How Living With a Narcissist Can Make You Sick


In today’s topic, we’re going to reveal how being in a narcissistic relationship can have dire consequences on one’s health and mental wellness.

Narcissism is something that we hear a lot about. But what most people don’t know is how it can affect our lives beyond just emotional well-being.

For instance, when we find ourselves stuck in narcissistic relationships, our brain’s reticular activating system gets fixated on what we believe is causing our pain. This narrow focus can make it hard for us to think clearly and fulfill our responsibilities.

That said, we’ve heard of people who have children who told them they wanted their parents to leave this relationship dynamic. But the parent just couldn’t. Honestly, it’s not their fault because their brain is just doing the thing it’s designed to do. But the problem is that they’re not conscious. That is, they’re not as aware as they think they are of the situation.

Living with a narcissist can be tough because it makes us think that all our problems come from outside. So, we forget to take care of ourselves and stop questioning our thoughts.

Instead, we get fixated on our narcissistic partner. We pay close attention to their movements, their tone, their words, and how they treat us. We strive to understand their manipulative communication, their repetitive conversations, and their justifications. And we constantly try to navigate the madness and chaos that comes with dealing with a narcissistic mind.

Over time, we develop codependency. Codependents have a way of escaping their shame by shifting their attention to others. In this specific scenario, they tend to focus on their narcissistic partner. They also keep themselves busy all the time, are overly watchful, and unquestioningly buy into stories that mostly revolve around the past.

When you’re codependent, it’s like you’re disconnected from the present moment. You find it hard to shape your future consciously because you’re stuck in the past, fixated on your trauma and the story that goes with it.

What’s more, codependency means living your life based on beliefs that were ingrained in you from childhood trauma. These beliefs center around the need to please your parents, always trying to make them happy, agreeing with them, and letting them interfere in your life. You start internalizing their sadness, letting it affect how you see yourself.

In a nutshell, codependency stops you from fully embracing the present, hampers your personal growth, and keeps you tangled up in the stories of your past.

When you’re codependent, your inner child takes the reins of your life. It might seem like the grown-up version of you is dealing with the narcissist. But truth be told, it’s often your inner child calling the shots.

In these situations involving narcissists, we can’t help but feel powerless. It can feel like we’re little kids again, falling prey to the narcissist’s manipulation. Walking on eggshells becomes our new normal.

Little do we know that we’re trapped in the past where we learned that staying silent, not asserting ourselves, and constantly pleasing others was the only way to navigate life. The fear of burdening others and the inability to stand up for ourselves prevent us from putting our well-being first.

This is because narcissists have this uncanny ability to control our thoughts, emotions, and focus. They know how to manipulate and exploit our insecurities, fears, and vulnerabilities to maintain their power over us.

When we were kids, speaking up usually meant getting hurt, didn’t it? So we learned to stay quiet and let things cool off for a bit.

And that’s why our subconscious mind kicks in and prevents us from confronting narcissistic people. It’s its way to protect us from dealing with them.

However, we find ourselves stuck in this toxic cycle where our stress keeps piling up because incidents involving the narcissistic person keep happening. Then, there’s a period of trying to make things right with them, only for the stress to come back again because the situation has not changed.

This whole push-pull dynamic is really bad for our well-being. Unfortunately, most of us don’t even realize the impact it has on us.

We fail to see how our cortisol levels shoot up, how our immune system gets compromised, and how we’re constantly focused on the narcissist who keeps triggering our fight-or-flight response.

Our brains are constantly wired for stress and survival mode when dealing with a narcissist. So, it’s no surprise that being in a narcissistic relationship can lead to chronic stress.

Let’s talk about stress.

Some stress can be beneficial, you know? It triggers the release of adrenaline, which can help us be more productive and better at problem-solving. But when stress becomes chronic, which means you’re in a state of stress for a long time, it’s unhealthy.

Chronic stress happens when our body is exposed to stressors so frequently or intensely that our autonomic nervous system can’t activate the relaxation response regularly. As a result, our body stays in a constant state of physiological arousal.

This affects every system in our body, either directly or indirectly. Keep in mind that our bodies are designed to deal with short-lived acute stress. But when stress lingers for a long time, it becomes a bigger challenge.

Chronic stress can become overwhelming and take a toll on your physical and mental well-being. It can cause all sorts of issues like trouble sleeping, anxiety, elevated blood pressure levels, muscle pain, and even weaken our immune system.

This kind of stress can also impact your daily life. Research even shows that chronic stress can contribute to major illnesses like heart disease, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, and obesity.

Chronic stress is sneaky; sometimes it’s hard to even recognize it. It’s like this constant presence that becomes so familiar that it feels normal.

So, keep an eye out for some signs that might indicate chronic stress, like being moody or irritable often, feeling overwhelmed by even the tiniest inconveniences, worrying all the time, getting sick frequently, resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms like alcohol, and feeling like you never have time to take care of yourself or pursue your passions.

But we’ll be honest. When you’re in a narcissistic relationship, it’s even tougher to notice that you are already in a state of chronic stress since the stress just keeps coming. And your narcissistic partner’s behavior? Well, it’s all over the place! So, you never know when the next source of stress will pop up.

It’s like you’re living in a constant state of being on alert, always afraid of what’s coming next. That kind of chaos can be very detrimental to your mental and emotional well-being. It can leave you feeling exhausted, anxious, and trapped in this never-ending cycle of trying to please your narcissistic partner, which you now know is unhealthy.

This kind of situation also takes a toll on your relationships with others, as chronic stress can make you more irritable, sensitive, and less empathetic towards others. This can lead to strained relationships and even isolation from friends and family who may not understand the dynamics of a narcissistic relationship.

So, when we’re always dealing with chronic stress because of a narcissistic relationship, it’s important to recognize how it affects our health and take steps to manage and reduce it.

One way to tackle this is by setting boundaries with the narcissist. It’s all about clearly communicating what you find acceptable or not, and being firm about the consequences if those boundaries are crossed. Remember, it’s important to prioritize your well-being, and don’t hesitate to say no when needed.

It can be incredibly challenging to confront your true feelings and fully acknowledge the unhappiness and suffering caused by living with a narcissist. This is because the narcissist belittles you, going to great lengths to ensure you have a low self-opinion, feeding your sense of superiority and control. They remain calm as long as you comply with their wishes.

However, when you begin to prioritize self-love and self-care, these people who don’t deserve a place in your life become increasingly agitated. This is because your strength and self-love threaten their power and control over you.

We get how overwhelming this can be. It feels like pure suffering, because, well, it is. But trust us, taking that first step towards healing and breaking free from the toxic cycle is necessary.

Remember, you deserve to be happy and live a life that’s free of chronic stress caused by a narcissistic relationship. You are more than enough, and you’re worthy of love, respect, and happiness.

The truth is that you are more than enough. But you know, our conditioning tricks us into thinking otherwise. So, it’s really important to gather up the courage and acknowledge your feelings, that you’re no longer happy living with a narcissist, even if recognizing it brings you some discomfort.

That’s the key to breaking free from codependency and putting an end to those narcissistic relationships. Once you do that, you can start on a path toward a life where you feel empowered and in control.

Your perspective expands when you shift your mindset, change how you see the world, and transform how you see yourself. It’s all about opening up to new possibilities you’ve been ignoring when you were trapped in that toxic relationship.

If you’ve been living with a narcissist, it’s important to know that your pain is real. Don’t be too hard on yourself and recognize the tough times you’ve gone through. But more importantly, instead of seeking validation from others, it’s time to listen to your feelings.

The journey towards emotional healing and personal growth starts by accepting where you are right now. We suggest developing the habit of affirming to yourself, “Every day, I’m making progress. Each day, I’m getting better at expressing my truth and acknowledging my emotions. And tomorrow is full of even more promise.” Also, think about how far you’ve come and celebrate your progress.

When you’re recovering from being in a narcissistic relationship, it’s essential to practice self-compassion. As you go through your healing journey and start to acknowledge your truth, you’ll notice that the levels of cortisol in your body start to decrease.

At the same time, your immune system and cardiovascular health will transform, and the chronic inflammation caused by stress will start to diminish. It’s truly remarkable how much your physical and mental well-being can improve, and it will leave you feeling amazed.

Read More: This Is How Narcissistic Abuse Impacts Mental Health

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