Friday, February 10, 2012


(ANI) - Men who are narcissists may be at risk for some health problems, since they could have inherently higher levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol even when they’re not under pressure, a new study suggests. “Narcissistic men may be paying a high price in terms of their physical health, in addition to the psychological cost to their relationships,” said Sara Konrath, a University of Michigan psychologist who co-authored the study. Earlier studies by Konrath and others have shown that the level of narcissism is rising in American culture, and that narcissism tends to be more prevalent among males. The personality trait is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, overestimations of uniqueness, and a sense of grandiosity. For the new study, Konrath and colleagues examined the role of narcissism and sex on cortisol levels in a sample of 106 undergraduate students. Cortisol, which can be measured through saliva samples, is a widely used marker of physiological stress.  

The researchers measured cortisol levels at two points in time in order to assess baseline levels of the hormone, which signals the level of activation of the body’s key stress response system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The researchers found that the most toxic aspects of narcissism were indeed associated with higher cortisol in male participants, but not in females. In fact, unhealthy narcissism was more than twice as large a predictor of cortisol in males as in females. They also found that there was no relationship between healthy narcissism and cortisol in either males or females. “These findings extend previous research by showing that narcissism may not only influence how people respond to stressful events, but may also affect how they respond to their regular day-to-day routines and interactions,” stated Konrath. “Our findings suggest that the HPA axis may be chronically activated in males high in unhealthy narcissism, even without an explicit stressor,” she said. The study has been published in PLoS ONE.

Men with an inflated view of their importance, who are incapable of putting themselves in other people’s shoes and who see themselves as “special” and superior to others - some traits of a narcissistic personality - may pay for this with their health. A study found that narcissistic men can have higher levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol in their bloodstream increasing their risk for developing cardiovascular problems. By devotion to God our whole mundane and illusory self-centered will be finished.

Bhagavad-gita tells us, “Work only for the center, otherwise you will be tied down with a reaction.” So it has been made clear that a very laudable life is possible for us if we dedicate ourselves to the highest center. That is neither dishonorable nor tiresome. Neither is it ignorance. ... If we are attentive to that and try to follow the advice coming from the real source, from real saintly persons, we will become properly adjusted; we will develop a proper understanding. And everything will be harmonized. ... Only by devotion, by dedication to Krishna, can we very easily become free from ignorance in the world of suffering. To be a devotee means to serve; service is everything. Our proper life is to be found in dedicating ourselves and in self-distribution, not self-aggrandizement. We can live in service.

Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Mahārāja :
“Loving Search for the Lost Servant”
Seventh Chapter: “Knowledge-Free Devotion”
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip.

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