Research shows people are more narcissistic during teenage years but they mellow with age. So you might think that your partner with NPD will change for the better if you give them some more time. But this never happens. Not with people diagnosed with NPD.They get worse with age.
Jay is a 65 year old manager at an engineering company. Now that he can’t micro-manage people, and people know he is getting old and might not be able to do his job like he used to, he now thinks the situation is out of control. Lately, he got paranoid that others are not following his orders and that they are trying to sabotage his career goals, so he lashes out at some younger engineers. When the higher management called him out on his erratic behavior he told them “It was ME that built this company I’m the most brilliant employee to ever work here. The company’s success is all because of ME.” Then there were rumors he would be laid off because he “lost it” so he tries to work overtime, he has a heart attack.
People with Narcissistic personality disorder very rarely seek help from mental health professionals; they won’t go to therapy as they see nothing wrong with them. They lack self-insight. They see themselves as perfect, bold, charismatic, beautiful and above all, the envy of everyone else. So why would they want to changes that? When they go to therapy it’s usually done to shut up family members or because it’s court mandated, and during therapy they manipulate the therapists and feed them the lies they want to hear until it’s finished and they are back to their grandiose lives. Like many mental health problems, it’s logical it get worse if not treated well.
Many of us can lose it a little bit if things don’t go our way, like what happens in a midlife crisis, a normal person can go through psychological stress and even depression when they face their mortality and they begin to have remorse that they didn’t accomplish most of their goals. But normal people can bounce back to their normal state with the help of everyone around them. But in case of narcissists they don’t have a normal state so, when faced with aging skin and white hair, they completely lose it. They freak out and see a threat to their self-esteem .So what they do? They try to overcompensate and they become more narcissistic. They try to up their game that they mastered. They don’t mature or get wiser with age, they become more abusive and resentful as they face their inevitable demise and begin to envy the younger generation that will soon replace them.
Body changes: somatic narcissists (Soma is ancient Greek for Body) are obsessed with how they look .They tend to flaunt their body, brag about their sports achievements and how well they do in any physical activity. They tend to be hypersexual and promiscuous. They use sex to control their victims. And they brag about their conquests. That’s how they secure their narcissistic supply: Using their body as a tool. They may be hypochondriacs and too concerned about their health. You can imagine how aging can affect those aspects in a very bad way. As their bodies age, they will be turning less heads, it would be harder to secure their supply of dates and their sex lives will be affected. At this point they may get obsessed with plastic surgeries to try to reverse the aging process.
Cerebral narcissist on the other hand, put much emphasis on their brain power. They view themselves as more intelligent than other people. They brag about their academic achievements and problems they have solved. They might compare themselves to famous geniuses like Einstein. As they age, they won’t be sharp as they used to be. And their memory might suffer. They may also not be fit for mentally demanding jobs. These blows to self-esteem can lead to them being frustrated and depressed.
As narcissists age, they become needier and more vulnerable to diseases. Their energy levels are lower. They can’t run marathons or climb mountains like they used to.
They are faced with their mortality. They are not the untouchable gods they used to be. Narcissists like to be autonomous and maintain power. Now they have to depend on others to run errands for them. If they are sick they expect everyone to take care of them.
As years go by, narcissists may have endured too many blows to their egos: They now have more broken dreams. They become more aware of their limitations so they try to overcompensate. They freak out and try to fix their big egos and perfect self-image. This may lead them to try to chase more ridiculous dreams. Some might gamble and waste their money instead of spending it on their families. Narcissists are irresponsible and only care about their needs being met.
They will become lonelier as they age. They now have less dates, less people around them, less partying, etc. After those years, people around them know how awful they are. Narcissists pushed them away with their erratic behavior. They may be estranged from their children, they may be divorced. They may end up in nursing homes. So the party is over for them.