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Are Narcissists Demon Possessed?

Reviewed by Karis A. Williams, MSMHC, LPC

For those that have experienced narcissists in their life, the thought of the narcissist being possessed by demons is not that far-fetched.  The abuse and mind games prove diabolical, especially when you realize that so much planning and scheming must happen.  Who could imagine that a loved one, coworker, or friend could ever do such terrible things?  Then when they lie, gaslight, and display immense anger once they are found out–surely no person in their right mind could do such things to others.

So, are narcissists really demon possessed?  While the rare narcissist CAN be demon possessed, most aren’t and demon possession isn’t a root or result of the narcissism.  Narcissists can allow themselves to be influenced by Satan and demons and there are similarities in the way they all speak and act throughout history.  At the least, influence can be a large factor.  

Most narcissists don’t show the evidence of being possessed by a demon:  speaking in a language not their own , speaking in a demonic voice, superhuman strength, knowledge of something they’ve had no access to.  Instead, their symptoms fall more in line with mental illness:   their eyes glazing over in darkness as their anger emerges, dissociative issues, hearing voices in their mind distinct from their self, misinterpretation of harmful thoughts and feelings.

Now that we found an answer, let’s take a look at the research and all of the different scenarios of narcissism, demon possession, and Satanic influence.

The Research into Narcissism and Demon Possession

So much misinformation exists about demon possession as well as narcissism.  So when you put the two issues together, finding good and accurate information equates to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.  After quite a bit of research, though, I found some great information from some people that were authoritative in the topic.

One of the best resources online that I found was an article regarding narcissists and demon possession.  It was written by Richard Gallagher, who is a board-certified psychiatrist and a professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College.  He has worked side-by-side with multiple religious denominations, including Rev. Vincent Lampert, a priest who is active in the International Association of Exorcists (endorsed by the Vatican).

Mr. Gallagher also deeply cares for those in pain, notably those that had not gotten the help they needed previously.  Based on this unique body of work, he has seen definite correlations between psychology, religion, and narcissism.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that the combination always ends in narcissistic behavior.

*Note:  Click through for the best resources on understanding and dealing with religious narcissism!

Narcissists and Demon Possession

Unfortunately, some have made connections to narcissism and demon possession where no connections existed.  This has caused the real cases to be taken less seriously than they should have been.

Let’s take a look at demons first to get an idea of how and when narcissists could be demon possessed.

Demons are spirit beings who do not have a body.  They must manifest in someone else’s body to gain functionality in the world.  Demons associate themselves with evil and are ruled by Satan.

Demons can only possess those who choose evil paths over good.  And that is where people come into play.  People have free will and must deliberately choose good or evil throughout their life.  Nobody chooses all good or all evil.  But most people will choose a majority of one or the other.

So when a narcissist chooses an abundance of evil, that exposes them to demon possession.  Will all narcissists be possessed?  Definitely not.  Do they put themselves at risk of demon possession?  They definitely do.

Narcissists feel empty inside.  This agrees with what St. Augustine said regarding good and evil.  He said evil is the loss of good.  So, if the narcissist is focused on evil acts to get his way, he only possesses a hole where goodness should be.  And that is what exposes him to demon possession.

In this context, I am referring to a demon taking over a person’s body and mind.  The demon effectively becomes the person.  And for that reason, I believe that actual demon possession in narcissists is a somewhat rare occurrence.  I have known many narcissists that, while evil in behavior, were simply not demon possessed.

What I do think is more common is for narcissists to manifest evil in and of themselves, especially as they get older.

Do you feel like you are dealing with a narcissist who uses religion to draw people into their web of deceit?  Check out this test with instant results to get a better idea of whether you truly are dealing with a religious narcissist.

Narcissists and Demonic Influence

I believe most narcissists stand here.  They are not completely possessed by demons, as in their body and voice being taken over by a demon or demons.  But their mind and actions are heavily influenced by Satan and his minions.

The prevailing belief says that narcissists have shut out the human values that make us able to relate to people in a healthy manner.  Because of this, a gap or emptiness forms that leaves them vulnerable.  Satan and demons see this vulnerability.  And they use it to wreak havoc on the relationships that the narcissist experiences.

So, do  narcissists realize they are being used in this way?  I don’t necessarily think so.  But I do know that they fully realize what they are scheming to do to other people.  They also know that they are hiding behind a mask because they have to construct that mask and maintain it.  The shame they feel will not allow them to come clean.

So whether they realize it or not, they are still consciously choosing to perpetuate evil behaviors against others, usually those closest to them–family members, closest friends, etc..

The Link Between Psychological Illness and Demonic Activity

Throughout history, demon possession became the scapegoat for mental illness and psychological disorders.  Around the 20th century, though, psychology took over and mental illness became the common diagnosis while demon possession was all but eliminated from diagnoses.

So, what if the truth lies somewhere between these two extremes?  Where do we find the balance?  The Bible clearly states that there is a demonic realm that actively seeks to destroy mankind.  But we also know that psychology has made great strides in learning how the brain functions through mental illness.

While demon possession and mental illness often appear separate from each other, they also appear alongside each other.  And we know that demons are involved in using mental illness to their benefit. Let’s take a look at how this looks in reality.

Demon possession is often thought of as a spiritual issue.  Mental illness is generally thought of as a psychological or health issue.  So, in their very definitions they are distinct.  But the fact that demons use mental illness to their advantage links the two separate conditions.

Satan introduced sin into the world from the very beginning.  But we can’t blame him for every sin we commit, or maybe we can’t even blame him for any of them.  But we can see how he works through sin, as well as many other things, to carry out his agenda.

Similarities in Symptoms of Demon Possession and Mental Illness

There are definitely certain physical links between demon possession and mental illness.  Bizarre behavior is on the top of the list.  There are behaviors that are remarkably similar between the two.  some of those include

  • convulsions
  • speaking in  a different voice or a different tone
  • speaking in a different language with no former knowledge or learning
  • violence
  • paranoia
  • extreme strength
  • emptiness, coldness in the eyes
  • taking on a different personality
  • self claims of demonic influence

So, how do you figure out if the symptoms are due to demon possession or mental illness?  There is not an easy answer to this.  But we must realize that people can experience demon possession independently of mental illness and vice versa.  Or they can experience both simultaneously.

Some of the distinctions between the mentally ill and possessed are:

  • self claims of demonic possession (demons prefer to stay incognito)
  • mentally ill gravitate toward religion, possessed are repelled by religion
  • how rational/irrational speech is (demons are methodical in thought, mentally ill are scattered and disjointed)
  • normal vs. supernatural knowledge (for instance, knowing languages without having previously learned them)

Demons Take Advantage of the Mentally Ill

It is also widely believed that demons take advantage of the mentally ill, but notably narcissists, making demon possession of them more common than those who are emotionally/psychologically healthy.  The reason for this is because of the emptiness formed in narcissists when they forsake good in their lives.  St. Augustine referred to evil as the absence of good.  Where that absence of good occurs, there exists an emptiness that demons take advantage of filling.  The one silver lining to this (if there could be considered to be one) is that St. Augustine also said that good cannot be entirely wiped out by evil.  So you will still see some glimmer of good, even in the worst narcissist.

In a similar vein, Aristotle called goodness a fullness of being, making evil a deficit of being.  And demons like to take advantage of that deficit.  Narcissists carry with them a lack of humanity: empathy, compassion, love, care.  This gap allows demons to come into their world, sometimes directly, but more often just in a capacity of influence.

are narcissists demon possessed

What Demon Possession Looks Like Today

Surprisingly, demon possession doesn’t manifest that much different today than it did in the past.  People still show mostly the same symptoms.

What has changed is the way we process the information necessary to diagnose demon possession vs. mental illness or perhaps both concurrently.  And we possess  more information today than ever before to be able to do that well and help the suffering to heal.

And that brings me full circle back to the article I referenced in the beginning of this article.  After years of working with Catholic clergy, Mr.  Gallagher has formulated some amazing ways to determine whether people are suffering from demon possession, mental illness, or both.  And even better, he has created some amazing ways to deal with all of the above diagnoses in ways that have truly brought life-changing solutions to those who have come to him for help.

He has written a book detailing his journey called Demonic Foes that you can check out at this Amazon link:

Protecting Yourself from Narcissists

So, the ultimate thought, whether narcissists are demon possessed or not, is how to protect yourself.  And believe it or not, you CAN protect yourself and be safe from the narcissist, no matter how malignant and toxic he/she is. Let me give you some good suggestions.

  • Ignore them.  At first, this will anger them immensely.  But they will get bored very quickly and move on to people that they can get a reaction from.  Realizing their attack is not personal toward  you helps.  Do not put yourself in a vulnerable position with your narcissist if you know they are angry!  Don’t be caught alone with them ever!
  • Set boundaries and don’t allow the narcissist to cross them.  They WILL cross those boundaries.  But it is up to you to not allow them to talk to you or act against you in that way.  You can almost always walk away.
  • Go no contact.  This is possible in nearly every situation with the exception of co-parenting.
  • If you have to be in contact with them, don’t do it in person.  Keep in person connections very brief and do not engage.  All conversations and arrangements need to be make in writing, whether by mail, email, or text.  Then when things get turned around, you have an easy defense without getting caught up in the craziness.
  • Find a counselor who understands narcissism.  I was so incredibly fortunate to find a counselor who understood this before I had a clue what narcissism was.  Most of my friends and associates who have had to deal with abuse and narcissism were not that fortunate with their first counselor.  Also, if you do not feel rapport with your counselor, move on until you do.  Having an excellent working relationship is vital to success.

There are many more ways, but this is a good start.  Above all, you need to make sure you and your family are safe.  If not, CALL THE POLICE!

If you think you are in any danger in your relationship, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at  1-800-799-SAFE (7233).  Or you can visit online at

And if you think your narcissist is demon possessed, call your local catholic church.  They can set you up with the right resources to find out for sure and help treat that person.

Are Narcissists Demon Possessed


Bufford, Rodger K., “Demonic Influence and Mental Disorders – Chapter 8 of “Counseling and the Demonic”” (1988). Counseling and the Demonic. 12.

Jaffe, DJ, “How to differentiate Demonic Possession from Schizophrenia.”  Mental Illness Policy Org, 23 January, 2019,

If you liked this article, I think you will love the following articles as well:

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism?

Can a Spiritual Narcissist Heal?

Can a Narcissist Be a Christian?

What is Spiritual Narcissism?

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Hi! I am the founder of Navigating Religious Narcissism after being raised under a narcissistic mother and married to a narcissistic man for 31 years. It is my prayer that I can be as valuable on your journey to healing and peace as were so many who crossed my path of healing.

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