Exert from https://www.talkspace.com/mental-health/conditions/articles/narcissistic-abuse-recover-heal/

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition marked by a grand level of self-importance, an intense need for excessive admiration and attention from others, and a general lack of empathy for others.

People with NPD display extreme confidence while also being unable to gracefully accept even small criticisms or complaints.


Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and how severe they are can vary. People with the disorder can:

At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they view as criticism. They can:

People with narcissistic personality disorder may not want to think that anything could be wrong, so they usually don’t seek treatment. If they do seek treatment, it’s more likely to be for symptoms of depression, drug or alcohol misuse, or another mental health problem. What they view as insults to self-esteem may make it difficult to accept and follow through with treatment.

How to heal from Narcisstic Abuse

Not everyone that struggles with narcissistic personality disorder will present abusive behaviour in a romantic relationship, however, in some cases it can lead to abuse, or experiences of a toxic environment. If you’re in an abusive relationship with somebody who has narcissistic personality disorder, recovering from it can be painful. While healing from narcissistic abuse can be daunting, it is possible. 

You might go over and over in your head what you could’ve done differently. You might replay specific scenarios where you search for ways you could have handled things differently. Worse, you may even have the urge to rekindle the relationship. 

The tricky, and often devastating, part of narcissistic relationships is that they can be intoxicating. The cycle can be hard to break. You probably feel guilty about not leaving sooner, and ashamed that you were there to begin with. Still, you might find that you struggle to fully let go of the relationship. 

While these emotions are all common when coming out of a relationship that involves narcissistic abuse, it’s important to understand your relationship was not your fault. You also need to remind yourself that it wasn’t healthy. Remembering these things, and bringing to light the ways that your father, mother, or partner with narcissistic behaviour mistreated you, can help you heal and move on to more rewarding, healthier relationships. 

Keep in mind that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) doesn’t only affect romantic relationships. You might be in a relationship with somebody who has NPD in your family (i.e. “narcissistic father” or “narcissistic mother”), in a friendship, or in a romantic partnership. Acknowledging that you were in the relationship and have experienced narcissistic gaslighting is the first step you’ll need to take.

Once you acknowledge this truth, you can begin to accept that what you experienced was, in fact, emotional abuse. You can begin to let go of the blame you might be putting on yourself.

Set Boundaries

Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that the relationship was unhealthy, you’re ready to take the next steps in learning how to heal from narcissistic abuse. Setting healthy relationship boundaries is key here. 

Start With No-Contact (If Possible)

Typically, setting firm boundaries and cutting off contact is recommended at the end of any abusive relationship. Keep in mind that the no-contact rule goes both ways. At first, it might be hard for you to set that boundary and stick to it. Part of a narcissistic relationship includes promises of change and highs in the relationship that you might be tempted to try and recapture. Boundaries can help you resist going back. 

If cutting off all contact isn’t possible — maybe children are part of the equation, or it’s a close narcissistic family member that you’ll still occasionally have contact with — setting firm boundaries about what’s acceptable for you is important. Remember to not only inform them of the boundary, but to also let them know what the consequence will be if they can’t respect it. For example, you might tell them “I’ll see you during this time/event, but if you can’t respect my wishes [remind them of the boundaries you set], I will leave.”

Be Specific

Whether you’re setting boundaries with parents, a friend, or partner, it’s very important to be specific about what boundaries you consider necessary. This might include insisting they don’t share any personal information about you with anyone else. It might be something like they can only contact you via an email address you set up just for their communication. It might be that they can’t yell at you or talk down to you. Your boundaries are yours. You have every right to set them and be firm about them. 

Seek Help from Professionals

When you are dealing with narcissistic abuse, it is essential that you seek professional help; they have the knowledge and experience to help you heal, and you do not have to do this alone.  Personal Freedom can assist you in this area.

Therapists can use a variety of techniques to help you.. Working with a therapist, you can begin to:

Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion can be instrumental in learning how to heal from narcissistic abuse. You might find that your first reaction is to blame yourself. It may take some time for you to stop critiquing your own behaviours that contributed to the relationship. Remind yourself that how someone treats you is not your fault. Reward yourself for finally getting to a place where you can heal and get out of the situation. Recognize the signs you’re healing from narcissistic abuse as you see them. Above all, be proud of how far you’ve come. One day, you’ll find that you’re able to forgive yourself instead of judging yourself for the past

Be Patient

Even the best relationships can be difficult at times. When you’re recovering from a relationship that included narcissistic abuse, things can be even more challenging. Be patient with yourself and be patient with the healing process. 

As time goes on, you’ll find you can start to let go of the relationship and move forward. Eventually, you’ll get to a place where you believe that you deserve healthy and positive relationships in your life. Patience will be key in your recovery.

Exercise Self-Care

Taking care of yourself can be beneficial in many ways. It’s always important to practice self-care, but especially when you’re healing from narcissistic abuse, being kind to yourself is essential. 

Self-care is doing things that help you meet your own physical and emotional needs. Our mind and body are connected, so working on both areas of your life can help you feel stronger, braver, healthier, and more ready to take on the world. You might focus on:

Lean on Support from Loved Ones

There may not be another time in your life where you need more support from your loved ones than when you’re getting out of a toxic or narcissistic relationship. Opening up about the abuse and asking for help can not only be good for your healing, it can also help you begin to re-establish trust in others. The healing process can be lonely, but the people in your life who love you and want to support you can:

If you don’t have anyone in your life who can offer the support you need, consider reaching out to a support group where you can be with like-minded people who understand what you’ve gone through and where you’re at right now.

Any form of abuse in your life is unacceptable. You deserve to be surrounded by loving, positive, nurturing people. If you’ve recently gotten out of a toxic relationship, finding signs you’re healing from narcissistic abuse can be one way you motivate yourself to keep going. From getting professional help, to leaning on your loved ones, to focusing on self-care…you now have the tools you need to heal, and that’s a pretty good place for you to be.