What is Worse, Narcissism, or Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are two distinct mental illnesses. These two conditions may share some characteristics. It can be challenging to tell them apart at times. People often ask, which is worse, narcissism or bipolar disorder?

Let’s make some comparisons in both to understand it in detail.

What is Worse, Narcissism, or Bipolar Disorder? -A Comparison

It isn’t simple to compare the two, but here are some ideas:

Bipolar disorder is a medical condition with emotional consequences. However, narcissism is a personality disorder. They have entirely different diagnostic axes. This is one of the reasons they are difficult to compare.

How “bad” it is, as with any disorder, is a function of how bad it is. One could have mild narcissism that isn’t too bothersome but severe bipolar disorder. Turn that thought around and ask the question again.

Both disorders impact the people who interact with the diagnosed person so that the question could be “Worse for whom?”.

The majority of narcissists do not consider their narcissistic tendencies a problem. In other words, it causes the diagnosed to have limited awareness of their suffering. Bipolar disorder, on the other hand, causes enormous suffering and disability.

In some people’s opinion, narcissism is worse for two reasons.

Narcissism is a personality disorder caused by childhood trauma or life experiences. For those interested in understanding the more severe forms of narcissism, learning about the narcissistic sociopath can offer valuable insights.

A chemical imbalance causes bipolar depression. It is a medical condition that is curable with medication. Bipolar disorder is treatable and manageable.

A narcissist would first need to accept they have a problem (which is very rare). Secondly, they would need to admit they need help (which is also very rare). At last, they would need to accept they need treatment. It means they must want to be helped and be willing to change.

It is often seen that a bipolar person is much more likely to be successful in therapy. I would say it varies from case to case. Personality disorders, in general, are challenging to treat. It is because they are challenging to identify.

Also, people with personality disorders are more likely to be uncertain about mental illness. This is especially true for those with NPD and borderline personality disorder.

Bipolar disorder, on the other hand, is easier to diagnose and thus easier to treat. Furthermore, it is not always clear how to treat narcissistic personality disorder. It is dependent on the individual case. Meanwhile, therapy, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications treat bipolar disorder.

So treating a narcissistic personality disorder is more complex than treating BPD. But again, this depends on the individual with the diagnosis.

Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Narcissism

Bipolar disorder is a type of mood disorder. It causes mood swings, manic episodes, low moods, or depressive episodes. There are three types: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymia.

Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by:

  • Feelings of self-importance
  • Grandiosity
  • A desire for approval.

A person who exhibits narcissistic features may have a narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissism is one of several personality disorders classified as cluster B. It includes:

  • Dramatic
  • Emotional
  • Erratic thinking and behavior.

Link Between Both

The leading guide that professionals use for diagnoses (DSM-5) does not list narcissism as a symptom of bipolar disorder. DSM 5 means the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

When bipolar people experience mania, they may display some behaviors that also help characterize narcissistic personality disorder.

As a starting point, here are some examples:

  • High confidence in one’s abilities
  • Increased confidence in one’s value
  • Elevated levels of vitality
  • An exaggerated view of oneself

A manic episode of both disorders can appear similar due to this overlap in symptoms. Unfortunately, this can occasionally result in incorrect diagnoses. In addition, during depressive episodes, a bipolar person may:

  • Neglect caring responsibilities
  • Avoid social contact
  • Appear insensitive to the needs of others.

This is most likely to occur when depression symptoms make it difficult to think of others.

Meanwhile, people who have a narcissistic personality disorder may appear disinterested or insensitive to the needs of others. It may be due to a fear of inadequacy. It’s possible that they, too, have a predisposition to sadness, which exhibits itself in overconfidence.

Narcissism and bipolar disorder can be exasperating for those affected and their loved ones.

Narcissistic traits are not a choice, whether as part of a personality disorder or bipolar disorder. They are a sign of a mental health problem.

Anyone who suspects they may have a psychological health condition should consult a doctor. They can assist in developing a treatment plan that will allow them to live a whole, active life. They also help in maintaining healthy relationships.

You can book an appointment to get expert advice with the consult the Best Psychiatrist through Marham.


1. Do people with the bipolar disorder hear voices?

People with Bipolar disorder also have psychotic symptoms. Delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations are examples of these.

2. Can a narcissist fall in love?

Narcissism is:

  • A pattern of self-importance (grandiosity),
  • A constant need for admiration and attention
  • Lack of empathy for others.

A narcissist cannot truly love you because of their lack of empathy.

3. Why does bipolar disorder shorten people’s lives?

There are various possible explanations for the decrease in longevity. The most obvious are:

  • High rates of high-risk behavior.
  • Unhealthy lifestyles
  • A suicide that many people with bipolar disorder experience.

James Morkel

Tech website author with a passion for all things technology. Expert in various tech domains, including software, gadgets, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies. Dedicated to simplifying complex topics and providing informative and engaging content to readers. Stay updated with the latest tech trends and industry news through their insightful articles.

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