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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Narcissistic Abuse?

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

Narcissistic Abuse is a deeply traumatic form of abuse that pushes you to the very brink of sanity.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Narcissistic Abuse?

how long does it take to recover from narcissistic abuse?

If you’ve found your way to this article, you’re probably wondering how long it takes to recover from narcissistic abuse. 

We’ll be going over everything you need to know, and how you can identify narcissistic abuse. 

What Is Narcissistic Abuse?

It’s important for you to know exactly what narcissistic abuse is and how to identify it.

It is a form of abuse in which the abuser only really cares about themselves, and they will manipulate their partner’s behavior, this includes their emotional state, their personality, and how they feel about things. 

Narcissist abuse will often come in the form of gaslighting their partners and making them believe they are acting irrationally and unfairly.

They always play the victim and will constantly make you feel like you’ve done something wrong, especially when you haven’t. 

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Narcissistic Abuse?

Unfortunately, there is no set duration of time for how long it will take to recover from narcissistic abuse. It purely depends on your situation.

If you catch the narcissistic abuse before you were isolated from your family and friends and before it started to inflict really serious damage to your mental health, you’re likely to be able to recover from it quicker than someone who had to endure it for many, many years. 

It does depend on the support system around you too.

If you don’t have any friends or family for support, it’s definitely in your best interest to seek out a therapist to help you work through your trauma.

You have to be willing to focus on healing yourself too.

Narcissists will grind down your self-worth, so we do need to take that in mind for the healing process.

It may take a while for you to recover your self-worth, but a therapist, mindfulness, and any support you can get from available loved ones will help you reach that goal eventually. 

It may take a while to recover from narcissistic abuse, but it is so important that you know that it was never your fault and that you are worth so much more than your abuser ever made you believe.

Your therapist and support system, as well as your belief in yourself, will help you to remember this important fact in your recovery process. 

Signs You Are Being Abused By A Narcissist

Signs You Are Being Abused By A Narcissist

If you are concerned or you believe you are being narcissistically abused by your partner, here are some signs to look out for:

  • Controlling behavior

Narcissists have to be in control of any and all situations they find themselves in, and that includes control over the people involved.

These controlling behaviors will appear to be sweet and even romantic at times, especially when you first get together, but over time, you will start to feel trapped and like you can’t do anything without your partner’s say so. 

  • Gaslighting

One of the biggest signs you are being narcissistically abused is through gaslighting.

Gaslighting is used by narcissists and abusers to make their partners and victims start to question their reality and it can drive people to the brink of sanity.

They can tell you that you’re lying about something you know for a fact is 100% true, or they can claim to have forgotten something when they haven’t.

Whatever it is, narcissists will make you believe that your judgment and memory are completely unreliable, even when you know for a fact that what you’re saying, doing, and remembering is true. 

  • Self-centered behavior

Narcissists are extremely self-centered and their behavior will reflects that trait.

They will very rarely want to take part in anything they aren’t interested in, so they will come up with emotionally manipulative excuses so they don’t have to do it.

If they do agree to do something you want to do, but they don’t, more often than not you won’t have a good time doing whatever it is because they will manipulate you into believing that you are trying to hurt them in some way. 

  • Invasion of digital privacy

Another thing that narcissists do is they like to look through your digital belongings, even if you’ve told them not to cross that boundary.

They will look through your phone, computer, and other devices in an attempt to find something incriminating they can use against you in later arguments.

They will sometimes even create fake accounts and profiles on social media to stalk your page and try and get you to cheat so they can use that against you later. 

  • Isolating you from friends and family

Another big sign that you’re being abused by a narcissist is that they will often try to isolate you from your friends and family.

They will complain and find reasons to stop you from hanging out with your friends, and even your family.

They will even go as far as to cause drama between you and your loved ones, in order to create mistrust and break bonds.

They want all of your time to be focused on them, regardless of how you feel.

Breaking the bonds and isolating yourself from your family and friends ensures that they are the only person you can turn to. 


When you do eventually leave a narcissist, it can be a really traumatic experience, but that doesn’t mean that you will never recover from it. 

The most important thing you can do is seek out a support network and keep people around you who will help you recover.

If you were cut off from your loved ones during the relationship, that doesn’t mean you cant reach out to them now.

More often than not, they will be happy you got away from your abuser and they will be willing to help you.

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories


UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

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