Toxic Disability? Why Narcissists May Be a Few Crayons Short of a Box

Written by Angela Atkinson

I’ve written pretty extensively on narcissism and have been researching the topic for nearly 10 years now. That’s why when a reader recently asked me a question about narcissism and whether or not there are neurological symptoms involved with narcissism, it surprised me that I didn’t know the answer off the top of my head.

“What’s amazing to me, is that the traits of narcissists are absolutely the same across life situations,” wrote my reader, Pam, in response to my post on narcissists and flying monkeys. “For me, that begs the question of whether there’s something specifically neurological going on as a result of childhood abuse and trauma?”

Here’s exactly how a narcissist’s brain is different than a neurotypical brain.

How a Narcissist’s Brain is Different Than Everyone Else’s

So, we all know that narcissists are seriously lacking in empathy, especially those who would be classified as having NPD (narcissistic personality disorder), if they’d ever give anyone the chance to diagnose them officially. (Side note – they won’t, because they don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with them).

But according to research, narcissistic personality disorder have less gray matter in the left anterior insula, the part of the brain linked to empathy.Why narcissists are a few crayons short of a box

The layman’s version of the scientific explanation is that those parts of the brain that mediate empathy (the ability to care about other people’s feelings) are lower functioning and less capable of focusing on others.

In other words, a narcissist has less gray matter in their brain than someone who is capable of empathy.

Worse, researchers say, the differences in the narcissist’s brains are actually literally causing them to turn inward and to self-focus.

Study authors defined certain traits as being shared among all narcissists, despite various other definitions and forms of narcissistic personality disorder.

In a German study, researchers found that the degree to which a person was able to exhibit empathy was directly tied to the amount of gray matter in the brain, both in the healthy individuals as well as in those with narcissistic personality disorder.

And, narcissists were typically found to have less gray matter in the brain, the study said.

Read more about narcissism, or visit this resources page I set up for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse for more help and information. 

Related articles

Author

  • Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

(Visited 1,836 times, 1 visits today)

Get Guided Help with Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie – packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

Where are you in your recovery?

 

Subscribe

We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Powered By ConvertKit

Award for Angie’s YouTube Channel

Disclosure – Click to Read

advertisement

You're not alone.

We have been there and we can help you heal.

Related Articles

Think Like a Scientist, Reduce Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Timeline

Think Like a Scientist, Reduce Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Timeline

You’ve probably spent hours, days, even weeks trying to make your relationship better. And you may feel like you’ve tried everything already. But learning more about emotional abuse can make all the difference in helping you break free from an abusive situation forever.

Dealing with relationship trauma

Dealing with relationship trauma

Are you dealing with relationship trauma? The bad news? The second you fall in love with someone, the likelihood that you’ll be dealing with relationship trauma increases exponentially. The good news is that you don't have to suffer in silence - and there are things...

Sadistic Narcissism

Sadistic Narcissism

Narcissism and sadism have much in common, including a lack of empathy and the tendency to exploit others. Find out how to identify a sadist, a narcissist, and what the connection is between narcissism and sadism. Plus: learn how to spot a narcissist who is a sadist, and learn about pathological narcissists and their manipulative, controlling behavior in toxic relationships.

Get Guided Help with Your Recovery & Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Join the SPANily! Start with our free newsletter.

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie - packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

    Where are you in your recovery?
    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Powered By ConvertKit

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This

    Share this post with your friends!