What are narcissistic breakdown symptoms? (+3 Reasons for breakdowns)

The current article will be discussing the narcissistic breakdown symptoms and the reasons why this may occur. Furthermore, we will also be listing out some strategies through which you can deal with someone’s narcissistic breakdown.

What are narcissistic breakdown symptoms?

Narcissistic breakdown symptoms have been listed below,

  • Frequent outbursts of anger
  • Feelings of depression
  • Emotional manipulation
  • Taking part in reckless behaviors
  • Social isolation and withdrawal
  • Accusations of hurt
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Breakups of relationships
  • Feelings of irritability

Frequent outbursts of anger

While anger outbursts are pretty common among those who exhibit narcissism, when they are going through a breakdown or a collapse these outbursts tend to be more frequent. They also may be more volatile and easily angered when they are going through a collapse.

Feelings of depression

Another warning sign of a narcissistic breakdown is that the person may go through feelings of depression. They may show reduced appetite and may refrain from activities that brought them joy before.

Emotional manipulation

Emotional manipulation is another main symptom of a narcissistic breakdown. They may twist the words of others into manipulating them to get what they want. They may also practice gas-lighting to hurt their partners.

Taking part in reckless behaviors

Taking part in reckless behaviors is pretty common among those who are narcissistic in nature. During a narcissistic breakdown, reckless and dangerous behaviors may become more common, and may hurt the persona and those around them.

Social isolation and withdrawal

When they are experiencing a breakdown or a collapse, narcissists may also experience social isolation and withdrawal. They may voluntarily stay away from other people without giving any explanations.

Accusations of hurt

Narcissistic may also lead the person to accuse someone of hurting them in specific even if it is not true. In this case, the narcissist may feel paranoid that someone is truly out to get them and may even try to actively hurt them.

Self-harming behaviors

Narcissists may also take part in self-harming behaviors when they are going through a collapse or breakdown. These self-harming behaviors can include activities like cutting oneself or even using drugs and substances in a dangerous manner.

Breakups of relationships

If they are in a relationship, narcissists may also try to break-up with their partners when they are going through a breakdown or a collapse. They may simply get up and leave the relationship without taking the time to explain their motive leaving the partner straight-up confused.

Feelings of irritability

Feelings of anxiety and irritability can also be experienced by narcissists when they are going through a breakdown. They might show this irritability by restlessness and frequent lash-outs when they are in the presence of other people.

Reasons for narcissistic breakdowns

Narcissistic breakdowns or collapses are not exactly clinical terms but are experienced more than often. The main reasons why a narcissist may go through a breakdown or a collapse have been described in the list below.

  • Narcissists may go through a breakdown when they are not feeling validated enough
  • Narcissistic breakdowns may also be experienced when the person’s identity has been threatened or is not being allowed to be displayed
  • Another main reason or cause of narcissistic breakdowns is because the person is going through some inconveniences or stresses in life

How to deal with a narcissistic breakdown?

If you are living with someone who is a narcissist or if you are close to a narcissist, you need to be ready to cope with a narcissistic collapse or a breakdown at any time. Some ways through which you can cope with a narcissistic breakdown have been discussed as follows.

Try setting boundaries in the relationship

When you are with someone who is going through a narcissistic breakdown or a collapse, you may often get sucked into providing them with validation so that they heal themselves. But, this can only end up hurting you more.

Instead, it is important that you set boundaries in the relationship so that you are protected. If you have not set boundaries before, this may be a good time to start. At the same time, don’t expect things to go smoothly since you might get some backlash.

Encourage them to go to therapy

If you really care about the person who is going through the narcissistic breakdown or the collapse, you can try encouraging them to go to therapy. In therapy sessions, they will learn about the root cause of their narcissism and also get the emotional support they need.

Encouraging someone to go to therapy can mostly be responded with through negative actions and behaviors, and this can be even truer when it comes to narcissists. However, this is still necessary to be said in order to help the person deal with their collapse.

Keep practicing your self-care

When you are dealing with a narcissist, it is important that you keep practicing your self-care routine in order to improve your mental health and your self-esteem. This is especially if the narcissist is going through a collapse.

Through self-care and self-love, you will be able to heal from trauma and also make yourself stronger to face the narcissist and their collapse. Self-care can mean differently for everyone and so you can choose anything that works for you.

Try the no-contact rule

Another way to cope with a narcissist and their breakdown is by instating a no-contact rule. This may of course not be taken easily by the narcissist, but can also save you a great deal of harm and pain.

In the time of no-contact, both you and the narcissist will have time and space to heal yourselves and work through your own traumas. You can also try moving away for some distance in between you and the narcissist.

Go to therapy for yourself

While encouraging the narcissist to go to therapy, don’t forget to seek therapy for your own needs and comforts. Therapy when you are dealing with a narcissist can help in healing from the emotional trauma and give you more strength to boost your self-esteem.

Therapy can be sought through many modes, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most recommended. Through this type of therapy, you will be able to learn more about yourself and also get equipped with strong coping skills.

Use grounding activities

You can also get familiar with grounding activities to reduce your anxiety levels. An example of a grounding activity is deep breathing exercises. You can also use other grounding activities like running your hands under cold water or even by walking barefoot on grass.

Get emotional support

Being with a narcissist is certainly not an easy task but in order to cope with their breakdowns or collapses in a better manner, you can try seeking emotional support. You can do this by talking to a trusted friend or even by joining an online forum.

Be realistic about validation

One of the main reasons for a narcissistic breakdown or a collapse is because they don’t get the validation they need. In this situation, you might be tempted to give them validation to boost their self-esteem. While doing this, you need to be realistic.

Maintain a daily journal

Another great coping strategy that you can use is to maintain a daily journal. Through the activity of journaling, you will be able to vent and express your emotions and feelings about your relationship with a narcissistic person.

Journaling can also be useful when you are with someone who is undergoing a narcissistic breakdown or a collapse. This exercise can even be used when you are going to therapy sessions.


The current article has discussed the narcissistic breakdown symptoms and the reasons why this may occur. Furthermore, we have also listed out some strategies through which you can deal with someone’s narcissistic breakdown.

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