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Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Suicide: Everything You Need to Know

Note: If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Your life matters.

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is typically characterized by symptoms of grandiosity and inflated self-importance, excessive attention and admiration, difficulty in relationships, and more. Since NPD is often seen on the outside as self-indulging, many question if suicidal ideation is a common occurrence for those with this disorder, as it has been said that underneath the surface of NPD, a person most often is fearful of criticism and not being “good enough” – almost as if the disorder itself a mask is to protect a fragile sense of self. While we can never know the real reason why someone dies by suicide, we can explore whether or not this is typically a common occurrence among those with the disorder to get a clearer understanding of the whole picture.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research sought to explore NPD and factors that may predict a suicide attempt among individuals with the disorder. A total of 657 participants were evaluated for mental illness and interviewed, and several statistical analyses were conducted. In sum, 7% of participants were found to have NPD. Researchers discovered that those with NPD were most likely to be male, to have a substance use disorder (SUD), and to experience high aggression and hostility. Overall, the study showed that NPD was moderately protective over suicide attempt, meaning that individuals with this disorder may be less likely than others with mood disorders to consider death by suicide.

Exaggerated “self-love”, fantasies of success, viewing oneself as special and more can actually help prevent a person from experiencing suicidal ideation, although that’s not to say that those with the disorder do not experience it at all. Other studies have shown that those with NPD may experience significant psychological distress as they play this role of “perfection”; a 2015 study published in the journal European Psychiatry claims that shame, particularly in vulnerability NPD (a form of NPD characterized by feelings of helplessness, anxiousness, victimization, and ultimately, fears of rejection or abandonment), is a key factor of suicidal ideation.

If you’ve been diagnosed with NPD, treatment is available. Speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about options to best suit your needs. Your life matters.

Everyone has a story that starts before treatment. Everyone has a story that changes when treatment is over. Let The Guest House Ocala show you the way to recovery from trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs, concierge customization, and life at the estate: 1-855-483-7800