Discover more from Self-Care Haven and Narcissism
Can Abuse by Narcissists Cause Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorders?
"Abusive relationships take a toll on the mind and body. Narcissistic and psychopathic partners can engage in calculated manipulation methods to diminish their partners and their self-image. They often fixate on the perceived flaws or shortcomings of their partners to instill insecurities in them, or manufacture flaws that don’t exist at all. This is akin to metaphorically placing a funhouse mirror in front of their victims to make them view themselves in a negative light. This type of distortion can lead an abuse victim to develop a distorted self-image that doesn’t reflect their true self accurately. As victims internalize this distorted self-image, this could then result in a variation of body dysmorphia or eating disorders in an attempt to manage the abuse they are experiencing.
Research shows that there is a high comorbidity between PTSD and eating disorders. As a researcher, I’ve also found a significant association between being in a romantic relationship with someone high in narcissistic traits and PTSD symptoms related to the relationship. One possible way individuals who are in such relationships might react to the stress of their trauma symptoms is through disordered eating, an intense preoccupation with their appearance or other maladaptive attempts to regain control over their bodies during times of perceived powerlessness." - Shahida Arabi, MA
Self-Care Haven and Narcissism is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.