Excerpts from the Archives of the Narcissism List - Part 3

Listowner: Dr. Sam Vaknin


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1. Narcissists and Chemical Imbalances

The narcissist does have mood swings. But his moods do not swing, pendulum wise, on a regular, almost predictable basis, from depression to elation.

On the one hand, the Narcissist endures mega-cycles which last months or even years (see my book and website). These cannot, of course, be attributed to blood sugar levels.

The narcissist's moods do change suddenly as a result of narcissistic injury. One can easily manipulate the moods of a narcissist by making a disparaging remark about him, by disagreeing with him, by criticising him, by doubting his grandiosity, or claims, etc.

Such mood shifts cannot correlate to blood sugar levels which are cyclical in nature. It is possible to reduce the narcissist to a state of rage and depression AT ANY MOMENT, simply by employing the above "technique". He can be elated, even manic - and in a split second, following a narcissistic injury, depressed, sulking or rageful.

The reverse is also true. The narcissist can be catapulted from the bleakest despair to utter mania (or at least to an increased and marked feeling of well being) by providing him with Narcissistic Supply (attention, adulation, etc.).

Because these swings are totally correlated to external events (narcissistic injury or Narcissistic Supply) I find it impossible to attribute them to cycles of blood sugar.

What is possible, though, is that a THIRD problem causes chemical imbalances, diabetes, narcissism and perhaps more. There might be a common cause, a hidden common denominator.

Other disorders, like Bi-polar (mania-depression), are characterized by mood swings NOT brought about by external events (endogenic, not exogenic). The narcissist's mood swings are only the results of external events (as he perceives and interprets them, of course).

Narcissists are NOT emotional. They are absolutely insulated from their emotions. They are emotionally flat or numb.

All mental health disorders exhibit a mood alternation component. But there is a specific mental health category of mood disorders and narcissism is not one of them.

2. Personal Anecdote

Just to show you how all-pervasive narcissism is and how ill-effected it is by insight:

Yesterday I downloaded all the messages posted to the list.

Being a narcissist, I was under the impression that I am THE main contributor (quantitatively). I expected to find that 600-700 of the 1200 messages we all exchanged over the past three months to have either originated from me or included me as a correspondent.

I am a VERY self-aware narcissist. I have VERY deep insights regarding my condition. I can identify every twist and turn of my disorder. I thought that I was immune to narcissistic excesses of grandiosity.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that less than 170 of the messages "met my criteria". ALL the other 1050 messages HAD NOTHING TO DO with ME. I was not a part of them, nor were they originated by me.

See what I mean by "incurable"?

3. Should I Leave Him?

First, you have to establish clear priorities. Who is more important to you (you or he)? What is more important to you (emotional wellness or something else)? What is your time frame ( can you tolerate another 3 weeks like the past few ones?). Armed with the results, you should gather information: if you adopt behaviour A - what will be the emotional, legal and material effects? And what about behaviour B?

The result of all these deliberations should be a plan of action executed unhesitatingly and irreversibly.

IF you are not likely to be effected legally and materially, my advice to you would be: leave NOW. Pack your things and go. Contact him through your lawyers. Narcissists are poisonous. Stay away. There is no way to leave such a situation in stages. There is no respectable retreat.

Many women are worried about the possible consequences of such an act. "Will he not commit suicide?" is a frequent concern.

Narcissists do entertain suicide thoughts (suicidal ideation) in such cases. They usually do not act