Narcissistic Abuse Is a Massive Public Health Crisis

Narcissistic abuse impacts at least half the world’s population.

Alisa Rafferty
4 min readFeb 16, 2021

I am asked why I am a narcissistic abuse awareness activist. To answer this question, I draw from experience being the target of narcissistic abuse. I am driven by the deep desire that others be released from the same mental and emotional cage that I used to be in. Rather than a tit-for-tat spat over whether someone is or isn’t qualified to identify NPD in their lives, I turn to research and numbers. World-renowned psychotherapist Bree Bonchay, LCSW said,

“Here’s what we do know: Approximately one in every 10 people is walking around without a conscience, or at best, lacks empathy. According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the prevalence in the general population for antisocial personality disorder is estimated at 3.3% percent and the prevalence of narcissistic personality disorder is as high as 6% percent. There are approximately 326 million people in the U.S. (The U.S. population has increased) and 6% percent of them have narcissistic personality disorder, which equals 19,560,000 people. If each of those people narcissistically abuse just five people during their lives, that amounts to an additional 97.8 million people!

If you apply the same formula to the world population using the current population estimate of 7.5 billion, are you ready for this?

- 3.3% of 7.5 billion = 247,500,000 people with antisocial personality disorder

- 6% of 7.5 billion= 450,000,000 people with narcissistic personality disorder

- 247,500,000 + 450,000,000 = 697,500,000 people who lack empathy, or are without a conscience.

- If each of those people narcissistically abuse just five people during their lives, the tally of potential damage affects over 3.4 billion people!”

When half the world’s population is profoundly impacted by the few, it is time to not be intimidated by well-meaning (or not) mental health professionals that say you are not qualified to identify narcissism. There simply aren’t enough truly qualified therapists who understand narcissistic abuse that can help half the world’s population. Anyone impacted by a narcissist is beyond qualified and able to call a spade a spade without fear of authority or intellectual shame baiting. This is your life! You know your own life better than any armchair expert with a degree.

The irony is, those who look down their noses at those who raise awareness or identify narcissists in their lives are themselves, narcissists. You’ve got to love the narcs who gravitate to professions of authority that give them license to assume control of the narrative by silencing the narrative of other people. It’s not just therapists. It’s doctors, law enforcement, lawyers, CEOs, journalists and media personalities, clergy, surgeons, teachers, and others. You get the picture- they are drawn to professions that facilitate the satiation of their hunger to control and manipulate. See the second link below for a more in-depth discussion on this on Business Insider’s website. It’s a fascinating read.

Consider the dynamics of the mental health counseling profession, and consider that while it might attract the very stellar and qualified, it also can attract the very toxic and narcissistic. Normal people don’t cause people to question their own relevance in understanding their own reality. Only narcissists do. You are an intelligent being. You are fully qualified to identify the influences in your own life, and how they are impacting you. The question isn’t whether you’re qualified enough to identify the narcissistically disordered people in your life. The question is whether or not the mental health professionals in your life are qualified to be involved with you in this process.

My family is among those 3.4+ billion people impacted by NPD. We are still working through repairing the destruction of narc abuse. We are compelled by compassion for others who need support and education about the chaos of narc abuse in their lives. That’s why I speak up and out. Interestingly, the only people who don’t like the message that you are the best authority in your own life are those that exhibit the traits of toxic narcissists. They usually self-identify. We just need to know how to recognize the signs and keep the discussion safe and open for those learning how to recognize NPD and its impact on their lives.


  1. Bonchay, B. (2018). Narcissistic Abuse Affects Over 158 Million People in the U.S.. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 16, 2021, from…158-million-people-in-the-u-s/
  2. Dodgson, L. (2018). The 10 Professions With the Most Psychopaths. Retrieved on February 16, 2021, from



Alisa Rafferty

Self-Enrichment Educator. Narcissistic and Spiritual Abuse Awareness Advocate.