ADHD And Narcissistic Abuse: All You Need To Know

ADHD And Narcissistic Abuse: All You Need To Know


Narcissistic abuse is a pattern of manipulation, psychological, and emotional abuse used by narcissists to subordinate their victims. It can happen in family relationships, friendships, work relationships, and more. 

Narcissists will likely abuse their victim's love, trust, and self-esteem. They will project their fears as well as insecurities onto the victim. The purpose of this article is to highlight narcissistic abuse within toxic relationships. Besides, ADHD and narcissistic abuse can co-exist and reinforce each other.

There are some similarities between ADHD and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Yet, it does not mean that all people with ADHD are narcissists or that all narcissists have ADHD.

Table Of Contents:

What Is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder that causes inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The cause of this disease is unknown. It is often hereditary and caused by structural differences in the brain. Estimates suggest that about 5% of children are affected by this disorder.

While some individuals may only have a few symptoms or suffer from mild symptoms, others will experience moderate to severe symptoms affecting their social and academic life.

Symptoms Of ADHD

ADHD symptoms can vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms include:

  • Fidgeting or squirming in their seat.
  • Trouble completing schoolwork, assignments, and chores.
  • They seem not to listen when spoken to.
  • Talking without relevance in social settings
  • Has difficulty following through with requests from others. 
  • They are often forgetful in daily activities and other essential life skills.
  • They are distracted and struggle to focus on essential tasks and activities.

Is There A Cure For ADHD?

ADHD is not a condition; it is considered curable and can also be something that a person lives with for the rest of their life. Yet, specific treatments can help people with ADHD live more fulfilling lives by offering them the support they need.

There are ways in which the symptoms associated with ADHD can be controlled and managed, and this includes things like:

  • Medication
  • Medical experts prescribe medication to people who have ADHD to control their symptoms. Medication is the most used treatment for this condition, and it can range from using stimulants to helping increase concentration in people with ADHD. 

  • Therapy
  • Therapy can also be a very effective way in which the symptoms associated with ADHD can be controlled and managed, particularly in the case of children who are suffering from ADHD. A child getting the treatment for ADHD can be taught that the condition doesn't warrant their behavior, and they can learn to control the symptoms associated with the disorder through therapy.

  • Lifestyle changes
  • People should also make lifestyle changes to overcome ADHD. If you are someone who suffers from this condition, you should start practicing certain healthy habits to control your symptoms. 

    You may have to stop drinking alcohol and smoking to improve your health, reduce stress and help with your concentration levels.

  • Diet
  • Your diet can also affect the symptoms associated with ADHD, and you should change it for the better. You should eat less sugar and more complex carbs, particularly if you suffer from adult ADHD because it can help reduce stress and improve concentration.

    What Is Narcissistic Abuse?

    A narcissistic personality disorder is a condition that deals with the need to feel superior and to have power over others. People who suffer from this condition cannot understand and identify what makes other people inferior. 

    Thus, due to their irrational superiority complexes and inability to see the truth of other people's merit, they have no regard for the feelings of others. The abuse that stems from this disorder can take many different forms. 

    For example, it may be verbal or emotional abuse where one or both parents will criticize their child, comparing them to others and abusing them for not being good enough. It may also manifest as physical abuse where the narcissistic parent pins their child down and then punch, kick or slap them for no reason. 

    Narcissistic abusers are often unforgiving of criticism and will act as though they were being unfairly punished if they receive any criticism. It will come in the form of insults or humiliation. 

    They will also act in ways that confirm their child's belief that they must be inadequate and unworthy because of their child's reasoning. It might seem like a paradox, but the children of narcissists often find themselves attracted to these people when they are young because they are aware that they have been mistreated, and this should be enough to put them off this type of person but it isn't.

    You may face some narcissistic abusers in your workplace. These people will try to undermine your performance or your dignity or authority to uplift their authority. They may spread rumors about you, tell cruel jokes that might directly or indirectly indicate you, etc. Narcissistic abusers in the workplace might threaten the composed workplace environment and reduce your workplace safety and productivity drastically. 

    Signs And Symptoms Of Narcissistic Abuse

    People are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder due to the issue of narcissism that they suffer from. Still, many experts in the field of psychology believe that it can cause destructive, damaging, and abusive behavior as well. 

    Understanding a few signs and symptoms that you can look out for is essential because this will give you an exact idea of what is happening in your life.

    • You are suffering from low self-esteem and must constantly be validated by others.
    • You feel as though you have to be perfect in the eyes of others and that you will never be good enough for the people around you.
    • You feel that people are always making fun of you, even when it is not apparent. It is because narcissists often make fun of others to make themselves look superior and because they know that if someone makes fun of them, they will become angry at that person. 
    • You feel that you cannot trust people and will constantly question where their true motives lie. 
    • You feel bad things are just waiting to happen and that something terrible must be happening at all times in your life.
    • You are very envious of others and will try to find a way to make them feel inferior. 
    • You feel that people only care about themselves and are incapable of forming relationships that involve compassion and love.
    • You have an overwhelming sense of entitlement, making you feel you deserve the best things in life and that money is no object when it comes to being provided with these luxuries.
    • You cannot let go of the past, even if you do not wish to, and will cling to hurtful memories because of this inability to let go of painful past experiences.
    • You have an intense need to control the people around you, making you feel like you have a right to do this.
    • You shift your focus onto other people's needs and neglect your own emotions and well-being because of your intense commitment to fulfilling other people's desires.
    • You believe that others are responsible for what has happened in your life and that they should take full responsibility for their actions.

    The Link Between ADHD And Narcissistic Personality Disorder

    A study by the University of Montreal in 2008 analyzed the cognitive tests of children diagnosed with ADHD and found that even when their symptoms were considered, their levels of narcissism were still above average.

    In a different study, this time carried out by Dr. Charles Fox in 1983; he conducted a survey in which he asked several people to fill out a questionnaire designed to measure their level of narcissism. 

    The test was based on the participants' responses. It was seen that those diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder were more likely to be envious of others and make fun of others.

    Research has shown that people with narcissistic personality disorder display various behaviors that indicate they suffer from mental illnesses. Moreover, ADHD is a condition that is sometimes associated with this disorder.

    People with ADHD often have difficulty focusing, continuously losing their train of thought, and may also have a habit of daydreaming. They will have trouble paying attention to the things around them and may also be impulsive. 

    Because of the above-described behavior, these people can quickly make mistakes. They may even find themselves in trouble with the law due to their inability to control their impulses and impulses that lead them into situations where they could get into legal trouble. 

    People with ADHD may also be unable to control themselves, as narcissistic personality disorder can. A person with ADHD might find it challenging to choose between being kind and unkind, and even though they can act kindly towards others, they could still pick up on the fact that it is not appreciated. 

    Thus, ADHD and Narcissistic Personality Disorder often go hand in hand together and can have a devastating effect on a person's life because they cannot function in social situations.

    Understanding And Overcoming The Lifelong Effects Of Narcissistic Abuse

    A person suffering from narcissistic abuse and ADHD may have difficulty determining what they want from life, which often means they will not be able to focus on their professional lives. 

    It can, in turn, lead to having a hard time finding a job that they can enjoy and will have a hard time making their living, and they may also find themselves in financial difficulty as they try to secure that they can provide for themselves.

    It is crucial for people who suffer from narcissistic abuse as well as ADHD to seek treatment because this is the only way that they will be able to overcome the effects of their disorders. Besides, the person can implement specific tips daily to combat the disorder and help overcome the disorder so that the person can live everyday life. 

    1. When you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, a person needs to focus on life's positives, not think about the negatives.
    2. They should learn to overcome their debilitating habits, such as being impulsive and focusing on the bad things that happen to avoid further instances of negative things happening.
    3. They should try to cut their negative thoughts by noticing them when they occur and not letting them consume them, forcing them to focus on more positive thoughts that will make them feel happier.
    4. They should try to avoid working in jobs that don't ensure they are being fulfilled in their personal lives and instead work on their passions. By doing this, it will be possible for them to live a more fulfilling life and feel happy.
    5. They should surround themselves with positive people who will be there for them and make positive changes in their life.
    6. They must exit the relationship with the narcissist if it is impossible for them to live with the person because of their personality disorder. If a person cannot get out of an abusive relationship, they should seek therapy and counseling to overcome their disorders to live a better life.
    7. They should learn to take control of their life more and try to make the best of their situations.
    8. They must join support groups to improve their mental health.


    Narcissistic abuse is a condition that can have a devastating effect on the victim; it can make their lives so full of misery that they can't see the benefits of living a normal life. The effects of narcissistic abuse are often intense and can result in a person experiencing the symptoms associated with ADHD. 

    A person with ADHD suffering from narcissistic abuse will find that they may be living in fear, always wanting to please other people, and unable to work towards achieving their goals and dreams. 

    Thus, it is imperative for people who are suffering from narcissistic abuse to seek professional help and take control of their lives.


    What Are The Stages Of Narcissistic Abuse?

    The stages of narcissistic abuse are often called the "cycle of abuse." A victim of narcissistic abuse will have experienced their abuser first controlling them, then pleasing them and abusing them again. 

    Narcissistic abuse can often occur in a cycle, and the abuser will be in control of the victim and make them feel as though they are worthless. The abuser can control the victim differently, and the abuse often starts with criticism and sarcasm. 

    The abuser will be passive-aggressive, starting fights and being aggressive at times. The abuser will try to control the victim to feel better about themselves. The cycle of abuse is a complicated cycle to break because it often takes place over a long period, usually years. 

    This kind of abuse is very long and traumatic because it doesn't happen once or twice. It is a severe form of abuse, and the victim needs professional help to get out of the toxic relationship.

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