Posted in Alienation

Narc Mind Games: Gaslighting

Divorcing a Narcissist Blog

The more I learn about narcissism and the techniques used by narcissists, the more I understand what was happening in my own life. My Narcissist used gaslighting to the extreme, and I finally now understand why I felt so freaking confused for so long. So first, what is gaslighting?

Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity. Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

Warning Signs of Gaslighting*:

  • Second-Guessing: living in fear of doing the wrong thing
  • Asking “Am I too sensitive?”: Looking for approval before doing anything
  • Apologizing: constantly apologizing for never doing anything right
  • Lack joy and happiness in life: Feeling confused, lonely, frightened and…

View original post 1,137 more words

Posted in Alienation

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Divorcing a Narcissist Blog

The more I tell my story, the more I find myself answering A LOT of questions about Narcissism and NPD. I thought it might be helpful to put some of the basic info out here on the blog for better understanding.

I had heard the term narcissism and narcissistic before and always took it lightly as someone who was a bit obsessed with themselves. I never realized that Narcissism can be an actual diagnosed personality disorder until I started doing my research on the things that I was experiencing in my relationship with The Narcissist.

The American Psychiatric Association uses a criteria called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM- 5) to diagnose mental conditions. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is an actually diagnosable personality disorder.

DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) include these features:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even…

View original post 577 more words

Posted in Alienation


Reblogged on

Source: #whyIstayed

Posted in Alienation

5 Damaging Lies We Learn From Narcissistic Parents

The effects of childhood trauma, including emotional neglect or abuse in childhood, can have alarmingly potent effects on our psyche as we enter adulthood, even to the extent of rewiring the brain (van der Kolk, 2016). The children of narcissistic parents, those who meet the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, know this all too well, having been raised by someone with a limited capacity for empathy and an excessive sense of grandiosity, false superiority and entitlement (Ni, 2016). Children of narcissistic parents are programmed at an early age to seek validation where there is none, to believe their worthiness is tied to the reputation of their families, and to internalize the message that they can only sustain their value by how well they can ‘serve’ the needs of their parents. They have lived an existence where love was rarely ever unconditional, if given at all.

This is not to say that childhood survivors of narcissistic abuse cannot rise above their childhood conditioning; in fact, they can be stronger survivors and thrivers as a result of the resilience they are capable of developing and the ways in which they channel their traumas into transformation (Bussey and Wise, 2007). It takes real inner work and bravery to unravel the traumas that we’ve had to endure as children as well as address any retraumatization as adults. Being able to understand our relationship and behavioral patterns, as well as any negative self-talk that has arisen as a result of the abuse, can be revolutionary in challenging the myths and falsehoods we’ve been fed about our worth and capabilities.

read the full article here:-

Posted in Alienation

Protecting Your Clients in Parental Alienation Cases When the Courts Don’t

Attorneys should no longer tolerate parental alienation, because of the damage it does to children and the cycle of abuse it supports.

By Plinio J. Garcia, CEO & Consultant, Major Family Services


Posted in Alienation

Children of High-Conflict Divorce Face Many Challenges

When DSM-5 was published in 2013, several new terms were introduced in the section “Relational Problems,” which is part of “Other Conditions.” One of the new mental conditions in DSM-5 is child affected by parental relationship distress, explained as: “This category should be used when the focus of clinical attention is the negative effects of parental relationship discord (eg, high levels of conflict, distress, or disparagement) on a child in the family, including effects on the child’s mental or other medical disorders.”5 If a clinical or forensic practitioner finds that a child is experiencing a loyalty conflict that causes distress or dysfunction, the diagnosis may be child affected by parental relationship distress.

Internalized chronic stress

If the external stressors––especially, high conflict between the parents––continue for an extended period, the child’s symptoms may become internalized and develop into a more serious mental condition. Typically, the symptoms cluster to take the form of an anxiety disorder, a depressive disorder, or a somatic symptom disorder. An important recent study from Sweden showed that children of divorced parents had more sleeping problems, headaches, stomachaches, tenseness, and sadness than children in intact families.6

Regarding possible DSM-5 diagnoses, major depressive disorder and suicidality may develop in a child who grieves the loss of his previous family life or the loss of time with the noncustodial parent.5 If the child fears the loss of the custodial parent, he may develop separation anxiety disorder. Also, the child who repeatedly witnesses parental conflict during the “switching hour”––when the child transitions from one household to the other––may experience physical symptoms before, during, and after the transition. In that case, the diagnosis may be somatic symptom disorder.

Clinical personnel and forensic evaluators should consider the differential diagnosis presented here when they assess children of high-conflict divorce. This topic should be addressed in the training of MHPs. Trainees of all mental health disciplines (psychologists, psychiatrists, family therapists, nurse practitioners, social workers, school counselors) should learn how parental divorce affects children and what to do about it. The training of child forensic practitioners––who will conduct child custody evaluations and child maltreatment investigations––should address the theoretical bases and the identification of loyalty conflicts, parental estrangement, and parental alienation.

read the complete article here:-

Posted in Alienation

The Psychiatrist’s Role in Divorce Custody Battles

“Arnold” and “Betty” were married for 10 years and had two children. When they divorced, they could not agree on the custody and visitation arrangements for the children. Although they previously loved each other and still had sincere respect for each other, they were gearing up to make extremely angry allegations about each other in court.

When “Calvin” and “Dotty” divorced, Dotty had custody of their 6-year-old daughter and Calvin had regular visitation with her. Rather abruptly after an extended summer visitation with Calvin, the girl said her father was extremely mean to her and refused to go with him for her next scheduled visitation. Dotty accused Calvin of abusing the girl. Calvin accused Dotty of inducing parental alienation syndrome in the child.

These and dozens of similar scenarios come to the attention of both general psychiatrists and child and adolescent psychiatrists every day. There are approximately 1 million divorces in this nation each year. Since many of these divorces involve litigation over custody or visitation, it is common for both clinical psychiatrists and forensic psychiatrists to confront these issues in their work.

Clinical Practice

Even before parents anticipate their divorce, their child may already be seeing a psychiatrist or other clinician. Once the divorce is imminent, each parent’s first impulse is to ask the therapist to take that parent’s side in the ensuing custody dispute. The therapist may feel it is obvious that one of the parents should have custody of the child and may readily agree to send a report to the court or to testify. However, that path has many dangers and should be avoided.

Rather than try to influence the outcome of the custody dispute, it is better to simply continue as the child’s therapist and help the child cope with the changes in the family. After the parents separate and divorce, it will be particularly important for the therapist to communicate with and have a good relationship with both parents. That is unlikely to occur if the therapist has sided with one of the parents in an angry custody dispute.

read the full article here:-

Posted in Alienation

Forensic Psychiatry: An Essential Major Subspecialty:

In this Special Report, the authors cover a number of fascinating forensic issues, including the emotionally disturbing subject of filicide (Drs Hatters Friedman and Resnick) and forensic evaluations of the geriatric population (Dr Holzer). Forensic psychiatric evaluations in geriatric psychiatry have become increasingly advanced and valued by the courts. Some of the more prominent forensic gero-psychiatry issues include testamentary capacity (competence to make a will), guardianship, end-of-life decision making, and elder abuse. Dr Blum shares his knowledge of competency hearings and what all psychiatrists need to know in order to best assist the court and triers of fact.

Dr Bernet addresses the highly controversial subject of parental alienation syndrome. Legal scholars and students of forensic psychiatry know that the courts have a tradition of being highly skeptical of “syndromes” and syndromal evidence. The DSM-5 Task Force considered but rejected adopting parental alienation disorder (PAD) as a mental illness. Just prior to the DSM-5 Task Force’s decision, PAD was the subject of vigorous debate in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.8,9 Regardless of its exclusion from DSM-5, PAD will continue to surface in volatile child custody cases and in family courts.

Finally, Drs Martin and Schroeder address the complex challenge of distinguishing factitious disorder from malingering. This is a common diagnostic challenge in general psychiatry—particularly in emergency settings. The distinction may become further complicated when both genuine and malingered symptoms are present—a scenario that demands abandoning rigid, dichotomous thinking.

Isaac Ray was not just the founder of American forensic psychiatry. He was arguably one of the most prominent reformers, writers, and thinkers in psychiatry in the 19th century. Clear, rational, critical analysis and self-examination were some of his strong suits. He corresponded with Dorothea Dix, as they both shared a passionate belief in treating persons with severe mental illness with dignity and protecting them from abuse. His writing was studied and revered by the court in the famous Daniel M’Naughten insanity case in England, and used by a New Hampshire Supreme Court judge to clarify that state’s law on the insanity defense.10 Ray understood that for the field of psychiatry, it was crucial to have a foot in both worlds—psychiatry and law—so that lawyers’ and doctors’ “different style of mental training” did not leave them “remaining wide as poles asunder.”1

Posted in Alienation

Effects of Childhood Trauma on Depression and Suicidality in Adulthood

Immediate and short-term effects of childhood trauma have been a focus of clinical attention. However, recent studies demonstrate the far-reaching effects of childhood trauma related to depression and suicidality in adulthood. The evidence to support these associations is presented here.

Childhood trauma and suicidality

Fuller-Thomson and colleagues1 examined the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and suicidality in adulthood. Data were obtained from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health for men and women 18 years or older who completed information on adverse childhood experiences and suicide attempts. The adverse childhood experiences included sexual abuse, physical abuse, and parental domestic violence.

The survey comprised 22,559 persons. The mean age of the sample was 47 years; 51% were women. Of the total sample, 9.8% experienced physical abuse, 5.9% experienced sexual abuse, and 4.2% experienced parental domestic violence; 3% of the sample reported a history of having attempted suicide.

The prevalence of suicide attempts was significantly higher among those adults who had experienced trauma: physical abuse (12.4% vs 1.9% with no abuse) and sexual abuse (16.9% vs 2.1% with no abuse) as children; and among those who had witnessed parental domestic violence (7.3% vs 2.3% with no domestic violence). Gender did not moderate the relationship between childhood trauma and suicidality in adulthood. Depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and chronic pain accounted for some of the relationship between childhood trauma and adult suicidality. Of those factors, depression accounted for 25% of the association.

Posted in Alienation

The Zero Sum Game Of Parental Alienation

This is the time of year when families draw together, but some parents don’t get to experience that, despite longing for it fiercely. I’ve written before about parental alienation, about the pain and suffering endured by parents whose children have been alienated from them through the other parent’s tactics, usually in a high conflict divorce.

Since my initial posting, more media attention has shed light on this devastating phenomenon. Jennifer Harman, a researching social psychologist, associate professor of psychology at Colorado State University, and co-author of Parents Acting Badly (Harman, Jennifer Jill., and Zeynep Biringnen. Parents Acting Badly: How Institutions and Societies Promote the Alienation of Children from Their Loving Families. San Bernardino, CA: CreateSpace, 2016.), gave a terrific TEDx Talk about parental alienation, highlighting it as a domestic abuse and social justice issue.

read the complete article here:-