So I am not really taking the highest of the high roads here. But it is all true.
My unemployed actor ex-boyfriends appears to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Awesome.
At least five of the following are necessary for a diagnosis :
- has a grandiose sense of self-importance (check)
- is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love (check)
- believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by other special people (giant check)
- requires excessive admiration (check)
- strong sense of entitlement (check)
- takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends (check)
- lacks empathy (check)
- is often envious or believes others are envious of him or her
- arrogant affect (check).
From Dr. Irene:
"The narcissist mimics real emotions artfully. He exudes the air of someone really capable of loving or of being hurt, of one passionate and soft, empathic and caring. Most people are misled into believing that he is even more humane than average.
From How to Recognize a Narcissist:
"A striking thing about narcissists that you'll notice if you know them for a long time is that their ideas of themselves and the world don't change with experience; the ones I've known have been stalled at a vision that came to them by the age of sixteen."
Narcissistic Personality Disorder "is considered to result from a person’s belief that he or she is flawed in a way that makes the person fundamentally unacceptable to others. This belief is held below the person’s conscious awareness; such a person would typically deny thinking such a thing if questioned. In order to protect themselves against the intolerably painful rejection and isolation they imagine would follow if others recognized their supposedly defective nature, such people make strong attempts to control others’ view of them and behavior towards them.
"Many other behaviors can stem from narcissistic concerns, such as immersion in one’s own affairs to the exclusion of others, an inability to empathize with others’ experience, interpersonal rigidity, an insistence that one’s opinions and values are “right,” and a tendency to be easily offended and take things personally.
"People who are overly narcissistic commonly feel rejected, humiliated and threatened when criticised. To protect themselves from these dangers, they often react with disdain, rage, and/or defiance to any slight, real or imagined. To avoid such situations, some narcissistic people withdraw socially and may feign modesty or humility.
"Though individuals with NPD are often ambitious and capable, the inability to tolerate setbacks, disagreements or criticism, along with lack of empathy, make it difficult for such individuals to work cooperatively with others or to maintain long-term professional achievements. With narcissistic personality disorder, the person's perceived fantastic grandiosity, often coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically not commensurate with his or her real accomplishments.
"The interpersonal relationships of patients with NPD are typically impaired due to the individual's lack of empathy, disregard for others, exploitativeness, sense of entitlement, and constant need for attention.
"It has been suggested that Narcissistic personality disorder may be related to defences against shame."
And this is not just crazy ex-girlfriend talking. From How to Recognize a Narcissist again:
"Truthful reports about narcissists' private behavior are often treated as symptoms of psychological problems in the person telling the tale -- by naming the problem, you become the person with the problem. And I'm talking about the experience many of us have had with "the helping professions," including doctors, teachers, clergy, counselors, and therapists. This stuff is hard to talk about in the first place because it's weird, shameful, and horrifying, and then insult is added to injury when we're dismissed as overreacting (how many times have we heard "You're just too sensitive"?), deluded or malicious, as inventing stories, exaggerating, imagining things, misinterpreting -- it goes on and on. The fact is that there is next to nothing anyone can do to modify a narcissist's behavior and the only useful advice I ever got (first from my non-narcissistic parent, later repeated by my Jungian analyst) was "Get out and stay out."
Labels: mental illness