How the Narcissist Hits Rock Bottom (And What You Can Do to Deal)

How the Narcissist Hits Rock Bottom (And What You Can Do to Deal)

When it comes to people with narcissistic personality disorder, it seems like the only thing you can predict is unpredictability. What happens next when they hit rock bottom?

What can you expect? What can you do – and how can you deal with and overcome their treatment during this unpleasant narcissistic cycle?

If you’re currently involved with a narcissist or are about to get involved with one – you’ll want to hear this.

This video will give you all of the answers you need when it comes to recognizing, understanding, and overcoming the narcissist’s rock bottom moments.

What is narcissist rock bottom?

You might call a narcissist who has found rock bottom a collapsed narcissist. In general, narcissists hit rock bottom when they are able to no longer manipulate, exploit and abuse others. 

In other words, narcissist rock bottom is what happens when the narcissist finally realizes that their abusive behavior will not be tolerated any longer, that what they have done has gotten out of control, or that they’re about to lose everything.

Unfortunately, it is typically later rather than sooner. It can take many years of ongoing manipulation and abuse before they hit rock bottom. Often, it happens when their closest sources of narcissistic supply go away, whether by their own choice or otherwise.

Why do narcissists hit rock bottom? 

Narcissists crave power and control like an alcoholic craves their favorite drink. Narcissists NEED to have the people around them feeling weak and unempowered – this way, they’re malleable so that they’re easily controlled. 

But when these people walk away and stop doing what the narcissist wants before they’re ready for it, the narcissist’s biggest fears are realized. 

A narcissist’s lack of capacity for empathy and emotional depth, paired with a desperate need to feel validated and congratulated by others, will often result in their demise.

They will do just about anything to feel significant and special – so much so that they may lie, cheat and manipulate to get their own way.

So ironically it is their desperation for significance and validation which ultimately serves as the catalyst for their narcissist rock bottom. 

What scares a narcissist?

As often as a narcissist threatens, directly or indirectly, to abandon you, you’d think they were perfectly secure in their ability to remain surrounded by sources of narcissistic supply – as in, people who love, admire, and serve them as needed.

But the truth is that while abandonment is probably the most human fear one can have, narcissists aren’t immune.

In fact, if we’re being honest, they’re probably pretty normal this way.

With that being said, the difference between a narcissist’s fear of abandonment and that of the average person is that a narcissist will actively abuse and manipulate the people around them in order to control them and keep them in their place.

How do the narcissist’s fears coming true lead them to hit rock bottom? 

Fear of abandonment comes to fruition when you walk away from the narcissist. Now, don’t expect them to recognize this right away – but it’ll relieve some of the tension for them initially – even just the idea that they’ll be able to openly meet new people can be a huge thrill. 

At first, they will feel free and some version of happy – but then one day (maybe even the same day the relationship ends), they’ll remember something that you used to do for them, and they’ll want that back. 

If your resist (and I hope you do – read this about how to avoid the hoover maneuver), the narcissist attempts to navigate their remaining relationships – often not even personal ones, they grow frustrated and angry.

What does the narcissist experience at rock bottom?

You might think that when a narcissist hits rock bottom, they will finally see the light and realize how awful they truly have been – and you’d hope they’d be SO SORRY for this abusive behavior they’ve been serving up all these years.

As amazing as that would be, it’s rarely the case. Instead:

  • They will probably feel like their world has been turned upside down and they have no idea how to fix it.
  • They may become depressed and experience symptoms of anxiety-like panic attacks or insomnia.
  • They may also lash out at others for no reason at all.

Whatever happens, you can expect them to be acting extremely erratic and unpredictable as they expertly play the victim.

The Narcissist’s Backup Plan

Before the narcissist knows it, you’re off living in a totally cute place that’s a little too far to just drop in. And, you’ll have the nerve to want your privacy, which won’t be tolerated if they are still part of your life. 

Eventually, they begin to guilt and shame the few people who remain close to them, seemingly doing their very best to push your emotions aside. This, combined with a lack of narcissistic supply, culminates in the narcissist’s idea of actual hell. 

So, the moment any source of narcissistic supply refuses to comply with their wishes or orders, the narcissist has lost control of that person and therefore has no influence over them anymore.

And that’s one of the narcissist’s OTHER biggest fears: that they’re so insignificant that no one cares what they say, do, think, or feel. 

This right here is exactly what causes them to tend to need a backup ‘source of supply’ (since they can’t be alone), so they very often attempt preemptively replace a source of supply.

Unfortunately, it can be one of the most dangerous times for you. Because a narcissist who has hit rock bottom may feel as though they have nothing left to lose. They don’t even have the narcissistic supply they need to function – so their desperation can lead them to lash out.

The narcissist eventually hits rock bottom and they feel unbearable sadness, grief, or remorse because they can’t continue the way they are going anymore. In order to keep this grief or pain at bay, they will stoop to any level. 

The Narcissist’s Rock Bottom Patterns

When the narcissist finally hits rock bottom, there is a predictable pattern that emerges. This pattern is so predictable that it can be used as a roadmap for how to deal with the situation.

  • The narcissist’s life will begin to crumble under the weight of their own lies and deceit.
  • This collapse may occur because of something external like losing their job or a major financial setback or some other traumatic event in their life.
  • It could also happen because they have become so absorbed in their own self-image that they cannot see reality any longer – they live in a world of illusion created by their own ego which is beyond their control.
  • As they begin to realize that they are no longer able to maintain this illusion, they become increasingly agitated, depressed, and angry until they reach a point where there is nothing left but rage at themselves for being so stupid as to believe such obvious lies about themselves as well as rage at those who duped them into believing these lies were true.

Should you support a narcissist who is at or near rock bottom? 

Believe me, I get it – as an empath, you naturally want to support someone in pain, especially when it’s someone you love or loved so deeply.

But listen to me, don’t do it. Not this time. Hear me out.

As much as helping them would serve some codependent part of yourself, the narcissist is likely to cruelly reject your offers for help. This will make you feel rejected – again- and that’s going to do a real number on not only your self-esteem but also your psyche – triggering would be putting it mildly. 

Personally, I don’t think you owe them any of your time or support, but if you must give it to them, try giving them space and let them know when you’re available if they want to talk about anything (without pressure!).

Just because they’ve hit rock bottom doesn’t mean that things are going to change – not for long. 

In the end, you can only change yourself and your reactions to narcissistic abuse. You will never be able to control their actions.

However, the more you understand what makes the narcissist tick and how their behavior affects you, the better equipped you will be to deal with their antics when they come knocking at your door.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

How to Identify a Narcissist in Collapse

How to Identify a Narcissist in Collapse

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a lack of empathy, combined with extreme self-centeredness and a need for constant attention. It’s a disorder that can have a profoundly negative effect on people, and it can be difficult to deal with someone who has it.

Today, we’ll dig into the collapsed narcissist and identify some of the red flags or signs that you might be dealing with a narcissist who might be what psychologists call a collapsed narcissist. 

What is Narcissistic Collapse?

When someone with NPD (or even toxic narcissist traits) loses the ability to get their unrealistic needs met through their usual methods of manipulation and deceitful behaviors, they will often begin to exhibit signs of collapse as they struggle to maintain control over the situation. A narcissist may also collapse if they’ve been confronted about their behavior and are forced to accept accountability for it.

Collapsing is a painful process for them since it’s often a point of extremely high stress and anxiety in their lives. In so many cases, the narcissist may have developed an entire persona around being superior to everyone else, but when this starts to break down, so does their false self.

While there are many signs to watch for, most are related to how a narcissist experiences a significant event or loss of supply; or in many cases, they just fail to maintain the normal amount of narcissistic supply.

Another form of narcissistic collapse occurs when a person becomes depressed without their narcissistic supply. This happens usually post-discard when the narcissist feels that he/she has lost control over someone’s admiration and adoration. 

This video goes into more detail on what a collapsed narcissist really is and how they got that way. 

What happens during a narcissistic collapse?

When someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or narcissistic traits can no longer uphold their grandiose, confident image, they feel profoundly threatened due to the lack of narcissistic supply – or even the potential of lack.

As a result, they tend to become enraged, resulting in impulsive behavior, intense lashing out, or hurting other people. 

In severe cases, a person with NPD or NPD traits may feel so wounded they become suicidal or homicidal. They may see suicide or murder as the only way to get back at a perceived slight. 

Narcissists who are in collapse also tend to become enraged, resulting in impulsive behavior, intense lashing out, or hurting other people. 

What does a collapsed narcissist look like? 

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of this kind of narcissistic rage and have wondered what prompted it, then you’ve probably seen a collapsed narcissist in action.

This is especially true if you’re involved with a narcissist who has been removed from their primary sources of supply: family members who have wised up to their manipulation and gaslighting; former friends who have rejected their lies and abuse, or even employers that have caught on to their toxic ways.

They have become devastated, hollow versions of what they once were. You ALMOST feel sorry for them. Of course, the specific reaction will also depend on the type of narcissist they happen to be.

Two Main Types of Narcissists

There are two main types of narcissists: vulnerable and grandiose.

Vulnerable Narcissists

Vulnerable narcissists tend to be shy and self-effacing. They are also hypersensitive to how others perceive them, which means they are easily hurt and offended by criticism. They tend to be pessimistic, insecure, and fragile. A vulnerable narcissist will respond with shame or anger when their sense of superiority is threatened or injured by criticism or rejection.

Grandiose Narcissists

By contrast, grandiose narcissists are those most people think about when they hear the word “narcissist.” Grandiose narcissists are arrogant, indifferent to others’ feelings and needs, and expect special treatment. When criticized or challenged in any way, they lash out with contempt and rage.

Can a collapsed narcissist recover?

Sometimes we’ll see a narcissist who has “collapsed” or otherwise seems to be going through some kind of emotional upheaval and distress. This begs the question: Can a collapsed narcissist recover? 

Is it possible for a collapsed narcissist to become normal again?

Sadly, the answer is no. A collapsed narcissist is not able to recover and be normal, because they do not understand that they are a narcissist or why they have become a narcissist.

In other words, they almost completely lack self-awareness, at least when you compare them to non-narcissists.

This lack of self-awareness, combined with their natural sense of entitlement and other typical narcissistic traits makes it nearly impossible for a malignant narcissist to recover from collapse. 

In fact, most of them will never realize the truth about themselves, even if their life depended on it. It is difficult for anyone to admit that their entire life has been a lie and a waste of time and energy.

The narcissist, a highly disordered personality, is incapable of having a healthy relationship with anyone. Because of this, their relationships are toxic and riddled with abuse.

Perhaps even more confusing, narcissists can be incredibly charming and enticing when they want to be. They’re also extremely manipulative and adept at grooming you to meet their needs. They do whatever they can to suck you in and hold you tight, to use you up until there’s nothing left.

When they “move on” or the relationship ends, they will often discard you without another thought. This is because they have no empathy or regard for anyone but themselves. In fact, they’re quite pleased with themselves when they can leave you utterly shattered as if it were some kind of game to them.

What triggers narcissistic collapse?

In the end, the collapsed narcissist is someone that has had their self-image severely damaged so much by a particular experience or situation, that they’ve begun to lose all sense of who they are. This often leads them down a path of anxiety, depression, and an inflated sense of oppression when dealing with others.

Narcissistic collapse is often triggered by narcissistic injury – a perceived threat to their self-worth or self-esteem. When this happens, narcissists typically respond with rage and contempt and may engage in destructive or self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, suicide threats or attempts, violent outbursts, or physical violence directed toward themselves or others.

The Empty Shell Person

The best way to gain a better understanding of what is going on with the collapsed narcissist is to use the term “empty shell.” That’s because the narcissist in collapse very much appears to be a hollow shell of what they once were.

Most people have a solid sense of who they are. An empty shell person has lost their sense of self.

Because they’re so afraid to let their facade down, it’s hard to understand what is really taking place because underneath.

After all, beneath the ego structure of most human beings lies a sensitive and vulnerable narcissistic child. This can be a very painful place to be, and if this child was neglected or abused enough, they may have collapsed into themselves in order to survive.

This means that a lot of the personality structure and defense mechanisms had to go away in order to just cope with life day by day.

This video goes into detail on how to identify a collapsed narcissist. 

Are you dealing with a collapsed narcissist in a toxic relationship? Get help now!

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