This happens when they can no longer manage to maintain the charade, or the gap between their false self and real self. Hard reality knocks, and the vulnerability of their false self is laid bare. Their looks catch up with them. They’ve pissed so many supporters off along the way that people steer clear. The players in their make-believe world including friends, enablers and flying monkeys wake up to realise that the whole victim narrative was a string of lies and that is they who are the toxic ones, and not their victims. That none of their apparent “success” in life is actually attributable to them but was essentially stolen or borrowed from others. That all of their crazy and abusive exes are in fact not unhinged, but were made to appear that way by all of the crazy-baiting and drama deliberately caused by the narc themselves. Their children wake up to the reality that their normal range parents loved them all along.
Narcissistic Collapse presents itself as a massive mental breakdown after which they become withdrawn and isolated. They struggle to face themselves, and as a result can’t face the world.
Narcissistic Collapse is generally permanent – the narcissist never recovers for the rest of their life.