What I am:

My name is Dana, and I’m a survivor of Narcissistic abuse, a former advocate at a domestic violence shelter, and am currently a psychiatric nurse, blogger, YouTuber, budding writer, hard-core animal lover, avid reader, and Michigan lake “rat” (at least as much as my very limited time allows).  I’ve spent close to twenty years now working in various capacities with a wide variety of people with personality/conduct disorders and/or mental illnesses, victims of all forms of abuse, as well as those with other types of health challenges.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire people to live their best life. And if they are victims of any form of abuse to go from victim to survivor to “thriver”.

I focus on finding, distributing, and creating information that helps people to understand what they went through, and ideally how to rebuild their lives after it. Pretty much all the info I put out is my opinion on things, so take it for what it’s worth, nothing more, nothing less.

I’ve also come to realize that I need to unapologetically me.  I do this in part by being transparent about my experiences and lessons learned with the hopes that you can gain some hope and healing by hearing about what I went through, and seeing my scars so that you know you aren’t alone in all this.

You may or may not agree with the material I have here. You may or may not like me and my approach. And that’s okay.

I encourage you to hold onto what works, and let the rest go.

What I am not:

I may be many things, but I am not a therapist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or an attorney.

I talk about manipulative, destructive, and dangerous people and their behaviors. Many of these behaviors would be considered to fall within the realm of Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorders.

However, my focus isn’t on these personality disorders per se, it’s on the behaviors of highly manipulative, destructive, and/or dangerous people–regardless of what you want to call them (Narcissists, Antisocials, Sociopaths, Psychopaths, assholes, or nut jobs).

I do not diagnose others with any type of mental illness or personality disorders, and I don’t give legal advice.

I also do not consider myself to be an expert on Narcissism or Antisocial Personality Disorder.  If anything, I consider myself to be a student of behavior, mindset, motivation, self-help, and life in general.


So with all that said, I sincerely wish you all the health and healing possible on this next chapter in your life.

~ Dana <3 



  1. Hi Dusty,

    You bring up a great point, and I need to go back and put some sort of message on each of my red flag videos for this reason. We all have some of these red flags. What I encourage people to do is once they see them, to gather more info and then make a more informed decision about this person. Because as you mentioned, there’s multiple reasons as to why a person could have these certain red flags. …I am going through a bankruptcy and a foreclosure, it doesn’t mean I’m a Narcissist, it just means life happened fast and I couldn’t react fast enough. I also have a past with rushing intimacy. I hate small talk, and like to know the core of who a person is. I did a video on a helpful question to ask yourself (that someone had asked in a support form)–I think the video is called something like, “Why you are attracted to Narcissists” or something like that) and since that realization, I’ve been made more aware that I do this, and why, and now I am slowing it down.

  2. Hi Dana, I have just watched a couple of your videos and was hoping I could run a situation by to get an outside perspective. I have a friend who demonstrates some troubling behavior from time to time that smacks of narcissism. However, he does other things that demonstrates his compassion for others. I am very confused as to whether or not he has NPD or if he may just be more selfish and self-absorbed than your average person. To make this a little more clear, I’m going to include a list of the most salient behaviors on both sides of the coin:

    Very charming, witty, and entertaining
    Expresses marginal interest in the interests’ of others
    Lashes out when frustrated and ‘goes for the jugular’
    Cheated on girlfriend with prostitutes
    Sends me (a recovering heroin addict) pictures of him with Fentanyl patches (strong opioid)
    Expresses passion, love, and vulnerability when discussing problems with his girlfriend yet makes a sport out of talking about how stupid and irresponsible she is on other occasions (laughs uproariously)
    Sends me pictures of him all the time living a lavish lifestyle, knowing I am a struggling grad student
    Shared my personal information with other people socially (HIV status)

    Allows drug addicts (his girlfriend was one of them) to live in his house. The maybe comes in because they could all help him acquire drugs.
    Represented me for free on two heroin possession charges
    Paid me a lot of money to work for him

    My instincts are telling me I am dealing with a self-absorbed person who is not dangerous to me, but who is someone I should definitely not open myself up to emotionally. What do you think? I am still rebuilding my self-esteem after being a heroin addict (sober 2.5 years now), so I need some feedback.

    Thank you and best wishes,


  3. Hi Matt,

    First off, congrats on being clean and sober for 2.5 years! Yay you! 😀

    …I would encourage you to focus less on the label and more on the behavior in both him…and you. Is he a Narcissist? Perhaps. The label doesn’t matter as much as how his behavior affects you. If he is continually causing you stress and strife, then I would encourage you to distance yourself from him, as this is not an empowering, positive friendship. Your part in this is to examine your own boundaries and why you keep contact (or at least regular contact) with this person. Most all of us struggle with understanding our boundaries, let alone defining them. In order to get an idea of what is healthy for you, it can help to examine your feelings when you are around different people. If you are feeling stress, anxiety, depression, or any other negativity, it’s a sign that YOU are violating YOUR boundaries. …This is a very important distinction to make, as most of us think that other people violate our boundaries, when in fact, other people don’t know where our boundaries are, only we do. Follow your feelings of what is healthy (healthy=empowering/positive for you and others) and I think you will have a better idea of how to proceed. I hope that helps. <3

  4. Hi Dana,

    Thank you, that was very helpful. Defining boundaries is definitely something I can work on, and paying attention to how I feel in general around a particular person will be beneficial as well. I have a bad habit of trying to analyze things and define things, forgetting that my instincts are the result of learning experiences acquires over millennia! Thank you for bringing that back into mind!

    Best wishes,


  5. Yes, I would strongly encourage you to pay attention to how you feel about things–as well as to be continually asking yourself, “How would a person who valued themselves act in this situation?” The answer to the question will go a long way in helping you to define and refine how you act and what are empowering actions for you to take. 🙂

  6. Hi, Dana!

    I just want to say that your videos are incredibly helpful. I have been watching them on YouTube all morning and, while I’m not in a romantic relationship with a narcissist (Thank, God!), I have come to realize that a ‘close’ friend of mine is. I found a lot of what you have said thus far (I’m about to watch Video #11) to be very applicable to her and am astonished how much she reflects the behaviors that you describe. I am definitely proceeding in this friendship with extreme caution! {I also emailed you before I saw that I could message you here.} Thanks again for using your experiences to help others. Perhaps you could do a series geared specifically to non-romantic relationships with a narcissist? [Unless you already have and I haven’t gotten to it quite yet! LOL!]

  7. I’ve been toying around with the idea of doing a series that is more for family dynamics/friendships–maybe that will happen down the road. 🙂 …My concern with your comment is that you have a Narcissist in your life at all. I like to view these people as a fire that we can’t miss. However, when a Narcissist is present, there has generally been smoke (other problematic people/situations) for a long time. Narcissists show up when we have boundaries that need some work (and most all of our boundaries could use work because healthy boundaries aren’t taught–and they rarely are demonstrated during childhood).

    I encourage you to look within and to ask yourself why this problematic person is still in your life. Is it loneliness? Is it attention? Is it someone to do things with? Whatever answer you come up with, realize that is a potential vulnerability for you right now–and if you are vulnerable to one problematic person, you will be vulnerable to others. Keep healthy boundaries with this person, and just know that if they are manipulative, then they can’t ever be trusted as they don’t tell the truth. (((HUGS)))

  8. This person came into my life innocuously. The friendship developed seemingly normally, though I will say that based on my situation with moving frequently because of my husband’s job, this person and I had communication almost exclusively via text and social media. For me, I would say that because I am definitely an extrovert, I am friendly with everyone and this person was no exception. When this person returned the friendliness, I thought nothing odd or that there were any unhealthy boundaries or lines being crossed. So, to round-about answer your question, I wasn’t lonely or needing attention per se; it was simply my interpretation (at first) thinking that this person was an extrovert like myself and just very friendly. It took nearly 3 years for me to really see the true character of this person. And, when I finally realized that the friendship had changed in certain ways, then I started to question what were this person’s true motives/intentions. Another friend of mine had a conversation with me (over the phone) discussing “Friend A” and my long-time friend {Friend B} suggested that Friend A was a narcissist—Friend B has never met Friend B and only made this suggestion based on what I had told Friend B had transpired thus far with Friend A. My “Friend B” has had extensive therapy and knows how to spot narcissistic behaviors and that’s where my Light Bulb Moment happened. From there, I started doing google searching on the subject and stumbled upon your AWESOME videos which confirmed that Friend A was indeed an narcissist and that I need not be close with Friend A. I do appreciate you taking the time to respond and reaffirm and encourage me to not maintain the friendship with that person. Thank you again! Sending you a giant hug back!!! 🙂

  9. Hello Dana

    I came across one of your codependency videos on youtube.

    I am a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, and have a few questions for you. I could not find direct contact info for you, but would love to discuss an idea with you.

    Please reach out to me at ari.l@pxprehab.com

    Thank you


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