lundy (2003). Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men New York: Berkey, Print

SIMILAR ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU ARE:

The 4 Most Common Narc-Sadistic Triangulation Tactics

How To Permanently Detach From A Narcissist

Tips & Tricks To Move On After Narcissistic Abuse

Copyright © 2015 Bree Bonchay. All Rights Reserved.

Suffering from Narcissistic Abuse?

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

My blood pressure rises every time I see quotes or memes like the one below, especially when they are written by individuals who provide relationship advice like the writer of the one included in this post.There are so many horrendous inaccuracies and faulty assumptions in the meme/statement below.And, sadly it’s these types of memes/beliefs that contribute to keeping narcissistic abuse victims stuck in and returning to abusive relationships. Statements like these echo the very WORDS of abusers. If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, you know.Words that are deliberately delivered to distract the attention away from the abuser’s behavior and keep the victim focused on his/her alleged flaws. Also, if the statement was true, why is it that manipulative and controlling people are often not fooled or easily controlled by other manipulators?Is it because manipulative people have healthy self-love?Is it because they’re emotionally healthy and sovereign?Of course not. It’s because they can easily spot the tactics that they themselves use. Simple.When dangerous advice and memes like this are so negligently tossed around, it’s no wonder why there are so many victims of manipulators.This type of advice offers the wrong diagnosis, the wrong solution, and gives individuals a false sense of protection.Let’s remember that manipulation by its nature means that manipulation is invisible and occurs just below the level of consciousness. If manipulation could be easily detected, then it wouldn’t be manipulation. It would be obvious.I’m not knocking self-love. It’s critical to well-being, but if you’ve been in an abusive relationship for any length of time, your self-confidence and self-esteem has surely been attacked and insidiously diminished, meaning it’s inevitable that your self-love will suffer.If you know anything about manipulators and controllers, then you know that many of their victims are targeted for what they have, not for what they lack. And, according to research from The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction, many narcissistic abuse survivors have the same cluster of trait elevations- agreeableness, conscienceness and openness/empathy.So, if you’ve been the victim of someone who is highly manipulative, controlling, and/or has a personality disorder that impairs their empathy or conscience, don’t assume it’s because you’re lacking anything. Instead, consider what you have in abundance.Even the leading expert in psychopathy, Dr. Robert Hare, has said that he can still be fooled and conned.We need to get the correct information and helpful advice out there. That’s why I’m including a book plug in this post.If you are stuck in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, check out Kristen Milstead’s book, “Why Can't I Just Leave: A Guide to Waking Up and Walking Out of a Pathological Love Relationship”.Kristen asked me if I would review her book and here’s what I had to say:"Kristen Milstead provides a social psychological analysis of narcissistic abuse using the empathetic voice of a survivor. Survivors who read this book will be able to trust the "lightbulb" moments this rare perspective offers." Kristen has a doctorate in sociology and uses the stories of survivors and social psychological research on compliance, cognitive dissonance, and thought control.Here’s what the description on Amazon says, “Why Can’t I Just Leave? explains how relationships with pathological partners can create impossible dilemmas that trap you in a distorted dream-state and hijack your thoughts and emotions. Learn what those who are conscience-impaired don’t want you to know and find out how to wake up and walk out of your partner’s invisible prison forever.”Let’s empower ourselves and others and make 2022 the best year yet! XO ... See MoreSee Less
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Thank you, Grow Theraoy, for my #livelyroot Money Tree plant. 🌱 I think it looks great in my office. ... See MoreSee Less
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💯 🎯💯🎯💯🎯💯🎯💯🎯💯And, it’s equally not helpful to say “it takes two to tango”. #narcissisticabuseawareness #wnaad #ifmywoundswerevisible #narcissisticabuserecovery #narcissisticabuse #coercivecontrol ... See MoreSee Less
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“Have you been in a relationship with someone you think had narcissistic and/or psychopathic traits? If you are 21 years old and over and reside in the United States, you are eligible to participate in a research study investigating the impact of romantic relationships with narcissists and psychopaths. You can use the link: tinyurl.com/narcissist-survey to take the survey. The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of the psychological well-being and trauma-related symptoms of those who have been involved in romantic relationships with individuals with narcissistic and psychopathic traits. You will take an anonymous survey which will request basic demographic information, ask you to self-report on scales concerning information about your past relationship experiences, trauma and abuse experiences, the personality characteristics of an ex-partner or current partner you believe had narcissistic, and/or psychopathic traits, and trauma-related symptoms.Please note: this is a study conducted by Shahida Arabi, a graduate student at Harvard University. I am not affiliated in any way with the research being conducted nor am I part of the research study team. You are not obligated to take part in this study and should do so only out of your own interest in contributing to this research. You will not be paid for your participation or receive any benefits from me for taking part in the survey. All questions and concerns regarding the study can be directed to the principal investigator.”Thank you so much! ... See MoreSee Less
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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.

4 Comments

  1. Jenna

    This is exactly what I tried to explain to the CPS worker who interviewed my ex because of safety concerns I have for my son when he is with him. He claimed to understand the disorder and yet said my son was not hit or willing to admit he feels unsafe with his dad so there is no abuse going on in his professional opinion and he said he would testify to that. He said that if my son will not tell the truth it must be because I haven’t done a good job of teaching him to do so. The effects of this disorder are extensive and children don’t have the perspective to set boundaries and go no contact until long after the damage is done. I feel so helpless in protecting my son.

    Reply
    • Bree Bonchay, LCSW

      Jenna, I understand your concern and how hard it is for a mother when she feels she has no way to protect her child. Unfortunately, here in the U.S., if there is no evidence of physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect, and the child doesn’t say anything (even though we know children don’t say anything a lot of the time because they’re frightened) there is nothing the CPS worker can do. It’s a sad reality since we know emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse.
      Hopefully, if we pass laws about coercive control like other countries have done, that will change. I plan to write more about this. Stay strong, you’re more effective than you think. A report was made, and it will stay in the file even when they don’t open a case.

      Reply
  2. darktippedrose

    This is sooooo true. Its hard for me to describe, what I think of as psychological warfare on me. No one can see it because he plays his different roles sooooo well.

    Reply
  3. Sherims1

    3 months after our wedding he attempted suicide. It’s always been all about him. After our wedding he was not in the spot light anymore. His attempt was not successful. Now after surgeries to fix his facial appearance and much psycho therapy which diagnosed him as bi-polar, borderline personality disorder, ocd and narcissist. My therapist believes it’s his narcissist that was seeking attention. That he knew how to do it and not succeed. Could this be true?

    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.