Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Join the Conversation on
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
5.2K people
0 stories
324 posts
  • About Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Note: The hashtags you follow are publicly viewable on your profile; you can change this at any time.
    Newsletters
    Don’t miss what’s new on The Mighty. We have over 20 email newsletters to choose from, from mental health to chronic illness.
    Browse and Subscribe
    What's New in Narcissistic Personality Disorder
    All
    Stories
    Posts
    Videos
    Latest
    Trending
    Community Voices

    My son found the perfect retirement community to place his Narcissistic Abusive Father…..

    <p>My son found the perfect retirement community to place his Narcissistic Abusive Father…..</p>
    Community Voices

    Why don’t they care?

    This requires some background. I was diagnosed with FND (Functional Neurological Disorder) in 2017. For those not in the know, that means that the emotional portion of my brain (specifically the amygdala) has a very strong pathway connected to my involuntary functions, brain stem, speech and processing centers, and motor reflexes. My NeuroPsych thinks I was actually born with FND (usually develops due to trauma, often complex trauma in young individuals), meaning I’ve never been “normal”. But we didn’t figure any of this out until I was 33. Until I’d been taking 22 pills every morning for a host of diagnoses I didn’t actually have and the symptoms of which weren’t getting better. Doctors accused me of lying, family got upset, all of which stressed me out causing, you guessed it, more symptoms. We figured it out though, so everything should be fixed since we know what to treat right? Uh huh. Show me a life without any stress and I’ll ask what time the funeral is. I’m getting things together(ish), I’ve accepted that disability is just where I’m at. I have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and complex PTSD, great additions to FND. My dad at the time is dating who would become ex-wife number three.

    Dad loves me in his way, but untreated bipolar paired with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) doesn’t create the safest or stablest of environments. Their marriage imploded, because she was unstable. Anyone who attacks someone like a monkey clinging to their back and then threatens their daughter to try and force them to do what she says; unstable by my definition. Out of a year of marriage, they were together 3 months. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl, even once I saw what was happening, how damaging our relationship could be to me. So I supported him through it all. That was three years ago. She walked back into his life this spring and apparently I’m supposed to just forget it all. Pretend she’s a completely different person, forget that she put him in the ER, forget the abusive phone calls and voice messages she left on my phone to try and get at him, forget that she threatened my life if he didn’t do what she said.

    I put a boundary in place. One year. If she’s truly changed, then she’ll still be that same person a year from now, and I’ll feel safe with proof. One year with no fits, no attacks, no suicide threats or arrests, and no asking for money. That’s what the first marriage felt like, her gold digging. If she loves him, then she loves him for him and doesn’t need his money. Except he’s suddenly constantly broke. A man who has a steady monthly income that’s half what I live on in an entire year, is strained for cash. Then he starts pushing. “She says hi.” No. I said no contact. “Can’t you just say hi over the phone?” No. I said no contact. “You’re going to lose your relationship with me. I hope you understand the consequences of your actions.” This is the consequence of her actions. She threatened me, attacked you, made me feel unsafe. Now to feel comfortable, I need proof of her growth. That is a consequence of her actions. “You’re shifting the blame, you need to take responsibility.”

    That was when I pointed out that a big part of this year is because I need to protect myself. I’m overweight, making me 5x more likely than the average person to have a heart attack. I have an irregular heartbeat, making my heart more likely to have a health event. I have FND, making me 10x more likely to have a stress induced heart attack. I have severe anxiety and complex PTSD, meaning I jump and react 100x more than the average person to stress (these numbers are from my doctors). I HAVE to protect myself. I had three major seizures last Friday night because of a disagreement with him over this very topic. When I reminded him in that conversation that it would harm his relationship more if I fell over dead of a stress induced heart attack because I didn’t put that boundary in place, he thanked me for reminding him that I have a serious neurological condition because it’s easy to forget. I walk around with a stress noose around my neck every day and it’s easy to forget?! Today when I told him about the seizures, after he pushed me to talk to her, I was told that I was making a big deal out of nothing.

    Nothing. My health is nothing to him.

    This is where my topic title comes in. Why doesn’t he care?! I’m a former step-mom to a kiddo who turns 16 this fall. I’d sacrifice myself for my kid in an instant (and almost did one 4th of July when his dad messed with fireworks). His mom granted me mom status after I left his dad because I “did more than his dad ever did for him”. How do I understand what a parent should be when mine doesn’t care in the slightest? I’m not saying he can’t have a relationship, I want him to be happy. I didn’t even say he couldn’t have this relationship, I only asked that my boundaries be respected. Why doesn’t he care?
    #FunctionalNeurologicalDisorder #CPTSD #AbuseSurvivors #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Anxiety #SocialAnxiety #frustration

    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices

    Don’t be afraid to tell your story

    <p>Don’t be afraid to tell your story</p>
    31 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    No End To Narcissism

    Why #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder is so difficult to diagnose

    I swear, if one more person says to me, “Oh, but, your mother had an abusive childhood. Can’t you show her some compassion? Why can’t you just be the bigger person and forgive her?” I am going to scream!

    Yes, it is true. My mother was sexually abused by her father from the age of 9 and ongoing until she left home at the age of 18. Yes, her mother failed to believe and protect her. So, yes, I have compassion for that child. However, behaving like a malicious adult is a CHOICE my mother makes that I refuse to excuse.

    When others excuse poor behavior with, “Oh, she had a rough childhood,” “Oh, he had a bad day,” or “Oh, that’s just how they are,” this perpetuates the behavior because there are no consequences. And, there sure are a lot of consequences for the behavior of those with #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder or #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder. So, I am a bit resentful when I am held to a higher standard of behavior despite having a chronically psychologically abusive upbringing.

    Court systems never excuse violent crime on the basis of the perpetrator’s abusive upbringing. Why then, is it common practice to excuse psychological violence? THIS is why NPD is so difficult to diagnose—narcissistic behavior has no consequences. The behavior of the narcissist WORKS for them.

    To diagnose a #MentalHealth, the individual being diagnosed must exhibit distress in some area of their life directly related to the symptoms that causes discomfort or impairment of functioning. While the targets of narcissism DO experience these things from being in a #Relationships with the person exhibiting narcissistic behavior, the narcissistic individual expresses no such experience. Their behavior works for them. So, they see nothing wrong with how they behave. If someone is unhappy with their behavior, all they have to do is discard that person and move on to the next target.

    Enablers who excuse and rationalize narcissistic behavior are the hidden strength of the narcissistic person. Without enablers, narcissism would be significantly reduced in this world. If decent people, who are actually the majority in this world, stood up to narcissistic behavior and held these individuals accountable, that would bring into their consciousness the necessity for change. Unfortunately, enablers fear conflict. They fear judgment. They fear instability. They fear loss.

    It has been said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” As a family scapegoat, I have conquered those fears, if I ever had them. As a family scapegoat, the biggest fear is the inaction and #Abuse-enabling of people who are fearful.

    12 people are talking about this
    Megan Glosson

    Reframing 7 Myths About Borderline Personality Disorder With the Truth

    Mental illness is a highly stigmatized topic in modern society. We often hear phrases like, “it’s all in your head” or “you’re just being a baby,” when we express our symptoms to a less than sympathetic individual, and people frequently confuse symptoms between certain diagnoses or make assumptions based on what they see through television and movies. Unfortunately, some diagnoses seem to weather more misnomers than others, especially borderline personality disorder. The myths about people who live with this condition are often hurtful at best, and they often leave individuals feeling isolated and scared to disclose their diagnosis because they worry what fallacies people will attach to them once they hear that label. But you know what? I think it’s time we break down some of these rumors about borderline personality disorder and stop perpetuating myths that simply aren’t true. So, here are seven myths about borderline personality disorder we need to stop believing, and the realities we can use to reframe these myths. Myth #1: BPD is just “attention-seeking” and “manipulation.” It’s not a real diagnosis. Many people (falsely) equate borderline personality disorder with manipulation. These people claim that everything someone with BPD does is just a “cry for attention.” Some people even go so far as to dismiss what people with borderline personality disorder say or do as “just an act.” Reality: Many of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder cause great distress. People with BPD experience extreme fear of abandonment, mood swings, and rapid changes in self-image. These pendulum swings can cause great distress, and when combined with a propensity toward impulsive behavior, can push individuals toward acting in ways that may not make rational sense. However, these actions aren’t meant as manipulative — they’re a means of self-preservation. In fact, people with borderline personality disorder often feel remorse and extreme shame once they realize what they’ve done or said “in the heat of the moment.” Myth #2: Only women get diagnosed with BPD. If you look up statistics on gender and borderline personality disorder, you will see a disproportionate number of women who receive the diagnosis as compared to men. This belief is further fueled by mainstream media, which typically only shows women with BPD. Reality: Both men and women receive BPD diagnosis. Many experts believe previous research stating a 3:1 ratio of women receiving a BPD diagnosis isn’t actually accurate. In fact, studies have found that the prevalence of this diagnosis between the genders is nearly identical. It’s just a matter of how the symptoms present and the assessments clinicians use to make their diagnosis. Myth #3: People with BPD are incapable of forming lasting relationships. One of the key features of the borderline personality disorder diagnosis is “a pattern of unstable intense relationships.” Because some people with BPD will rapidly shift between idealizing loved ones and distrusting them, many people assume individuals with this diagnosis cannot maintain friends or romantic partners. Reality: Anyone can learn interpersonal skills to help them form lasting relationships. Although relationships are sometimes hard for people with BPD, they are far from impossible to maintain. In fact, many people with BPD enjoy lasting friendships and romantic relationships with the right people. Most of the time, all a person needs to help them build a relationship is time and interpersonal skills to help them connect with others. These skills can help people express their needs and wants in a healthy way, learn to compromise for the sake of the relationship, and stand up for themselves when the time is right. Myth #4: People with BPD are “too dramatic.” People with borderline personality disorder are frequently seen as “dramatic” because of their emotional reactivity. In fact, some people compare their responses to tantrums children throw when they don’t get their way or become upset. Reality: People with borderline personality disorder experience emotions intensely. Marsha Linehan, the creator of dialectical behavior therapy, says that living with BPD is like having “third degree burns over 90 percent of [your] body.” Unfortunately, this means that many people with BPD lack the same type of “emotional skin” that others have, and this causes them to experience frequent discomfort and distress over seemingly small things. However, everyone experiences emotions in their own way. There’s nothing “right” or “wrong” about how people feel. In the case of someone with BPD, emotions often feel all-consuming, and that can be hard to rein in, especially if no one ever taught you how to self-regulate your emotions. Myth #5: All people with BPD are abusive. Some people with borderline personality disorder experience a symptom often called “borderline rage.” For some, this uncontrollable anger comes out in extreme ways and can cause physical damage to property and tear apart even the strongest relationships. Because of this, people often equate a borderline diagnosis to abuse — even in individuals who do not meet the criteria for that symptom. Reality: Anyone can be abusive regardless of a diagnosis. While the recent news of Amber Heard’s dual diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder has reignited this common myth, it still remains exactly that — a myth. Not everyone with borderline personality disorder meets all nine diagnostic criteria, and some people who experience outbursts of anger direct it inward, not outward. The fact is, anyone can be an abusive person, no matter what mental health conditions they do or do not live with. Furthermore, a diagnosis alone doesn’t make someone abusive. Their actions toward others is what makes them abusive, and we need to remember that. Myth #6: People with BPD only make “empty” suicide threats. Because people with borderline personality disorder experience rapid mood cycling and intense emotions, many people see them as “the boy who cried wolf” when they express a desire to die. Sometimes friends and family members go so far as to dismiss a loved one with BPD’s cries for help because they assume it’s “just for show.” Reality: Borderline personality disorder has one of the highest suicide rates among mental health conditions. Studies show that approximately 75 percent of individuals with borderline personality disorder will make at least one suicide attempt during their lifetime, with many of them making multiple attempts throughout their lifetime. What’s more, BPD has one of the highest mortality rates of any mental illness, with up to 10 percent of individuals with BPD dying by suicide. It’s important to take any indication of suicide seriously, regardless of a diagnosis. Everyone deserves help, and people don’t just make “empty threats” when it comes to life. Myth #7: You can’t recover from BPD. Because borderline personality disorder is a, well, a personality disorder, people often claim it cannot be treated. In fact, some people claim individuals who live with BPD can’t “change who they are” or “refuse to get help.” This is further complicated by the fact personality disorders typically cannot be treated with medications, and some people do not see therapy as a valuable treatment method. Reality: Borderline personality disorder is completely treatable. Although these studies rarely get attention, researchers have found that the majority of people with borderline personality disorder do eventually go into remission or recover once they receive an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. This can take anywhere from two to 10 years, depending on a variety of factors. What’s more, there are multiple proven treatment methods for borderline personality disorder, including dialectical behavior therapy and mentalization-based therapy. Many people with BPD also deal with other mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety, that can be treated with medication. When combined with a strong support network and a willingness to undergo treatment, medication, and psychotherapy can work as the perfect teammates for someone with BPD who is trying their best to create a life worth living.

    Community Voices

    Someone tell me he really doesn't care

    I've read that people with borderline personality disorder and /or narcissistic personality disorder don't really love the person they've ensnared in their web of hostility and craziness. It's time for me to go. I have to abandon this 40 year marriage before I lose my mind, again. Am I strong enough to go yet? I struggle. I deserve better. I was screamed at again the other day and I'm devastated as usual. When we have a few good weeks I feel almost normal and like maybe I can be strong and learn to live with it. I swear I look at him sometimes and see a slithering hissing snake. Does he care if I go? Oh yes, he says he has too much invested in me. I've kept an emergency bag packed for many of my 40 years. I am a coward to use it. Oh why can't I see that he really doesn't care? This is my prayer, that I get the strength to go and not be so damn loyal to a man the crumbles my soul.
    #DomesticAbuse

    2 people are talking about this
    Janet Coburn

    We Don’t Have the Right to Diagnose Public Figures With Illnesses

    This question comes up all the time, about all kinds of public figures and various sorts of disorders. Does Donald Trump have narcissistic personality disorder? Did Freddie Mercury have undiagnosed bipolar disorder? Do the Kardashians have body dysmorphic disorder? Does Joe Biden have dementia? Was Nancy Reagan codependent? Seven years ago, I wrote about Emily Dickinson. I said it is impossible to know whether Dickinson or any other historical personage had any psychiatric disorder and, if they did, what it was. Now I have basically the same thing to say about the “diagnoses” of public figures. It’s impossible to say whether any given celebrity — or indeed any public or private individual — has a psychiatric disorder unless that person has spoken about it publicly. We cannot assume, just from the little we know about another person, that they live with any given condition. This is true not just of psychological disorders, but also physical ones. In the past, it was easier to keep physical difficulties secret. Few knew that John F. Kennedy wore a back brace because of an old injury or that Franklin D. Roosevelt used a wheelchair because of polio. In many cases, it is only now that their memoirs or the memoirs of their friends have revealed these previously secret afflictions do we know about them. When it comes to psychiatric diagnoses, the difficulty is not that friends may or may not keep a public person’s secret, but that the public has no real right to know unless the celebrity is open about it. The relationship between a psychiatrist and a patient is confidential. Only the patient can give permission for the doctor to disregard that confidentiality. Lately, it has become common for political figures to endure public examination of their medical records and even psychological records. But this is by no means a requirement for a public office such as president. Really, a president of the U.S. only has to be over 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen, have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years, and get the most votes. And such scrutiny is hardly a requirement — completely irrelevant — for entertainers and athletes. Speculation about the private lives of public figures has reached the level of a sport. It seems that just because a person has achieved some measure of celebrity, their life is now an open book. Their fans (and detractors, for that matter) often want to feel they have a personal connection with the public figure. Many want to believe they know the celebrity better than anyone else. They may feel a kinship with the person because they have the same disorder the public figure supposedly has. But the most you can say about a public figure is that they show some behaviors that can be associated with a certain diagnosis — not that the person actually has that condition. Some celebrated sports figures and actors have been upfront about revealing their own and their families’ stories of psychiatric illnesses. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Glenn Close, Carrie Fisher, and Michael Phelps have let such conditions be known, in hopes of reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness and encouraging others to seek help for their conditions. But I believe these people are the exception. Most people, both celebrities and the general public, struggle in silence. Basically, the only way to diagnose a person is for them to have an ongoing relationship with a psychiatrist or psychologist. A doctor who has spoken to the individual and spent time with them is the only person who can make that diagnosis. Even psychiatrists who testify at trials about the mental state of defendants may not have had any previous, personal contact with them. Yet their opinions help determine the fates of people they don’t really know. Public figures don’t belong to the public, whatever their fans or detractors may think. Their minds especially are their own. It is reckless, improper, and ultimately futile to speculate on a public or historical figure’s mental state, in my opinion. But people do so and will continue to, as long as there are celebrities and people who feel they have a right to analyze them.

    Community Voices

    Up to this point…

    For the last few years, I’ve been grappling with the issue of wanting acknowledgment from my mom’s husband. I’ve had the hardest time not going back to an “empty well” (so to speak) when it comes to this. I even struggle with that when it comes to her. But as of the last few months, in and out of therapy, I’ve been able to get a hold of myself. I had to be very honest with every aspect of myself. From my younger self to my adult self. And the truth is this: I don’t love my step parent and I never did. I went along with all the family stuff because I felt that that was what I was supposed to do. I didn’t talk about my family to anyone in detail because it made me angry. I kept quiet because I was on survival mode both when things were bad and when things were stable. I allowed this “perfect family “ image to last so long because I didn’t want to rock the boat. On top of all of this, I did what I did to keep my mom happy. I had no real identity. I felt restricted, I didn’t even want to invite my friends over (I didn’t really have that option either). After realizing that he is a narcissist, it explained a lot, but it didn’t take away the hurt and frustration. I’ve had three major deaths in my family and he didn’t say a word to me (and we live in the same apartment). In some articles I’ve read about narcissistic step parents, they’ve said that we should show compassion towards them even though they don’t show that they care about us. The truth is, the compassion is no longer in me. I’ve gotten to the point where if I ever got anything out of him, I would no longer want it. I waited this long for some form of a fatherly gesture and I think I can go on without it (from him). I’ve had many stand in male figures in my life that were positive and I welcome those relationships. I’m just over faking it to the rest of the world. #MentalHealth #Depression #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder #stepparent #movingforward #Grief

    4 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    One thing that scared me the most

    It's important to remember that most people with mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders are more likely to be victims than being perpetrators.

    One thing that scared me is I watched murder mysteries, Most Evil and those documentaries explains how delusions motivate those types of serial killers. Most of those serial killers were found NGRI, but some of those killers where found guilty at first, after some time in prison, their delusions became worse and they were also found NGRI as well. I think it's because to be a serial killer, you need to be very intelligent and especially to cover your tracks, and another reason why some of those killers were found guilty at first, it is because they seem to know right from wrong, by the judge asking simple questions, if they understand the charges, some of those delusional killers said that they do, but were later found NGRI after being found sane. Another thing that scared me is slander case, one of them were found guilty, but I heard they they were also civility committed.

    It's like an isolated link between specific types of mental health and criminal behavior. Because, there is such thing as Insanity defence, incompetence, diminished capacity.

    The scary thing is that when I watched documentaries of people becoming serial killers, they start to have a fixed, false belief of whom they are targeting and why. I asked my mom why when people kill three or more innocent people, something about their beliefs is delusional, and she explained to me that they have personality disorders that causes delusional thinking and that no one without those types of personality disorders would want to do that to innocent people.

    Those personality disorders are Antisocial Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, with symptom of delusions.

    Those serial killers that got NGRI were diagnosed with personality disorders, with delusions as a symptom.

    4 people are talking about this
    Monika Sudakov

    Following Therapists on Social Media Isn’t a Substitute for Therapy

    I’ve written before about my concerns with the mental health impacts of social media in general and with specific trends in particular, like “reality shifting” on TikTok. But one that is a delicate double-edged sword is the burgeoning presence of therapists on social media. Many have great things to say and are doing profoundly important work in not only destigmatizing therapy, but also providing somewhere for those who cannot access therapy for whatever reasons a place to go to feel supported. I confess to following a number of therapists’ podcasts, YouTube channels, and social media profiles, and gleaning positive insights from them. But, I comprehend what they offer isn’t therapy per se and that there are potential ethical boundary violations that come with serious liability issues for therapists offering specific advice in their posts. The content created by these therapists should always come with a disclaimer stating their posts do not constitute therapeutic advice nor should they be a replacement for individual therapy. The thing is… they don’t always, and that should scare all of us. This is particularly concerning in a world where people are learning terminology used to diagnose or treat actual mental health conditions and co-opting these terms to speak colloquially about concepts that are not in fact the same things. Take this meme for example: This perfectly sums up the pervasiveness of the problem. Narcissistic personality disorder is not “narcissism” and cannot be diagnosed by anyone but a mental health professional who is actually treating a patient. There are plenty of people who behave selfishly, have inflated egos and might even exhibit complete disregard for anyone but themselves. But we cannot assume they are “narcissists” in the true definition of the word. “Trauma” or post-truamatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not code for “bad things that happen,” but rather a response some people have to things that occur that may be life-threatening. And not everyone who experiences the same event will be “traumatized” or develop PTSD. Again, this is a diagnosis that a mental health professional needs to make based on very strict criteria of presenting symptoms. “Codependency” is a very specific dysfunctional relationship where there is excessive reliability on the other individual or the relationship to feel safe or avoid being abandoned. It’s not just getting your needs met — which is something all human beings require and is a normal, healthy part of a mutually beneficial relationship. Codependency often evolves out of trauma, like growing up with an alcoholic parent, and is extremely complex and nuanced. “Healing” isn’t the same thing as “personal growth” or “self-care.” It generally refers to the process of working through traumatic experiences that have resulted in mental health conditions like PTSD, or recovering from something like substance abuse, self-harm, or an eating disorder. These processes involve tremendous time, energy, and the careful guidance of a trauma therapist or treatment center with very rigorously managed protocols. Being “happy” all the time is unrealistic and isn’t even the goal of therapy. Learning how to cope in a healthy way and ride the waves of unexpected occurrences in life without becoming emotionally dysregulated is the goal. Insisting on always being positive is toxic and can be abusive. Some things suck and the appropriate feeling is to be sad, grieve, be angry, or be frustrated. All of these feelings are instructive and “normal” which is a word I shudder to say because it is a loaded one in and of itself. And while I’ve had a therapist (ex-therapist) who constantly yapped at me about “feeling my feelings,” the reality is sometimes we all need a break. That’s why healthy distractions can be incredibly useful. None of us could have survived the uncertainty of this never-ending COVID-19 pandemic without figuring out how to escape our constant worry, fear, and hypervigilance — Thank you “Ted Lasso” and “Schitt’s Creek.” Let me be clear… everyone’s journey in life is unique and for each of us, therapy and what we need out of therapy looks different. The only people who can assess what kinds of treatment modalities you need are you and your therapist. Generalizations like these that take mental health tropes and hijack them to be used in normative terms have the danger of encouraging comparative suffering, delegitimizing actual mental health conditions, perpetuating stigmatizing labels about certain conditions. and normalizing victim blaming. Language matters now, perhaps more than ever, in this age of misinformation. Using therapy lingo to describe “life” is dangerous and promotes misinformation. It also delegitimizes the field of mental health as a necessary and integral part of our health care system, and today perhaps more than ever the majority of us are recognizing mental health is no laughing matter.