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Narcissistic Abuse Can Cause Adrenal Fatigue

If you are recovering from narcissistic abuse, you might be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals, which are pyramid shaped glands located at the top of each of your kidneys, excrete hormones including cortisol and adrenaline into your body when you are stressed out or in fight or flight mode.

Many individuals who are enduring narcissistic abuse are constantly hyper aroused due to being in unstable psychologically abusive environments. Living in a constant trauma response or fear mode can deplete your adrenals significantly.

Adrenal Fatigue and Narcissistic Abuse
Adrenal Fatigue and Narcissistic Abuse

The following are symptoms you may be experiencing if you have adrenal fatigue.

-Increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma

-Difficulty getting up in the morning

-Continuing fatigue not relieved by sleep

-Craving for salt or salty food

-Lethargy (lack of energy)

-Increased effort to do every day tasks

-Decreased sex drive

-Decreased ability to handle stress

-Light headed when standing up quickly

-Mild depression

-Less enjoyment or happiness with life

-Increased PMS

-Symptoms increase if meals are skipped or inadequate

-Thoughts less focused, more fuzzy

-Memory less accurate

-Decreased tolerance (more irritable)

-Don’t really wake up until 10AM

-Afternoon low between 3PM & 4PM

-Feels better after evening meal

-Decreased productivity

If you are experiencing these symptoms – there are a few things you can do to help your adrenals recover.

1. Adjust your diet to more nutrient rich food to help your adrenals replenish. The following are foods that are good for your adrenals.

a. Bright colored veggies including red beats, gold beats, chard, spinach, radishes, carrots, green beans, celery, asparagus, red peppers, gold peppers, green peppers, sweet potatoes, squash, cucumber, purple cabbage, corn, broccoli.

b. Salt is critical in treating adrenal fatigue -table salt, sea salt, and salty foods including fresh sea weed and olives.

c. Try to stay away from eating too many foods made with white flour. Too much white flour strips your body of nutrients.

Adrenal fatigue can occur when you have lost your personal power and you are obsessing over fixing a toxic relationship. Thoughts about this toxic person who is draining your energy can quite literally activate your amygdala and put your body in alert mode. Changing your beliefs about your current life situation and reframing your thoughts can actually help you recover from adrenal fatigue.

Write down on a piece of paper your current belief about your situation then write down your new belief on your life situation.

For example: Current belief = I am very sensitive and being around a narcissist is scary/ triggering/ painful

New belief = Narcissists do not trigger me at all. I am a master at navigating narcissistic behavior and I am not affected by the abuse/ comments/ sarcasm/ passive aggressiveness one bit. I will not be a doormat and tolerate their abuse. I will stand up for myself and strive for peace in my life. Narcissists do not get an emotional reaction out of me. I am getting out of this abusive situation.

If you truly believe this new belief, you will be empowered, decrease the amount of time in fight or flight, and your adrenals will have a chance to recover.

Taking the time to relax and activate your parasympathetic state will also help your adrenals recover. The following exercises are very good for relaxation:



-Massage Therapy


-Listening to binaural beats

-Listening to calm music

-Progressive muscle relaxation


-Breathing techniques

-Grounding exercises

Time in a safe and healing environment will also give your adrenals the opportunity to heal.

In my opinion the absolute worst symptom of suffering from adrenal fatigue is increased time recovering from illness. If you catch a virus while struggling with adrenal fatigue it can take you weeks or even months to recover. You can lose out on thousands of dollars due to not being able to work. When you cannot recover from a virus, sometimes it can turn into an upper respiratory infection/ throat infection and cause a lot of physical pain.

Adrenal fatigue is something that needs to be addressed and if you don’t take the time to heal and recover, unfortunately there will be major consequences.

Please purchase the book Adrenal Fatigue by James Wilson to learn more about this condition and how to recover. Information from this book was used to write this blog post. Do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. Take your healing seriously.

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