Who is a somatic Narcissist?

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In this blog we will discuss what a somatic narcissist is.

We will also briefly discuss what narcissism disorder is, characteristics of somatic narcissists, what causes somatic narcissism, and what can be done to treat a somatic narcissist.

Who is a somatic Narcissist?

Somatic narcissism is a from of narcissism where the indidvdiaul has a grandiose idea of their own physical appearance and or often seen to be obsessed with his or her beauty, personality, and sex appeal.

Like all other narcissists, they have agradiose sense of self and a sense of superiority that are focused on the perception that they are more beautiful, stronger, more attractive than other people. 

They are so fixated on this sense of entitlement that these somatic narcissists tend to rely on their physical appearance for their sense of worth and this tends to lead them to become obsessed with their appearance. 

Somatic narcissists tend to be hyper fixated on all features of outward beauty and features that make a person attractive that all their thoughts and behaviours tend to revolve around their appearance. 

The also use their body, their appearance, and their sexual appear to express their narcissistic tendeneies and their idea of gradiosity. 

Their fixation is so deep rooted that they have a hard time managing their relationships with other people, forging meaningful relationships, as well as maintaining healthy relationships with other people. 

It has to be mentioned that Somatic narcissism is not a diagnosis that is recognised by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. While somatic narcissism is not a clinical diagnosis, it is considered to be a type of narcissism by some while others believe that it is simply a cognitive symptom of narcissistic personality disorder. 

What is Narcissistic personality disorder?

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is one of the 10 personality disorders that has been recognised by the American Psychological Association in their Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders.

This personality disorder is characterised by an inflated sense of self and an intense need for admiration from others of their own perceived grandiose sense of self.

People with this disorder often struggle with their interpersonal relationships as well as their own perception of their lives and may become genuinely upset when they are not given praise and attention from others because they genuinely believe that they deserve it. 

Other’s often see them as conceited, do not enjoy being around them, and are often observed to be demanding and at times emotionally abusive. 

In the United States, the prevalence rate is approximately 0.5-5% of the US population based on statistics from  community samples. 

However, in clinical settings, it is more prevalent between 1-15% and often has high comorbidity with other mental disorders. 

Narcissistic personality disorder often coexists with other mental disorders such as other personality disorders such as antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder which can make the diagnosis of this personality disorder difficult. 

People with this type of personality disorder struggle with various types of Narcissism- predominantly two types are common and arise from different childhood experiences and often dictate how they relate to other people and the interpersonal relationships themselves. 

  • Grandiose Narcissism is the type where people think highly of themselves and tend to be elitist in their behaviour. 

They are often a result of people who were treated as superior or made to believe that they were superior during their early developmental years due to which these expectations were also carried into adulthood.

Those with grandiose narcissism are often observed to be aggressive, dominant, and tend to exaggerate their importance without much to actually show for. 

  • Vulnerable Narcissism is another type that is often a result of childhood neglect and abuse where people with this type often use narcissistic behaviours as a way to protect themselves from getting their feelings hurt. 

These people are often sensitive and they oscillate between feelings of superiority and inferiority when compared to others and often get offended or anxious when they are not treated with high regard. 

What are the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic personality disorder?

Per the DSM-5, NPD criteria for diagnosis includes:

  • A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (fantasy or behaviour), high need for admiration, and at times a lack of empathy, This often manifests at the beginning of early adulthood.
  • They often have a grandiose sense of self-importance and tend to exaggerate achievements and expect to be recognised as superior with or without the actual achievements. 
  • They are often preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, perfect love, or beauty. 
  • They believe that they are special and should associate with people of the same “specialness” since they believe that they can only be understood by people of this calibre. 
  • They require excuses admiration in their relationship and have a sense of entitlement, 
  • They are often exploitative and take advantage of others to meet their needs and wants. 
  • They are unsympathetic and are unwilling to recognise the needs of others, 
  • They are often envious of other people. 
  • They are seen to be arrogant and haughty. 

These criterias are often observed long term from young adulthood and persist over carious settings and context, 

They often cause interpersonal problems and can hinder their personal and professional lives while also leading them to develop an unhealthy sense of self. 

What are the characteristics of a somatic narcissist?

The various characteristics and behaviours of someone who is a somatic narcissist include:

  • They have a sense of self importance and a grandiose belief that they are physically more fit, stronger, more attractive than other people. They are arrogant in the way they interact with other people when it comes to beauty standards and might ridicule others about their appearance.  
  • They seek and crave importance and admiration from those around them regarding their attractiveness, their secual appeal, and their physical appearance. Their craving is so intense that they might change the way they dress, their hair, etc to garner attention from others. 
  • They might use tactics such as shaming other people to secure their sense of being more beautiful or attractive than others. 
  • They might be observed to appear obsessed over their grooming, their diet, and their exercise habits, as well as get various procedures done- spending a lot of money- to look more attractive. 
  • They might use sex as a way to reassure themslesv of their desirability. They might engage in compulsive sexual behavior, pursue partners they consider a trophy, and also use sexual manipulation to gain validation. 
  • Narcissists tend to elevate themselves by completely disregarding others, by ignoring the efforts and accomplishments of other people and they often do this in passive aggressive ways. They might tell you that they simply “forgot” about the meeting they had with you, or they might not acknowledge your new change in appearance while other people appreciate it.
  • They are, like other narcissists, emotionally neglected and are often incapable of forming emotional bonds with other people. 
  • They are also very vulnerable- most of their narcissism is a defence to protect their fragile sense of self and their low self-esteem due to which they are hypersensitive to criticism, especially criticism with how they look and appear. They might react very defensive to feedback and behave in passive aggressive ways to make other people feel small or hurt them for perceived hurt. 
  • Another characteristic of covert narcissists and all narcissists in general is that they have a hard time working with other people- even in professional settings- as well as maintaining a healthy relationship with others- be it platonic friendships or romantic relationships.

What causes somatic narcissism?

There has been plenty of research that has been done and is still being conducted to understand what causes narcissistic personality disorder. 

Research has found that there are a series factors- both based on genetics and the environment- that leads to the development of covert narcissism in adulthood. 

Some of these factors include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Childhood neglect where people with this type often use narcissistic behaviours as a way to protect themselves from getting their feelings hurt. 
  • Childhood trauma such as physical, psychological abuse from parents
  • Sexual abuse during early years
  • Negative home environment
  • Parenting styles that overvalue body image, beauty, and physical appearance.

What are the treatment options available for Somatic Narcissistic personality disorder?

As of recent years, there are no approved psychological and pharmacological treatments for Narcissistic personality disorder. 

However, most of the treatments that are being followed consist of psychotherapy where the individual learns how to empathise with others and manage their interpersonal relationships. 

In talk therapy, the individual and the therapist collaborate to develop skills and awareness so as to improve one’s professional life, and personal relationships and needs. 

Effort is also made to help individuals recognize their strengths and assets so as to be able to tolerate failures and limitations and cope with self esteem issues. 

Often, it takes time- sometimes even years- to be able to see  improvements in therapy. 

At the moment, there is no medication that directly treats the disorder however if NPD occurs alongside depression or another mental health condition, then appropriate medications may be used to treat the other disorder. 

For this disorder, the prognosis differs depending on the severity of the symptoms and the commitment of the individual for treatment. 

In general, the symptoms of NPD usually improve over time provided there is effort to continue and persist with treatment and make lifestyle changes that allow for healthier ways of maintaining a relationship with others and oneself. 

Conclusion

In this blog we have discussed what a somatic narcissist is.

We have also briefly discussed what narcissism disorder is, characteristics of somatic narcissists, what causes somatic narcissism, and what can be done to treat a somatic narcissist.

What are narcissist like sexually?

Narcissist, when it comes to sex, have an inlated idea of theri sexual skills and their ability to please their parenters, Instead thet tend to lack interest in pleasing others and only focus on their sexual needs and have little interest in formaing emotional intimacy thought sex. 

How can you identify a somatic narcissist?

Somatic narcissism is a from of narcissism where the indidvdiaul has a grandiose idea of their own physical appearance and or often seen to be obsessed with his or her beauty, personality, and sex appeal.

Like all other narcissists, they have agradiose sense of self and a sense of superiority that are focused on the perception that they are more beautiful, stronger, more attractive than other people. 

They are so fixated on this sense of entitlement that these somatic narcissists tend to rely on their physical appearance for their sense of worth and this tends to lead them to become obsessed with their appearance. 

Are narcissists hypersexual?

Somatic narcissist might use sex as a way to reassure themselves of their desirability. They might engage in compulsive sexual behavior, pursue partners they consider a trophy, and also use sexual manipulation to gain validation. 

References

Cook.C What Is Somatic Narcissism? Wisegeek. Retirevd on 18th Feb 2022 https://www.wise-geek.com/what-is-somatic-narcissism.htm#:~:text=Somatic%20 narcissism%20is%20a%20 documented,on%20thesis%20 physical%20details%2C%20though.

Weiss.S. 7 Signs You’re Dealing With A Somatic Narcissist. Mind Body green. Retrieved on 18th Feb 2022. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/somatic-narcissist-signs

Narcissism: Symptoms and Signs. WebMD. Retrieved on18th Feb 2022. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/narcissism-symptoms-signs

Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Healthline. Retrieved on 18th Feb 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder

Mitra P, Fluyau D. Narcissistic Personality Disorder. [Updated 2021 May 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556001/

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