Recognising Narcissistic Abuse and the Implications for Mental Health Nursing Practice

Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2019 Aug;40(8):644-654. doi: 10.1080/01612840.2019.1590485. Epub 2019 May 29.


Emotional and psychological abuse are components of what are now more commonly accepted as aspects of domestic violence in addition to physical assault. Narcissistic abuse formulations of domestic violence are lesser known concepts and not recognised in UK health care in general, nor commonly in UK mental health services and by default mental health nursing. The effects on the individual who has experienced narcissistic abuse can be fatal or extremely debilitating, long lasting and individual recovery can be a complex process. This article will argue that the language and formulation of narcissistic abuse should be at the forefront of the multidisciplinary teams', and in particular mental health nurses' knowledge in order that victims can be directly supported or signposted to support to enable timely interventions and in-depth understanding.

MeSH terms

  • Domestic Violence*
  • Humans
  • Narcissism*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Psychiatric Nursing*
  • United Kingdom