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(The use of gender pronouns on this page reflects the clinical facts: most narcissists are Males.)

The manic stage of Bipolar I Dysfunction is commonly misdiagnosed as Narcissistic Persona Dysfunction (NPD).

Bipolar sufferers inside the manic period exhibit lots of the signals and indications of pathological narcissism – hyperactivity, self-centeredness, insufficient empathy, and Command freakery. In the course of this recurring chapter from the sickness, the individual is euphoric, has grandiose fantasies, spins unrealistic schemes, and it has Regular rage assaults (is irritable) if her or his needs and programs are (inevitably) frustrated.

The manic phases of the bipolar disorder, even so, are confined in time – NPD just isn't. On top of that, the mania is accompanied by – commonly protracted – depressive episodes. The narcissist is likewise routinely dysphoric. But While the bipolar sinks into deep self-deprecation, self-devaluation, unbounded pessimism, all-pervasive guilt and anhedonia – the narcissist, even though frustrated, never ever forgoes his narcissism: his grandiosity, feeling of entitlement, haughtiness, and not enough empathy.


Narcissistic dysphorias tend to be shorter and reactive – they represent a response towards the Grandiosity Gap. In plain words and phrases, the narcissist is dejected when confronted Together with the abyss between his inflated self-graphic and grandiose fantasies – as well as drab truth of his daily life: his failures, not enough achievements, disintegrating interpersonal associations, and minimal status. Nevertheless, a single dose of Narcissistic Source is sufficient to elevate the narcissists with the depth of distress to the heights of manic euphoria.

Not so Using the bipolar. The supply of her or his mood swings is assumed to generally be Mind biochemistry – not the availability of Narcissistic Source. While the narcissist is in entire control of his faculties, regardless if maximally agitated, the bipolar typically feels that s/he has misplaced Charge of his/her Mind (“flight of Tips”), his/her speech, his/her notice span (distractibility), and his/her motor capabilities.

The bipolar is at risk of reckless behaviors and compound abuse only over the manic phase. The narcissist does medicine, drinks, gambles, outlets on credit, indulges in unsafe sexual intercourse or in other compulsive behaviors both when elated and when deflated.

As a rule, the bipolar’s manic phase interferes with his/her social and occupational functioning. A lot of narcissists, in contrast, reach the best rungs in their Local community, church, company, or voluntary Corporation. Most of the time, they perform flawlessly – nevertheless the unavoidable blowups along with the grating extortion of Narcissistic Supply usually put an close to the narcissist’s vocation and social liaisons.

The manic section of bipolar sometimes necessitates hospitalization and – much more frequently than admitted – consists of psychotic characteristics. Narcissists are by no means hospitalized as the danger for self-harm is moment. Additionally, psychotic microepisodes in narcissism are decompensatory in character and seem only less than unendurable stress (e.g., in intensive therapy).

The bipolar’s mania c9 diet forever living provokes irritation in both of those strangers and from the affected person’s closest and dearest. His/her frequent cheer and compulsive insistence on interpersonal, sexual, and occupational, or Qualified interactions engenders unease and repulsion. Her/his lability of temper – rapid shifts in between uncontrollable rage and unnatural superior spirits – is downright scary. The narcissist’s gregariousness, by comparison, is calculated, “cold”, controlled, and objective-orientated (the extraction of Narcissistic Supply). His cycles of mood and impact are far considerably less pronounced and fewer immediate.

The bipolar’s swollen self-esteem, overstated self-confidence, obvious grandiosity, and delusional fantasies are akin on the narcissist’s and so are the supply of the diagnostic confusion. Each sorts of sufferers purport to give assistance, carry out an assignment, execute a mission, or embark on an business for which They are really uniquely unqualified and lack the abilities, abilities, understanding, or experience expected.

But the bipolar’s bombast is way more delusional in comparison to the narcissist’s. Tips of reference and magical contemplating are popular and, In this particular feeling, the bipolar is closer to the schizotypal than to your narcissistic.

You'll find other differentiating indicators:


Sleep Diseases – notably acute sleeplessness – are prevalent during the manic phase of bipolar and unusual in narcissism. So is “manic speech” – pressured, uninterruptible, loud, swift, spectacular (includes singing and humorous asides), occasionally incomprehensible, incoherent, chaotic, and lasts for several hours. It reflects the bipolar’s interior turmoil and his/her lack of ability to manage his/her racing and kaleidoscopic ideas.

Versus narcissists, bipolar from the manic stage will often be distracted because of the slightest stimuli, are not able to concentrate on relevant data, or to take care of the thread of dialogue. They're “all over the place” – simultaneously initiating various organization ventures, joining a myriad Firm, crafting umpteen letters, getting in contact with many hundreds of pals and perfect strangers, performing inside of a domineering, demanding, and intrusive method, entirely disregarding the demands and thoughts in the regrettable recipients of their undesired attentions. They almost never adhere to up on their projects.

The transformation is so marked the bipolar is often described by his/her closest as “not himself/herself”. Without a doubt, some bipolars relocate, adjust identify and physical appearance, and eliminate connection with their “former life”. Antisocial or perhaps criminal actions is just not unusual and aggression is marked, directed at the two Other folks (assault) and oneself (suicide). Some biploars describe an acuteness on the senses, akin to ordeals recounted by drug buyers: smells, sounds, and sights are accentuated and attain an unearthly excellent.

Instead of narcissists, bipolars regret their misdeeds pursuing the manic section and check out to atone for his or her actions. They notice and settle for that “anything is Erroneous with them” and seek aid. In the depressive stage These are Moi-dystonic program clean 9 forever living as well as their defenses are autoplastic (they blame on their own for their defeats, failures, and mishaps).

Ultimately, pathological narcissism is c9 clean currently discernible in early adolescence. The complete-fledged bipolar problem – such as a manic section – rarely occurs ahead of the age of 20. The narcissist is constant in his pathology – not Hence the bipolar. The onset of your manic episode is quickly and furious and ends in a conspicuous metamorphosis from the patient.

More details on this subject in this article:

Stormberg, D., Roningstam, E., Gunderson, J., & Tohen, M. (1998) Pathological Narcissism in Bipolar Disorder Patients. Journal of Persona Ailments, 12, 179-185

Roningstam, E. (1996), Pathological Narcissism and Narcissistic Persona Ailment in Axis I Issues. Harvard Evaluation of Psychiatry, three, 326-340