Off Label Patterns That Reveal Narcissism (part III of III)

Maria Anna van Driel
3 min readSep 16, 2022

“You are a bad person if you respond poorly to me”

When we search for a clinical explanation about the topic of narcissism we find very strong identifiers that we can zero in on. Identifiers like pathological self-absorption, an inflated ego, and a sense of entitlement. False confidence illustrates that these individuals are living behind a false front. But also ‘them’ displaying impaired empathy or a willingness to exploit other people prone to exaggerated emotions both positive (they either love you) and negative (they may hate you). But their manipulative mind games go further than that and are often unnoticed.

Photo source: Darlene Lancer “How to Spot Narcissistic Abuse”

As I let it shine through in parts I and II of this trilogy, all narcissists subject their victims to a very severe form of psychological abuse known as ‘reactive abuse’. Reactive abuse happens when you, the victim of the narcissistic abuse, are showing a reaction to the abuse you are exposed to. The narcissist will try to convince you and other people that you are the actual abuser because of your reaction.

They do this to use as proof that you are mentally ill, unstable, or crazy. And, if it is successful, the true abuser is actually able to convince you that the abuse you are subjected to is your fault. Over time you will become more and more dependent on your abuser’s interpretation of reality instead of your perceptions and experiences. It grooms into conditions to you feeling deep levels of guilt and shame about yourself.

Those who have been or are mentally abused can get angry or frustrated pretty easily. Therefore, it is important to understand that when a trauma shows up and it reveals itself as a reaction, sometimes, those reactions can look pretty intense. Also, people who are being exposed to any abuse for a long period of time, usually for years or decades, are living in a flight-flight survival mode. And when a human being is in this state the brain is exclusively focused on survival. When we are in this state we cannot even access the logical part of the brain. So, our reactions can seem pretty intense or out of proportion. So, please keep that in mind if you have a loved one who has been mentally and/or physically abused.

Therefore, in part II of my article “Off Label Patterns That Reveal Narcissism” I give you 15 different off-label indicators that will give you an idea of how extensive narcissistic manipulate and mental abuse can be.

Read the full article on the website of CPTSD Foundation:



Maria Anna van Driel

In 2020 I realized I was trapped in a toxic relationship since '00. In Aug. '22 I found the strength to break away, flip my life to become a psychotherapist.