The Depressive Narcissist

Written by Sam Vaknin


Many scholars consider pathological narcissism to be a form of depressive illness. This isrepparttar position ofrepparttar 126096 authoritative magazine "Psychology Today". The life ofrepparttar 126097 typical narcissist is, indeed, punctuated with recurrent bouts of dysphoria (ubiquitous sadness and hopelessness), anhedonia (loss ofrepparttar 126098 ability to feel pleasure), and clinical forms of depression (cyclothymic, dysthymic, or other). This picture is further obfuscated byrepparttar 126099 frequent presence of mood disorders, such as Bipolar I (co-morbidity).

Whilerepparttar 126100 distinction between reactive (exogenous) and endogenous depression is obsolete, it is still useful inrepparttar 126101 context of narcissism. Narcissists react with depression not only to life crises but to fluctuations in Narcissistic Supply.

The narcissist's personality is disorganised and precariously balanced. He regulates his sense of self-worth by consuming Narcissistic Supply from others. Any threat torepparttar 126102 uninterrupted flow of said supply compromises his psychological integrity and his ability to function. It is perceived byrepparttar 126103 narcissist as life threatening.

I. Loss Induced Dysphoria

This isrepparttar 126104 narcissist's depressive reaction torepparttar 126105 loss of one or more Sources of Narcissistic Supply or torepparttar 126106 disintegration of a Pathological Narcissistic Space (PN Space, his stalking or hunting grounds,repparttar 126107 social unit whose members lavish him with attention).

II. Deficiency Induced Dysphoria

Deep and acute depression which followsrepparttar 126108 aforementioned losses of Supply Sources or a PN Space. Having mourned these losses,repparttar 126109 narcissist now grieves their inevitable outcome repparttar 126110 absence or deficiency of Narcissistic Supply. Paradoxically, this dysphoria energisesrepparttar 126111 narcissist and moves him to find new Sources of Supply to replenish his dilapidated stock (thus initiating a Narcissistic Cycle).

III. Self-Worth Dysregulation Dysphoria

The narcissist reacts with depression to criticism or disagreement, especially from a trusted and long-term Source of Narcissistic Supply. He fearsrepparttar 126112 imminent loss ofrepparttar 126113 source andrepparttar 126114 damage to his own, fragile, mental balance. The narcissist also resents his vulnerability and his extreme dependence on feedback from others. This type of depressive reaction is, therefore, a mutation of self-directed aggression.

Grandiosity Bubbles

Written by Sam Vaknin


As one Source of Narcissistic Supply dwindles,repparttar narcissist finds himself trapped in a frantic (though, at times, unconscious) effort to secure alternatives. As one Pathological Narcissistic Space (the narcissist's stomping grounds) is rendered "uninhabitable" (too many people "see through"repparttar 126095 narcissist's manipulation and machinations) repparttar 126096 narcissist wanders off to find another.

These hysterical endeavors sometimes lead to boom-bust cycles which involve, inrepparttar 126097 first stage,repparttar 126098 formation of a Grandiosity Bubble.

A Grandiosity Bubble is an imagined, self-aggrandizing, narrative involvingrepparttar 126099 narcissist and elements from his real life people around him, places he frequents, or conversations he is having. The narcissist weaves a story incorporating these facts, inflating them inrepparttar 126100 process and endowing them with bogus internal meaning and consistency. In other words: he confabulates but, this time, his confabulation is loosely based on reality.

Inrepparttar 126101 process,repparttar 126102 narcissist re-invents himself and his life to fitrepparttar 126103 new-fangled tale. He re-casts himself in newly adopted roles. He suddenly fancies himself an actor, a guru, a political activist, an entrepreneur, or an irresistible hunk. He modifies his behavior to conform to these new functions. He gradually morphs intorepparttar 126104 fabricated character and "becomes"repparttar 126105 fictitious protagonist he has created.

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