How does a supply crash impact a person with NPD?
My view is that a supply crash causes the Narcissist's sense of self to shake and quake.
To be sure, when I speak of a supply crash, I am referring to a Narcissist losing a significant source of Narcissistic supply. For example, a Narcissist might lose a significant other who provides them with lots of supply, or a pathological space, like a group of friends or a job, in which he garners a steady stream of supply based on the way the dynamics of the pathological space are set up.
Normally, when a Narcissist is simply low on supply, he becomes deflated. Depressed. The solution is to acquire more supply to become inflated, like Popeye eating spinach. But a supply crash will do more than this. It will cause the Narcissist's sense of self to tremble. The Narcissist will start to question his sense of self in the aftermath of a supply crash.
Remember, Narcissistic supply is simply external confirmation that the sense of self that the Narcissist has constructed is real. Narcissists, like Borderlines, lack a true, authentic sense of self. The difference between Narcissists and Borderlines is how they react to that lack of self. The Borderline looks to others to provide her a sense of self. The Narcissist constructs his own sense of self on purpose and then looks to others to supply confirmation that the sense of self is real. The Borderline seeks to engulf another and latch onto his already existing sense of self. The Narcissist seeks to consume another and use them as energy to fuel the Narcissist's artificial sense of self.
After a supply crash, the Narcissist may experience what can often feel like an "identity crisis." The Narcissist seems less confident and off his game, because he is questioning internally whether his current sense of self is real. He is tempted to fall back on previous false senses of self. Another way to look at it is that the Narcissist, absent supply for his current false self, will find himself drawn to revert to previous false selves that were confirmed externally, such as the false self his parents confirmed for him, or his false self high high school buddies confirmed for him. Because the Narcissist's true self never developed, he has no true self to fall back on when one false self is in danger of being eviscerated.
An especially hard supply crash will send the Narcissist, especially an impulsive Narcissist, into a complete lifestyle change. A Cerebral Narcissist may all of the sudden become Somatic and start to put all his effort into chasing women instead of his career. Or the Narcissist may uproot and move halfway around the world in order to try his hand at a totally different line of work, giving up his former interests, abandoning his family and friends, and showing no regard for any goodwill built up in his community.