Narcissists Are Mad Men – Episode 1 July 6, 2012Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Tags: Can a Narcissist Love?, Don Draper, Mad Men, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissists, Narcissists and Other Women, NPD, Personality Disorders, Relationships, Roger Sterling, Sterling's Gold, Will the Narcissist Find Happiness
I’m not a diehard Mad Men fan, but when I ran across a copy of Sterling’s Gold – Wit & Wisdom of an Ad Man, my first thought was, “Forget Sterling, this is NPD Gold!” The book is ostensibly written by Roger Sterling, Jr., better known as Don Draper’s boss. If you follow my blog, you know I’ve written about Don Draper in Is Don Draper the Devil or a Narcissist?
I thought some of the quotes in the book would make excellent jumping off points to discuss questions that keep appearing via the Search Engines that churn 24/7. I’ve been addressing some of those questions in my The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism series, but it’s summer, so I’m down for something different.
First of all, you might be wondering, ” Are narcissists actually mad men?” I believe that although they would deny that they’re actually “mad” (as in angry, not crazy), their all-encompassing envy of others leads them to be angry, unsettling men/women who spend an inordinate amount of time trying to avoid and deny the inner conflict that rages. Their anger is like a pot put on the back burner left to simmer. It informs their every move.
I thought the above quote was especially appropriate for all my readers who ask:
Is it possible for a narcissist to find happiness with another person?
Although you want me to say NO, and yes, NO is ultimately the right answer (wow, that was confusing) you must KNOW this. It IS possible for “your N” to find someone who will tolerate their BS better than you. You’re not the only doormat in town, and they’re happy to wipe their feet on anyone who leaves the door open so they can gain entry.
Dysfunction – oh, let me count the ways! There’s the Meanie/Martyr relationship dynamic, which is self explanatory. Then there’s the Pursuer/Distancer variation where when one partner tries to get close, the other withdraws emotionally, creating a perpetual chase. Another variation is Responsible/Irresponsible, which is akin to a parent-child partnering. All of these exist in couples (narcissistic or not) and are not conducive to a healthy long-term relationship that will meet both partners’ individual needs.
So, although it might appear that a Narcissist has found happiness with another, remember that for the N, “happiness” is only to be found in the dictionary. For somatic narcissists, the new car smell wears off quickly, so they’ll soon be on the prowl. Cerebral Ns will begin to withhold sex leaving their partner feeling confused and abused. Most likely you know what I’m talking about because you’ve been there.
And just in case you’re tempted, there’s no point in warning the new person (though it might seem like the right/righteous thing to do). Don’t. Can you imagine if someone had taken you aside when you were in the throes of the Idealization Phase and told you the emperor had no clothes? You’d have thought they were mad and questioned their motives. You don’t want to come off looking like the crazy one, so bite your tongue. The train wreck is going to happen, so you don’t want to be playing on the tracks.
Ns ultimately live and die alone despite appearances to the contrary. Their life is like a film viewed over and over with the quality of the tape (okay, that reference is SO 20th Century!) degrading with each viewing, so that after years of their antics, the show is barely watchable.
Yes, Narcissists are mad men. But if you believe otherwise, you’re the one who is mad (as in crazy). Peace and Summer Dreaming.
Click here to read Narcissists Are Mad Men – Episode 2.
Photo Credit: Jan Marshall
DSM-5 To Keep NPD Alive July 25, 2011Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Tags: Diagnosis of NPD, DSM-5, DSM-V, Narcissism, Narcissism in DSM-5, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissists, NPD, Personality Disorders, Proposed changes to DSM-5
In the latest draft of the DSM-5 (due out in 2013) Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is back!
I’ve written extensively about the American Psychiatric Association’s original proposal to scrap four personality disorders, the most important, at least in my universe, being NPD. But so much has happened! To catch up with the back story, you can read DSM-IV to Ignore Narcissists? Part 3 which includes links to earlier posts.
Those wacky folks at the APA, who like to root around in other people’s psyches often looking for their mother, evidently poured over comments submitted by the public and saw the writing on the wall. (Okay, they saw it backwards because it was reflected by a mirror.) The people have spoken.
To view the latest draft of the DSM-5 (Yes, they did finally ditch those Roman numerals), click HERE. (Updated June 21, 2011.) Make sure you click on the DSM-IV link on top to see what the soon-to-be OLD diagnostic criteria for NPD was so you can compare the two. Special thanks to Hermite for alerting me to these changes.
FYI: The first attempt to classify mental disorders in the U.S. was to collect statistical information. According to Wikipedia, this data was collected in the 1840 census which used a single category, “idiocy/insanity.” Those who’ve had a Close Encounter with a Narcissist should be familiar with both of these due to their crazy making behavior. Enjoy.
DSM-5 to Ignore Narcissists? December 15, 2010Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Tags: Dexter, Diagnosis of NPD, DSM-V, Narcissism, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissists, NPD, Proposed Changes to DSM-IV, Shrink4men, The Sociopath Next Door
A while back I heard that Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) was to be eliminated from the updated version of the DSM-V due out in 2013. I winced but have been in wait-and-see mode. As I’ve said before, narcissism is the ground fog that swells around all Cluster B (The Drama Club) personality disorders, but does it deserve its own “disorder?”
I once described NPD as Baby Bear with Anti-Social Disorder (the disorder formerly referred to as sociopathy) as Mama Bear and Psychopathy as Big Bad Daddy Bear. But if you’ve read The Sociopath Next Door, you know that the majority of those who have the disorders that comprise the parental unit do not become criminals. They don’t kill people – at least not like Dexter does with his “kill kit.” They kill people’s spirits silently and methodically. They lack empathy and exhibit strong narcissistic traits. They are unable to connect emotionally with others who exist on the outer reaches of their universe.
I think Dr. Tara at Shrink4Men has written a slam dunk post on the proposed changes entitled Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Histronic Personality Disorder to be Eliminated in the DSM-V: Starbucks Diagnostics 101. There’s a link to the New York Times article A Fate that Narcissists will Hate; Being Ignored.
In keeping with Dr. Tara’s Starbucks analogy, it looks like those formerly diagnosed as NPD will become a Antisocial/Psychopathic non-empathy latte with 1-3 pumps of Narcissism. This is a must read.
The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #4 March 23, 2010Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Tags: Alpha Males, John Edwards, Narcissism, Narcissism in the Media, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissists, NPD, Personality Disorders, Politicians, Psychopaths, Shlubs, Tiger Woods
I never could have imagined that so many people would read my 3-part series Close Encounter with a Narcissist. Or imagined how many people would leave comments detailing their own often heart-wrenching “close encounters.”
When I check my blog stats (something us bloggers obsessively do), I like to check the “search engine terms” people typed in before they were electronically dropped off at my blog’s doorstep.
In this new series, The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism, I’ll use a “search term” I’ve come across as a jumping off point for a discussion. (Please read the Close Encounter with a Narcissist series first, or it’s like walking in after the movie’s started. Shhhh!) Here goes.
“Are all narcissists charismatic?
A growing number of celebrities/politicos have been been dubbed by the media as Narcissists. While it’s true that those with narcissistic traits are often drawn to professions that allow them to be front and center, I worry that this only perpetuates the myth that all narcissists are charismatic svengalis who believe they can walk on water. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are downright ordinary. Shlubs. That’s right. I’ve resorted to Yiddish to describe how pathetic these people are.
Presidential hopeful John Edwards and Tiger Woods have both been called narcissists. Maybe. Maybe not. There’s a big difference between having narcissistic traits and having full-on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Only those closest to a Narcissist can see these people for what they are, or more importantly, for what they aren’t.
Most people with NPD are not natural charmers, though they can certainly turn on the charm when it suits them (like during the Idealization Phase or when dealing with total strangers). No, they are downright ordinary, and on some level, they know just how ordinary they and their lives are. Their false self, or the image that they project to the public, attempts to disguise the oh-so ordinary nature of their lives. No wonder so many of them come across as blow hards or just a$$holes. At best, they’re legends in their own minds.
Photo Credit: Jan Marshall