How Common Is Narcissistic Abuse In The United States?

Narcissistic abuse is a form of psychological manipulation and emotional abuse that is inflicted by a person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) on their target. It is a term that describes a wide range of behaviors, including gaslighting, manipulation, and emotional abuse, that are used to control and exploit others. In this article, we will explore how common narcissistic abuse is in the United States, and what can be done to prevent and address it.

Understanding Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health condition in which an individual has an excessively inflated sense of self-importance, grandiosity, entitlement, and lack of empathy for others. People with NPD have an exaggerated sense of their own abilities, accomplishments, and talents. They also have a deep need for admiration, attention, and admiration, and will often seek these out through manipulation, coercion, and emotional abuse.

While the exact prevalence of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the United States is difficult to estimate, some studies suggest that it affects around 1% of the population. However, it is important to note that narcissistic traits are relatively common in the general population, with many people exhibiting some level of self-centeredness, arrogance, or self-obsession at times.

The Prevalence of Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissistic abuse is a common result of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and it can have serious, long-lasting effects on the victim’s mental health and well-being. It is important to note that anyone can be a victim of narcissistic abuse, regardless of age or gender. However, some groups are more vulnerable to this type of abuse than others, including:

  • people with low self-esteem or confidence
  • individuals with a history of emotional or physical abuse
  • people who are highly empathetic and caring
  • people who are financially dependent on the abuser

The prevalence of narcissistic abuse in the United States is difficult to estimate, as many victims do not report the abuse or seek help. However, some research suggests that around 50% of all cases of domestic violence involve some form of narcissistic abuse.

Signs of Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissistic abuse can take many different forms, and it is not always immediately obvious. However, there are some common signs that can indicate that you are being targeted by a narcissistic abuser:

  • The abuser is highly critical of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, and may belittle or dismiss your opinions or achievements.
  • The abuser seeks to control your behavior and manipulate your emotions in order to gain power and influence over you.
  • The abuser may use gaslighting tactics to make you doubt your own perceptions and memories, or to make you feel like you are crazy or unstable.
  • The abuser may exhibit a charming, charismatic personality in public, but can become moody, aggressive, or violent in private.
  • The abuser may use financial or emotional manipulation to keep you dependent on them and prevent you from leaving the relationship.

Preventing and Addressing Narcissistic Abuse

If you believe that you are being targeted by a narcissistic abuser, it is important to seek help and support as soon as possible. Here are some steps you can take to prevent and address narcissistic abuse:

  • Trust your instincts: If something feels wrong or off in your relationship, listen to your gut and take action.
  • Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with the abuser, and be prepared to enforce them if necessary.
  • Build a support network: Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or professionals who can provide you with support and guidance.
  • Get help from a professional: Consider consulting a therapist or counselor who specializes in narcissistic abuse or domestic violence.
  • Plan for safety: If you decide to leave the relationship, make a safety plan ahead of time to protect yourself and your dependents.


Narcissistic abuse is a serious and damaging form of psychological manipulation and emotional abuse that can have lasting effects on victims. However, by understanding the signs of narcissistic abuse, seeking help and support, and taking proactive steps to prevent and address abuse in our relationships and communities, we can work together to create a safer, healthier, and more compassionate society.


FAQs About How Common Is Narcissistic Abuse In The United States

What is narcissistic abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is a form of emotional and psychological abuse in which someone uses their power and control to manipulate, belittle or hurt someone else. Narcissistic abusers seek to undermine their victim’s sense of self-worth, often through emotional manipulation or gaslighting techniques.

How common is narcissistic abuse in the United States?

Narcissistic abuse is surprisingly common in the United States. A recent study found that up to 8% of the population may experience narcissistic abuse at some point in their lives. However, this number may be higher as many individuals do not seek help or report abuse due to fear or shame.

How can someone protect themselves from narcissistic abuse?

The best way to protect yourself from narcissistic abuse is to educate yourself on the signs of abuse and seek help from a trusted therapist or support group. It’s important to set clear boundaries and cut ties with anyone who repeatedly disregards your feelings and wellbeing. Remember, no one deserves to be treated with disrespect or abuse.


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