When I process things, I tend to do a lot of research. I want to know the facts and empirical evidence to help guide me to logical conclusions and helpful next steps. So I started thinking…has anyone done any work on what happens when a bipolar person is involved with a narcissist? I found this posting, and it spoke to me so much it made me cry.
By Sammy Angel:
“A very addictive relationship which brings out the worst in both. The sadist awakens within the narcissist and the victim of emotions in the bipolar. In my attempt to respond, I could be wrong, but since my mother is bipolar (II) and my father a narcissist (covert), perhaps I can illustrate the dynamic.
As it is known, people who are bipolar experience either (hypo)mania or depression. Also known is that the narcissist feeds on his partner’s responses to receive validation. This creates a very theatrical situation. When he praises the bipolar, the bipolar feels cherished and therefore mood is elevated. The euphoria is visible and the narcissist feels powerful to have caused such.
On the contrary, when he devalues the bipolar, the bipolar breaks down and suffers in an obvious way. This again increases the sense of power the narcissist feels upon his asset. Due to the fact that bipolar provides exactly the display a narcissist feeds off, she is the perfect victim.
A narcissist could exploit the mental condition of someone who is bipolar to make them look unstable because that makes the narcissist feel superior, and then it gives them someone to blame when things don’t work out. The bipolar, being ridden by guilt, takes responsibility for the failure and thus is in a weaker position, always on the defense. This makes the bipolar a prime source of narcissistic supply, as the puppet is responding in a very fulfilling way.
For the bipolar, it can be destructive as the conditioning may lead them to a mental breakdown, since someone is actually orchestrating their mood swings (which can be exhausting).
Eventually, there is an addictive dynamic into the relationship, both ways. The narcissist has implanted seeds of self-doubt and low self-esteem to the bipolar, making her feel she could not survive without him, nor worthy of better treatment. She accepts drama as hard love and creates attachment, while he enjoys toying with her emotions.”
Addiction. This is the perfect description. I feel addicted, even after the abusive behaviors. Sometimes I struggle with not reaching out to him, although logically I know that I shouldn’t. What I know about addiction is that you either go cold turkey or you get help. Everything I’ve read about dealing with narcissists is that you need to break off entirely. But that can’t happen when you have a child. So how to manage this?