16 Things No One Tells You About Taking Antidepressants

"Everyone has their good days and their bad days. They can definitely help you be more buoyant and resilient in the face of hardship, but everyone experiences rough times. A combination of antidepressants, counseling, a healthy lifestyle, and a strong support network is the key to success for some."—Ella Corpuz, Facebook

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the most annoying misconceptions people have about taking antidepressants. Here’s what they want you to know.
Always consult with your doctor about your personal health and wellness. BuzzFeed posts are for informational purposes only and are no substitute for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.

1. Antidepressants work differently for different people.
“I wish people knew that antidepressants aren’t one size fits all. There are different types that work differently for every person. You go through up and downs, deal with side effects, all in the hopes that you will find anything that helps.”

“I wish people knew that antidepressants aren’t one size fits all. There are different types that work differently for every person. You go through up and downs, deal with side effects, all in the hopes that you will find anything that helps.”

2. And it requires a lot of trial and error to find the right fit sometimes.
“I’ve been on and off antidepressants for 16 years and have tried at least 12 different medications. Sometimes the side effects cause more problems and sometimes the medication doesn’t help at all. It’s all trial and error until you find one that works that your insurance covers.”
“I’ve been on and off antidepressants for 16 years and have tried at least 12 different medications. Sometimes the side effects cause more problems and sometimes the medication doesn’t help at all. It’s all trial and error until you find one that works that your insurance covers.”

3. It’s just like taking medication for any physical illness.
“A professor told me once, ‘I take medication for arthritis. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to live my life the way I need to. There is no difference in taking antidepressants for depression.'”
“A professor told me once, ‘I take medication for arthritis. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to live my life the way I need to. There is no difference in taking antidepressants for depression.'”

4. They aren’t magic pills that make you happy all the time.
“Everyone has their good days and their bad days. They can definitely help you be more buoyant and resilient in the face of hardship, but everyone experiences rough times. A combination of antidepressants, counseling, a healthy lifestyle, and a strong support network is the key to success for some.”
“Everyone has their good days and their bad days. They can definitely help you be more buoyant and resilient in the face of hardship, but everyone experiences rough times. A combination of antidepressants, counseling, a healthy lifestyle, and a strong support network is the key to success for some.”

5. Yes, they might affect your sex drive.
“I started taking antidepressants to deal with debilitating migraines years before becoming sexually active, so I didn’t know the difference. No matter how wonderful the sex, it would take me eight years to finally achieve climax with someone who wasn’t me.”

“I started taking antidepressants to deal with debilitating migraines years before becoming sexually active, so I didn’t know the difference. No matter how wonderful the sex, it would take me eight years to finally achieve climax with someone who wasn’t me.”

6. “Are you off your meds?” is pretty much the most annoying and inappropriate question ever.
“People on antidepressants do still have emotions. Just because they get sad or angry or upset in any way does not mean that they aren’t taking their meds. It is insulting to dismiss someone’s very valid feelings and to say things like ‘Did you forget to take your meds?'”
“People on antidepressants do still have emotions. Just because they get sad or angry or upset in any way does not mean that they aren’t taking their meds. It is insulting to dismiss someone’s very valid feelings and to say things like ‘Did you forget to take your meds?'”

7. The first few days on antidepressants might be a little rocky.
“The way that you feel when you first start taking antidepressants is not necessarily how you will always feel while taking them. Those first few days are really dramatic while your body figures out how to deal with this new influx of chemicals. The first time I took Lexapro, I felt as if my emotions had been chopped off at the knees, like I couldn’t really FEEL anything, and that was frightening. But after a week, my body adjusted and I started to feel not just like my old self, but even better. This is something that can take weeks. So, if you don’t like how it feels immediately, be patient.”
“The way that you feel when you first start taking antidepressants is not necessarily how you will always feel while taking them. Those first few days are really dramatic while your body figures out how to deal with this new influx of chemicals. The first time I took Lexapro, I felt as if my emotions had been chopped off at the knees, like I couldn’t really FEEL anything, and that was frightening. But after a week, my body adjusted and I started to feel not just like my old self, but even better. This is something that can take weeks. So, if you don’t like how it feels immediately, be patient.”

8. You don’t have to reach a certain “low” to need them.
“When I first started taking antidepressants, my boyfriend at the time told me I wasn’t ‘bad’ enough to take them. No one besides yourself can fully understand what you are going through mentally and physically. There is not a degree of ‘bad’ in which it is acceptable to take medication. It is what you and your doctor think is right for you and to help you out.”
“When I first started taking antidepressants, my boyfriend at the time told me I wasn’t ‘bad’ enough to take them. No one besides yourself can fully understand what you are going through mentally and physically. There is not a degree of ‘bad’ in which it is acceptable to take medication. It is what you and your doctor think is right for you and to help you out.”

9. You don’t necessarily need to be on them forever.
“I had a doctor describe my antidepressants as a cast: you break your leg so you wear a cast for support so it can help heal; you couple that with physical therapy to strengthen your leg and get it back to a healthy point. You can do the same with antidepressant medicine. Take it, coupled with therapy, then as you sort things out, work with your doctor to get to a point that you don’t need to take the medicine anymore.”
“I had a doctor describe my antidepressants as a cast: you break your leg so you wear a cast for support so it can help heal; you couple that with physical therapy to strengthen your leg and get it back to a healthy point. You can do the same with antidepressant medicine. Take it, coupled with therapy, then as you sort things out, work with your doctor to get to a point that you don’t need to take the medicine anymore.”

10. But if you do need to be on them for a long time, there’s nothing wrong with that either.
“When I first started taking antidepressants, I thought the end goal was to get off of them. Every time I started feeling better, I’d stop taking my meds and things would get bad again, because antidepressants were the reason I was feeling better. Maybe one day I’ll get off of them, but I’m OK with not knowing when that is.”

11. They’re not meant to turn you into a zombie.

“Before I took them I felt like I was living under a wet blanket that I couldn’t lift no matter how hard I tried. Once the antidepressants started working, I vividly remember thinking, ‘Oh, these are what emotions are!’ Antidepressants help me have ‘normal’ moods. That means I experience the full range of emotions, from good to bad. I just have more control over them now.”

12. They’re not always used to treat depression.
“I began taking them for chronic migraines. Since taking the medication I sleep better and do not constantly suffer from the pain of migraines.”

“I began taking them for chronic migraines. Since taking the medication I sleep better and do not constantly suffer from the pain of migraines.”

13. Antidepressants won’t necessarily stifle your creativity.
“The whole romanticized idea of the ‘depressed artist’ drives me CRAZY. Do NOT avoid going on medication because you think it will ruin your creativity. Depression makes it so you can’t get out of bed, let alone create art. Antidepressants help me be the artist I want to be.”
“The whole romanticized idea of the ‘depressed artist’ drives me CRAZY. Do NOT avoid going on medication because you think it will ruin your creativity. Depression makes it so you can’t get out of bed, let alone create art. Antidepressants help me be the artist I want to be.”

14. And they don’t just give you “fake happiness.”
“I hate when people say something along the lines of ‘I would hate to depend on a medication for happiness’ or ‘feeling happy while you’re on antidepressants is not REAL happiness.’ Tell that to me while I’m laughing with my best friends, or having the time of my life traveling (two things that I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t have my medication). My medication simply makes it so that I can actually FEEL happiness again, it doesn’t create it.”
“I hate when people say something along the lines of ‘I would hate to depend on a medication for happiness’ or ‘feeling happy while you’re on antidepressants is not REAL happiness.’ Tell that to me while I’m laughing with my best friends, or having the time of my life traveling (two things that I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t have my medication). My medication simply makes it so that I can actually FEEL happiness again, it doesn’t create it.”

15. They don’t change who you are — but they may help you be the best, most capable version of yourself.
“At the age of 15, I refused to take antidepressants because I did think it would change my thinking and essentially make me a different person. After taking them I realized that is not true at all. In fact, it revealed to me who I was and could be.””At the age of 15, I refused to take antidepressants because I did think it would change my thinking and essentially make me a different person. After taking them I realized that is not true at all. In fact, it revealed to me who I was and could be.”

16. And lastly, taking antidepressants doesn’t make you weak.
“Asking for help when you feel like you can’t go on is one of the strongest things you can do.”
“Asking for help when you feel like you can’t go on is one of the strongest things you can do.”

7 Things People Don’t Realize I’m Doing Because I’m in a Depressive Episode

Written by 

1. I’m unmotivated to finish things.

The misconception about depression is that it always involves a lot of crying and empty tissue boxes. For me, depression feels like an absence of emotions. It’s a terrible muted feeling, like my insides have been scooped out and I’ve got to fake it somehow. This emptiness makes it hard to get things done. My brain says, What’s the point?1

2. I don’t respond to texts in a timely manner.

I ghost relationships, and not just romantic ones. I just kind of, check out. I don’t know how to explain what’s going on without hurting someone’s feelings. (It’s not you, seriously, it’s me, I’m depressed)

And then I don’t sleep when I should. People who have depression can also struggle with insomnia. I’m constantly exhausted and nap frequently. Sometimes it’s because I’m tired. And sometimes it’s because sleep feels like the only thing I can do.

4. I turn down opportunities I actually want.

I cancel social plans. I don’t follow up on a cool job opportunity. I hide, even when I wish I wouldn’t. Part of me feels undeserving. And the other part of me feels like I’ll find a way to ruin it, so it’s best to just say no.

5. I find ways to self-medicate.

Here’s the thing, self-medication isn’t always alcohol or drug-related. Sometimes, watching a show on Netflix for hours is an escape for me. I know if it’s something I rely on, something I use too much, it’s a vice. I know it’s not the healthiest way to deal with my illness, but sometimes I just need something to get me through the day.

6. I seem apathetic.

It’s not because I don’t care about my friends. It’s not because I don’t care about what’s going on around me. I do, on some level. But my depression makes that difficult. Everything is empty. Even when I wish it wasn’t.

7. I act like I’m fine.

Because maybe I’m not ready for everyone to ask how I’m doing. Not everyone knows how to respond to depression. Some flip out. Some act like it’s a contagious disease. Maybe I’m just trying to survive and I don’t want that to be a public spectacle.

When You’re Exhausted From Living With a Mental Illness

By Bread Skalka

My wife and I were talking last night, about… I’m not sure, something, we talk about a lot of things and the topics either get very silly or very serious. Last night was serious night and we talked for a little bit. Then I told her I loved her and hoped that she truly understood just how much I love her and how sincere I was and am when I do so.

Anyway, last night we were talking about our life of various mental health problems (we tend to flock together easily), and how one thing people tend not to realize is just how exhausting it is to have depression. Hell, to have any kind of mental health problem. It’s physically draining to be like this, even if it’s just for some of the time, and it causes other physical symptoms, too. Like I’m having a bad anxiety day, and I slept, but not peacefully, and I know I slept curled in a ball for a lot of the night because my legs ache so much today. My knees aches and my legs are sore, just from one bad night’s sleep brought on by anxiety.

The anxiety was caused by having a strange cat in my house, who did not want to sleep in my porch (he wanted to be outside), and would bang on the door every now and again. Waking me up thinking we’re being attacked or broken into.

This morning my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t move. I was immobilized by my own panic. My wife had to physically sit me up, stand me up and help me walk to the shower, step by slow step. I could move my own legs, I was holding onto my glasses so tightly she had to take them out of my own hands because she thought I was going to break them. If I hadn’t had so much to do today, I would’ve begged her to leave me.

I’ve begged her to leave me before. Actually God damn begged. Desperately asked her not to pull me out of bed, not to get me, not to help me because I can’t stand to face the world outside because the panic is so overwhelming the only part of my body I can move is my damn mouth and I can’t even breathe and just because I am actually breathing doesn’t mean I can breathe. I can’t breathe.

But I had the cat to take to the vet, and a letter that needed to be written at the charity where I volunteer and I was supposed to see the “The Lego Movie” (my niece was too ill to go in the end) and for the first time since I’ve had a panic attack that bad, I beat it. I got up, went into into town, did the stuff I needed to do, and came home, with the anxiety reduced to the low level I tend to live with on most days.

And when I came home and cleaned up the bathroom and made tea and sat down, I started to panic again because I was so freaking tired. I was too tired to play Skyrim (I kept dying) and I went to bed and slept for four hours (despite the cat crying in the bedroom with me).

I’m exhausted. Right now, I’m physically, and even more so, mentally exhausted. I’m writing this because I’ve had tea, and dinner, and I’m on a writer’s roll. I have words, I will get them out, or I will not sleep. And I really need sleep (lie-in tomorrow though).

And that’s just anxiety. Depression, for me, has always been exhaustion but with self-harm and suicidal tendencies thrown into the mix. When I have depressive days (and I get them still), I get sad to the point where I can move again. Or can’t face a five minute walk to the garage for food (even when there is none in the house), because all the energy is gone, even if I slept well, even if I’ve had all the sleep in China (like the tea, but lazier). I think that makes it worse. All that energy, it just gets sucked into the atmosphere and I lie there, unable to move again, though, able to breathe at least.

I used to get anxiety attacks. Like panic attacks but much more physical. Rocking, violent rocking. The self-harm meant blood loss and, well, anaemia and blood loss are pretty tiring in their own way. And the pain, all that pain takes up the energy I tended not to have in the first place because, well I’m depressed, and in pain — and even on the days where I’m so numb I swear even my heart has stopped working — it’s tiring because you spend all your time trying to figure out why the hell you feel (or don’t feel) like this.

Why you?

You spend all your time thinking, overthinking and then thinking some more and only about this. You think and obsess and get no where because sometimes there is no answer (and more often than not, a diagnosis is not an answer) and you are always desperate for understanding and meaning and change. Change. Better. To be better, but it never comes and your brain never stops.

It never stops.

Once, I suffered from some psychosis mixed with my obsessive compulsive disorder. For six months I didn’t step on a line or crack. Not a single one. I had all sorts of rules for what counted as lines and where I had to walk, and I did this for six months. And do you know why? Because I was convinced, without a moment of doubt in my mind, that the devil was sucking up my soul and my “good things” through the pavement every time I stepped on a line or crack. And sometimes that devil was my dad, and sometimes he was red with horns and the reason my bank account was empty so often. I actually should’ve been on antipsychotics or in a hospital at some point during those six months, they were pretty bad (and I don’t talk about it much), but I was working in temp jobs in Warehouses, sweeping, putting boxes together, etc. I was self-harming every day (at work), I was suicidal and trying (and failing) and while I was in therapy, we didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with that or anything else. Because I was convinced it was the devil and that was all there was to it.

And I managed to work, and stay out of hospital and convince my boyfriend at the time (who I lived with) and my family that everything was normal, and I was (mostly) fine and not going freaking “insane” on them. Which is something else that is exhausting.

Trying to be normal.

Either trying to be normal, or pretending to be normal, or even just trying to stay under the radar of normal people. That is exhausting. Trying not to have a panic attack until you’re alone or at home. Cutting and hiding the cuts and scars from everyone, all year round, including the man you live with. Trying to hide the fact that you are walking funny for six months because if you step on the line the devil will have your soul and if you tell anyone, they’ll put your in hospital and the devil will own you. Own you. Just trying to be normal because you don’t want to explain anything, or talk about it because you can’t guarantee a good reaction, or even a non-reaction and you are so, so scared about being laughed at, or picked on even though school’s been over for years and you’re in your 20s, and if you tell people they might put you in hospital and you don’t want to go there, don’t want to go there and you can’t go there because you have to work and pay the bills some how and you still owe the gas company £300 because you were too scared to leave the house for six months and pay the bills and they took you to court and put in a meter and it all went wrong and you’re so, so tired of it all and would really like it all just to go away.

And this is just me, and just some of my stuff. I was tired for 10 years and I didn’t even sleep for most it because I suffered from insomnia from the age of 13 onwards until a few years ago and after a year of full-time and exhausting therapy.

I am still so tired sometimes. For a few years I was napping in the afternoon. Every afternoon. Even when I slept in until noon, I would have to nap around four. I was really worried about going to America last year because I was still napping at the time. Being in the U.S. for those three weeks actually got me out of that habit or need. I manage my days much better now, manage to stay awake all day, most days now, unless they’ve been particularly tough (today) or a I slept really badly (day before). Yes, all these things are terrible, I’ve been suffering since I was roughly 16 and I’m still tired, still suffering a little and still tired.

Still exhausted. But less so. It’s getting better. But, you should know, if your friend with the depression, or the anxiety, or the OCD is tired a lot although they may be sleeping just fine, it doesn’t matter. It’s exhausting being like this. Trust me.

Foo Fighters urge mental health awareness: “Depression is a disease”

By Philip Trapp

Members of Foo Fighters are speaking out on depression and mental healthissues following the deaths of Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington and Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell. Read what the Foos have to say below.

Mental health awareness has been pushed to the fore of many artists’ minds after both Bennington and Cornell were tragically lost to suicide this year. As reported by the NME, Foo Fighters recently spoke to New Zealand radio station The Rock FM about the important matter of mental health awareness.

“When it comes to someone like Chris Cornell or Chester, you know—depression is a disease,” says Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who lost his Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain to suicide in 1994. “Everybody kind of goes through it their own way. … The hardest part is when you lose a friend; I just always immediately think of their familes and bandmates.”

“It just goes to show you that it doesn’t matter what’s in your bank account or how many hits are on your YouTube page,” offers drummer Taylor Hawkins. “All that kind of crap all goes out the window if you’re not feeling right. If it looks like someone is down, way down, check on them.”

“Going through something like suicide, it’s a long road,” Grohl says. “And Chris [Cornell] was such a beautiful guy—he was the sweetest person, he was so talented, he had so much to offer. It was a real shock.”

“Mental health and depression is something that people should really take seriously. There’s a stigma attached to it that’s unfortunate.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, there is help to be found. Please consider these online resources and talk to your regular doctor about your symptoms:
MentalHealth.gov – Get Immediate Help
ImAlive – Online Crisis Network
International Association For Suicide Prevention – Resources
The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America
The National Alliance On Mental Illness
American Psychiatric Association – Finding Help
National Institute Of Mental Health
American Psychological Association – Psychologist locator

Foo Fighters – “The Sky Is A Neighborhood”

Watch more: Dave Grohl and Machine Head cover Pink Floyd (APTV)

 

The Secret Language Of Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths: How Abusers Manipulate Their Victims

Nishe

Society assumes that everyone has a conscience and the ability to empathize. In fact, 1 in 25 people in the United States are estimated to be sociopaths, according to Harvard psychologist Martha Stout. Narcissists (those who meet the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and their like-minded cousins, sociopathsand psychopaths, speak in the language of crazymaking, of projection, of word salad, of gaslighting and of pathological envy. While I will be focusing on narcissistic abusers in this post, keep in mind that all three are unable to empathize with others and frequently exploit others for their own agenda. If you encounter someone with narcissistic traits, they could very well fall towards the extreme end of the psychopathy spectrum and be a sociopath or psychopath.

These pathological individuals walk among us every day in their false masks, often unseen and unnoticed because of how eerily normal they are.

They can be of any gender, background, and socioeconomic status. Often times, they are charming, charismatic, the life of the party, able to hook their victims in and dupe the public effortlessly. It’s very possible you’ve dated, worked with, had a family member or friend with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder in your lifetime – even if you didn’t know it then.

Learning their emotional language means acknowledging that their cruelty is not only explicit but implicit, deeply ingrained in nuances in their facial expressions, gestures, tones, and most importantly, the contradictory mismatch between their words and actions. Most importantly, their cruelty is deliberate and designed to control and ultimately destroy their victims.

Their manipulation is psychological and emotionally devastating – and very dangerous, especially considering the brain circuitry for emotional and physical pain are one and the same. What a victim feels when they are punched in the stomach can be similar to the pain a victim feels when they are verbally and emotionally abused, and the effects of narcissistic abuse can be crippling and long-lasting, even resulting in symptoms of PTSD or Complex PTSD.

These types of abusers are fluent in manipulation, well-versed in sadism, in control and in rage – their deliberate cutting down of you, which can be best described as “death by a thousand cuts,” can be just as slow and insidious as it is swift and vicious. It is akin to psychological and emotional rape – a sordid violation of boundaries and of the trust the victim has given his or her abuser.

Narcissistic abusers can attack at any given moment, using their choice weapons of sarcasm, condescending remarks, namecalling, and blameshifting whenever they perceive you as a threat or whenever they need entertainment in the form of an emotional reaction. They can also use their nonverbal language in the form of a sadistic smirk, the cold deadness in their eyes while professing to love you, their bored, sulky looks or their cruel laughter to bully you into believing that you are inferior to them.

Survivors spend much of the “devaluation” phase of an abusive cycle (the phase where they are thrust off the pedestal, only to be demeaned and degraded) constantly on their toes, careful not to make a sound lest they incur the wrath of their narcissist. Yet walking on eggshells doesn’t help, as the narcissist can and will use anything and everything you’ve said or done against you as a way to destroy you.

There are three key pieces of information that narcissists frequently collect in the “idealization” phase of the relationship where they are first lovebombing and grooming you with excessive attention, that they later wield against you in the devaluation and discard phases in their special language of depravity.

1) The flaws, shortcomings, insecurities and secrets you’ve confided in the narcissist about. The narcissistic abuser rejoices when you share your wounds, your struggles, and your triggers early on. It is then that much easier for them to get underneath your skin and inside of your mind. During the early stages of the relationship, which are likely to include lovebombing, you are likely to feel so trusting and open with a narcissist that you share everything with them: your past, your heartbreaks, what you perceive to be your flaws.

You may see this as a way of establishing rapport, a connection with your partner, a way of being vulnerable and intimate. A narcissistic abuser sees it as dinner laying itself on the table. They will pretend to support you and empathize with you when you reveal these to them initially, but will later use these to provoke you, belittle you and demean you during the devaluation phase.

Remember: the narcissist has no limits as to what he or she will use.

If you tell your narcissist you’re insecure about your weight, be prepared for covert and overt put-downs about your body in the devaluation phase. If you reveal to a narcissist that you’ve been through a past trauma, such as being sexually assaulted, it won’t be long before they are using degrading lingo in the bedroom to make you feel like a used object. They thrive on the fact that you are being retraumatized. Their ability to make you regress right back into the original trauma with just one turn of phrase makes them feel powerful. And they live for that power, because it is the only power they have in their empty lives.

To a narcissist, any open wound is an invitation to cut deeper and the narcissist can and always will cut a wound even deeper than the first.

2) Your strengths and accomplishments, especially the ones they are pathologically envious of. Initially when you were on the pedestal, the narcissist couldn’t get enough of your strengths and accomplishments. They couldn’t stop raving about you to family and friends, showing you off, treating you like a trophy, an essential part of them. Their association with you inevitably made them feel superior and important. It bolstered their false image of being a normal human being who could get a “prize” like you.

In the devaluation phase, a narcissist will literally translate your strengths into perceived flaws. Once you were “confident and sexy,” – but now you’re “cocky and vain” (a clear projection of themselves, of course). Before, you were “intelligent and driven,” and now you’re just a “know-it-all” or a “smartass.”

They gaslight you into believing that your value and worth is not real, all while projecting their own sense of inferiority onto you. They will degrade, minimize, and ignore what you accomplish, now acting as if it means nothing to them and as if it is of little importance or value to the world. They will feed you falsehoods about your lack of competence and ability. They will claim to be better at you, all the while stealing your ideas. They will taunt you into believing that you’re not capable of the smallest of tasks, even if you are out of their league professionally and personally. They will threaten to ruin your reputation and they will often sabotage major events as well as support networks you may have, attempting to turn everyone against you. They will trample upon your dreams, your aspirations, your beliefs, your personality, your goals, your profession, your talents, your appearance, your lifestyle – all the while extolling their own.

Their sudden turn of language takes a toll; it is traumatizing, shocking and unexpectedly vicious. Everything they once praised will inevitably be turned and twisted into a weakness. This is because they cannot stand you “winning” and being better than them at something. To them, everything is a competition and a game that they must win at all costs. They seek to destroy you in every way possible so that you, in turn, destroy and sabotage yourself – all the while they sit back, relax and watch the unraveling of everything you’ve worked hard for.

3) Your need to please them and their need to be perpetually dissatisfied. The narcissist cultivated your need for his or her validation and approval early on in the idealization phase. By making you dependent on his or her praise, they conditioned you to seek the excessive admiration that only they could dole out. Now, as they devalue you, they use your need for validation to their advantage by withdrawing frequently, appearing sullen at every opportunity, and converting every generous thing you do for them as a failure on your part that falls short of their ludicrous expectations. Nothing can meet their high standards and everything wrong will be pointed out. In fact, even the things they do wrong shall be pinned on you.

Their blameshifting language, passive-aggressive sulky behavior and narcissistic rage at the slightest injury becomes all-consuming for the victim, as the victim attempts to strengthen his or her efforts to meet the standards of the narcissist – standards which inevitably set the victim up for failure. For this, the victim is met with verbal assault, accusations and unfair comparisons which instill in him or her a pervasive sense of worthlessness and never being “enough.”

If the victim ever attempts to make the narcissistic abuser accountable for being a decent human being, they will lash out in rage, blaming them for the abuse and stonewalling the victim into silence. They love to have the last word, especially for the language they’ve created.

Taking back our control and power from a narcissistic abuser means going to war with the language they use against us. We must create in its place what I call a “reverse discourse” – a new language and a rewriting of the narrative that instead lifts us, motivates us, inspires us and revives us by replacing the narcissist’s cutting words with our own powerful truth.