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Why you can become addicted to a sociopath

Dream dateLovefraud recently received the following email from a reader:

Why can’t I get past this jerk? Why do I feel like there is something wrong with me? You see he dumped me for a female version of himself, i.e., drug dealer, liar, manipulator, violent ”¦ and he is stringing me along bad mouthing her to me and vice versa. Never in a million years would I think I would even associate myself with someone like that! Yet I’m beating myself up – why not me?? I should be grateful!! Why am I still pining for this creep?

Many, many Lovefraud readers have described the same confusion: I realize now that the person is a sociopath. I know he betrayed me. I know he is bad for me. But I still love him. I can’t get him out of my mind! (Please note: the sociopath may also be female.)

Why does this happen?

The sociopath hijacks the normal human bonding system. The sociopath takes needs and impulses that are rooted in our very survival, intensifies them and then betrays them. The result: Ending a relationship with a sociopath is often far more painful than a normal breakup.

Primitive reaction

The first thing to understand is that the bonds of love go very deep.

“Love relationships are held together by deep emotional bonds that were crucial to the very survival of our species,” writes Stephen Stosny, Ph.D., in his book, Living and Loving After Betrayal. “We have developed preverbal, prerational, automatic emotional reactions to behaviors and attitudes that threaten these emotional bonds.”

In prehistoric times, Stosny says, losing the kinship of the tribe meant certain death. So emotional bonds, and our reactions to losing them, are anchored deep in a primitive part of our brain.

This is one reason why losing any love relationship feels so scary we have an ancient memory that we might die.

Romantic love is a drive

Emotional bonds also insured the survival of the human race in another way the bonds kept parents together long enough to raise children.

Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, and Arthur Aron, Ph.D., a social psychologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, have extensively researched human love and mating. They believe that romantic love is more than an emotion; it’s a motivation system.

A human motivation system, or drive, energizes and directs behavior to fulfill a need. For example, when people are hungry, they seek food. When people are cold, they seek warmth.

Fisher explains the traits that romantic love shares with drives:

  1. Romantic love is tenacious; emotions dissipate or change far more rapidly
  2. Romantic love is focused on a specific reward the beloved
  3. Romanic love, unlike other emotions, is not associated with a particular facial expression
  4. Romantic love is exceedingly difficult to control
  5. Romantic love is associated with elevated activity of central dopamine

For more on this, read:

The Drive to Love: The Neural Mechanism for Mate Selection, on HelenFisher.com.

More than a feeling new research suggests love may be a drive as primal as thirst or hunger, on apa.org.

Romantic love is an addiction

Fisher also says that romantic love is highly addictive. It is associated with “focused attention, euphoria, craving, obsession, compulsion, distortion of reality, personality changes, emotional and physical dependence, inappropriate (even dangerous) behaviors, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, relapse and loss of self-control.”

Fisher conducted studies in which people who were happily in love, or had been rejected in love, were examined in fMRI machines, which allow observers to monitor the activity of the brain.

“Those who are happily in love express neural activity in a region associated with the ‘rush’ of cocaine,” Fisher says, “and those who are rejected in love appear to have neural activity in common with those who gamble for money, risking big gains and big losses.”

For more on this, read:

‘Romantic love is an addiction,’ researchers say, on LiveScience.com.

The bonding process

When we fall in love with someone, we form a psychological bond with that person. This process starts in the beginning of the relationship when we feel pleasure.

You know what the early stage of romance is like. Both of you are doing your best to impress each other. You smile, you pay attention to each other, you spend time together, you go on special dates, you give gifts. All of this behavior plants the seeds of a psychological bond.

When you experience intimacy, the bond is strengthened. The neurotransmitter oxytocin is released in your brain and bloodstream. Oxytocin makes you feel calm, trusting and content, and it alleviates fear and anxiety. Any kind of intimacy gets the oxytocin flowing emotional sharing, physical touching and certainly sexual relations.

Your feelings of love also cause dopamine to be released in your brain. Dopamine is associated with energy and motivation. It is also associated with addiction.

If you have sex with your new partner, it creates chemical and structural changes in your brain. This is nature’s way of making two people want to stay together so that they can raise children.

Enter the sociopath

All of the processes described above are normal. But suppose your new partner is a sociopath, although when the two of you first get together, you don’t know it.

In the early stages of romance, a sociopath doesn’t just try to be pleasant, he or she engages in over-the-top love bombing. You are showered with affection and attention like you never experienced in your life. The sociopath sweeps you off your feet in a whirlwind romance. The result? You don’t just fall. You fall really, really hard.

Sooner or later, you may feel like something is wrong with the relationship. Perhaps you suspect that he or she is lying to you. Perhaps the person is “borrowing” money, and not repaying you as promised. Perhaps you discover that the sociopath is cheating. Perhaps when you confront the person, he or she threatens to leave the relationship.

For whatever reason, the sociopath’s behavior is causing you to experience fear and anxiety.

Vicious cycle

You might think that this would cause you to back off or lose interest. But according to Lovefraud author Dr. Liane Leedom, research into addiction has come up with two surprising finding:

  1. Once a bond is established, continued pleasure is not required to maintain it.
  2. Fear and anxiety actually strengthen psychological bonds.

When you’re feeling fear and anxiety, you want the relationship to return to heady, heartfelt happiness that you experienced in the beginning. So what do you do? You ask what’s wrong. You try to work things out with your partner You may even apologize for something that you didn’t do. If the sociopath is blaming the negative behavior on you, you try to convince him or her that you are loyal to the relationship.

If you’re successful, you kiss and make up, and perhaps have make-up sex. All is wonderful again. You feel relief. This, too, strengthens the psychological bond you feel for this person.

After awhile the sociopath does something else to create fear and anxiety in you, and the routine starts again. So the relationship becomes a vicious cycle of pleasure, fear/anxiety, and relief. With each turn of the cycle, the psychological bond that you feel gets stronger and stronger.

Eventually the bond is so strong that it can be difficult to escape the relationship.

Romantic rejection

But what happens if your partner rejects you?

Dr. Helen Fisher describes two phases of romantic rejection the protest phase and the resignation/despair phase.

“During the protest phase, abandoned lovers express intense energy, heightened alertness and extreme motivation to win back their beloved,” Fisher says. This may lead to “frustration attraction” the observation that disappointed lovers begin to love the person who rejected them even more passionately.

Eventually, the rejected partner accepts the fact that the relationship is over. This resignation/despair phase is associated with less dopamine creation, which leads to lethargy, despondency and depression.

Sociopaths are different

Everything that I’ve just explained does not apply to sociopaths. Why? Because sociopaths do not bond in the same way that people without disorders bond.

Dr. Fisher has found that romantic love is essentially the same among people of both genders, all ages, all sexual orientations and all ethnic groups. However, I haven’t heard whether she or anyone else has studied romantic relationships among people with personality disorders. My guess is that she would find significant differences.

So why, if you’ve been rejected by a sociopath, does it hurt so much? I don’t know of any research to answer the question, so I’ll extrapolate from the above information to put forth a theory.

As human beings, social connections are  important to us, so rejection by any romantic partner hurts. But because of the initial love bombing, and the vicious cycle of pleasure-fear/anxiety-relief, our psychological bonds with sociopaths are particularly strong. Therefore, these bonds are harder to break, and rejection by the sociopath hurts more.

Plus, relationships with sociopaths don’t just end usually there is betrayal involved. As Dr. Steven Stosny says, “Intimate betrayal snatches the floor of personal security from under you.” This makes the pain even worse.

What can you do?

So how do you get the sociopath out of your head? Realize that you are breaking a very powerful addiction.

If you’ve ever battled an addiction before, such as quitting smoking, you know that you have to take it one day at a time. The following strategies will help:

No contact

Make up your mind that you will have no contact with this person. That means no text messages, emails, phone calls and certainly do not meet in person. Don’t even visit the sociopath’s Facebook page.

The longer you are away, the more the psychological bond will release. But if you relapse and have contact with the person, just like with any addiction, you’ll be back at square one.

Do something new

If you’ve experienced romantic rejection, less dopamine is going to your brain. So to boost the dopamine, do something new. Novelty drives up the activity of dopamine in your brain. Your partner is still gone (which is a good thing when your partner is a sociopath), but you’ll feel better.

Make the decision to recover

It’s not your imagination because of human biology and psychology, it is difficult to break your bond with a sociopath.

Time will eventually help you get over the relationship. But your recovery will go faster, and will be more beneficial, if you take affirmative steps to recover.

First of all, take care of yourself. Eat healthy, don’t overindulge in alcohol or drugs, exercise.

Most importantly, don’t sweep your experience under your own personal carpet. Make a decision to directly address the pain caused by the sociopath and also address whatever pain or vulnerability from your past made you susceptible to the sociopath in the first place.

You’ll find many articles that can help you in the Lovefraud Archives under Recovery from a sociopath.

The Lovefraud Recovery Collection of books will also help you. It’s available in the Lovefraud Store.

 


Comment on this article

133 Comments on "Why you can become addicted to a sociopath"

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Just came across this bible verse:
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our GOD.”
Psalm 40v1-3

I like that image – “out of the slimy pit” – I will have to keep it in mind whenever I find a bit of slime still clinging to me.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

This verse literally kept me from suicide more than one nite.
The whole bk of Psalms kept me sane, most of the time just barely sane, but nevertheless, sane 🙂

aintgonnatakeitnomore

Since my 2nd appt over the past 2 mos, my counselor has asked me, what do I want to get out of these appts? I tell her idk. If I knew, I would have done it already! I know cognitively that the narc will not change and I will suffer to be with him for any length of time. Thus cognitive therapy had seemed silly. But it’s a free option so I thot I’d try it out of sheer desperation.
She seems stumped as to what to do with me…I’m quite self-aware and cognizant already of all the truths, the facts. And, yet she doesn’t understand what I want “fixed”. She seems to think that knowing=being. I know my childhood wasn’t great, yet after doing some exercises I realize it was a rly nice childhood. So even with its horrors, ALOT of it was wonderful. Wth do I want fixed? Can she fix the losses in my life? No. Can she make me see my mistakes in life? Already know them.
Can she give me any hope for the future?
Thus far, no.
FRUSTRATING.

Aintgonna, FIRE her and find a new counselor who is extremely knowledgeable with narcissistic abuse. Most counselors are clueless with this type of abuse and will only frustrate you vs guiding you to a good place. contact your local abuse center or several centers to find out if they have an outside counselor recommendation.

If you have a racing mind, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, mood swings etc look into adrenal fatigue as the root issue….see sites like adrenalfatigue. org take the quiz/read/see symptoms list, Drlam. com see symptoms list/read and Mialundin. com see adrenal fatigue on her site, read her book/see her you tube video. PSTD = adrenal fatigue = most victims of abuse.

Just wanted to add that Steven Hassan author of Freedom of mind is a cult & abusive relationship expert states that most counselors will attempt to deal with “childhood issues” when in fact the victim mind needs to be awoken from being brain washed & mind controlled from her abuser. Working on “childhood” issues is NOT the problem the problem was you were married/dating a sociopath who is exactly like a cult leader and you were a cult follower. This is why it is important to find a qualified counselor who understands sociopathic/narcissistic abuse.

Steven Hassan’s site is Freedom of mind resource center. He has been on 60 minutes, CNN, Fox news, The JOhn Walsh show, Larry King live etc. He himself was inducted into a cult when he was in college. He has a video on his site explain the mind control aspect on his site. I am guessing that you need your mind opened up from the brain washing like all of us & to balance your adrenal glands/body.

Ain’tGonnaTakeItNoMore
Am echoing Jan7 about the therapist. A lesson I learned about counseling: You should walk out of the FIRST appointment feeling empowered and validated. If this doesn’t happened for you, something is wrong with THEM. Sticking with a bad counselor is like sticking with a sociopath, NOTHING you do will turn the counselor into a good therapist, besides, it’s NOT YOUR JOB to teach the therapist.

Remember. A lot of those therapists got into their field to fix themselves. Someone who is distant and calloused and blaming is not the right fit for us. You need someone who can actually HELP a trauma victim find themselves again.

FIRE that counselor and find someone who is extremely knowledgable with manipulative narcissistic abuse.

A different perspective about adrenal fatigue:
If you think the adrenal fatigue thing might be an issue for you, don’t rely on online help/tests. Seek a real doctor to assess you for stress. Stress affects people differently. What works for some may be totally wrong for ourselves. There are LOTS and LOTS of scams on this adrenal fatigue issue. I listened to bad advice, I got scammed and their “healing” made me very very sick, it set my health back enormously, and I was already sick! I paid a lot of money for someone to make me way worse healthwise. Scams abound when we are vulnerable. Healthcare needs to be face to face with a healthcare provider.

things you need to know about adrenal fatigue is it can take 6 months to 2 years to heal and that you need a good clean diet such as Dr Fuhrman’s Eat to Live (i personally went to him), no alchohol, junk food etc, adrenal fatigue vitamins such as Dr Wilson’s Adrenal stress formula (which is B complex) & adrenal rebuilder (my doctor gave me these vitamins several times per day), possible hormonal replacement most likely progesterone, plenty of rest & relaxation & sleep. Within days of these vitamins & hormonal my anxiety was half within a month I felt like closer to my old self prior to the sociopath.

The only reason why I posted the above sites is for the fact they have great websites to explain what adrenal fatigue is & how to heal.

I do recommend that you find a Adrenal gland doctor or a hormonal specialist who will test you for cortisol levels, vitamin & mineral deficiency and hormonal imbalance. Adrenal Fatigue.org has a list of doctors & in the back of Mialundin’s book she has a list of the National hormonal specialist sites to find a good doctor. Or you can ask your friends for a recommendation or/and google “compounding pharmacy” with your city name then call them for a list of doctors.

The stress that the sociopath put you under was all intentional to cause your adrenal fatigue to go haywire (they might not understood the medical condition that they caused but they continued to stress you out because they know that it will cause a person to have a stress breakdown).

The biggest issue with PTSD is adrenal fatigue which needs to be healed to fully heal from the abuse. Not all doctors are clued into adrenal fatigue so it is extremely important to find a very knowledgable doctor just like find a good therapist.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

i think my adrenals were roasted by my babydaddy spath. its been a long long time…since 2003. but the eggshell phase had ended yrs before i cud get him to leave. with the narc it wud take about ten min, i am so not kidding, n i wud be tense n wanting to get away. n cut his testicles off. just enragement on my part. at least after the initial 3wks wen the demanding started n i cud think outside the great sex n intense attention i was getting. i mean geesh, the spath wud not notice wen i colored my hair. i was invisible to him most of the time. it made my daughter so angry with him. theyd start screaming at each other. it was just a great time all around. i seriously blame him in no small part for her death.
a man i know who i am somewat close to, friendwise, tells me to get another relationship going. that would distract me at the least while i figure out wth to do with myself. i do agree. but walmart was out last time i shopped. good men are on backorder 😉
my aunt tells me that wud be using someone. but isnt that wat a rebound is for?? idk. im just frustrated that i care still at all about the narc.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

and somwhere to heal adrenals/ptsd would be utterly utterly a dream come true. where i live now is as stressful as a womens shelter. as bad almost as living with the narc was. i long for peace. just long for it.

Jan7
I am glad your health has been remedied and that it worked for you. But please recognize that you are giving medical advice to vulnerable people and stating it in such a way that implies fact rather than opinion or possibility.

The diet you refer to is one of those examples… Dr Furman has an agenda, a POLITICAL agenda, which he prioritizes that agenda over medical or health facts. Yet science has evolved and found that we humans NEED certain fats in our diet, such as Omega3. Dr Furman is anti meat, anti fish, and cuts all Olive Oil from the diet. It works for SOME people, but for others, it’s the opposite diet for their health needs. He also implies things that are simply untrue, kind of like lying when he doesn’t reveal the truth, but he lets the implication remain.

Also, PTSD is a complex issue and most times NOT tied to the adrenals at all.

“Adrenal Fatigue” is a MUCH bigger health issue than indicated, and people need to be aware that it is controversial, and research HOW/WHAT makes it controversial.

I repeat: I am GLAD that you found relief from terrible health issues. I take NOTHING away from your recovery. That is wonderful but one size does not fit all.

My cautions and advice to people to not make assumptions, to do massive research on all issues, to remember that recovery is as INDIVIDUAL as each person is, and to not bypass a medical care provider remains and stands as MY OPINION, an ALTERNATE opinion. (based on my experience as a person who suffered cardiac arrhythmias that could have ended my life because I blinded accepted that my PTSD cure was fixing my “adrenal fatigue”.)

Again, STRESS is a very complex issue. It affects people and their physiology differently. Our recovery is as individual as each of us are.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe, LOL…NO Dr Fuhrman does not have a “political agenda”…seriously where in the world did you get that idea?

I personally went to Dr Fuhrman because my internal medicine doctor was in the same town as Dr Fuhrman and referred me to him & they both worked at the same hospital. Dr Fuhrman is a former National Figure skating champion who then went on to medical school much like many former athletes do.

Dr Fuhrman works with professional athlete all over the world to keep them fit & health and yes even these pro athlete eat a vegan based with small amount of meat. If you read some of his books he includes diets with meat but if you are very sick he states the patent out on a vegan based diet to wean them off of what ever Rx drug they are on ie blood pressure med or diabetes med etc. also it detox the body while flooding the body with much needed vitamins/minerals which most victims of a sociopath are lacking because of the stress they are under.

Dr Fuhrman is a very passionate doctor about getting a patient’s body functioning again without medicine….which is how they did it back in the 60’s and prior. Trust me when I say that Dr Fuhrman although extremely successful is not into the money side of his practice he really wants to help people heal their bodies. I would often see him around at the local gym he is a doctor that practices what he preaches unlike most doctors. His methods work wonders I personally can attest to this. Guess what a vegan diet will not kill you just look at what horses & cows eat everyday = a vegan based diet.

I am NOT giving medical advise the only thing I am advising is for people to look into Adrenal Fatigue as the root issue for their anxiety, depression, mood swings, sleep issues, panic attack…the rest is up to them. I recommend that they see a hormonal specialist or a adrenal gland expert to get test for cortisol levels, vitamin & mineral deficiency & hormonal imbalance which are ALL issues with PTSD.

The only thing that Dr Wilson adrenal expert & Dr Lam advocate for adrenal fatigue recommend for adrenal fatigue is vitamins which most victims are deficient because of stress and they also advocate a good clean diet, plenty of rest & relaxation & sleep…what in the world is wrong with that? What is wrong with that??

Most general doctors advocate this too. Mia Lundin of Mialunding. com also discuss the hormonal imbalance side of things caused by adrenal fatigue. But there is nothing these doctors sale except vitamins the same vitamins you can buy in the supermarket. So it is clear you have not read their sites or info on adrenal fatigue because no Rx drug heals the adrenal glands from adrenal fatigue only vitamins, possible hormonal balancing, sleep, rest & relaxation. That’s it!!

The adrenal glands regulate the body’s blood pressure, blood sugar, cortisol & adrenaline levels and over 50 hormones including progesterone, testosterone, estrogen. The adrenal glands are a HUGE DEAL but are often over looked by most doctors because they lack the training. With continual stress such as a toxic relationship the adrenal glands end up fatigued people refer to “I am burned out” while they are correct their adrenal glands are burnt out (aka Fatigued).

Adrenal fatigue was discovered over 100 years ago and doctors back then did not have all the Rx drugs to mask the issue NO they did what doctors had been doing for 1000’s of years including Hippocrates the “father of medicine” did = change your diet to a more vegan based diet. Guess what Hippocrates lived well into his 90’s eating a more vegan based diet when most people died in their 40’s from eating meat during that time vs by eating a more vegan based diet.

Stress in NOT ’very complex” once you understand how the adrenal glands function and you remove your stress. I think it is not wise for you to belittle a post without being throughly educated on the matter. YES we were all vulnerable when we left our abuser…and like others I realized that it was not all “in my head” it was also a physical body issue that was causing my anxiety levels to soar. I am posting what is written by countless doctors around the world that if you have had toxic stress in your life you have PTSD which means you have adrenal fatigue.

Even on the site Narcissisticfree. com has info on this very subject (adrenal fatigue) for victim. I would ask you to please educate yourself & go to your doctor and get tested before you belittle a informative post about how to further heal from sociopathic abuse because you are doing a disservice to others who truly need to heal their mind & body to fully heal.

The victims here are very well educate and they can read the sites I have listed and google “adrenal fatigue”, Dr Fuhrman, Dr Amen and determine what is best for them. But I will continue to post the information because they need to fully understand what is happening to them physically gain it is not all in their minds like a counselor will lead them to believe. ANd not all doctors are educated on adrenal fatigue and because of that they will be pushed into taking medicine that is only a band aid for their issue not truly healing their body.

For those who want info on adrenal fatigue this is from DrLam. com other sites Adrenalfatigue. org and Mialundin. com or just google adrenal fatigue:

“Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue

Fatigue and lethargy are some of the most common complaints amongst adult patients. If you have symptoms such as tiredness, fearfulness, allergies, frequent influenza, arthritis, anxiety, depression, reduced memory, difficulties in concentrating, insomnia, worn-out, and the inability to lose weight after extensive effort you may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.

Adrenal Fatigue has a broad spectrum of non-specific, yet often debilitating symptoms. The onset of this condition is often slow and insidious. Patients are told that they are stressed and need to learn to relax more. Yes, we all know that “stress kills” to a large extent. But, the question is how?

The real truth is that stress and Adrenal Fatigue are not a mysterious entity at all. Our body has a built-in mechanism to deal with it. Being able to handle stress is a key to survival, and the control center in our bodies is the adrenal glands.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is one of the most prevalent conditions, afflicting almost every adult in one way or another. Despite effective diagnostic tools and treatment programs, most conventional physicians were simply not informed of Adrenal Fatigue and not prepared to take Adrenal Fatigue as a serious threat to health.

This condition was seldom considered as a dysfunction sickness Instead, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome was considered a condition whereby the cause is thought to be associated with stress, and no remedy was available other than to tell the person to “relax” and take anti-depressants. Over time, the condition worsens as the natural progression of this pathology takes its course if not reversed. Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is not a medical condition recognized by mainstream institutions, and for good reasons. Invariably, the adrenal glands are structurally normal. Low cortisol, the most common associated finding, may be caused by factors outside the adrenal glands.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome should not be confused with another medical condition called Addison’s disease where the adrenal glands are not functioning according to conventional endocrinologists’ standards. While Addison’s disease is often caused by an auto-immune dysfunction, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is largely caused by stress or by a host of other factors, including dysregulation of the HPA Axis, nervous system problems, immune system problems, and metabolic-nutritional problems. It is a complex condition with complex clinical presentation, depending on the stage of dysfunction. Those in neuroscience may prefer to label this condition Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysregulation because of its strong association with dysfunction of the HPA axis. Forward looking endocrinologist may be more comfortable with calling this condition Non-Adrenal Illness Affecting Adrenal Function because of the associated low cortisol output which does not meet the diagnostic criteria for Adrenal Insufficiency.

Conventional medicine only recognizes Addison’s disease as hypoadrenia. As such, do not be surprised if your doctor is unfamiliar with this condition. To put it simply, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is the non-Addison’s form of adrenal dysfunction sub-clinically. Because many causes may be involved, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is technically a more accurate nomenclature than Adrenal Fatigue. The addition of “syndrome” implies no definitive cause. It would be up to the physician to determine the list of symptoms and signs appropriate to the syndrome.

We will be using the terms Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue interchangeably because Adrenal Fatigue is the most commonly used terminology recognized and used by the public.

Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:

Tendency to gain weight and unable to lose it, especially around the waist.
High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases and these symptoms tend to last longer than usual.
Tendency to tremble when under pressure.
Reduced sex drive.
Lightheaded when rising from a horizontal position.
Unable to remember things.
Lack of energy in the mornings and in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.
Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal.
Often feel tired from 9 – 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning.
Cravings for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.
Increased symptoms of PMS for women; periods are heavy and then stop, or are almost stopped on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day.
Pain in the upper back or neck with no apparent reason.
Feels better when stress is relieved, such as on a vacation.
Difficulties in getting up in the morning.
Lightheaded.
Other signs and symptoms include:

Mild depression
Food and or inhalant allergies
Lethargy and lack of energy
Increased effort to perform daily tasks
Decreased ability to handle stress
Dry and thin skin
Hypoglycemia
Low body temperature
Nervousness
Palpitation
Unexplained hair loss
Alternating constipation and diarrhea
Dyspepsia
If you have many of these signs and symptoms, and you have ruled out other organic pathologies, it is time to consider Adrenal Fatigue as a possible cause. None of the signs or symptoms by themselves can definitively pinpoint Adrenal Fatigue. When taken as a group, these signs and symptoms do form a specific Adrenal Fatigue syndrome or picture of a person under stress. These signs and symptoms are often the end result of acute, severe, chronic, or excessive stress and the inability of the body to reduce such stress. Stress, once a “basket” term used by physicians to explain non-specific symptoms, undetectable by conventional blood tests, is not a mystery to the body at all.

The ability to handle stress, physical or emotional, is a cornerstone to human survival. Our body has a complete set of stress modulation systems in place, and the control center is the adrenal glands. When these glands become dysfunctional, our body’s ability to handle stress is reduced.

Adrenal Gland Basics

The adrenal glands are two small glands, each about the size of a large grape. They are situated on top of the kidneys. Their purpose is to help the body cope with stress and help it to survive. Each adrenal gland has two compartments. The inner or medulla compartment, modulates the sympathetic nervous system through secretion and regulation of two hormones, called epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for the fight or flight response. The outer adrenal cortex comprises 80 percent of the adrenal gland and is responsible for producing over 50 different types of hormones in three major classes – glucocorticoids, mineralcorticoids and androgens.

The most important glucocorticoid is cortisol. When this is lowered, the body will be unable to deal with stress. This happens in Adrenal Fatigue.

Mineralcorticoids, such as aldosterone, modulate the delicate balance of minerals in the cell, especially sodium and potassium. It therefore regulates our blood pressure and the fluid in the body. Stress increases the release of aldosterone, causing sodium retention (leading to water retention and high blood pressure) and the loss of potassium…..”

To read more just go to DrLam. com

I have no affiliation to any of the sites!

Notwhathesaidofme, I just wanted to post this info for you. I normally do not like to post other site on Lovefraud for the simple reason I do not like to take away from Donna & Terry’s hard work. But I think in this case it is very important to make sure that everyone clearly understands that adrenal fatigue is a very big issue with victims of sociopathic abuse and the adrenal glands need to heal to fully recover from the abuse & the PTSD: This info below is from Narcissisticfree. com (to read the full article please see that site):

“When I went to see a Psychologist after a long three year relationship with a narcissistic personality I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not knowing much about the disorder at the time I was confused because I always associated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was what war veterans had. I didn’t realize that it is very common amongst victims of abuse.

The thing that was most confusing for me was that it didn’t seem like I was in an abusive relationship. It was crazy making, at times, and very painful, a lot of the time, but he never physically abused me nor was there any obvious verbally abuse.

Narcissistic abuse is so very subtle that we don’t often recognize it as abuse and we don’t recognize what is happening to our emotions and our bodies. Stress can be looked upon like a form of pressure, like when you put weight upon a rope and it begins to fray, one fiber at a time until it finally breaks. We are like that rope. We don’t notice when we are being dismantled one fiber at a time. If someone were to come right out and smack us in the face, then there would be many fibers broken, perhaps the whole rope so we recognize what has just happened.

With Post Traumatic Stress, we really feel the stress when the relationship crumbles. It is often when there is a break up or an affair or something major that brings us in touch with reality.

War Veterans have to stay alert during battle and are operating on a constant state of adrenalin. When they are finally home and don’t have to operate from adrenalin anymore then they have the opportunity to recall just what they went through. It is like the after shock.

It is the same with Narcissistic abuse. We can exist in a constant state of stress and really not be aware of how we are being affected by it until the stressor is removed. Then we feel those fibers all coming unraveled at once. Suddenly we feel what we never allowed ourselves to feel before, out of our need to survive on the battle field. Like soldiers on the battlefield some of us have been existing on adrenaline and now our adrenal glands are fried.

I didn’t fully understand the consequences of an over taxed adrenal system until recently, when I went to a chiropractor for reoccurring pain in my head, neck and back. He did a series of tests and found out that my adrenal glands weren’t working properly and I had a type of adrenal fatigue.

The adrenal glands are what help us to deal with stress in our lives. If our adrenals are burned out, we have no physical method of coping with stress. Although the major stressors in my life were removed a long time ago, I had never dealt with the fact that my adrenal glands were fried over the course of several abusive relationships and I was no longer able to copy effectively with stress. Now when I was dealing with every day stress I would have body issues like headaches and other physical symptoms, including physical exhaustion. The exhaustion was worsened by the fact that I repeatedly woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep.

The Chiropractor put me on a nutritional supplement for the adrenals and is working with getting my body aligned and functioning properly. Although I’ve always been pretty health conscious I am not focusing on a diet that is good for restoring adrenal function.

Restoring adrenal function can take six months to two years or more so it is a process rather than something that happens over night.

If you are in recovery for narcissistic abuse you need to focus on restoring your physical health as well as your emotional health, as it all ties in together. Put together a plan for diet, exercise, sleep, supplements, meditation and whatever else is necessary to get you to the point where you are feeling the best you can….”

Jan7
Please read “I am glad it worked for you” !!!…

But it is not a one size fits all. It can be quite dangerous. You are clearly a strong advocate. I just want people to consider that recovery is as individual as we all are. As vulnerable people, we need to check things out, not just the sources by an advocate, but to know that Others have had experiences where the same treatments had the opposite outcomes.

Please allow the dignity of a different perspective if for only a suggestion that people seek knowledge for their own situation and not “TRUST” that one size fits all.

Notwhathesaidofme,

Your post makes absolute no sense…what is “dangerous” about healing your adrenal glands from adrenal fatigue?

I really think you are miss informed about the subject. Changing a diet is what most doctors will tell you if you are sick…including if you have heart disease.

So PLEASE explain what is “dangerous”

thank you!

This is an excellent article on the correlation of a Toxic Relationship, stress & adrenal fatigue. This is from Drlam. com he is a adrenal gland expert. the old saying stress will kill you…well it’s actually if your adrenal glands are burnt out it will kill you. Adrenal fatigue is very dangerous if it is not corrected. It is very important for someone coming out of a toxic relationship to heal their adrenal glands to fully recover from a toxic relationship.

Adrenal Fatigue and Toxic Relationships

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH
and Dorine Lam, RD, MS, MPH
http://www.DrLam.com
The leading cause of Adrenal Fatigue is chronic stress. Stressors can be physical, financial, or emotional. Those who are over-exerting themselves physically, such as serious athletes have a higher propensity of developing Adrenal Fatigue. Physical stress can usually be reversed once the body is allowed to rest and nurtured back to health. Other stressors like overwork, poor diet, and overexertion, usually act as underlying triggers of adrenal crashes. Financial distress in and of itself is seldom the root cause.

The most common stressor of Adrenal Fatigue is emotional and mental stress and distress. Some unresolved toxic relationships, which gradually wear our bodies down over time, usually cause such stress.

It is truly amazing how much your emotional health can influence your physical health. Adrenal Fatigue, along with dysautonomia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome(POTS), and a host of emerging conditions, represents a new class of conditions in modern medicine linking the mind and the body. Adrenal Fatigue can be considered a mind-body disorder. A strong mind-body connection is a powerful healing force you can harness for better health. However, on the flip-side, as in Adrenal Fatigue, the mind-body connection can be a devastating negative force capable ruining your body.

Numerous studies support the belief that people with an upbeat and positive perspective tend to be healthier and enjoy longer lives than those who are generally gloomy and cynical about the future. Epigeneticism is now emerging as a primary influence factor. This centers on the notion that environmental factors such as diet and stress influence the expression of your genes. It is the expression of your genes–not the genes themselves–that dictates whether you develop certain diseases. For example, if you have constitutionally weak adrenal glands at birth, stress may cause this weakness to be expressed, leading to Adrenal Fatigue. The absence of stress, on the other hand, can delay the expression of this weakness for an indefinite period. As you age, your genes do not change, but your epigenome changes dramatically. It is influenced by physical and emotional stresses–how you respond to everything that happens in your environment, from climate change to marriage to final exams to childhood abuse–that will ultimately affect your epigenome. A toxic relationship can influence the expression of your genes, and directly impact your tendency to avoid or develop many unpleasant conditions, from heart palpitations, and Adrenal Fatigue to depression.

Studies have shown:

Heart surgery patients with strong spiritual and social support have a mortality rate 1/7th of those who do not.

Meditation for just 30 minutes a day can be as effective as the use of antidepressants.

Elderly people with positive attitudes have an over twenty percent reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular disease and over fifty percent lower risk from all other causes.

Clearly, the ability to have a positive mental attitude greatly affects your physical health. This is true in the case of Adrenal Fatigue. In fact, if emotional stressors are present but not resolved, they can act as a deterrent to Adrena Fatigue recovery.

Being able to manifest positive emotions and happiness is perhaps one of the greatest characteristics you have as a human being. For some this can be a very liberating thought. You do not have to feel bad because you’re getting older or fatigued all the time, or because your life isn’t going exactly as you had planned. You actually do not have to feel bad for any reason at all, once you make your mind up to be happy.

Adrenal Fatigue may actually be one of the best things that happen to you if put in the right perspective. For many, it is a wake up call. Often, some area of life is out of balance or alignment. Addressing Adrenal Fatigue is often the starting point for a deeper exploration of self and of life at a deeper level. Most people live superficially. Correcting Adrenal Fatigue often causes a person to begin to live at a much deeper level and to understand the body and mind from a more spiritual perspective as well. It forces you to focus on what is really important in life-such as peace, love, forgiveness, contentment.

Adrenal Fatigue or any serious condition is not to be handled as quickly as possible with a quick fix. If you act this way, you may miss the greatest blessing of your life. Use this condition constructively as a way of really listening and getting to know your body; to let go of toxic and harmful relationships, and cultivate subtle changes in attitude and mental tendencies. Try to move away from a superficial life that focuses on victim and negative thinking into one that, no matter how painful, is far more peaceful and serene. Bear in mind that having a positive attitude is not about being happy all the time. Accepting that there will be times when you feel down is all part of being happy.

While in reality we already have the full potential to be happy and are in full control of our capacity for happiness, most of us find it extremely difficult. In fact, statistics have shown that the majority of society is unhappy with one thing or another-job, finance, or relationship. Out of all these, relationship remains the most difficult to overcome.

In Adrenal Fatigue, the healing of the mind has to occur before healing of the physical body, because the mind controls the body. Emotional baggage has to be discarded if present, as it is toxic to the healing process. Toxic relationships therefore must be minimized for the mind and body to heal.

Toxic Relationships

All important, long-term relationships go through problems at some point in time. Whether it is family, marriage, or friendships, there will always be some type of conflict, disagreement and disappointment. A hallmark of emotional maturity is to bond with the significant other during difficult times and grow through the experience. However, some relationships are just plain toxic. No matter how they try to work through troubles, the conflicts and friction are so serious as to continually hurt one or more of the people in the relationship. This type of relationship singles out at least one person in an emotional desert.

Toxic relationships do not necessarily mean that the people concerned are bad. It is more about the people not fitting well with one another. Goodness or badness might not have anything to do with it. One person’s style just clashes with the other person, creating a toxic relationship. There was good chemistry at one point, but with time, the people have grown and changed, thus altering the relationship. This is all part of human nature, and there is no one to blame. However, it can still be toxic all the same.

There are also toxic people who are a risk for emotional health. They usually have short tempers, mood swings, inconsistencies, denial and impulsive behavior. They might admit that behavior is wrong, but never try to correct their ways. They contradict the other as they say something, but do something else. Behavior might be quite abusive with only shallow feelings for their partners, shown through threats of leaving or holding back their love. A toxic person does not care about his/her partner and can even accuse him/her of self-centeredness. These people manipulate their companions and situations to keep their partner dependent on them even though they look down on them with shame, insult, and sarcasm.

Being in a toxic relationship can make you chronically tired, angry, and frightened. You worry about when is a safe time to talk to your partner or if you have the right to express yourself. Any abusive relationship can be considered toxic. Many people stay in relationships because they do not understand that they have rights and options. Their low self-esteem can come from depression, fear of loneliness, or harmful threats from an abusive partner. They might not see that life can be better without the toxic relationship.

Danger Signs

Your partner separates you from your family, friends, and children.
Your partner keeps watch over you.
Your partner verbally abuses you either in private or in public.
You lose your self-identity as you depend more on you partner, not knowing how to survive without him/her.
Your partner dominates you, not leaving any space for your preferences.
You are afraid of telling the truth for fear of upsetting your partner.
Your self-esteem is always at a low level as your partner makes you feel worthless and unattractive.
Your partner blames you for ruining the relationship and tries to make you change to make things work.
Your thoughts, words, opinions, and accomplishments have no value.
Your partner is overly possessive and overpowering.
Feelings that Define the Characteristics of a Toxic Relationship

Unsupported
Dis-satisfied
Fearful
Exasperated
Depleted
Drained
Unaccepted
Unrewarded
Judged
Guilt
Tired
Angry
Untrusting
Unequal
Stifled
Shame
Stressed
Recognizing a Toxic Relationship Cycle

Though most of us want to find love and intimacy, we also find ourselves fearful of being hurt, worrying about commitment, and dreading abandonment—also known as anxiety. Our relationship comfort zone is flanked by behavior patterns that are neither too close to trigger fusion anxiety, nor too distant to trigger separation anxiety. These boundaries have been formed in our childhood and seldom change without conscious awareness. They also create patterns that can lead to a toxic relationship cycle.

In a toxic relationship cycle, power struggles arise many times without finding solutions. Intimacy turns to conflicts, which lead to anxiety. These anxieties then lead to arguments, hurt feelings, and withdrawal. Though withdrawals might bring temporary relief, they ultimately become feelings of isolation and loneliness, thus setting off anxieties about abandonment. This separation anxiety leads to new proposals and renewed intimacy as the couple goes through a honeymoon period. However, this closeness will soon trigger fusion anxiety and trouble starts all over again, repeating the cycle. Each time the cycle occurs, the adrenals take a beating. With each stress, the adrenal glands demand for cortisol is increased. With time, this output eventually declines, and symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue surfaces.

Couples who do not understand the cycles they are going through might eventually forget the positive elements in their relationship. Many of the problems in relationships are the product of varying comfort zone settings. When one person hits one side of the comfort zone boundary and is already experiencing fusion anxiety, the other person might just be following his/her desirable depth of intimacy. As the first person reverses direction and comes back into the comfort zone, the partner might feel abandoned; their mutual anxiety explodes and accusations are thrown at each other. For many of us, not understanding about the role of anxiety in relationships condemns us to be hurt constantly. However, if we try to face our anxiety, we can change the comfort zone relationship into a healthy, relationship characterized by a mutually reinforcing growth process. Not only will our selfhood grow, but also the sense of couple-hood will deepen.

In order to change a static comfort zone relationship into an actively growing relationship, we must train ourselves to stop in the middle of a conflict and engage in self-awareness. Ask questions like, “How did this fight start?” and “What am I anxious about?” or “How am I feeling threatened?” Using these questions might allow us to figure out a path to self-knowledge and deeper peace in our relationships. Intimate relationships awaken our deepest anxieties, and therefore can help us to grow personally and emotionally when used intelligently.

Getting Out of a Toxic Relationship

Being around a toxic person for a long time might greatly decrease your sense of self-worth and capability. It is very important to stop the harm that people cause you. If your life is distressing, you are the only one who can change it. Here are some tips on how to live a better life by nullifying the negative influence of toxic relationships:

Take Responsibility. Understand that some part of you is contributing to the behaviors. Ask yourself why you are willing to allow the behaviors to continue. What can you learn from this?

Set Boundaries. Let your partner know that they cannot go around you. Describe what you are looking for and what your expectations are for the future.

Forgive. People are not usually toxic at birth. The environment and circumstances over time mold us in to who we are. Learn to see the good in a person beneath the toxicity on the surface. Learn to forgive and return love, which is our primary purpose on earth. Use love to heal one another.

List the positive characteristics of the person. This will help you alter your focus. If you continually focus on negative aspects, the person will be negative whenever they are around you.

Get a new perspective from a neutral party, who has no bias against your relationship—for example a counselor, coach, neighbor, or co-worker. The key is not to vent to the person or create someone to pity you. The point is for the other person to help you focus on the situation, the part you have played, and what you are willing to do to move forward.

End the Relationship. If nothing changes after you have tried all of the above, walk away from your relationship with your head held high.

Jan7
What is dangerous is for a vulnerable person to come to a website for help, and to be swamped with long overwhelming posts about their health written in an authoritative commanding tone.

What is dangerous is to take one word out of context from a post and attach a different meaning to it, one that was never meant, implied, or said.

I asked you to please allow me the dignity of a different perspective. It took a LONG time for me to assert such a perspective because you are very adamant that yours is the ONLY solution. You make it very intimidating to try to tell others that they should check whether their symptoms might have a different diagnosis. They could avoid the medical emergency that I endured.

I know there is a different perspective because I had a very very bad health scare because I actually did as you wrote and went through a medical nightmare. I know you did not intend such but it happened.

I know you believe strongly in what worked for you. I am glad it worked for you. But people should know that the same was very very bad for another, and to be careful about taking someone’s word for their health care, especially in this place where we don’t know each other, we’ve never met.

People need to know it’s a theory, an opinion, and not be so trusting of what they read online. It’s dangerous (another explanation when I wrote dangerous) to assume that advice here fits ALL. It does not.

Recovery is as individual as each person here. Including MEDICAL recovery.

Swamping me with huge long posts with the very info that put me into a medical emergency and ridiculing me for wanting to caution people that there can be a different diagnosis for the same symptoms doesn’t change that fact.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe, I can assure you one thing that if you went to a proper doctor like I suggest to everyone then you would not have had a “medical emergency” clearly you attempted something on your on. But honestly you have change your tune one to many times on this subject in different post that I actually do not believe your new statement now on the subject of saying you got sick. Your post are very similar of my ex h’s manipulative changing mind games.

You state in one post that Dr Fuhrman has a “political agenda” honestly where in the world did you come up with that now you are stating a new manipulative direction that you got sick.

I am not going to play your games any longer. I am done with this conversation with you. I have posted lots of links and books on the subject from professionals for all that are interesting in getting help for their PTSD. PERIOD!

Btw Adrenal fatigue was discover over 100 years ago it is not new to the medical world.

Jan7
You are right. It was not a proper doctor. I sought help from someone listed as a care provider on AdrenalFatigue.org.

It was a proper doctor that educated me that I had been misdiagnosed and how it happened.

And yes, I learned about Dr Fuhrman as well. But since you are so adamant, I chose to avoid tangential arguments and stay on my message because it’s VERY important for people to be careful about trusting online health diagnosis.

It’s hard for me to stand up for myself but people can be seriously injured so I will set this in print just so vulnerable people might think to ask those extra questions. I was stupid and turned my healthcare over to someone who harmed me. I was just so messed up and thought I’d found a solution. Instead I was made MUCH worse, I paid a lot of money for someone to make me even more sick.

One size does not fit all. Recovery is as individual as we all are, including health recovery.

Notwhathesaidofme, I can assure you that had you really gone to a doctor listed on Adrenalfatigue. org you would have gotten excellent care. The doctor would have done all the proper test that I have mentioned in past post (more testing then a regular doctor) and they would have only give you vitamins, possible hormones but only after being tested, they would have told you to eat a very clean diet no drugs, no alcohol, no junk food and would have told you to get plenty of rest, relaxation and sleep.

How do I know this? because I went to a doctor on his list without even knowing it. On top of it all you would have had to gone back to that doctor every 3 months to get tested again (4 times a year). They are that professional.

I dont know what game you are playing…but I am done with this conversation with you on this topic. It is very clear that you are playing some kind of game because in one post you stated that “Dr Fuhrman had a political agenda” and now you are saying that you went to a doctor listed on adrenal fatigue org and end up in the hospital. Funny because the doctors listed on adrenalfatigue. org only give out vitamins and prescriptions hormones the same type of hormones in birth control pills…so again not buying you got that sick from these professional doctors.

Not buying your story any more. Seems to be too many holes and some type of game you like to play.

Like I stated this conversation is done.

Jan7
I don’t know why you are so angry.
I’ve seen you give a different perspective as a response to other people’s advice.
It seems you are driven to invalidate me.

Again I say, I’m glad it worked for you.
BUT…I had a different experience.

That’s my message to FL readers:
To Beware.
We come here vulnerable and desperate for solutions. I certainly was.
Which makes us even more vulnerable.
Ask the questions rather than assume anything.
Because One Size fits all medical care does NOT.

Recovery is as individual as we are, including health recovery.

“You should walk out of the FIRST appointment feeling empowered and validated. ”

Yes. In good therapy, each and every session you walk out feeling like it was money well spent to give you a bit more healing and peace of mind, even if for some reason you never talked with that person again about your situation.

It’s that simple.

Each session may not answer everything in your life all at once. But it WILL give you something that makes it worthwhile. You won’t have to guess or be frustrated.

You may not want to go because of what it will uncover — but it will still feel like you’ve learned and regained a piece of yourself.

If you want to hesitate on leaving — then ask this person straight up — what they see is possible, what their plan is to get there, and to start that process. If the answer is that YOU aren’t providing them with what they need — it’s time to walk out.

Put another way – every time I talk with my sister and she’s cranky, she says “you don’t want to talk with me, I’m in a bad mood, and nothing in particular is wrong.” Within mins, she’s told me what’s wrong and she feels better. A good listen, with room for your issues, who’s caring (I care about my sister)… and it’s easy for what you need, to pop out.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

U know I laughed when I first saw that comment that I should feel empowered and validated. What I did the first appt was cry all the way to work (20 min drive). Not sobbing but crying. I cry alot. It makes me friggin CRY *still*. So tired of crying about an asswipe. Or the loss of the relationship. The inability to change it. So tired of hurting over that. The futility of my life.
75% of the appts I would cry afterward, talking to myself further about something we were discussing. I do that alot — have convos in my head with ppl. I did the entire time I would walk daily — when married to the spath…I was pregnant and he was with someone else. I had been discarded. I would talk to the OW, to the spath. Whole convos. Probably kept me outta trouble lol I wasnt conversing with the OW altho she kept trying to talk to me. Screw that. She finally threatened to kill my baby when it was born—left a vmail on my cell (STUPID GIRL). Told the spath so he’d tell her to shut up and he told a cop. Cop wanted me to press charges also. I was like uh, no. She’s a whole psych-unit by herself. She’s completely inept. Both things just like the spath lol
Anyway, I wasnt rly sad leaving the appts. Just nothing ever ever got resolved and I needed to talk waaaay more than 45-60 min at a time, once i got started. One more appt left and then im done as only so many on the plan.
Therapist doesnt seem to have anymore advice for me other than no contact seems good, dont think about it/him. Now lets get your life all great. Um, with 2 lil kids and no support? Not. She rly doesnt see why im concerned I wont stay away. I even told her I had had contact with him again whilst going to appts. She had nothing to say about that.
Shes just ignorant, nice person but gloriously ignorant—like i wish i still was.
SIGH

Sorry Ain’t
It’s the pits. We go looking for help. And it’s really hard to find sometimes.

I’d been through several therapists. I had gotten to the point of thinking yep, even therapists can’t help me, I am so far beyond help. Then my friend says you need to see my therapist. She’s the only one who ever helped me. And I thought, I’ll just try one time. Let me tell you, Ain’t, one time was ALL I needed to know that this therapist was a jewel. When I moved away, she allowed me to continue with phone appointments since she knew all my history. I only need her every now and then, kinda like a reality check about my daughter, which is my biggest heartache. Only ONE appointment and I left her office with REAL solutions, I didn’t feel so stupid. I had been mindfarked by a PACK of sociopaths, not just my now ex husband.

The local mental health care referral office can not say which therapist is the best when they give a referral. So I kept getting referrals that had space for a client…which is why I kept getting BAD therapists. One who couldn’t remember my name. Another who was a man hater, and told me I was to blame for getting married. Etc.

Going to my friend’s therapist was a lifesaver. My “gem” said that she only takes patients who want to improve. A lot of patients are looking to blame or to escape responsibility. My thought was… If I am to blame and am responsible, then surely I can do something about it. My therapist said that’s where I was wrong. I ASSUMED that his blame was true, but it wasn’t. And that’s why nothing I did was improving the problem.

I hope you try for another therapist. These days, they will let you “interview” them to see if there is a fit. My therapist helped victims of narcissists. So maybe you could ask a therapist if they do that and how they do it?

Clearly If a therapist doesn’t see your perspective (empathy), that’s not a fit, esp for victims of sociopaths. You mentioned some childhood traumas and I know I suffered the same. I had to face the trauma of having a pedo for a father. I thought I left that behind when I left home. But it pops up in our lives anyway. Just one example…

Please don’t wish for ignorance. I understand your sentiment but it’s not true.

I am glad I’m not ignorant anymore, it means I am not so vulnerable. And I take better self care, instead of feeling bad or selfish if I dare to say I am as worthy as the next person. I used to just try to be wall paper, not just a wall flower, but so flat that people didn’t see me. Well, I am better than that. I care about others, and just that small thing makes me worth more than any sociopath. Same with you. So please, seek help to reclaim yourself. Seek it until you find a gem like I did. I lost myself. But my gem had me learn to find ME, and find the things about me that make me worthy. I will NEVER let someone take that away from me ever again.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

What I want is to stay away from the NPD/BPD forever and ever.
And ever and ever.
Why is that such an unreasonable request?

Aintgonna, Follow the No contact rule this is how you stay away from a npd/bpd. Do a search on LF “no contact rule” & on the net “no contact rule narcisisst”.

Come here to love fraud when you feel like you want to contact him…vent by writing a post you can always deleted it after you write it…of you can vent in a journal. It really does help to clear your mind & your emotional state at the time. Also when you are emotional read, read, read lovefraud, psychopathfree. com, psychopathyawareness. wordpress all of these sites will help you open your mind up from your abusers brain washing and mind control.

Aint, Your counselor is first and foremost your advocate. She cannot “fix” you but can hold your hand and walk with you as you learn to grow and flourish. If you need a reality check and you trust her judgement then she can certainly provide that!!! Each one of us creates the hope for our own future based on our own systems and circumstances. We all get by with a little help from our friends. What I learnt through wading in the aftermath is that it is a solitary endeavor. Therapists and other professionals can support and cheer but no one can do it but ourselves.
Thing is, we are resourceful competent and empathetic. That’s what made us good targets….we need to use those traits to our own advantage. That I feel has been one of my lessons. Once you value self and start to nurture yourself you will notice quickly that there really IS nothing compatible between you. They loose their attractiveness. Then we can skip away. Its long and tedious….xxxx

I disagree…a victim of a sociopath is not like any other person walking into counseling needing help. Aint has only had two counselor appt. and the counselor should be extremely knowledgable with narcissistic abuse and know exactly what her/his client needs to move forward vs asking the client what they “want to get out of counseling”. LF has posted much on this subject the lack of qualified counselor who know how to help a victim of sociopathic abuse. Remember a victim coming out of a abusive relationship has been so mind controlled they can not think for themselves and need help again to open their mind up.

The biggest issue with a victim of narcissistic/sociopathic abuse is coming out of all of the brain washing & mind control. Not every counselor knows how to ask the right questions to open up a victims mind.

Steven Hassan of freedom of mind & book author of the same name himself was inducted into a cult while in college, he escaped and went back to college where he gained a masters in counseling. He is correct that a person’s childhood issues are not the issue when coming out of a sociopath abusive relationship. If you are in the USA you might want to contact Steven Hassan or even Donna Anderson of Lovefraud (she has a life coaching program) for help to open up your mind from all of the brain washing your abuser inflicted on you.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

ive been going since midJan. way more than 2 appts. she does not focus on childhood but in her attempts to fix me lol she tried that angle. she appears to think im well adjusted…not to worry tho she thinks im strongly opinionated too rofl
she tries to get me to focus on doing things that are impossible for me at this point. but its her training. women in crisis need A B & C. be self supporting with a degree, get childcare as much as possible, etc.
i will make her happy in a decade wen i do those things.
i have only one more appt with her tho. my EAP wont pay for more. she wants me to see a holistic endo she knows personally too but understands i cant. i am well aware my adrenals are fried n have been wkg on them for a yr now. just added st johns wort n 5http recently to bedtime cocktail of supplements.
i dont feel btainwashed anymore, but then again it was very much a conscious decision the whole process to be with him on n off. the counselor was pretty surprised wen i wud explain it to her.
this is why i know i wud do it again. twice now its happened. its pathetic.

So true. They will try to come back into your life , regain control over you, abuse you a little more and the discard you again. Usually they do this when their new minion supply runs out or did not work out as planned. That is why it is so important to remain in no contact. If they send you presents or letters, do not send them back. Just keep it and don’t acknowledge them. I am now almost 2 years in no contact.
Under the radar
I understand how out stories are so similar with being married to cops. Like yours mine had sex with at least 2 or 3 female police officers during their nightshifts. Also a nurse who worked there. And who knows, probably many others. One time he said to me “do you think it’s s big orgie at work , because it’s not “. Yeah right. He thought I believed this crap. I saw on TV all the time, where officers in the same dept got in trouble for having sex eith subordinates. But of course they protected them. It was sickening. I am so glad I have nothing to do with that sheriffs dept. no connection whatsoever. Who knows what my ex would have come up with ? I know he wanted me dead of in jail. He was working so hard every day to accomplish his plan. But God was with me, God was in control. God protected me from that evil cop and took him out of my life.

Wow, I am knew on here and reading stories, not sure how to begin my own story but I was just reading yours kaya48. I too am married to a cop and the getting out of it has just begun. He leaves me alone for maybe a day but then goes back to begging and telling me I will never find anyone that will love me as much as he does. He told me stories about everyone there that was cheating but never him, lol. Until the day the girl he was talking to got sick of him saying he was gonna leave me for her and never did so she sent me all of their emails and text messages. But he she made most of them up lol he didn’t do anything, she says they went out and had sex but he won’t admit that. Gosh, all the crazy things that I see now are unbelievable.

Hi Soconfused, glad you found your way to Lovefraud. I would highly recommend that you go to the very top of this wonderful site and read everything plus watch the videos especially when you feel sad, mad, or feel like you want to contact him. Donna’s book are excellent they are located under the “book store tab” and she also has a phone consultation service which I have hear is good as well.

Also if you go to the search section at the top of the site do a search on:

gas lighting abuse

no contact rule

(plus do a net search on these two things “no contact rule narcsiisst” and “gas lighting abuse”

If you can get a restraining order with the help of your local abuse center this will help you in divorce court as well as dealing with child custody issue. Document everything!!! Also the site Onemomsbattle. com is excellent for court issues especially divorce & child custody issues. They have a facebook site which is great to ask questions. If you are going to chat with them on facebook I would suggest that you open a fake email account and then a fake facebook page so that you can talk freely without your ex or his family/friends seeing what you are chatting about.

Thank you.

Soconfused, your Welcome. Is there anything specific you need help with? or just want to vent a little or a lot? it’s very confusing (like your name states) when you first leave & every over whelming too because you are not only opening your mind to all the brain fog your ex put you under but you are also realizing that the man you were married to was living a double life (sometimes triple secret life).

I am truly sorry that you have endured so much that it lead you to lovefraud but I am also grateful that you will learn the truth about your husband by coming here.

I caught my ex h in a two year affair with someone he worked with. I thought something was going on but never had the proof….I was advised to check his phone bill where I was shocked to see that literally every phone call that came in and went out was to his mistress.

He begged me to stay once I had the proof and was not going to listen to any of his lies anymore he said it was her that was “chasing him” she was out “trolling” for a new man (lol) he sucked me back into to his evil world by getting friends to convince me he would change & that he was sorry. I stayed another 7 years and guess what when I finally escaped I found proof that he was having affairs with 3 women in two different states I am sure their were many many more. My counselor who told me that my ex was a sociopath advised me that he most likely had 3 to 4 dozen affairs as this is what they do.

I just want you to know that it hurts so much when you first leave but I can tell you with time & the no contact rule you will get to a place you can not even imagine him in your life any more ever. It takes time to heal all the wounds so keep coming here to vent & ask advise. Also check itno your local abuse center free counseling and free women group meetings as they help too. Plus ask them for an outside counselor who is extremely knowledgable with narcissistic abuse as not all counselors are educate fully on the subject. Plus think about talking to Donna Anderson site creator of Lovefraud.

Have your friends & family come to LF too to educate themselves on the abuse you have endured and why they too need to go no contact with your ex.

You are out of the tornado now…and still in shock at the devastation your ex has left behind…but their is light at the end of your tune….please know you are not alone anymore we are all here for you!!

Take care.

I guess there isn’t anything specific, I just wanted to read and hear other stories. I am posting my story so that it can be read and maybe someone can say if it truly sounds like he is a sociopath. Some of the things I read sound like it and some don’t, I hate to think of someone in such a negative way and that not be accurate. I know I do have plenty of reason to be negative but I would still like to be accurate and some sort of confirmation I guess.

Thank you so much for all of your responses. I am not living with him anymore, just going through all of the begging and constant text messages and emails and statements like, “your gonna be the one to loose, you better think twice before you do this” And “God knows that I am a great guy and sees that I am trying so you will get punished and I will prosper”. And still, he always knows where I am at, kind of creepy.

I know things will get better and I appreciate LF for letting everyone share stories because I was feeling very alone, not many friends these days so this helps alot.

Soconfused, I think the most important thing is to realize that he does not treat you well & that you are coming to the realization that something is not right with him and his behavior. it’s more important to focus on you deserving to be treated with respect, kindness & love VS figuring out if he is a sociopath or not.

His text/email messages that you just posted are abusive…he is using blame shifting and also using guilt manipulation to get you to come back to him. A normal person would say I screwed up big time & I need to go to individual counseling to get help in treating people with respect. He is not doing these things which leans towards narcissist & maybe sociopathic traits.

The fact that he “always knows where I am at” is a big RED flag. Have your car checked by a professional to see if he has attacked any tracking devises and also see if your phone has a tracking devise. Look into getting a home security system if you are in the US Lowes & home depot hardware stores have home security systems for about $100 that take batteries and are easy to install yourself or look into a security system company where you pay a monthly fee.

Start using the No Contact Rule by blocking him from your email/text this will help you to clear your mind and to really see all of this behavior patterns. Be aware that by you blocking him he is going to become very upset so please contact your local abuse center for help now so that you can remain safe.

Some other sites for you to read that will help you to see your husbands patterns: Psychopath free (they have a facebook pages too) & psychopathyawareness. wordpress. Keep reading everything and see how it fits to your relationship.

I am really glad you found LF and that you are able to open up so that you dont feel so alone. I think that is one of the hardest parts in dealing with a abuser is the fact that they isolate their victims from the outside world to control them. Keep reaching out for help with the national domestic abuse hotline and your local abuse center.

Take care.

Soconfused, I just posted to articles for you to read they are listed on the main page of Lf left side just look for your member name “soconfused”

Thank you so much, I will deff. look into these things. And yes, that is why I didn’t block because if I don’t respond he starts saying crazy things.

Since he started saying “crazy things” (RED FLAG)… PLEASE contact your local abuse center for support before you start the no contact rule…remember the most dangerous time of a victim is when she leaves her abuser or is about to leave.

Protect your family too by telling them what is going on and that they should call the police if he shows up on their door step.

Soconfused…this might help you to see if your ex is gas lighting you. Gas lighting abuse is a very stealth psychological abuse that pushes a victim over their emotional edge and it leaves the victim very confused. Lovefraud has info on this just do a search on gas lighting abuse in the search box and also do it on the net.

How do you know if you are being gaslighted? If any of the following warning signs ring true, you may be dancing the Gaslight Tango. Take care of yourself by taking another look at your relationship, talking to a trusted friend; and, begin to think about changing the dynamic of your relationship . Here are the signs:
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,, boss.
5. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person ”“ more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.
15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.

I’d give a different reason why it’s hard.

A sociopathic relationship takes your soul. It twists it up, puts pieces out of reach.

In a normal breakup, you take all of you, walk out, and have some feelings about the loss of the person.

On leaving a sociopath, your very core has been confused, insulted, harmed. You’re trying to leave with anger that wasn’t allowed to exist during. You look to go back in because you feel incomplete. You know part of you is still there, angry, hurt, sad. It’s a totally different grieving and loss than a regular breakup. You have to reclaim all those damaged parts of yourself, as part of the grieving process.

It’s easier to get together with the sociopath and feel desire them. It’s part of the setup they’ve created. With them whenever you went to leave, and to get to your anger, and to get to your SELF WORTH, they did things to disrupt that. That included some form or another of a threat that if you left you’d be all alone in the world, and left with your damaged self (that was never actually a damaged self in the first place.) Instead while in the relationship, the fix is / was to be loved again by them. That wasn’t your idea. It was the only way they allowed for. You never got to have a real argument in which you genuinely got to your anger and fury at whatever they were as a sociopath. You got close, but they’d disrupt it in some sophisticated manipulative way (that is hard to figure out — so it’s NORMAL not to know exactly all of the “hows.”)

So it’s hard to leave, because it’s about finding a new path — back to yourself — and a new path through the mess they created. And it means finding it, in spite of some subtly planted manipulation to make you feel terrified to leave, and (a fake) calm if you stay.

The love feeling that they worked to trigger and create was merely there — oozing to cover up how rotten they were and were going to be treating you.

It’s a little different than the usual view. So for what it’s worth… hope it adds to the discussion.

I was compelled after reading this to respond to this part as well, and reading your comment, i think you added some of the many intangibles that do make it such a soul-crushing experience.

I’d like to add what was my initial thought as i read this; “So why, if you’ve been rejected by a sociopath, does it hurt so much?” it occured to me.. There is one very big difference in these breakups that IS tangible and i’d say obvious but i’d never thought of it until now, never seen it mentioned in this context..

Whenever we form these special bonds with another person, sociopath or not, one year or 20, the pain is often described as losing a huge piece of ourself. Anyone who’s experienced a breakup with a sociopath knows the pain is somehow worse, deeper, etc. I think all the reasons given make sense, but look at one trait of the sociopath: they don’t feel guilt, love, empathy etc. Think about that for a moment. .

Break ups leave us feeling as if a large part of us is gone. We feel empty, and sad. We think of the person on the other end, too. We might think them to be cold and heartless or any number of things when feelings are fresh. But, in a normal relationship, time heals and more objective, rational thought prevails what were just that rush of emotions overwhelming us. We know better, we know they hurt just as badly, that they had trouble getting on just as we did.

But what happens when the “rational thinking” is literally the same? When there is no possible resolution within yourself other than all that you gave, all of your feelings, the dreams you shared with this person – it was never real. We might heal and move on, see our resolve in the form of “i learned from it” or “i still have some good memories” – but we never do get all of what we gave back. Our time, our passion, love, hope, *trust.* see, in a “normal” relationship, no matter how bad the fallout, and even if we never are in contact again, we eventually get ourselves back because we realize the *relation* was real. We shared a connection. The end sucked but the good parts – they were real, we *both felt.*

Realizing the other person was not *sharing experiences with you* essentially robs you of memories. It doesnt just put a stain on them, what you thought and felt, and want to still feel, was a dream, and even that was just a puppet on strings.

We find connections thru our ability to *relate* to others. It’s part of the foundation of trust. There is NO relating to the drive/motivation, actions, thoughts or beliefs of a sociopath. All they take from you stays gone, tho, they may not have taken all you thought.

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