healing your body after narcissistic abuse

Healing Your Body after Narcissistic Abuse

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If you’re reeling in the aftermath of narcissistic abuse, it doesn’t take long to realize that your body feels like it has aged years. 

Your muscles are stiff, your joints hurt, you feel tired all the time (and it’s not from all the crying).  You feel rundown, overwhelmed, and always seem to be a step or two behind.  Visions of salty and sweet snacks dance through your head and you give in more often than not. 

Perhaps you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, no matter how much sleep you got, and you often feel more energized at night than during the day.  Other symptoms might include:  tiredness, fearfulness, arthritis, anxiety, depression, reduced memory and difficulties in concentrating, insomnia, and inability to lose weight.

Do any of these symptoms describe you?  If yes, it’s likely you suffer from adrenal fatigue.

Being abused by a narcissist keeps your body in an almost permanent fight-or-flight state.  This forces your adrenal glands to pump out cortisol at high levels.  Not only does this often cause an unsightly pudge over time, but it also causes your adrenal glands to go into overload to the point that they simply can’t keep up anymore. 

When this happens, your ability to tolerate stress is severely lowered.  This causes you to experience fatigue and exhaustion, which are enhanced by the inability to sleep through the night.

Not only has the narcissist tried to destroy you emotionally, but your body is also paying the price, too.

So what can you do about it?

Getting enough sleep is a good start.  While it’s hard to do when you have insomnia, I have found that meditation works wonders.  Get your iPad, Kindle, or Nook and head over to YouTube.  I wouldn’t recommend a cell phone because they interrupt your sleep cycle. 

Make sure you have some headphones (earbuds often end up falling out).  Dim the lights, and listen to this guided meditation:


Don’t worry if you fall asleep because your subconscious will absorb the positive affirmations used during the meditation.  Other tips to heal your adrenal glands:

  1. Doing yoga or walking outside works wonders for your health, as well as your state of mind.
  2. Avoid draining situations, such as parties, going to the mall, or hanging around people that drain your energy.
  3. Make time to do things you enjoy.  Go to the bookstore, read, or sit at the park.  Anything that you consider restorative.
  4. Resist the urge to indulge in too many sweets or carbs.  They only increase your blood sugar and cause more health problems.  If you can’t avoid them altogether, try to cut down.
  5. Eat foods with omega-3 fatty acids.  They manage inflammation and reduce high levels of cortisol production.
  6. Avoid disturbing movies that cause you to feel anxious or panicked, such as horrors, dramas, or anything with too much violence.  This only puts your body back into fight-or-flight mode.

Be patient.  Healing your adrenal glands can take anywhere from six months to two years.  If you suspect you may suffer from adrenal fatigue, find a practitioner that can administer a blood or saliva test.  If your production is low, they may recommend some supplements to heal your fried adrenal glands.

Other ways to begin healing your body after narcissistic abuse

Explore The Essential Break Free Bootcamp

You will learn to…

  • Begin living congruently with your desire to live a healed life 
  • Gentle healing activities that will repair your adrenal glands and improve your frame of mind
  • Address your core wounding and make empowering shifts that will bring clarity and joy
  • + Much more…

I will give you multi-media training (printables and videos) to help you set limits and create stronger boundaries against emotional manipulation that has caused you to act out of character.  Take the course on your own time, at your own pace. Your subscription never expires, and you can come back and review a lesson anytime you need it.

Learn more here.

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kristina says February 25, 2019

i have struggled with mental issues but seek help for depression anxiety so on i have been in mentally and physically abusive relationships but nothing like this till my ex who i was with 5 years. It just about destroyed me mentally and physically i even found myself manipulating situations like survival mode, i have lupus and was hospitalized so many times my stress and anxiety was so high it latterly was killing me. It was very difficult leaving i wet back quit a few times until i could break off all contact and stay away. But him being him is now with my aunt and even though we never see or speak to each other for some reason i find my self shrugging to not contract him which is cause heath flair up restlessness stress bone pain ect. I am trying to figure out were it is coming from i dont really want to be in same room but its almost like addicted to the sickness its crazy and confusing but hurting my relationship now any one have advise for this situation.He has made me so sick i have had to actually have surgery on stomach area. iam in need of something and dont know were to turn i have read almost everything and for some reason i cant bring this up in therapy.

Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue | Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed says March 4, 2014

[…] adrenal fatigue could be the culprit.  I’ve written on this topic before, and suggest ways you can heal your adrenal glands through diet and healing activities. This post is highly informative and too good not to share. […]

Thursday Thumbs Up and an Update on my Reluctance Realization | More at Forty (Five) says October 11, 2013

[…] made with any reluctance.  I realized how important this is when I read Kim Raya‘s post on Adrenal Fatigue.  I definitely think I’m suffering from it – not because of the Narcissistic Abuse she […]

    Kim Raya says October 11, 2013

    Thanks so much for the mention…I hope to post more things that may be of help for adrenal fatigue…best of luck to you while you endure this difficult period.

secretswblog says October 8, 2013

Reblogged this on The blog of a secret Social Worker and commented:
Is it time to allow myself to start healing? I want it to be. But I still feel trapped. Not so much in that I need his permission or constant approval anymore, but more so in my own failure to accept that we will now never have the happily-ever-after that we dreamed about. The one that I still crave, and ultimately still want … but without the bad parts of our relationship. Which yes, I’ve started to realize is impossible!

I often sit here in the early hours of the morning, in the safety of the darkness, feeling like a failure. At these times I believe the impact of our relationship breakdown on my emotional and physical well-being is proof that I am the weak link in our ‘us’, and that my partner/ex was right in his analyses of me … much more so than I care to believe.

And then I come across a blog post like this. One that is screaming at me to look, listen and take note. Maybe we are in this current situation of relationship breakdown because I had nothing more to give. I had no fight left. No energy or desire to keep putting someone else first who clearly cared so little about me and my needs in the end. Maybe, just maybe, this explains it, us and our life together?

As I read and read I believe this post could be describing me. The changes that have happened in me, often without me realizing. And nearly always for the worse. But knowledge is power, and I need to keep educating myself if I truly believe I am to make a better life for me and my son.

Because ultimately I remain torn. If my partner/ex could (and would) CONSISTENTLY recognise that it is the situation and not the person I am that has affected me, we could still have our happily-ever-after. I just need his love and support. I’m trying hard to acknowledge this will never happen if he really is a ‘narcissist’ … but then for every article I read and think “yes, that is so him” I read another and think “no, this isn’t right”.

What I do know is that I’m hurting, and it isn’t all my fault. When I sit and look at myself sometimes I do not recognise the person I have become. And sadly, now I recognise the person in this blog post more than my real self. The person I have lost along the way. The person I am so desperately fighting to get back.

It would explain a lot. But I know it will take time for me to understand what is and has been happening. At least it is a start whilst I await my counselling.

So please, have a read … and let me know what you think?!

    Anonymous says June 10, 2017

    Hi I don’t know who u are by every single word that u put there is right out of my soul screaming out loud. Exactly where I am and what I am feeling right now. Hurts so bad can’t even put it in words. But I can suggest u one thing. Try focusing on ur kid growing up. U gotta tell urself if not for ur kid then there’s no way u gonna change and beg not change and surround yourself with ppl who make u happy.

moreatforty says October 8, 2013

Wow. That is me. I don’t think it is because of abuse (unless doing it to myself counts) but I definitely think my job, my finances and my general stress levels are a cause. I will try some of your suggestions though. Thanks.

    Kim Raya says October 8, 2013

    Yes, other stressors can definitely cause adrenal fatigue! I should have put that in the post…perhaps I’ll do an update later 🙂 Thanks for reading and pointing out that it’s not only Narcissistic Abuse victims that can suffer this.

secretswblog says October 8, 2013

Whilst I’m still unsure, or unable to commit to the label, whether my partner/ex is in fact a narcissist (it rings so true, yet I can’t quite accept it yet) or not … the physical impact of our relationship on my self is this!! This insight you have given me has helped me see that maybe, just maybe, it’s not me who is the failure. But it’s what the situation has done to me. Can I reblog this?!

    Kim Raya says October 8, 2013

    You may certainly reblog 🙂

    I knew something was wrong with my Ex, but never could really figure it out. When we were still together, I once bought a book titled “Toxic Men”, and it described a lot of his nasty traits. However, I learned all this stuff about Narcissism after researching why I felt so depressed and confused all the time (after the divorce). It’s all coming together like some sort of bizarre puzzle. It’s probably helpful that I kept journals during the marriage, so I have a “case study”, so to speak.

      secretswblog says October 8, 2013

      Thank you – I’ve reblogged and elaborated to include my thoughts about how your post reached out to me. Recording my thoughts in this blog is most definitely helping … I just wish I’d started sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

      Lynn says February 26, 2017

      Exactly, My “CASE STUDY” has saved my life

New Beginnings says October 8, 2013

Those physical descriptions fit exactly what I felt like in the last 10 years of my marriage. After he left the house i actually did feel a great sense of relief.

Even though I am under an intense stress to just survive on a daily basis, I still physically feel better that when he was living here.

    Kim Raya says October 8, 2013

    I know what you mean. I thought it was all mental exhaustion, but have since learned it wreaked much havoc on my body…(and yours, too).

    I’m sorry about your situation. I know what it’s like to live with your nostrils barely above water. I just keep telling myself it won’t last forever…but, even my poorest day without the Ex is much better than any money I had when I was with him (although, he also financially abused me, so it’s a wonder I had anything).

      VooLoo says December 22, 2013

      Kim~ I am so stressed over my financial situation. I hate being dependent on him. It’s a long story, but he didn’t work for most of our marriage, then when he gets a good job, he made plans to leave behind my back. Kept his big paycheck for himself. And he moved in with some lady that is 65 yrs old. He told me she’s successful. I guess I’m not. I have been a hairstylist for 26 years. My business is not great. I don’t think I could even get hired for a job with benefits. I am not sure what to do.

        Kim Saeed says December 22, 2013

        Voo Loo, first of all, if he is doing this very selfish act, I hope you plan to let him go without a fight.

        Now is the time to research resources in your area. Check out social services; if you have been abused, go to the Domestic Violence center in your area, start a case, and they will have many programs to help you such as transitional housing and possibly employment leads; if you have friends or family that you can move in with, do it as soon as you can; if your hair business isn’t that great right now, place an ad on Craigslist for housecleaning services or other odd jobs you might be able to do until you find employment.

        Please feel free to reach out at any time…

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