When a narcissist abuses, an echoist suffers

Communities of victims of narcissistic abuse are pushing for awareness and recognition of their suffering.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
When a narcissist abuses, an echoist suffers - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Too often, we are people-pleasers. But when a people-pleaser is in the environment of a narcissist, they could be abused into being an echoist.

Echoism is the condition that arises from being in a toxic, abusive relationship with a narcissist, who could be a partner, parent, friend or sibling.

Sufferers live in all-consuming fear of their abuser, and lose their sense of self -- the process of "echoing", reflecting their abuser and overlooking their own needs.

While there is a stark lack of awareness of echoism in the mental health community, it affects thousands.

The Echo Society UK was also founded by counsellor Arlo McCloskey as a support group for victims of the abuse across Britain. It offers one-on-one counselling, outreach workshops and runs events for sufferers.

Details from the story:

  • Echoism was first coined in 2005 by psychoanalyst Dean Davis to describe the process victims of narcissistic abuse go through.
  • The term was popularised by psychologist Dr Craig Malkin, who published a book on the subject in 2015, called Rethinking Narcissism.
  • Victims will face relentless manipulation and abuse by someone with narcissistic tendencies, while losing their own sense of self, security and confidence.
  • While the condition is little known, an online forum for echoists and survivors of narcissistic abuse has 21,000 members, according to a Broadly investigation.
  • Meanwhile, an online test for narcissism and echoism has been taken over 100,000 times, whilst Reddit support group /r/raisedbynarcissists has 328,000 subscribers.
  • Communities of survivors are trying to raise awareness of the obscure condition and have their suffering officially recognised.
  • While more research is needed, psychotherapist Donna Christin Savery hypothesises that women may be more likely to unintentionally look for narcissistic partners.
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