By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated September 03, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Sonya Bruner
NPD is a mental condition with a personally inflated sense of self-importance and a deep need for excessive attention and admiration. Continue reading to learn more about NPD and other mental health conditions as well as about the treatment options available such as online therapy.
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental condition in which a person has a personally inflated sense of self-importance and a deep need for excessive attention and admiration. It causes troubled relationships and a lack of empathy for others. A person who is narcissistic displays a great amount of pride and arrogance. If they are put into a situation where they feel they are not receiving the admiration they deserve, it can lead to displays of narcissistic rage. Causes of narcissistic rage include the following, which we’ll discuss in detail later in this article:
Injury to self-esteem
A false sense of self
If you have experienced narcissistic rage, you are not alone. There are ways to get help. If you struggle with narcissistic tendencies like narcissistic rage, it can be hard to deal with situations where you feel like your ego is being threatened.
Symptoms of NPD
Around 6% of the American population struggle with this condition. Some basic signs and symptoms of narcissism such as narcissistic rage may vary among different people but can include any of the following:
Having an exaggerated sense of self-worth and personal achievements
Feeling a sense of entitlement, with a need for constant, excessive admiration
Possessing self-superiority without supporting achievements
Having a self-superior nature and only willing to associate with equally superior people
Expecting special favors and submission of others to their expectations
Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
Being envious of others, while believing all others envy them
Exhibiting arrogance or haughty behavior, also appearing conceited, boastful, and pretentious
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and narcissistic rage also have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism. They become impatient or angry when special treatment is denied.
What Is The Definition of Narcissistic Rage?
“Narcissistic rage” has been studied by several psychologists over the past century. For people with narcissism, there is an intense feeling of being attacked when their grandiose sense of self-worth or overgrown ego is downplayed. Either a “narcissistic injury” or “narcissistic scar” causes this individual pain, and the narcissistic rage response is intense. Without the ability to handle these situations calmly, they will often launch into an uncontrollable narcissistic rage. This narcissistic rage is a source of protection or defense from the perceived shame or pain that they are unable to face. Sometimes with the loss of an ability to defend or control oneself, these rages appear constant or continual. Anyone who experiences this rage requires assistance.
The Difference From Basic Anger
Narcissistic rage is triggered easily by a range of things that would only slightly irritate another person. Narcissistic people may launch into violent rage from something that would appear trivial to others, for example, small disagreements or denied desires and wishes. Any time you trigger any shameful feeling for the person with narcissism, they can launch into a rage.
People who are narcissists and who experience narcissistic rage do not follow the common pathway of rage. They are often driven from agitation into an aggressive rage with a simple trigger. Any small play against their ego or perfectionism – or even the slightest action against their image of self-worth – may be enough to trigger this. The rage is perfectly acceptable to how they see themselves, though others usually don’t understand it and it is not an acceptable expression of rage.
Causes of Anger And NPD
Without constant support and a positive sense of self, the ego of the person who is a narcissist is very fragile. They perceive any negative comments toward them as an immense humiliation. When this occurs, they can be thrown into a narcissistic rage; this perceived negativity is often called a “narcissistic injury.” The injury and resulting narcissistic rage is usually caused by one of three things: challenged confidence, injured self-esteem, or a false sense of self.
- Challenged Confidence – The appearance of confidence, self-assurance, and entitlement are significant to the person who is a narcissist. Given the excessive demands placed on others in their relationships, they can often feel challenged and eventually angry. Immediately upon feeling challenged, the person with narcissism feels attacked by the other, often responding in a rage to protect their ego or overpower others.
- Injury to Esteem – Injury to the self-esteem of the person with narcissism can induce feelings of shame or failure. Because they project entitlement and self-importance to extremes, any failures pointed out by others in their life eventually leads to their rage. This rage can be directed as revenge upon the accuser and may include acts of violence.
- False Sense of Self – This includes a false sense of identity and capabilities. While this can begin in childhood, supported by those around them, the narcissistic person often has an underlying sense of feeling unworthy or being unlovable by those close to them. They may acquire superficial relationships that nurture the false sense of self and can continue feeding those positive feelings. When an intimate lover or partner expresses doubts to the person with narcissism, a narcissistic rage often surfaces.
It is important to know that narcissistic rage is not a reaction to stress or simple anger at not having their needs met. There is usually a much larger, underlying, personal fear of these extreme outbursts. The person is often on the lookout for downplays from others – from criticisms to disagreements to more. This can easily lead to humiliation or feelings of rejection, eventually manifesting as rage.
With little to no protective barrier, the person who is a narcissist has minimal emotional skin. They are ultra-sensitive, making personal experiences overly intense. With the inability to maintain a solid or true self, their identity can become over-inflated at times and make them prone to narcissistic rage. There is often a reduction of the personal boundary between them and others, which can lead to feelings of helplessness or victimization. The person experiencing narcissism can sometimes feel as though others have left them abandoned, rejected, and alone. In this manner, it is hard for them to manage their feelings or honestly approach their issues.
This rage is a way of scrambling to hold on to everyone and everything they feel slipping away at times.
Two Types of Anger: Explosive & Passive-Aggressive
Explosive narcissistic rage often appears completely unprovoked. Such outbursts usually appear highly volatile where the victim, even the person who is narcissistic, is attacked verbally or physically. Sometimes the person damages others, either physically or emotionally, while in narcissistic rage. These episodes can escalate to extremely violent levels, even to the point of homicide in some cases.
Narcissistic rage can also present itself in a passive-aggressive manner. This occurs when they punish the victim by withdrawing all communication. The person with narcissism will sulk or retreat until they feel their message has been received by the other person.
Those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder usually don’t think that anything could be wrong, making them unlikely to seek treatment. But there are other options available, including the following:
While there isn’t a medication that is specifically for narcissistic rage, there are prescription medications that can help, such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers. The type of medication that could work will depend on what symptoms they are living with and any other mental health challenges that they’re facing.
Research suggests that meditating can help reduce your body’s response to anger and thus reduce narcissistic rage. If you engage in consistent meditation (several times a week), your ability to remain calm in anger-provoking situations will be enhanced. However, NPD can be more complex than simple anger. Seeking professional help is recommended.
As mentioned above, psychotherapy is an effective form of therapy for NPD and rage. There are multiple types of “talk therapy” available. Some focus on helping you look and analyze situations in your life, while others help you focus on learning to control your thoughts.
BetterHelp Offers A Convenient Solution
If you’re interested in therapy options to cope with narcissistic rage within yourself or a loved one, consider BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers online therapy that makes getting help convenient. You don’t have to worry about going into an office and can discreetly talk with a therapist when and how you need it. You can read reviews of a few of our therapists below.
BetterHelp Therapist Reviews
Previous Article14 Anger Management Techniques And How They Work
Next ArticleWhich Is Best? Therapy Or Medication For Anger Disorders
Learn MoreWhat Is Online Therapy? About Online Counseling
Abuse ADHD Adolescence Alzheimer's Ambition Anger Anxiety Attachment Attraction Behavior Bipolar Body Dysmorphic Disorder Body Language Bullying Careers Chat Childhood Counseling Current Events Dating Defense Mechanisms Dementia Depression Domestic Violence Eating Disorders Family Friendship General Grief Guilt Happiness How To Huntington's Disease Impulse Control Disorder Inclusive Mental Health Intimacy Loneliness Love Marriage Medication Memory Menopause Mental Health Of Men And Boys MidLife Crisis Mindfulness Monogamy Morality Motivation Neuroticism Optimism Panic Attacks Paranoia Parenting Personality Personality Disorders Persuasion Pessimism Pheromones Phobias Pornography Procrastination Psychiatry Psychologists Psychopathy Psychosis Psychotherapy PTSD Punishment Rejection Relationships and Relations Resilience Schizophrenia Self Esteem Sleep Sociopathy Stage Fright Stereotypes Stress Success Stories Synesthesia Teamwork Teenagers Temperament Tests Therapy Time Management Trauma Visualization Willpower Wisdom Worry
Struggling With Anger Attacks? How To Gain Control Strategies For Teenagers’ Anger Management Why Am I So Angry? Depression And Its Link To Anger When Feeling Depressed & Angry Emotions Make Coping Difficult Volatile Anger: Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore Where to Find Effective Anger Management Classes That Work