How Long Does It Take To Recover From Narcissistic Abuse?

How long does it take to recover from Narcissistic Abuse? The emotional healing process may take longer than physical healing, as there are ointments for external wounds but there is no better medication than time for internal emotional wounds.

The duration of emotional healing varies as it is dependent on an individual’s environment, circumstances, and the amount of support they get. Thus let us find out, “How long does it take to recover from Narcissistic Abuse?” in general.

To know the healing period, one must understand what kind of abuse they are going through; is it physical abuse, mental abuse, or emotional abuse? This article specifically discusses the details of narcissistic abuse, which may be inclusive of emotional, physical, and psychological harm.

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is emotional abuse. Narcissists put their victims through emotional turmoil that includes criticisms, accusations, threats, and torture. Narcissists may play mind games with their victims by applying all sorts of manipulative tactics that include gaslighting, withholding affection, silent treatments, holding back money and resources, lying, cheating, and more. This completely nasty treatment is termed narcissistic abuse.

Narcissistic abuse is all about controlling their victim’s actions, thoughts, and conduct along with obtaining their narcissistic supply. It is a win-win situation for the narcissist, as they achieve multiple benefits by putting their victims into chronic abusive situations.

The abuse can also be physical, as some narcissists may also resort to physical harm. But the chances of physical harm are slim, narcissistic abuse majorly includes emotional and psychological harm or damage.

The end goal of narcissistic abuse is to establish control, and power and obtain what they desire the most(the narcissistic supply).

Signs of Narcissistic Abuse

There may be different signs of abuse as they may depend upon the type of narcissist you are dealing with, yet here are some generic signs of narcissistic abuse,

  • Emotional and Verbal Abuse
  • Attempts to isolate you from others
  • Constant Criticism and Insults
  • Invasion of Privacy
  • Arrogant and superior attitude
  • Love Bombing
  • People Pleasing Behavior

Narcissistic abuse also includes being the victim of manipulative tactics like hoovering, mirroring, gaslighting, hoarding, hogging the chats, ignoring boundaries, exploitation, playing the victim, arrogance, constant competitiveness, lack of empathy, threats, projecting insecurities, and invasion of privacy.

How long does it take to recover from Narcissistic Abuse?

Recovery and healing take time, and thus there is no set time for healing or recovering through narcissistic abuse. Everyone may have a different period of recovery and thus it may depend on various factors.

Everything can be tough initially, the trauma may seem never-ending and you may keep revisiting the traumatic memories. Narcissists make sure that their victims remain in a relationship with them for as long as possible and thus form a trauma bond with them.

Trauma bonding is a type of emotional bond that the narcissist forms in the form of emotional attachment, that may develop from repetitive traumatic and manipulative behavioral experiences.

As you start to heal from the abuse, eventually the process eases and you may be able to see the light of day soon. Your gloomy days are about to end and thus your future starts to feel secure again as you may gain that self-esteem and self-confidence again.

Some people may take a few weeks, some people may take months while for some this may take a few years too.

Emotional healing is influenced by factors like commitment to self-care, support system, personal belief, faith in oneself, the hope of getting better, resilience, and a strong will to get past the dark days to the bright and better days.

How long does it take to recover from Narcissistic Abuse?So the precise answer here can be determined with factors like how long the victim was with the abuser and what kind of relationship they shared. It might take longer to heal from a closely related relationship like that of narcissistic parents and children, while with a short-term romantic relationship or a fling, the healing period is less.

Narcissistic Abuse - Signs, Examples, and Effects

Why is it hard to recover from narcissistic abuse?

Narcissistic abuse can leave a person perplexed about their thoughts, and they may keep going back and forth between the thoughts like the person is their soulmate and no they are toxic.

The victims of narcissistic abuse may blame themselves for the dysfunctional relationship and may be stuck in the constant uncertainty of whether to go back to the toxic relationship or be free. This happens as the narcissist breaks their victim’s self-confidence and self-esteem which leads to self-doubt.

The victims of narcissistic abuse may have doubts like,

  • “Is it me, that the relationship was put in jeopardy?”
  • “Are my efforts falling short?”
  • “Will I ever find love now?”

The narcissistic cycle of Abuse leaves the person experiencing emptiness, deep scars, and a long-lost connection with the world. Narcissists have a very negative impact on their partners and thus their partners find it hard to recognize genuine feelings once they are out of the toxic narcissistic cycle of abuse.

How long do the effects of narcissistic abuse last? – Factors affecting the healing process

There is no specific time that can be generalized as healing is very intimate and a personal experience, which can take weeks, months, years, or more.

If you are struggling to manage your anger, self-doubt, confusion, shame, guilt, or such negative emotions then it is a sign that you are still in the healing process and you may still need to continue the process of self-healing.

There are various factors on which healing may depend,

Your support system

The stronger the support system the lesser the chances that you may go back to the toxic relationship for support, care, love, and companionship. If you are isolated then the healing process will slow down drastically or you may also be stuck in a loop of self-doubt, confusion, and negative emotions.

What is a support system?

While going through a tough time, you may need ample support from your loved ones. Your support system can include friends, family, acquaintances, or anyone you can trust with your life and rely on.

Such people would be able to provide reassurance and would have your back no matter what. If you live away from your family, try connecting with people who may be available to you where you are. Try connecting with an online support group if you may, or also try to be emotionally strong and independent.

The severity of narcissistic abuse

No abuse is justifiable, yet actions that may harm you physically or are life-threatening can harm the victim even for a lifetime. Narcissistic rage can give you nightmares, and thus complex and hazardous abuse can be challenging to recover from.


Childhood trauma can especially be harmful, as it may haunt the victims for a lifetime according to a few research provided by mental health experts. Thus children of narcissistic parents may have low self-esteem, have relationship and trust issues, and may have lifelong traumatic episodes.

The length of your relationship

The longer the relationship the longer time it may take for the victims to heal. One must invest a significant amount of time to get their life back on track, and thus the healing process can be longer, needs patience, and may also take a toll on your physical health as you may be figuring out many aspects of life all at once after parting ways with the narcissist.

Your mental health

If you are already influenced and inclined towards weak mental health, then by the time you may part ways with the narcissist you may or can be a victim of depression, anxiety, and stress.

Narcissistic abuse would or is capable of magnifying the versions of the already existing mental health issues.

The status of your relationship

Going no-contact or just disappearing leaving no traces may accelerate the healing process. To move past any traumatic event one must find ways to get closure and deal with it with an open heart and mind. Healing only starts once you leave the abusive relationship and detach yourself from the toxic person.

But in some cases you may have to maintain contact with the narcissist due to situations like co-parenting, a colleague, or a parent; then in such cases, the healing process can be affected as you may still be in contact with them.

The only way here is, to build and maintain strong boundaries.

Your ability to identify the abuse

The most important aspect of healing is to understand and realize the fact that you are being abused and also understand how it is not normal. Then comes the task of recognizing the patterns of abuse, the ways through which it is created and the toxic atmosphere it creates, the harmful effects, and the negative impacts on your well-being.

So if you can label the behavior, you are more likely to recognize the toxicity and may be able to leave effortlessly.

Do you ever fully recover from narcissistic abuse?

Well, it is harder than you think and thus a complete recovery can be an overstatement in this case. You may never be able to judge whether or not you are completely past the abuse and the intrusive memories.

However, some research proves that this is not an overstatement and it is possible to heal completely from trauma and abuse up to the extent that it may no longer affect your lifestyle and wellbeing, though it may take more time with a lot of patience and perseverance.

Healing cannot be achieved single-handedly and thus you may require support from family, friends and also seeking professional help may help you to accelerate the process and guide you to the right methods and paths.

Healing is not a single path or a one-way road, it is a roundabout or a bumpy road and thus it may take longer to heal up to the extent that it may no longer affect your life. In the initial phases of healing, you may still get flashbacks of daunting memories, anxiety, and nightmares due to the troubled past from time to time.

But all of this gets better with time, help, and consistency.

All in all, it is important to remember that healing does not come with a single-day effort, and it needs consistency and various methods.

What type of narcissistic abuse is most damaging?

All types of abuse are toxic and harmful. Narcissists o not stick to one strategy of abuse, rather they switch on different methods to keep their victims in the loop of abuse.

Thus here are some severe types of narcissistic abuse that may be damaging to the core,


Gaslighting is a technique that can allow an abuser to create such an atmosphere where the victims question their reality and it forces the victims to doubt their sanity. Gaslighting is a pattern of abuse or manipulation used by manipulators, abusers, narcissists, or people who wish to always have control over situations and their victims. Thus chronic gaslighting can

Physical/Sexual Violence

Emotional abuse can be traumatic, but the abuse becomes life-threatening when it is physical and sexual abuse. Such abuses can even lead to death as victims may be put in greater danger by their abusers.


Threats that include hurting the victim can be dangerous. The threats need to be taken even more seriously if in the past the abuser may have acted on making such threats into a reality.

How to get back to normal after narcissistic abuse?

Healing takes effort, time, and self-compassion.

Healing is the process of becoming healthy both mentally and physically. Healing alleviates and eradicates mental illness, and physical illness and increases energy flow.

There may be many changes in yourself, you may lose your loved ones, and you may fall and get up many times, but one thing is for sure healing will make you stronger and stronger.

Here are some ways to get back to normal after narcissistic abuse,

  • Connect with like-minded individuals
  • Remember your truth
  • Practice self-love
  • Repeat your affirmations
  • Maintain your boundaries

Signs You Are Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

  • You can smell the freedom
  • You look happy and healthy
  • You can reminiscence your good old habits
  • You start enjoying your own company and your attitude toward life changes
  • Your life starts seeming carefree
  • Your smile does not leave your face
  • You become social again
  • You become more confident with life
  • Physical and mental health issues tend to disappear
  • You start feeling all the emotions
  • You allow yourself time to heal and feel the grief

Final Thoughts

Emotional, Mental, and physical Healing becomes very important when you depart ways with a narcissist. A narcissistic relationship tends to deteriorate your mental, physical, and emotional health along with decreasing your confidence, willpower to live, and the simple joys of life.

Healing takes effort, time, and self-compassion.

Healing is the process of becoming healthy both mentally and physically. Healing alleviates and eradicates mental illness, and physical illness and increases energy flow.

Recovery and healing take time, and thus there is no set time for healing or recovering through narcissistic abuse.

Some people may take a few weeks, some people may take months while for some this may take a few years too.

Ella Carrillo

Ella Carrillo

Hey Reader, I am Ella, an Online and Offline Therapist holding an experience of 6 years in this field. From Relationship, Depression, and Personality Disorder to Narcissistic problems, I have helped a lot of people find their solutions. Upon gathering a number of common problems that people face, I decided to put the information on this blog so that anyone can get their answers easily.

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