We all come into contact with those people who can ruin a good mood in seconds. They are just mean spirited, rude, uncompassionate, self-serving and self-absorbed. Some of us tend to hold in our frustration or anger, which is very unhealthy as this can lead to anxiety and stress problems which do affect our health. A friend of mine informed me of how she deals with situations like this, she journals! She explained that it has helped her so much.

If you have a situation, argument, event, etc that you would like discussed please email me through the blog…. No names will be used, strictly confidential....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

What exactly is Narcissism?

Apparently there seems to be a lot of confusion on what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is (NPD).  So I decided to write up a blog with all the information detailed. 

When people hear the word ‘narcissist’ the first thought is someone who is in love with themselves.  When in reality there is so much more to it than that.  Many people have perceptions of what they think someone with NPD really is, their personality, how they would react etc.  But they don’t really understand how in-depth and close to other anti-social qualities a narcissist has.

The DSM-IV-TR states that the most essential feature of NPD is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, and lack of empathy (generally beginning in early childhood).  The DSM also states that they believe themselves to be above everyone else, and when this is not the case, are genially surprised.  Also being obsessed with status, and power.  Those with NPD also “fish” for compliments, and have a constant need for attention.  Lack of empathy is a major part of NPD, they cannot or find it difficult to understand other’s feelings, and experiences, and if they don’t understand they will lash out. 

Someone with NPD who is at odds with another person will often have behavior that can be described as bullying, often times they will round up their friends to join in on the bullying.  They will act a victim to their friends whom they have manipulated, to believe in everything they say.

A great article in Psychology Today lists the symptoms of NPD as follows:
  • “Reacts to criticism with anger, shame or humiliation
  • Takes advantage of others to reach his or her own goals
  • Exaggerates own importance
  • Exaggerates achievements and talents
  • Entertains unrealistic fantasies about success, power, beauty, intelligence or romance
  • Has unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment
  • Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
  • Is easily jealous
  • Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
  • Has obsessive self-interest
  • Pursues mainly selfish goals
  • Also, narcissists are usually physically attractive and charming at first glance, so they may have advantages when they first meet people (making a sale, getting a first date, gaining popularity). However, the long-term outcomes for narcissists are usually quite dismal, especially socially (e.g., long-term relationship difficulties). On average, levels of narcissism drop quite dramatically by age 30.”

Some other personality traits related to NPD are as follows:
Abusive cycle, alienation, “always and never” statements, anger, baiting, blaming, bullying, cheating, denial, dissociation, domestic theft, emotional blackmail, sense of entitlement, false accusations, favoritism, frivolous litigation, gaslighting, grooming, harassment, hooveres & hoovering,
impulsiveness, imposed isolation, intimidation, invalidation, lack of conscience, lack of objective consistency, neglect, normalizing, no-win scenarios, objectification, parent alienation syndrome, pathological lying, proxy recruitment, raging/violence and impulsive aggression, sabotage, scapegoating, selective memory, self-aggrandizement, shaming, stalking, testing, thought policing, threats, triangulation, and tunnel vision.

The DSM lists their diagnostic criteria as follows:
“Narcissistic Personality Disorder

 A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
  1.    has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2.    is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3.    believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4.    requires excessive admiration
  5.              has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or     automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6.               is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7.               lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8.                is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  9.        shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes”

Narcissism is something that surprisingly affects many of us in different ways.  At some point in time we will all be victims of a narc.  Either in personal life or online, through direction relations, or friends/spouses/ex’s of our relations.  A person with NPD can affect not just the direct person they are involved with, but those surrounding them.  And can cause some serious damage, and lasting effects that can really harm people.  In some cases suicide.
 It is also important to remember that not every Narc, no matter how similar is never the same as another, their damage is never the same for each person.  Each person experiences it in different ways, you may not understand it, or have experienced it, it may seem foreign to you, but please support them instead of attacking or questioning them.  It is a very touchy topic, and very hard for some to talk about.
 As survivors of NPD’s it’s our job to stick together, to provide support, compassion, and empathy to those who have been victims of, or are still involved with Narcs. 



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