Recent psychological theories maintain that the cause of anxiety is actually narcissistic abuse.
Psychologists are aware of the fact that any sort of emotional or mental abuse can leave long-term effects on the mental and emotional health, and if this trauma is experienced during childhood, it leads to even more severe consequences, and the child is persuaded that it is the culprit for the problem.
This is actually the definition of narcissistic treatment when the other person convinces you that everything is your fault, no matter what happens.
According to psychologists, it is completely normal to disassociate after such emotional abuse, and it later leads to anxiety disorders.
This is a list of the most common anxiety disorders, by the Mayo Clinic:
- Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder manifested by an irrational fear of open and public places.
- Anxiety disorder caused by a medical condition like intense anxiety or physically-induced panic attacks.
- Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent and overwhelming anxiety about commonplace activities or events.
- Panic disorders include cycles of panic disorders, such as panic attacks out of the fear of having one.
- Selective mutism is common in abused children, and while they are able to speak normally in relaxed settings, they still do not speak in certain situations.
- Separation anxiety disorder is also common in children in school or similar settings and is caused by the separation from parents or others who have parental roles in the life of the child.
- Social anxiety disorder is related to the avoidance of social situations due to fear, anxiety, embarrassment, and other negative self-reflected emotions.
- Specific phobias are fears or anxieties linked to certain situations or objects.
- Substance-induced anxiety disorder is characterized by anxiety or panic attacks due to the use of specific substances, or even withdrawal from those substances.
- Other specified anxiety disorders and unspecified anxiety disorder cover other types of anxiety or phobias which are equally disruptive but do not fit in any of the categories above.
Children with at least one parent narcissistic and emotionally abusive are especially prone to anxiety. These people are actually high-functioning, and good manipulators. When caught in bad behavior, they can skillfully find a way to talk themselves out of trouble, and turn the entire situation around.
This endless cycle of abuse confuses the victims, especially children, as they feel that things are not right, but cannot find a solution.
The most common targets of narcissists are compassionate, and empathetic people, who can believe their abusers are actually nice people for long.
A study by Muhammad Gadit from Memorial University of Newfoundland found that “Verbal abuse can cause significant psychological problems in later years and brain damage, including anxiety, depression, anger-hostility, and dissociation.”
Moreover, as Doctor Douglas Fields explained in Psychology Today, “When [an] environment is hostile or socially unhealthy, development of the brain is affected, and often it is impaired.
Early childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, or even witnessing domestic violence, have been shown to cause abnormal physical changes in the brain of children, with lasting effects, that predisposes the child to develop psychological disorders.”
Therefore, if you have been abused in any way in your childhood, remember that it is NOT your fault. You need to be patient with yourself, and you will eventually become a stronger person, as time will recover the damage.