I am going to talk about how a narcissist can cause physical damage to your brain. As well as the science behind why we become addicted to the narcissist. The oxytocin and cortisol hormones, as well as the dopamine neurotransmitter. The dangers of being around narcissists go far beyond the addiction and trauma bond which they can create. Narcissistic abuse is one of the worst types of abuse that one person can do to another. And because of the addictive nature, many people become stuck in these damaging relationships. Narcissistic abuse can leave much more than just emotional damage. What I am about to say might shock you and I almost feel sick saying this. But according to recent studies, neuroscientists have discovered that long-term narcissistic abuse can lead to actual physical brain damage. Damage which is even visible on brain scans.
Narcissistic abuse victims a shrinking of the hippocampus and swelling of the amygdala. They are two of the most crucial parts of the brain when it comes to knowledge and function. Everything you do, understand, read, and learn, rests solely on the hippocampus functioning properly. So narcissists are not just abusers, they are also professional brain damagers. Remember that, any time you feel like going back to them. You can stop damaging neuronal pathways and create new connections that nurture healthier thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Psychotherapy and holistic therapies are effective in treating the damage caused by narcissistic abuse. Other healing methods include guided meditation, mindfulness, emotional freedom technique, aromatherapy, and essential oils, physical
activity, mindfulness, laughter, music, and social connectivity. But the first priority before all of these therapies should be to leave the abusive environment as soon as you can. The longer you stay, the greater your risk will be of developing physical brain damage, C-PTSD, and a long list of serious health issues.
I understand that narcissistic abuse can create an addiction within its victims. This is the cause of oxytocin and cortisol hormones, as well as the dopamine transmitter. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released during touching or sexual intercourse. This hormone promotes attachment and trust. It is the same hormone that enables bonding between mother and child. During the love-bombing phase, the narcissist will mirror you and appeal to your own ideals. They do this to create a bond, a connection, an attachment. Even during the devaluation phase, they will continue to reinforce these positive behaviours, while they continue to abuse and manipulate you. They might occasionally compliment you, give you gifts or sex. This will continue to release the oxytocin hormone, even after experiencing incidents of abuse and it will feed the addiction which they have now created for you.
The narcissist mirrors your deepest emotional and sexual desires. This creates a strong sexual bond, which then releases oxytocin and promotes more trust and attachment. Meanwhile, the narcissist has not allowed you to invest in their own emotional and sexual desires. They have simply done whatever they can to appeal to your desires. The narcissist has no capability to experience an emotional connection or attachment because they are devoid of empathy. They will explore your emotional and sexual desires. Buy you gifts, give you compliments and have sex with you. But they're not emotionally connected to you at all. Which means they can move on to their next source of supply without any thought or empathy for you. This is why it is so easy for them to move on and in such a short space of time. They don't even have the capabilities to become emotionally connected to you. And this is much worse for female victims of narcissistic abuse. Because estrogen promotes the effects of oxytocin, while testosterone discourages it. This means that it is far more difficult for females in any type of relationship to detach or move on as quickly as men. Narcissists see no hope in relationships, their belief is that it's going to end someday so why not end it now. Or if you're in a new relationship, they will think that it's not like you're going to get married, so what's the point of putting in any effort. Of course, this belief is what then sets up all of their relationships to fail, as it makes it impossible for them to ever become
emotionally invested in their partner.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for addiction to narcissists. It is the same neurotransmitter that is responsible for cocaine addiction. According to Harvard Health, both drugs and intensely pleasurable memories will trigger dopamine and create reward circuits in the brain. This is essentially telling the brain to do it again or to go back to the narcissist. The narcissist's abusive tactics work very well with dopamine. Because studies show that dopamine flows more readily when the rewards are given out on an unpredictable or inconsistent schedule. So the narcissist can abuse you and then give you a compliment and the dopamine will continue to flow through you.
Cortisol is a stress hormone. It is released by the adrenal glands and responds to fear as part of our "fight or flight" mechanism. Abuse causes cortisol to be released from our adrenal glands. Increased levels of cortisol can lead to serious health issues. It can cause adrenal fatigue, which can last for many years and cause even more health issues. It can interfere with learning, memory, your immune system, bone density, weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, and much more. Increased levels of cortisol can even increase your risk of developing a mental illness. It can increase your risk of depression and lower your life expectancy. Cortisol isn't just released during abusive incidents, it is also released when you are ruminating over any past traumatic events. I hope that this has helped you to understand what the narcissist is capable of doing to you. Narcissistic abuse creates an addiction within its victims and it can cause real physical brain damage. So remember that any time that you are around them, or feel like going back to them. This isn't just the emotional abuse we are talking about. It will affect the essential functioning of your brain and even cause physical damage. Many victims of narcissistic abuse have been driven clinically insane or even nudged to suicide. Narcissists are not just playing with your emotions, they are playing with your lives.