Is Psychopathy & Narcissistic Personality Disorder Education the Same as Recovery
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No, education on this topic is not equivalent to recovery and healing. Information is important to satisfy the natural cognitive desire to understand what happened and the need to integrate information.
And education regarding Cluster B Personality Disorders is crucial to the overall process of recovery. But, understanding psychopathy/ Narcissistic Personality abuse is not the same as healing.
Education is a helpful first step, but recovery after abuse requires more. A person can still suffer with emotional pain, even after learning the facts of psychopathy and narcissistic personality disorder relationship abuse. Growth and healing comes from going deeper.
For many, this will require the assistance of a skilled mental health provider. Therefore, get all the help you think you need to facilitate your recovery (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist, support group, etc.).
If one engages in treatment with a mental health professional, it is imperative that they have a strong background in this area because the rules of a normal relationship do not apply. Blaming the survivor for winding up in this situation would not be an appropriate approach for someone who may have been traumatized. However, unfortunately, there are some professionals who will ask their clients to look at their role in the abuse.
The recovery process tends to be focused on you, not the abuser. It involves calming the dysregulated emotional state of the brain and mind and addressing any psychological disorders that might have developed, such as depression or anxiety.
It can require hard work.
For some, this will require them to look at their own personality dynamics that might make them appealing to selfish, dominant, callous partners. This is not the same as blaming the victim – because no one is responsible for the abusers behavior. Period.
Narcissists and psychopaths dupe their mates into a relationship by presenting a false representation of themselves and by doing so their mate naturally forms a bond with them. It is the intense psychological manipulation and mind games that follow that causes the deep emotional wounds.
It is confusing, perplexing and shocking to consider that the personality of the man or woman you fell in love with was a fraud. Replaced by someone focused solely on getting their own needs satisfied. The way they get those needs met, often hurts their partners (intentionally or unintentionally).
So a recovery process is often necessary and must involve more than education. Education is just the foundation so that you are aware of what happened.
You can get information generically – such as via support groups or websites like Neuroinstincts. But healing and recovery is the ‘what can I do about how I feel and how I’m functioning‘ stage and for many this will require the skill of an expert to work with you one on one.
Once you are within the recovery stage and moving forward, be sure to appreciate things about yourself that you may have taken for granted in the past.
For example, have gratitude that you have the ability to love, bond and feel happiness without tearing others down. Those may have been abilities you thought everyone possessed (i.e., bonding, growth potential).
But now you know better.
You know that those are complex emotional processes that some people cannot access or learn. You have those abilities – and that should be appreciated and indulged by you!
Once you feel satisfied that you have a basic understanding of the abuser’s personality style that caused you harm, it’s important to shift your focus to yourself. This step is very important because it is possible to become stuck for years learning about Cluster B personality disorders.
The best gift you can give yourself is growth and healing from this experience.
We want to be your information source for neuroscience, abuse, and research-based articles regarding personality disorders. However, more than anything we encourage growth and through growth, naturally comes the ability to move forward with a new focus. No longer the psychopath or narcissist, but rather yourself and all that you can bring to those who love you.
Go get the beautiful life you deserve!
Rhonda Freeman, PhD | Clinical Neuropsychologist
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• No Unauthorized Reproduction, derivative versions, or content use without permission. Refer to our copyright infringement page.