Caring For Your Brain After Narcissistic Abuse

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.

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 and shares her insights about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and psychopathy in her blog FreeFromToxic. Her articles have been featured in major online magazines and she has appeared on radio as a guest expert.

5 thoughts to “Caring For Your Brain After Narcissistic Abuse”

  1. 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

  2. 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.

    1. 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, 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.

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