Step One: Recognition
Red flags, warning signs, and symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
Date: 7/11/2007 7:50:11 PM ( 14 y ) ... viewed 2808 times
The Mayo Clinic describes symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as follows:
"...Most specialists think of narcissism as lying along a continuum, from people with good psychological health to those with narcissistic personality disorder.
People who have a narcissistic personality style rather than narcissistic personality disorder are generally psychologically healthy, but may at times be arrogant, proud, shrewd, confident, self-centered and determined to be at the top. They do not, however, have an unrealistic image of their skills and worth and are not dependent on praise to sustain a healthy self-esteem.
You may find these individuals unpleasant or overbearing in certain social, professional or interpersonal encounters, but they aren't necessarily unhealthy.
The other end of the continuum — narcissistic personality disorder — is a persistent inability to establish a realistic, stable self-image, therefore creating an overdependence on others to regulate their self-esteem. This unrealistic self-image affects how people with this disorder behave and interact with others.
Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder may include:
- Grandiose sense of one's own abilities or achievements
- Fantasies about having exceptional power, attractiveness or success
- Sense of belonging to an exclusive group of people who truly understand each other
- Need for constant praise
- Expectations of special treatment
- Exploitation of other people
- Lack of empathy for other people
- Envy of other people or a belief that you are the subject of other people's envy
- Haughty or arrogant behaviors ..."
Anyone can suffer from NPD, be they partners, spouses, friends, parents, siblings, coworkers, supervisors, etc. Anyone can be the source of a narcissist's supply, as well. The "supply" is someone who plays into the NPD's games of abuse, sexual conquest, and/or control. The NPD's reactions are carefully timed and practiced - the NPD has no capacity for empathy and emotional demonstrations are learned by careful examination of non-NPD's and former NPD supply sources. Mayo goes on to say,
"...Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder may come across as conceited or snobbish. They often monopolize conversation. They may belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior. When they don't receive the special treatment to which they feel entitled, they may become very impatient or angry.
People with narcissistic personality disorder tend to seek out individuals whom they perceive as equal to their own self-image or to whom they attribute the same special talents and qualities they see in themselves. They may insist on having "the best" of everything — car, athletic club or social circles.
Their personal relationships and interactions are driven by the need for admiration and praise. Consequently, people with narcissistic personality disorder value others primarily according to how well those individuals affirm their unrealistic self-image. This limited value of others usually means that people with the disorder aren't interested in or aren't capable of perceiving the feelings or needs of others. They may take advantage of other people to make themselves look as good as they imagine.
On the other hand, seeking admiration also makes people with narcissistic personality disorder vulnerable to criticism. If someone criticizes an individual's contribution to a project at work, for example, he or she will perceive this comment as an assault on an image that needs to be protected at all costs and may respond with feelings of shame, humiliation or sadness or may express rage, disdain or defensive behaviors.
The shy narcissist
Some specialists have described individuals diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder as "shy narcissists," "closet narcissists" or "deflated narcissists."
These individuals, like others with narcissistic personality disorder, have a grandiose, unrealistic sense of their abilities, achievements and worth, and they often feel disdain for others whom they perceive as less exceptional. They also have vulnerable self-esteems and are very sensitive to criticism. However, these individuals don't seek admiration or overtly express their sense of superiority.
More research is needed to determine whether "shy narcissism" is indeed a subtype of narcissistic personality disorder..."
My Survival of NPD in matrimonial and platonic relationships has taken quite a bit of evolution on my part - I was once a very naive and trusting individual who was always willing (almost to the point of desperation) to see the "good" in all human beings. Even today, I still wish to see good rather than give in to cynicism, though I have learned that cynicism has its place. Before I asked for a divorce from my NPD ex, I truly believed that I was losing my mind - I was constantly sick, on antidepressants, near-suicidal, and I did not realize that such depths of despair and hopelessness existed. Once I realized that my ex was being abusive, I began to forumalte a 2-year plan to get out. Those details are for a future entry. This entry is meant to offer the "warning signs" of NPD and hope that the non-NPD can Survive.
Some sites on NPD:
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