To be acknowledged and loved is the primary need of any human being. A fair amount of confidence and self-esteem are needed in making us feel secure enough to be worthy of affection. However, for narcissists, the need for admiration is at a whole new level.
Narcissistic personality disorder is as prevalent as depression in our times. If you feel people call you arrogant or manipulative and an attention-hog behind your back more times than on your face, it could be due to your narcissism.
Characterized by a highly inflated sense of self-importance, zero empathy for others, and a great craving for praise, narcissists are vain with no sense of guilt about being one. Being one doesn’t just affect your personal or social lives but your health too.
Ways Narcissism Affects Your Health
Narcissistic individuals are high-strung and want to be in charge every time. Their desire for power frequently manifests as rude and dominating behavior. They are always in a ‘fight or flight mode so, it’s not surprising that their adrenaline levels are higher than normal. Here are the consequences of being high on narcissism.
1. Leaves You Vulnerable To Depression
Narcissism and depression almost always co-exist. Many a time a past history of loss of a loved one or possession leads to the development of narcissism. On the other hand, a full-fledged narcissist needs the admiration from others like oxygen for survival. In the absence of which they wallow in self-pity and depression.1
2. Makes You Prone To Substance Abuse
Psychologists refer to narcissism as an extreme addiction to esteem. Several scientific studies claim that narcissists are more likely to be addicted to some form of substance abuse. They often indulge in drug abuse when they are doing activities that demand a lot of concentration. This is also linked to their innate need of proving that they can handle anything better than others.
Unfortunately, people with the narcissistic disorder have a hard time owning up to their addiction and even seeking therapy for it. This is because of their egomaniacal nature and superiority complex.2
3. Increases Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Studies have revealed that high levels of cortisol or stress hormone are found in the bodies of people with narcissistic personality disorder. The hormone if present for prolonged duration can cause heart functioning to alter and eventually weakens the heart. Stress is undoubtedly one of the major contributors to cardiovascular disease.3
4. Heightens Your Chances Of Hypertension
Being constantly bothered about how one should gain more power in life by being superior is not a peaceful state to be in. Even if you are a narcissist who follows a healthy diet and exercise regime, the stress of wanting to be in the limelight can take a toll on you.
High blood pressure is very common in such individuals because the mental strain they are going through on a daily basis releases adrenaline every time. This hormone is known for constricting blood vessels and spiking the blood pressure to abnormal levels.
5. Robs You Of Restful Sleep
Due to various lifestyle choices and mental stress, many narcissists complain of inability to get some well-rested sleep. The sad part is many narcissists who have insomnia also try to disturb other from catching some shut-eye out of sheer envy. Insomnia if left untreated can cause a progressive decline in the functioning of the brain, digestive system, and other vital organs.4
The negative effects narcissism can have on your health should remind you to shake yourself up a bit. It’s important that you practice humility and compassion in your daily life can help you in giving a new perspective at your disorder. If you think you need help, let nothing stop you from seeking it.
|↑1||Fava, M., A. H. Farabaugh, A. H. Sickinger, E. Wright, J. E. Alpert, S. Sonawalla, A. A. Nierenberg, and J. J. Worthington Iii. “Personality disorders and depression.” Psychological Medicine 32, no. 6 (2002): 1049-1057.|
|↑2||Baumeister, Roy F., and Kathleen D. Vohs. “Narcissism as addiction to esteem.” Psychological Inquiry 12, no. 4 (2001): 206-210.|
|↑3||Smith, George Davey, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, Andrew Beswick, John Yarnell, Stafford Lightman, and Peter Elwood. “Cortisol, testosterone, and coronary heart disease.” Circulation 112, no. 3 (2005): 332-340.|
|↑4||Colton, H. R., and B. M. Altevogt. “Extent and health consequences of chronic sleep loss and sleep disorders.” Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Retrieved from: books. nap. edu/openbook/0309101115. gifmid/55. gif (2006).|