If you have ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you may have experienced the toll it can take on your mental health.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition where a person thinks they are better than others, seeks constant attention, and lacks empathy. They may manipulate people and struggle to understand their feelings, while criticism can profoundly affect them.
As you can see, navigating a relationship with the narcissistic individual in your life is no easy task. Much negative baggage is involved, which can complicate a relationship, leaving you emotionally and physically exhausted.
Let’s venture into the fascinating world of narcissism and how it exhausts you.
Why Is Being With A Narcissist So Exhausting?
It’s so exhausting because the personality traits of a narcissist make them behave in ways that weigh you down. People in relationships with narcissists often find that the stress of the situation can feel like they are walking on eggshells, always on guard and afraid.
Narcissists like to manipulate and control their victims, leaving them emotionally exhausted and depleted. Over time, this has a profound negative impact on your health, leading to mental health problems and physical illnesses.
Here are some of the problems that can manifest because of prolonged narcissistic abuse:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Narcissists tend to suck the energy out of anybody they are close to. In a relationship with a narcissist, the constant battle can leave you lost with no motivation to do anything. If you are constantly tired but can’t sleep, you may be experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome. This is a diagnosable illness; if you think you may have it, you should seek help from a health professional.
Depression And Anxiety
Narcissistic abuse can sometimes cause depression and anxiety. Constant manipulation and control can wear the victim down until they feel completely worthless. Depression may leave you feeling empty and hopeless. Fortunately, medications and lifestyle changes are available to treat depression and anxiety; please consult your doctor to see what you should do.
Stress and Panic attacks
Stress is one of the most common symptoms of narcissistic abuse. Narcissists are very demanding of their victims, always seeking a narcissistic supply, which causes the victim to feel on edge and unable to relax. The impending sense of danger can lead to panic attacks. Mindfulness and meditation are excellent treatments for stress and panic attacks and can help you calm your mind.
When our bodies are under tremendous stress, we release the stress hormone (cortisol), which can harm physical health if untreated. Physical illnesses such as chronic pain, stomach issues, and headaches can occur. Any activity that helps you reduce stress can help lower the amount of cortisol in your body and help prevent some of these illnesses.
The constant abuse can cause so many negative feelings in the victim that they sometimes resent the narcissist. Any relationship with a narcissist can be afflicted with these unfortunate problems. If you are having trouble with a narcissistic family member, consult a professional such as a therapist or lawyer.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be highly exhausting. Their manipulative and controlling behavior affects your mental and physical health. Remember to prioritize your well-being and seek support when needed.
Why Do Narcissists Make Life Exhausting For Others?
They do this because they see the people in their lives as objects to serve a selfish purpose. They lack empathy and don’t consider the feelings of others, so they don’t mind demanding things of you until you are completely exhausted. They will take everything you have to give and ask for more.
The barrage of manipulation techniques and demands thrown at the victim is heavy and can make life extremely difficult. They are meant to confuse the victim and make them feel bad about themselves.
Here are some of the methods used by a narcissist that will beat and wear you down to the point of exhaustion:
- Silent treatment
Silent treatment is when someone deliberately ignores or avoids communicating with another person to control or punish them. It makes the person feel isolated and anxious. It’s important to recognize this manipulation and set boundaries for healthy relationships. Open communication is crucial, and seeking support can help navigate the situation.
Scapegoating is when someone unfairly blames and targets another person or group for problems, often without valid reasons. It involves singling them out and subjecting them to mistreatment or criticism. Recognizing and challenging scapegoating is essential for fairness and promoting empathy.
The narcissist uses a third person to spread rumors, gain support, or shift focus. This manipulation undermines trust and can leave the target feeling isolated and doubtful. It’s essential to be aware of triangulation and address conflicts directly to maintain healthy relationships.
A relationship with a narcissist is very isolating, especially if the people in your life don’t understand what is happening to you. The narcissist may even isolate you further to ensure they get all your attention. The constant criticism and demands can make you feel like you’re always in the wrong. Eventually, you may question every decision you make, worrying it will upset the narcissist and cause more chaos.
You can see how all of these factors cause the victim of a narcissist to be completely drained of energy. It feels like anything you do will be met with frustration and criticism, making you feel like you can’t do anything right. If you find yourself in this situation, please understand there is hope.
How Do I Stop Being Drained By A Narcissist?
You need to prioritize your own needs and self-care. By doing this, you can achieve some balance in your life, minimizing the damaging effects of a relationship with a narcissist. You want to set yourself up for success by having a solid plan to help guide you through this challenging process.
The first thing you should try, if possible, is to start ignoring the narcissist. Ignoring is the best idea if the narcissist in your life is a co-worker or acquaintance, where ignoring is an option. When you don’t give them what they need, you cut off their narcissistic supply, leaving them unsatisfied. They’ll eventually move on to someone easier to control.
If ignoring isn’t an option, perhaps the narcissist you are dealing with is a close family member. Telling the individual with narcissism what you need from the relationship, what behavior you will accept, and the consequences of breaking these boundaries should help make the relationship easier to navigate. Make sure you follow through on what you say.
You should also take things with a grain of salt. Remember the traits of a narcissist and that this behavior is not your fault. Their criticisms are more about them than about you. Not taking things personally can help shield you from the brunt of the criticism.
If nothing works, and the relationship is causing you too much stress and other problems, you may have to walk away. Every situation is different, but some narcissists just aren’t going to make any necessary changes, and you have to look out for yourself. If you feel that the narcissistic abuse is more than you can handle, or you feel like you’re in danger, you should consult a mental health professional for advice.
Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be emotionally and physically exhausting. The manipulative tactics used by narcissists, such as triangulation, gaslighting, hoovering, silent treatment, scapegoating, and passive aggression, take a toll on the victim’s mental and physical health.
The long-term effects of narcissistic abuse can lead to chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety, stress and panic attacks, physical illnesses, and relationship problems. If you are suffering from any of these problems because of a relationship with a narcissist, contact a mental health worker or doctor for support.
It’s important to recognize these behaviors, set boundaries, and seek support to protect oneself. Prioritizing self-care, open communication, and assertiveness can help navigate the challenges of dealing with a narcissist. If the relationship becomes too detrimental, consider ending the connection for one’s well-being. Remember that you deserve respect and care.
A resilient writer who has emerged from addiction, depression, and anxiety with a renewed sense of purpose and a powerful voice. His journey has shaped his writing, allowing him to explore the complexities of the human condition intimately. Also blogging about mental health at www.medium.com/@Patrickmeowler