It is estimated that 1 percent of the population has malignant narcissism. In my opinion this percent is wrong. I think it is a higher number.
Narcissists usually do not seek treatment for themselves. They have been known to go into couples therapy, but only in order to make their partner appear like the crazy one. Narcissists can appear calm and normal in a therapy setting. They know how to fool the therapist.
Since the partner would be emotional and acting somewhat crazy, due to the mental torment of living with a narcissist, then the victim appears to be the unstable one to the therapist.
SInce very few narcissists have been in treatment in a way that is honest and communicative in any real way to the therapist, then how can they possibly estimate the percent of narcissists in our society?
Adding the fact of co-morbid personality disorders, there are also narcissists that are comorbid with borderline personality disorder and anti-social personality disorder.
Therefor a narcissist may be identified by the therapist as having borderline personality disorder. The narcissist may cover up the narcissistic traits to the therapist and only show the borderline traits.
The narcissist is a chameleon. They are great actors. They can play any role they want to, for a short period of time, like in a therapy session. Their true colors are usually shown to their partner, and in their own pathological space, like their home.
I would guess that the percent is closer to 3-5 percent , than it is 1 percent. But this is a personal opinion. based on my rational.
Narcissists do tend to cluster in certain work fields. There are narcissists in the psychiatric field. There are also narcissists in other health care fields. These are professions that many narcissists go into, because they are able to have power over other people.
Be careful, as you getting to know a new partner and even a new therapist. Watch for the red flags. A good question that you ask a narcissist is “If you were going to improve anything about yourself, what would it be?”
When presented with this question, a narcissist will have trouble identifying anything wrong with themselves. They may give an obviously made up, acting sort of a response.
They may focus their “need to improve” on other people. They will blame other people for their behavior and any shortcomings. Nothing about their behavior, their personality, their mistakes or need for improvement ever has anything to with them.
They will blame their parents, their employer, their employees, their ex girlfriend. their therapist if they had one, the government and YOU. Everything is always someone else’e fault, in their mind.
Keep these things in mind, in order to protect yourself from entering into any abusive relationships again.