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Despite its prevalence and the efforts to promote awareness, however, there is almost no public knowledge of this type of abuse.
Most types of abuse, such as physical abuse and psychological abuse, have generally agreed-upon definitions. Yet often the definitions supplied for narcissistic abuse in mental health literature as well as books and articles written for survivors are vague, imprecise, and inconsistent.
Although the definitions offer a lot of helpful details, they usually do not provide enough context to indicate exactly what narcissistic abuse is. This lack of a clear and consistent definition is possibly one of the reasons for the general lack of mainstream awareness of this type of abuse.
In this article, I will propose a working definition and discuss why it is so important to be able to precisely and consistently define it. The Problems in the Current Definitions of Narcissistic Abuse To define Defining abuse abuse, sources typically use descriptions of certain aspects of it.
For example, some sources define it as a combination of tactics that are used by the perpetrator to abuse a partner i.
Other sources define narcissistic abuse by describing the signs it has occurred through how it has affected the survivor i. These types of descriptions have been extremely beneficial to millions of survivors around the world who are currently in or have come out of relationships with narcissists, are traumatized by what they have been through and are seeking answers.
The problem with the descriptions, however, is that they are too broad to convey easily. They are also imprecise because they only focus on one aspect of narcissistic abuse instead of describing its actual underpinnings.
This lack of precision in the definitions used can lead to challenges in explaining it. Or in another example, if infidelity and cheating are mentioned as characterizing narcissistic abuse, an explanation for why this is abusive may be necessary, as infidelity and cheating, though painful, may occur in any relationship.
In other words, by only focusing on the tactics, there is no explanation for what characterizes the relationship as a distinctive type of abuse or even as abuse at all. Individuals with these disorders have a strong propensity to exploit others, due to having low levels of emotional empathy, an inability to feel remorse, and the pathological ability and desire to deceive and manipulate.
The abuser turns on the partner and behaves in cruel ways, such as through verbal abuse, withholding the love and attention that was previously freely given, intentionally manufacturing emotions such as jealousy and insecurity, and engaging in various forms of betrayal. Brown says in her book Women Who Love Psychopaths that intrusive thoughts and cognitive dissonance were the two most disruptive symptoms in the women she counseled who came out of relationships with psychopaths.
What [the survivor] becomes acutely aware of is that her grieving is caused by a unique feature of the psychopath. This unique feature is the unbelievable contradictions, opposites, and dichotomies that mark this man as the disordered person he is. It has the following features: The false reality is constructed through elaborate, covert deception and psychological manipulation over a long period of time.
The goal of the abuse is to allow the narcissist to extract whatever he or she perceives is of value from the partner, including attention, admiration, status, love, sex, money, a place to stay or other resources. The abuser takes advantage of societal norms that assume everyone participates in social relationships with a basic level of empathy, which makes it easy for the abuser to convince the survivor and everyone else that no abuse is taking place.
This definition provides the overall mechanism that explains what makes narcissistic abuse distinct from other forms of abuse and why that mechanism is so harmful. This specificity also makes it easy to convey consistently and use as a framework for understanding the variety of tactics used by narcissists.
Although narcissistic abusers may also abuse in other ways, they rely on deception to execute their dominance and control, to maintain it, and to avoid being detected as abusers. This is itself abusive and should be recognized as such. Retrieved on June 28, from https: Retrieved on June 27,from https: Retrieved on June 18,from https: How to Spot Narcissistic Abuse.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Retrieved on June 25, from http: The Case for Deception as Abuse Related Articles Kristen Milstead Kristen Milstead is a writer, researcher, and advocate who is passionate about empowering and inspiring people who have been in psychologically and emotionally abusive relationships, and about raising awareness about hidden abuse.These terms are used interchangeably with the following definition:Relationship abuse is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a .
Definition of Emotional Abuse. One definition of emotional abuse is: "any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.".
The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. § g), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of , defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum: "Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation"; or.
Domestic violence and abuse, an issue that is never far from the headlines, continues to be a pervasive issue in the United States.
State legislatures are at the forefront of defining and penalizing domestic violence and abuse. Defining Spiritual Abuse The term “Spiritual Abuse” has evolved (for lack of a better term) into a catchall phrase that encompasses a multitude of issues.
In order to gain a better understanding of what spiritual abuse is I’d like to attempt to define spiritual abuse from my perspective.
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