A New Season of The Narcissistic Abuse Rehab Podcast

The Narcissistic Abuse Rehab Podcast | Photo by Nuno Obey

When I visualize the upcoming season of The Narcissistic Abuse Rehab Podcast, the image I hold in my mind is a platform that serves as a lighthouse to anyone feeling lost at sea during their proverbial dark night of the soul.

When we first launched in 2019, my intention as a content creator was to reach survivors wherever they were on their recovery journey with a message of confidence. Hope ignites the flame of courage in the human heart and makes it possible for us to take that first intrepid step toward transformation. Through the generous endowment of my wonderful mother, our platform has successfully engineered awareness, empowerment, and healing for thousands of people around the globe. 

Because narcissistic abuse occurs in the psychological domain, its effects are often invisible to everyone except the person experiencing the harm. It renders the sacred profane by weaponizing the building blocks of healthy relationships: good faith, trust, and loyalty. Narcissistic abuse impairs one’s ability to give and receive love without fear.

Tossed between seismic waves of idealization and devaluation, the survivor often loses sight of the way back to their safe harbor. Typically, the survivor is burdened with misplaced shame and cruelly thrust into the torturous scapegoat role. The result is often family estrangement and alienation from one’s wider social circle. 

Hope is the beacon of light that disrupts the gloom of this insidious form of human bondage. Without hope, healing seems impossible because it does not occur in a vacuum. The best and most lasting recovery happens through wholesome connections sustained by the restorative elixir of agapē, the purest and most liberating form of love. 

I am as resolute as ever in my commitment to restoring the dignity of survivors by connecting in our digital safe space. Every time a survivor makes the leap from victim to victor, they become an inspiration to those still ensnared in destructive relationships.

Your voice and vision are needed to co-create the best climate for recovery. I invite you to participate in a five-minute survey to let me know how you think we can streamline our website. I also welcome you to leave a comment or contact me directly to share relevant topics you would like us to discuss on the new episodes of the podcast.

Your’s in recovery,

7 Ways to Fight Mental Health Stigma

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WHILE THE TOPIC of mental health is more widely discussed now than in the past, people experiencing loneliness, depression, anxiety, isolation, and hopelessness often feel judged by others. Unfortunately mental health challenges are as stigmatized now as ever and the consequence is that people who need support are reluctant to reach out for help. As the Chief Executive Officer of Orange County Rehab, part of my work is teaching people how to overcome misconceptions about mental health so that they can get the treatment they need and recover. If this resonates with your experience, here are 7 ways to fight mental health stigma.

1. Seek medical help

Most importantly, you should seek medical attention just as you would if you had a broken limb or were unwell, don’t allow the fear of being diagnosed with a mental health condition keep you or your loved ones from seeking treatment. Treatment is essential to alleviating symptoms that interfere with one’s professional and personal life, as well as delivering relief. Remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself and others while you or they seek therapy. Take courage and remember that you and your loved ones are worth it.

2. Don’t buy into the stigma

Your belief that you or the individual who is suffering from mental illness should be able to manage their condition on your own is a common misconception. As a result of these views, you may treat yourself or others with more harshness. It is important to seek care and support from those with mental illness to obtain a sense of self-worth, perspective and to overcome harmful judgement. As one realises, they aren’t the only one struggling in a certain area, they might begin to understand that they aren’t alone. Seeking assistance is a need.

3. Educate yourself and others

You can only be as powerful as the information you have. Learn as much as you can about your mental health condition, including its signs and symptoms, as well as its causes and remedies. The first step in obtaining the correct therapy for mental well-being is to be educated. Be willing to help people understand that mental health issues are medical conditions that can be treated in the same way that physical ailments are. To dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about mental health diagnoses, provide them with accurate facts.

People are more inclined to change their attitudes about mental health conditions when they have a better understanding of what they are. Remember not to expect folks to immediately grasp what you’re saying. Stigma is a long-term process. As you go through this process, be kind to yourself and others. It is also possible that family therapy might be beneficial, since it provides a neutral setting in which to address hurdles and roadblocks.

4. Choose your words carefully

A mental health diagnosis remains a part of our identity as long as we meet the criteria. Words have the potential to do harm and it is important to be mindful about the language we use to described mental health matters. Practice compassion and keep in mind that each of us has a unique personality that consists of many distinct features.

5. Join a support group

Don’t isolate yourself. No one can assist if you are secretive about your mental health condition. You may find a wide range of activities and services from local and national support organizations. People with mental health issues, family members, friends, and the places they live in may all benefit from these organizations’ efforts to remove stigma and empower those who suffer. A good place to start is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or the Department of Veterans Affairs (if applicable). See what programs are available in your area or online.

6. Empowerment over shame is the way to go

If you’re going through a rough patch, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Honor and own
your experience. While maintaining healthy boundaries, encourage individuals in need of assistance, hold space for their stories, and provide words of encouragement. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to dealing with those around you.

Final thoughts

Remember that there is more to who you are than a mental health diagnosis. As you share your story and interact with others, remember the full spectrum of who you are and recognize your abilities, talents, and goals. If a loved one is suffering from mental health issues, be sure to do the same for them. How you engage with others may have a significant impact on people’s perceptions of you and your mental health condition. Treat yourself and others around you with compassion. Acceptance is a process that requires time, effort, and patience.

Confidential support is available to anyone experiencing abuse.
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Recovery in the Time of Covid-19

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Recovery in the time of Covid-19 can be challenging. Let’s face it, this has been a year like no other. 2020 has challenged every person I know in ways that were simply unimaginable before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Uncertainty, restrictions, and fear have impacted our mental and physical wellbeing.

In the time of Covid-19, simple tasks like going to the shops, throwing away the trash, or taking a long walk can cause anxiety and strike a chord of fear in us as we try to guard our health while avoiding a virus some experts say is airborne.

I live in a country that is an outlier in that it’s coronavirus strategy is to remain open and not lockdown. The government has left precautionary measures largely to the devices of people at the local level. Initially, there was a lot of criticism as the death toll soared until, at one point, it was the highest in Europe. However, over time some have come to view this relaxed strategy as a success.

Unique health challenges for survivors of narcissistic abuse

All over the world, survivors of narcissistic abuse are facing unique challenges in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of us are still in relationships with the perpetrator and the health crisis may have made escape more difficult or even impossible at this time. Others have gotten out of the relationship with the narcissist and must navigate recovery in the midst of a pandemic that has transformed our ability to socialize, earn a living, and care for ourselves.

In the aftermath of narcissistic abuse, survivors often battle health consequences ranging from inflammation in the body to chronic illnesses like post-traumatic stress and autoimmune disorders.

Prioritizing health and fitness

Many survivors of narcissistic abuse have a tendency to put the needs of others ahead of our own. For some of us, this is the residue of childhood conditioning in which we learned that the practice of extreme selflessness was a virtue. For others, it is part of the ever-changing rule book we were coerced in to obeying in a relationship with an abusive partner. Either way, the reality is that self-sacrificing behavior can cause serious harm to our wellbeing.

Part of building healthy boundaries is recognizing that we matter, our needs are important, and getting our needs met first should be our main priority. Part of our recovery is embracing the fact that if we do not take care of ourselves first, we will fail in our efforts to take care of others.

This is especially true when it comes to looking after our health.

Re-grouping after disrupted self-care routines

Even though many years have passed since I lived in a narcissist matrix, I am still managing a chronic illness. I developed asthma in adulthood, which may be due in some part to long term exposure to narcissistic abuse.

As a child, I was a fiery ball of energy and fit as a fiddle. Today, I must be selective about what I eat and which cardiovascular exercises I engage in because of my condition. Few things can slow you down like an asthma attack.

Covid-19 has meant long stretches of self-isolation for me. Initially, I devoted myself to baking and trying out new recipes which was incredibly fun!

But over time I found myself struggling to adjust to the new habits I was forming. I started having asthma attacks daily, my energy levels were dropping and I was becoming a lot less productive.

With this realization, my goals have shifted and now my focus is on achieving optimum health.

Health and Fitness | Covid 19 | Narcissistic Abuse Rehab

Small consistent wins can be transformative

My strategy is to start the day by taking care of myself first. This means nourishing my body with high quality foods that fills me with energy.

Everyone is different and what works best for me in terms of generating energy is a vegan diet.

I start the day with a cup of black coffee. Black coffee is great as it tends to kick start my metabolism.

If the weather is warm, I’ll make a smoothie but if it’s cool, I’ll use the same ingredients to cook high protein oatmeal:

  • 1 dl oats
  • 1 banana
  • A handful of blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds or hemp powder

I choose this meal because it’s a bit like a wet log that is easy for my body to burn but will still power me through the morning until my first snack: crisp bread with lots of sliced tomato or cucumber.

My next priority is making sure my surroundings are clean and organized which is a bit of a warm up for the thirty minutes of cardio I do to get the ball rolling before I start work.

Simple, small changes done with consistency can lead to transformative results over time. I’m sharing this example of self-care because these are things many people can do, whether you are still in a relationship with a narcissist or if you have managed to escape.

Tell me, how have you been managing your recovery during the corona virus pandemic? Please share what works best for you in the comment section below.

Your’s in recovery,

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