About David Joel Miller

David Miller is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Counselor, faculty member at a local college, certified trainer and writer.

The Link Between Narcissism and Financial Abuse. 

The Link Between Narcissism and Financial Abuse. 

Source: Unsplash.com | By: Mathieu Stern | Rights: Free to Use

Although it’s not always the case, there is a strong correlation between narcissism and domestic violence. When a narcissist is abusive, it is most commonly referred to as narcissistic abuse. Many people may think that narcissists just use emotional or physical means to control their victims. However, there is another method used in narcissistic abuse that can be even more damaging. Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s important to shed light on one of the most common but unspoken forms of domestic violence, financial abuse. 

Narcissism. 

Narcissism, or narcissistic personality disorder, is a condition in which a person has an inflated sense of oneself. This is often paired with a lack of empathy and a need for an excessive amount of attention and admiration. Narcissists tend to be motivated by extrinsic factors such as money, power, and status. Because of this, narcissists struggle immensely with intimate relationships.

Narcissistic Abuse.

Often, dating a narcissistic person can be a troubling experience. Narcissists go after people that are the opposite of them because they are easier to control. Those people are usually more empathetic and value personal fulfillment, fairness, and friendships. Since narcissists demand special attention and to be treated as superior, they are more likely to use abuse as a means to get what they want. Common tactics used in narcissistic abuse include gaslighting, manipulation, and verbal attacks. But what is just as common, and not as visible, is the use of financial abuse. 

Financial Abuse. 

Financial abuse involves controlling a victim’s ability to make, access, or use any of their own money. Money is one of the most powerful ways to trap a victim. The Center for Financial Security found that 99% of domestic abuse victims experience some form of financial abuse. Narcissists use money as a way to make their partners feel dependent and inferior. By restricting their partner’s access to money, the victim is forced to become reliant on their abuser, since they have no resources to leave. Financial abuse is also the most common reason people return to their abuser, yet, many don’t notice financial abuse in their lives. 

Money as a Weapon. 

Many narcissists associate money and status with power. Because of this, money is often used as a weapon to gain control over the relationship. Some common ways narcissistic abusers control their victims are by withholding their finances, stealing their money, sabotaging their credit, or preventing them from getting a job. Doing this causes the victim to be reliant on their abuser and prevents them from obtaining any financial or personal freedom. 

What to Do if You Suspect Financial Abuse.

Some narcissistic abusers don’t make financial abuse obvious. Many narcissists will even lie about their financial situation, or take control over your money without you knowing. One way to check if you are being financially abused is by looking at a credit score report or bank statement. 

Unfortunately, credit scores play a huge factor in financial freedom. Purchases that allow you to be safe and independent, such as buying a home, require specific credit score ranges. Abusers know this and will try to damage your score by opening lines of credit with your name and creating massive debt on your account. You can get a free credit report to see if there are any discrepancies in your credit. Likewise, if you notice big withdrawals from your bank account or purchases made without your consent, it could be a good indicator that you are being financially abused. 

Leaving Abuse. 

Narcissistic financial abuse is a serious matter. It can cause many to go into severe poverty and prevent victims from escaping their situations. Your safety is more important than anything. If you are a victim of financial abuse, do not call out your abuser, as this can make it even more dangerous for you. Instead, talk with a trusted friend, family member, or the Domestic Violence Support Hotline about your situation to help plan your escape. No matter how bad the financial damage is, recovery is possible. There are many resources available to help guide you through this process and get you back on your feet. 

Final Thoughts. 

Many people still don’t know about narcissistic financial abuse and the long-term effects it has. Knowledge is power. To help prevent others from falling victim to financial abuse, we must first talk about it. That is why it is important, especially this coming month, that we spread awareness around this topic to help put an end to financial abuse. 

Ashamed

Ashamed. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“We need never be ashamed of our tears.”

― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“I think everybody’s weird. We should all celebrate our individuality and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it.”

― Johnny Depp

“Love is too precious to be ashamed of.”

― Laurell K. Hamilton, A Stroke of Midnight

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Shy.

Shy
Shy. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Shy.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“We look at each other with shy relief. It’s the look two odd socks give when they recognise each other in the wild.”

― Fiona Wood, Six Impossible Things

“When a shy person smiles, it’s like the sun coming out.”

― Anita Diamant, The Boston Girl

“He was painfully shy, which, as is often the manner of the painfully shy, he overcompensated for by being too loud at the wrong times.”

― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Happiness.

Happy faces
Happiness. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Happiness.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”

― Charles M. Schulz

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

― Marcel Proust

“Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.”

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Happiness

Positive Psychology

Unique.

Unique. Picture courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Unique.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”

― Walt Disney

“You have to be unique, and different, and shine in your own way.”

― Lady Gaga

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”

― Abraham Lincoln

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Egotistical.

Egotistical. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.               

Egotistical.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Conscience makes egotists of us all.”

― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistical and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind. Failure makes people bitter and cruel.”

― W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge

“Happiness is egotistical.”

― Alexandre Dumas

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Waking up early reduces depression.

Man sleeping

Sleeping person.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

When you wake up matters when it comes to depression.

We used to think that the critical factor connecting sleep and depression was the total number of hours of sleep. But when you go to bed and when you get up may also affect your mental health. It is true that people who get inadequate sleep, however much that is for them, are more likely to become depressed. Depending on your genetics and the amount of energy you expend every day, we expect people to need between seven and nine hours of sleep each day. Deviations from this norm may be connected to mental health issues.

Not enough sleep affects your mood.

Waking up tired makes you grouchy and leads to depression. The idea that you can be more productive by reducing the number of hours of sleep you get each night has turned out to do more harm than good. Being chronically sleep-deprived interferes with mental processes.

Not enough sleep makes you irritable and adds to depression. Even the traditional all-nighters before exams may be resulting in lower test scores, not better grades. Students who lay off the books the night before finals and get a good night’s rest often do better than those who try to stay up all night studying but took the test with a foggy head.

Not needing much sleep can also be a problem.

Some people have a genetic disposition that requires them to sleep less than their fellow humans. But when someone routinely sleeps less than six hours and wakes up with plenty of energy, this may be a sign of a developing mental illness. Sleeping less than normal is a key indicator for either cyclothymic disorder or one of the bipolar disorders. In those disorders is not just the reduced need for sleep; however, that makes the diagnosis. These high-energy people also act impulsively or irresponsibly and may have driven uncontrollable behavior. The lack of sleep doesn’t get them into trouble directly, but what they do while awake does.

It’s not just how much sleep but when.

Recently I’ve seen several studies tell us that night owls are more likely to be depressed. Late risers are twice as likely to become depressed as the early birds. Early risers are also more likely to be happy and optimistic. But these characteristics are not fixed. People who suddenly must stay up later at night and begin sleeping in may experience a decline in mood. This relationship works in the other direction also.

Becoming an early riser can help improve your mood.

For most types of depression, many things can help. Medication can help temporarily, but so can increasing physical activity and exercise. Changing your thinking, a major part of cognitive-behavioral therapy, can also reduce symptoms of depression. Recently we discovered that being an early riser can also reduce depression.

Deliberately shifting your sleep schedule can also improve your mood.

People who begin to deliberately get up earlier each morning and then go to bed earlier report seeing an improvement in their mood. If they suffer from some types of depression, it gets better. How much of a shift do you need to make? Waking up one hour earlier results in a significant improvement in mood.

During the pandemic, many people shifted to online schooling or working from home. There’s been an increase in people working later into the evening and then sleeping later in the morning. Surveys suggest that those people who stayed up the latest felt the emotional impacts of the pandemic more than those people who stuck with a schedule that mirrored the sun. As we get back to normal, moving back to an early to rise and early to bed lifestyle may be just the boost your mental health needs.

Sudden sleep changes may also be a sign of an oncoming mental illness.

The condition we call depression comes in two major forms. In melancholy depression, people can’t sleep. But in atypical depression, the depressed person begins to sleep for extended periods but is still tired. Of course, reduced need for sleep is often tied to a bipolar person moving into a manic or hypomanic episode.

The idea that this connection between sleep and significant emotional problems or even a mental illness can work in both directions hasn’t seen enough attention in the past. While changes in your sleep may indicate an oncoming mental illness, deliberately shifting your sleep schedule as much as possible to be an early riser may also have significant mental health benefits.

Genetics certainly play a role in both sleep cycles and the risk of developing depression. But it’s possible that something as simple as gradually shifting your sleep cycle so that you get more hours of daylight and sleep during the darkness may help improve your mood and may even reduce or prevent some forms of depression.

Have you noticed a connection between your bedtime and your mood? If you have seen an impact of sleep cycles on your mental health, please leave a comment below.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel.

Greedy.

Greedy. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Greedy.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”

― Warren Buffett

“Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.”

― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Do you have imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Could you have imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a term probably everyone has heard recently. The term, and probably its prevalence, is a lot more common now than in the past. One way to understand this is to imagine someone who looks like they have a skill, they know they’re wearing the uniform of the job, but they don’t actually know how to do what they’re supposed to do. Many people with professional credentials or who have been hired to do a particular job may feel like imposters because they lack confidence in their ability to do the job adequately.

Imposter syndrome is a common reason people seek counseling.

Officially imposter syndrome is not a recognized diagnosis. But imposter syndrome and some related conditions result in high levels of anxiety and often depression. What we used to think was that it was primarily a problem of women working in male-dominated professions. We now see this phenomenon almost universally. We find similar insecurities among children and adolescents who feel they don’t measure up and have the abilities of their classmates.

In the past studies of several professions, we found that almost 100% of people in a given vocation rated themselves as above average. However, because of higher job stress and the increasing rate of burnout, we find more people today who believe they are in over their heads and don’t measure up to the abilities of their colleagues and coworkers.

Imposter syndrome is common.

One survey concluded that roughly 75% of people in certain occupations feel like they are imposters pretending to be competent at their jobs but not really having the skills they require. Of course, many professional licenses or certifications call for only a minimum level of competency. So, when the people in a profession compare themselves to famous practitioners, they are likely to feel that they don’t measure up.

Even at elite universities and colleges, students feel like imposters. They can see other students getting all A’s apparently with these. While they may have gotten admitted, the students frantically study, trying to keep their grades up to the level of their peers. The saying at some colleges is there only two grades. You either get an A, or you get the other grade. In this way of thinking, if you’re not a straight-A student, you’re a failure.

Imposter syndrome is more than a fear of failure.

Many people experience a fear of failure. Even the most talented people sometimes fail. People with imposter syndrome not only feel like a failure, they believed they don’t measure up. The belief that you don’t have the skills or talent needed to perform the job you’re doing satisfactorily is a significant part of imposter syndrome. People with imposter syndrome believe they are essentially defective.

People with imposter syndrome feel like frauds.

They often suffer from a high level of anxiety about their job performance and life in general. Since they don’t feel capable of doing the jobs they are performing, they live in constant fear of being found out.

Imposter syndrome has increased with more online work.

Constantly being on camera, whether working from home or being a student taking online classes, has created an incredible pressure to always be perfect. Many clients I’ve worked with have reported that the stress of working online has been overwhelming. I’m hearing increasingly common reports that students become so self-conscious that they will turn their cameras off and would rather take a failing grade than have to be constantly in the view of all their classmates. Getting teased and bullied about your appearance also contributes to an increase in anxiety.

Online work isn’t the only reason for an increase in imposter syndrome.

As more and more people become accustomed to working online were developing new skills and competencies for doing work this way. I’ve seen some outstanding teaching and counseling being done in the online virtual format. I was hearing of cases of imposter syndrome well before the Covid pandemic. With 24-7 media coverage and the ability to live stream, everything anyone does can be quickly recorded and rapidly disseminated. This feeling that you can never make a mistake or misspeak has resulted in many people feeling inadequate for today’s world.

Comparing up is one reason you may experience imposter syndrome.

Social media has been especially damaging to self-esteem. Someone with ten friends on social media compares themselves to someone with 500 or 1000. That upward comparison makes you feel inadequate. Very few people ever compare themselves down to someone who only has one friend.

You can overcome imposter syndrome.

Even in high-stress jobs, people do overcome their feelings of vulnerability and beliefs that they are inadequate for the job they’re doing. Counseling can help. Working on improving your skills also contributes to overcoming the feeling. And most importantly, accepting that you’re a fallible human and sometimes will make mistakes can take you a long way towards overcoming imposter syndrome.

In an upcoming post, I want to talk to you in more detail about specific techniques you can apply to overcome insecurities, feelings you don’t measure up, and overcome imposter syndrome.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now! And more are on the way.

For these and my upcoming books, please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos, see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel.