Are Teenage Suicide and Narcissism Caused by the Same Thing?

Is There a Link Between Narcissism and Teenage Suicide?

I am not an expert on teenage suicide, but I have studied
a lot of Gordon Neufeld's work (who is) and from this research
and my own life's experience I have come to believe that there is ...

You see, Dr. Neufeld has found (and this was very surprising to
me) that the cause of nearly all teenage suicide is peer rejection.

Now we all experience rejection as teenagers, so why does
this make some kids turn to suicide while others get over it in
only a few days?

The answer, it seems, is how strong and healthy a relationship
a teenager has with his or her parents. Because it is this strong
relationship which will help a kid deal more easily with
the grief of being dumped by a lover or by their friends.

Teenagers are naturally very narcissistic and often
are very cruel about rejecting their parents in favour of their
peers and so keeping this relationship healthy and strong can
be extremely difficult ...just like it can be with a narcissistic spouse.

There is a saying I like which is, "If you've never been hated
by your child, you've never been a parent."

And another which says "An infallible way to make your child miserable is to satisfy
all his demands."

To me this says that we will never earn our children's love
and respect if we don't know how to stand up to them sometimes
in a way that is rock solid while also being loving and just.

In exactly the same way, if your partner is giving their best to
people outside your family, you need to know how to stand up
to them. Trying to reason or plead with them simply won't work.

Likewise, doing stuff to try and please a spouse who is pulling
away will only make you look weak and desperate and a poor second
choice to their peers whose friendship comes with fewer strings attached
and fewer demands.

If your partner has narcissistic tendencies, they probably grew
up ignoring their parent's attempts to discipline them, right
along with ignoring their bribes.

I remember, when I met Steve, his dad was calling and lecturing him
nearly every day and this had gone on for nearly 5 years - so it
is obvious his words were not getting through!

So if you don't want to be thrown into the 'whining nag' basket and
left to rot, you will need to know how to stand up for yourself in a
confident and attractive way, and not be scared if at first this rocks
the boat.

Because, when your partner just follows the crowd and plays along
with what is easy and tempting it will never lead him to a happy and
fulfilling life, so taking this stand is really for their sake as
well as yours.

When I first began standing up to Steve I remember saying to him
that if he continued dragging our life into the gutter, he had me
as his sworn enemy and I would fight him all the way, but as soon
as he decided he wanted to help me build a respectable family I
would stand by him and never let him down.

He tested me on that too in the beginning and I tell you it was
about the toughest thing I ever did standing my ground.

I had no money either and so I had to do a crazy amount of work
for barter to find professional advice and help.

I remember one woman we paid as a counselor who told me she
didn't like Americans (she was talking about me) because they were
too earnest and then sat me in the dark in the childminding room (on
children's furniture) while she talked in the other room to Steve.
When I came back in the room she sent Steve out to the adults'
waiting room and said to me, smugly, that she and Steve had a really
deep heart-to-heart and that he was very clear about where all the
problems in our relationship were coming from, and of course she
was looking at me.

Back then I was dumb enough to actually try and reason with this
woman about how Steve had not told her the truth - but still
in the end I was smart enough to leave and never go back!

I have often wondered what a therapist could be besides being earnest?
Flippant or off-handed? I have never before or since heard earnest
used as an insult.

Over time I did learn to stand my ground, however, and slowly found
people who gave me better advice.

The job I took on back then is still a work in progress, and Steve and
I are now a team who work together keeping a good relationship
with our kids and keeping them close.

And so what does any of this have to do with teenage suicide?

Well as a teenager I had a boyfriend who, while we were together,
started running with the wrong crowd. I decided to leave him because
I didn't want to let my life go the way he was heading and then a short
time later he ended up taking his life.

That was a nearly unbearable tragedy for me as a teenager because,
even though I did not like the choices he was making, I still really
did love him and had no idea he felt so alone that he would make
the ultimate bad choice.

So this might be part of what gave me the strength to not leave Steve
and instead 'fight for his soul' when other women and friends he had
made on 'the bad side of town' started trying to lure him away
from me and our kids.

Steve acted like he preferred them to me, but just like the boy I had
loved as a teenager, I saw in reality they were making him very sad.

And all those friends of Steve's out about town in bars? Well they are
nearly a forgotten memory now and I know he really doesn't miss
them at all.

Because, as much as a 'peer attached' teenager or spouse may fight you,
a solid and loving home and family are what I believe we all really
want in our heart.

You must know however that this will not come from your pleading,
reasoning or convincing and it won't come from you bending over
backwards trying to please. You will need to start focusing on your own
goals and learning how to stand your ground calmly and effectively -
even when at first your family doesn't like your new game plan or
your new rules.

Kim Cooper


  1. Kim,

    You are so wise and such an inspiration to me (as is Steve). Things are so much better with me and my husband because of you. I wonder how many marriages and lives you will save? During William and Kate's wedding today, the officiant said, "Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire." I wrote it down and plan to use that as my new mantra! One day I hope to write you a very long letter about my experience and how you have helped me (it may be the length of a book!). I think of you so often and I thank you so much for your help, when others (including Psychologists) offer dead-ends, and even advice that harms. Thank you so much!

  2. Thought you might appreciate this poem I wrote: When One Love Narcissist Meets Another
    By: Linda G. Way

    You've got a wall that's a mile thick

    And all I do is match you, brick for brick

    The mortar that keeps us apart is fear

    I always do the opposite of what I feel

    Till I no longer know, if what I feel is real

    I'd rather push you away than hold you near

    I keep praying for an earthquake that never comes

    I'm tired of this fortress that stands alone

    Beside another, cold as a stone

    Barren, impenetratable....

  3. Some psychologists really have no idea what they're talking about. They have training but no heart. They're not useful. It takes a whole lot of experiences with bad therapists to have the courage to evaluate a real one that's worthy of being your therapist.

  4. Thank you for another great post, Kim... I really appreciate your personal notes that you add... I wish you the best of luck on your attempts to get that contract with the government!... And "Raven"... great poem!... I love it!... :)... Aurelio.

  5. Celiac can cause narcissism..... and when the person's brain is low in oxygen, suicide. Eating no gluten/dairy/soy/sugar...taking vitamins and good oils like fish oil...taking vitamins that raise oxygen like Coenzyme Q10/rhodiola/B vitamins etc..can help. LDN helps block Celiac and helps personality the first day and helps get rid of depression as it heals the gut lining so it absorbs more vitamins. Young adults...the Celiac may get bad enough to hurt them with depression. Teens...hormones added to Celiac may affect them. Narcissism...I am watching my older son turn into a narcissist...He is 26...He wants to still eat dairy/ pizza/beer...but takes a few vitamins/good oils and LDN...but he is overriding the LDN with what he eats.

  6. I havent yet learned how to really stand up for myself.
    My husband is very good and smooth at speaking he always draws the kids into it and even when I ask him to stop he pursues and yells and bullies til he gets me to engage. I am weak and feel hopeless I cant see myself ever being able to stop his behavior and set my boundary and not allow it to get crossed by him. He tells me how bad I am and all my faults and proves them out with all my kids who all rally behind him I am so emotionally tired I am happier when he travels for business Life is so nice then I feel so weak

  7. Hi everyone and wow what a great poem Linda! I showed it to my son and he said it would make a great rap song (-:

    Hey and anon who is feeling weak, I really do understand how you feel right now but for yours and your children's sake you do need to find courage. The steps in "Back from the Looking Glass" will really help you untangle the mess you are now facing.

    Your kids only back him because he appears stronger than you and so it is important that you show them that really it is you who is stronger!

    To Aurelio, thanks for your well wishes - things are moving ahead well and I have a great team supporting my efforts there!

    Thanks too to all the people who have sent in testimonials I am overwhelmed at the response we have had and can't wait to put these all together to show our Prime Minister (you read that right!) who we hope to be meeting with soon regarding our programs.

    Hi too to the woman whose son is showing signs of narcissism. It is very hard to tell a man that age what he can and cannot eat so you may want to consider approaching this from another angle. diet is one element but if telling him what to eat is damaging your relationship this will only give you less leverage with him.

    He will be much more likely to listen to your ideas if you spend some time working on your people skills with our great set of exercises in The Love Safety Net Workbook.

    Hang in there and take care!

    Kim Cooper

  8. Having almost completed training towards becoming a psychotherapist, i know enough to say the behaviour of the counsellor was completely unethical. They have allowed themselves to take sides, be judgemental and jeopardise any potential theraputic alliance with you, besides adding to any negative feelings between yourself and Steve.
    A note of caution to anyone going to therapy or counselling. Check the person out first. Do they belong to a recognised body, do they state they are qualified and check out what they say they have, ask them if they are professionally insured (indemnity). If your aren't happy with the service, complain, to the person directly and If they are a member of a recognised body, contact them with your complaint.
    Sadly, their are people out there who are practicing and doing more harm than good. In the UK anyone can call themselves a therapist and not be qualified or registered. If the person you chose has gone to the extent of paying for their own training and insurance, they are taking what they do serously

  9. Kim, I've no doubt disasters like suicide have a lot to do with disorders in the family, and peer behaviour, but as I've said so many times, and will say it again, I have learnt that its to do with a dynamic which opperates between all the 3 disorders of the self: schizoid, narcissist, borderline. Im not talking about the DSM, Im talking about as described by Masterson. Some of this is here:

  10. Thanks to Kim and Steve and all the comments. We have finally found a counsellor that deals with sex addiction and narcissism. I feel like a burden has been lifted although, I know it is a long hard road ahead, I no longer feel alone. It is still up to my partner to do his work.

    I thank you so much as finding you online and doing the books gave me hope to continue even though my family and daughter do not want me to stay in this relationship. I have to try everything until I am satisfied there is no hope. I believe at this point that there is.

  11. I loved reading an article about how you and Steve treasure your homelife and time with your kids. Less fighting, working as a TEAM and genuine friends. Far from boring, it is so beautiful. Im so glad you and Steve were able to keep your family together and value the real and important things in life.

    I have been following your site and receiving your emails for about 3 years now. This is the first time I have posted a comment as there just seems too much to say about my story - everyone has the same story anyway, just differing circumstances. In saying that, your site has been like a lifeline to me (or a lifeboat)lol.

    I was interested to read the comment, "We had lots of parties and knew lots of people (most of which we really had little in common with) and gave most of our best to the outside world rather than to each other or our kids".

    It is truly inside out, giving our best to others before our loved ones.

    For 13yrs we lived together, he raised my son from a baby and we were actively and consistently involved in helping to raise his two daughters from a previous relationship.He was very verbally abusive and occasionally physically abusive. One day, he decided to kick myself and my son out of the house with no discussion or provision of where we would go. I went to a friends house. He rallied support from 'friends' to help ostracize me. After 3mnths of separation, he agreed to go to counselling, so I could be 'fixed'. It all turned nasty when I decided to find a place of my own whilst doing counselling. He ended up injuring me and dragging me around the house by my legs in front of my son. I had him arrested and applied for a Protection Order (it was the first time I had ever told anyone of his abuse)After a year of no contact, numerous court cases, two operations, over 50 physio appointments, losing my job and having to apply for a Benefit - he wanted to try again. He says he 'loves me' and that I'm "all he ever wanted". Its been four years now, since we have been separated but we cant seem to make it work or let each other go. I think he still wants to punish me for having him arrested and refusing to move back home and accept his abuse. This year, he subscribed to your emails and agreed to do the workbook but he doesnt read them and hasnt even bothered to start on the ebook.

    I now fear my partner engages in Emotional Affairs and because it is not a sexual affair (as far as I know), they justify it by being 'innocent'. I am seen as suspicious and jealous or crazy. When he shares personal & intimate details about the problems in our relationship, I see that as elevating the other women to 'special status' above me. She is seen as one who 'understands' him, unlike me ... he says I am 'ruled by my ego' ... The women love to make a big show of how 'close' they are to him.

    Even though he tries to make me accept it, I cant. I am uncomfortable & uneasy with some of his friendships. It is hard to know what he gets up to as I dont live with him anymore. I have recently started working on your Workbook and it is very helpful. Great work, guys!

    I understand it is about Limiting Abuse but it is so difficult when abuse has changed from Overt to Covert. How do I deal with covert abuse - it isnt alway apparent, except for the sick feelings I feel inside my heart? It certainly makes me feel crazy and I'm sad to say that I sometimes act that way too, when I lose the plot.

    Anyway, I mainly wanted to thank you both and commend you on the excellent work you do. It is true, a lot of information on Narcissim is very hateful and it is a breath of fresh air to find practical & sound advice, based in love. By the way, your whole concept of 'parenting the adult' - ones own self included is brilliant. I parented my son that way when he was little, trouble is, I didnt think I had to do it with adults or myself! Sigh .... :D

    Keep up the great work!


  12. Hi everyone and thanks for your comments and to Angie - sorry to hear the tough time you have been through I think you might really enjoy our radio show called who will they turn to where we talk about how you might deal with this problem - you can find this show here;

    Hang in there!

    Kim Cooper

  13. Wow Kim and everyone,

    This website may be able to finally get me to pull me up and out of severe angst. The same similarities with friends and confiding in them more than me rings true for me. This is the first time I have ever come across these sentiments regarding "giving more time and attention to those on the outside world than our relationship".

    Thank you all!

  14. Thankyou for the link to the radio show, Kim. I have listened to it twice - there is a lot to take in. I've been trying to rack my brains on how to build a healthy attachment with him - it is difficult because we dont live together and a lot of trust on both sides has been severely damaged. I think he gets scared when he feels attachment to me. However, as you say, I will 'hang in there'. Keep up the good work guys.

    And to Tracy, I am so glad you feel validated. Try not to let 'others' convince you that your feelings don't matter because they do!


  15. I would like to hear more from the person who posted celiac effects.This is my husband..the gluten addict/alcoholic..and Crohn's has been detected in his side of family.His father was extremely my spouse turned out to be..wayyyyy out there..verbal/mental/hostile/ physical..then turn it off like a switch,act like nothing happened,"I love You's" and that I am the crazy one...

    I have been researching celiac..he has asthma/emphsyema/drinks non stop in mid afternoon daily..drinks and drives..alone or with our child..
    His father had split thumbnails and the rest were bumpy..My spouse's nails started this years ago..
    I 've studied nail readings and malabsorptions... This is my spouse thru and thru..and the alcoholism depletes vitamin/mineral contents..and celiac,candida,parasites and so forth..gut imbalances created from overuse of antibiotics and no probiotics...I am into Holism and Nutrition.{that's how I regained my Health from all the detri "mental" effects of stress on endocrine from this damage from a narcissistic relationship..

    He tricked me into a psych ward over a decade ago..and uses it as a weapon..even the doctors were fooled by his narcissism...and I knew what was bizzarre and was trying to make sense to him/me. It wasn't til later that I typed in "Anger and Lying" on the puter and it took me to "Tears and" and there was my crazy world with my partner explained to the "T"..
    I have been amazed at the Doc's who do not know the true meaning of this Behaviour..Or the therapist I saw who picked up on my partners "Defense Mechanisms" but didn't connect the dots to NPD/BPD years ago...

    I too helped my spouse with his daughter from a previous marriage...and he would let her walk all over me[and him too]..then he blames me for her/his outcomes in their relationship..Even Mother Thereasa would have been accused/attacked by him if she were trying to help their situation..
    He has undermined me to many people to drastic extents..Projections,lies, then sometimes he'll state "You know I never lie" when a circumstance evolves from his lying to lawyers over this divorce..stating he doesn't know why his lawyer stated this or that..he WAS HERE for property appraisal...and I recieve a letter fwd from his attny. that

    He felt that the appraisal was unjust due to him not being present to show appraisor all his improvements etc"!!!!

    I wish I'd have known about Narcissism A LONG LONG time ago...I've encountered these kinds before..but just thought "Wow" How can one project/fabricate like that? My experience with my spouse unfolded subtly after I married him and bore his son..

    Other good advice can be found through Harville Hendrix "Imago Therapy" VERY VERY GOOD AND ASTOUNDING LIGHT SHED.
    CHILD HOOD WOUNDS/Learned Behaviours/ Healing Rage

    Thank you Kim and Steve..Thank You to those who speak out ..this verifies to others..REALITY in a Distorted relationship... and what the families/children go through.

    It's Sad and devastating to the reciever of Narcissism..But Also Very Sad to watch someone you love ,self destruct/struggle and do embarassing things to themselves..not to mention the family.They can fool some people..but others start to discredit the narcissist's projections..seeing the truth in the matter..And that has got to be humiliating/shameful inside the narcissist.

    Simply is compassionately sad to watch them suffer and deny healing..It is not so much what one is in DENIAL ABOUT....IT's what ONE IS BEING DENIED OF..HEALING..ABUNDANCE... HAPINESS>>FULLFILLED LIVES? FAMILIES..PEACE..A HIGHER SELF..
    IT's A multifaceted beast within..until it is Tamed and nurtured/healed..if One can get to that point.

  16. Hey good to hear from you and if you join the google friends connect social networking bar on this site you may find that the our resident celiac expert is amongst our blog followers and you can catch up direct!

    Kim Cooper

  17. My husband had an affair 20 years ago (we'd been married for 11 years)and although he denied it to the enth degree, he was forced to admit it. We got through it and it took me a very long time to trust. Well during the last 4 years things have happened that made me suspicious again & about 3 years ago, they both (same person of those 20 years ago) said nothing was going on-they had just 'worked on a project together' (Obviously he brought her back into our lives as they do not work for the same company) For the last 2 years,there have been letters,emails, cards, etc. addressed to him mailed to our home obviously for me to read. He has claimed that she is crazy however, these letters and emails have come almost weekly/daily and much of what is in them he has truly shared with her since they include things that only he and I have talked about-so it cannot be things that someone told her or she made up. He works every day and is home with me every night so it was truly hard to believe this was going on. It is not a physical affair, but it is an emotional one. I am realizing now that I have been in denial and didn't want to believe that after 30 years I would be contemplating a divorce. Our youngest daughter is getting married in 2 months so the timing is 'impeccable'. I have told him through tears-just like all the other times, that I cannot do this again. We have both cried and he begs me not to leave him -I have loved this man and still do, but know I cannot continue for both of our sakes and feel my only option is to separate/divorce to make him realize the seriousness of his issue. I also feel that the 'other woman' knows how vulnerable he is emotionally and really by doing this feels that he will run to her even though she had done nothing but 'trash' him in the emails/letters and 'filled me in' on all of their involvements, but then that's not my problem. I am so confused and am trying to stay strong-30 years is a long time to be with someone and just throw it all away, but I feel that's my only option. Except for this major issue, he is a good man, has never been aggressive or abusive. We no longer have children at home, our 2 children are grown and we have a grandchild. I know this will devastate them but I need to try to focus on me. I have to keep it together until my daughter is walked down that isle in two months and am scared. None of our children know about this.(I didn't mean to write a novel here!)

  18. Hi anon,

    I am so sorry to hear what you are going through please listen to our show here;


    1. When I was a child of ten, I developed a full blown case of Narcolepsy/Cataplexy. In 1952, no one knew anything about it. Thank God I was strong enough to isolate myself from family,as much as possible while still living with them,and schoolmates. It was lonely, but I was able to get through the crisis, with complete confidence that I could deal with it,if people would just leave me alone, and not try to force me into what should have been blossoming, and maturing social relationships. I always looked at this as a blessing in disguise, which would enable me to become a stronger, and more empathetic adult in future years. As I did mature, I was thankful for those strengths, which most others did not have, and I led a very full life emotionally,and intellectually,because of this. I married late, 45, but he was well worth waiting for. At the same time, we both starting working in an office with an employee who was a raving Narcissist. This woman nearly wrecked both our lives. She had been terribly poor as a child, so I treated her with a great deal of empathy, and friendship. Would that I had only known about Narcissism!! The one thing that really bothered me was her incessant invading of our private life. You couldn't get away from her! After a recent suicide attempt, on my part, we are both studying Narcissism to the Max. It was, and is, not a situation we can just walk away from. But I see her wreaking havoc with the employees, who should have been the natural leaders, and it sickens me. However, she works twice as hard, and twice as long as any other employee.
      With help, and insight, from this website, I believe we can now begin to deal with the problem in a more effective way. Don't make the mistake of just being tolerant. Understanding that the dripping water on the forehead form of torture, is JUST dripping water, WON'T keep you from going crazy. So it is with Narcissism.
      Thank you so much for your input.


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