Pathological narcissism is considered to be a certain formof depressive illness by many different scholars. Many psychologists of the modern daycompletely agree with this idea. Typical narcissist actually does suffer from recurrentbouts of anhedonia and dysphoria. He or she also suffers from dysthymic,cyclothymic and several other types of clinical depression. These are alsocommonly accompanied by frequently present mood disorders. For those who arenot familiar with the terms, anhedonia is a term used for the loss of theability to feel pleasure while dysphoria stands for ubiquitous hopelessness andsadness. In the context of narcissism the distinction between endogenous andreactive depression is still used, but in all other contexts it is consideredto be obsolete. The personality of a narcissist is precariously balanced andcompletely disorganized. The narcissistic supply provides the sense of self-worth.The narcissist considers any threat of the uninterrupted flow of narcissisticsupply as a life threatening one.
Different types of dysphoria
First type of dysphoria is referred to as loss induceddysphoria and it is actually a depressive reaction which occurs when thenarcissist loses one or more of his or her sources of narcissistic supply. Itcan also be the occurrence in which the pathological narcissistic space getsdisintegrated. The second type is called deficiency induced dysphoria. This ischaracterized by acute, deep depression which usually occurs after theaforementioned losses of narcissistic supply sources. Once the losses occur,the narcissist then needs to grieve the deficiency of complete absence of thenarcissistic supply. But at the same time, he or she is motivated to find newsources which should replenish the stock and initiate the so callednarcissistic cycle. The third type of dysphoria is the one called self-worthdysregulation dysphoria. When faced with criticism or disagreement, thenarcissist becomes depressed, especially when such stimuli come from some longterm, trusted sources of narcissistic supply. The narcissist starts expressingfear of the loss of the source and his or her mental balance gets damaged.Other things that get expressed include vulnerability and dependence onfeedback which come from other persons. In other words, this type of dysphoriais actually a mutation of self-directed aggression. The fourth type ofdysphoria is the one called grandiosity gap dysphoria. If a narcissist receivesany data which would jeopardize his or her “superiority”, it will be discarded.Once it manages to intrude into his or her psyche this type of dysphoriaoccurs. The final type of dysphoria iscalled self-punishing dysphoria and it is pretty much self-explanatory.