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Found 5 results

  1. I heard about the book "Humanizing the Narcissistic style" By Steven Johnson a few years ago, and I have finally got around to reading it. It is aimed at therapists, but I am finding it useful for myself. It is actually quite rough going, precisely because it is much more "soft" on narcissists than the pop psychology one usually sees splashed all over the internet. By encouraging the patient to get in touch with the archaic needs of the true self, all kinds of defenses are exposed. In particular, one reads that some of the most energetic defenses are not to protect the grandiose false self from reality, but to protect the neediness of the infant "true self" from being accessed and the disappointment and disillusionment of the original empathic failure both in terms of lack of mirroring and not being a good enough figure for idealising. There is the identification of three types of transference: mirror, twinship and merger transference. The first one is the one most popularly ascribed to narcissism. Following Kohut, Johnson says that the merger idealisation is at the lower end developmentally. This rings true to me, based on my experiences of people who seem very narcissistically diturbed: the "what´s yours is mine" form of thinking is to me the most striking feature of such a person. Johnson describes such individuals as typically more borderline, and notes that in some ways they are more in touch with the true self whose needs keep bursting through, compared to the more defended individual. The latter is what he calls the "narcissistic style". There is hope for everyone in this book. My therapist had not heard of it but i hope there are some out there who have read it. The discussion of the "symptomatic self" was very useful especially the discussion of psychosomatic symptoms and apathy towards work, which in one place was described as an act of spite by the inner child towards the enforced achievement focus of the grandiose false self. When I read that i found myself getting very angry and indeed hateful towards this inner child, which is a reaction which the author also describes. The latter chapters contain various case studies which I have not finished reading yet. The only questionable point seems to be the author´s advocacy of bioenergetics, which seems to involve some quite uncomfortable physical procedures and i am not sure many people would recommend that these days.
  2. Hi CB- I was wondering how many of us suffer from any dental issues? Personally, ever since I was a small child, I was incredibly negligent with my physical hygeine, and I have no idea why. It continued into my teenage and young adult years (which is where I am at currently). I really don't know what caused it, but my parents were fairly negligent, but I feel like it has more to do with my mental issues. They were a slew of different issues as a child compared to what they eventually developed into, but the underlying idea is the same. I feel like I can't take care of all "realms" of my life. My parents influenced school, that was the realm I held in the highest esteem. My friends were my second. Needless to say, when it came to eating, bathing, cleaning, I was useless. And for a while, that didn't cause my problems (luckily I don't smell even after a shocking period of time without showering). But eventually, it caught up with my teeth. BADLY. But, as I have a dental phobia, and severely aversive to conflict, especially with my narcissistic father, I put it on the backburner. To the point where chunks of my teeth were falling out. Luckily, mostly the back molars, so I still kept my mouth shut and bore the pain. And then it got one of my canines. Completely. Now, I will say that I am fortunate to come from a fairly wealthy family who can afford treatment for such procedures, but not without intense beratement, leading to feelings of failure, inadequacy, and most importantly, a sense that I am unable to function within this world independently. So, I finally went to get my canine inspected. It was too far gone and had to be pulled, not to mention countless cavaties elsewhere. And, so I wouldn't have a hole in the front of my mouth, my dentist and I decided an implant would be best (due to my age, bridges may be impractical, as it requires destroying the surrounding teeth). At this appointment though, they mentioned my wisdom teeth were all about to erupt. And they were, it wasn't a scam. I've been feeling it for years. One of them is growing horizonally out of the back of my gums to the point where it scrapes my inner mouth, but I was too afraid to face my narcisstic father (and the dentist, but not as much). To my dad, money is All. When he texts, he can't even say the word, its just "$$$$$$$!!!!!!" And not just that, but two of my back molars, the ones with missing chunks, had such little teeth left they could do nothing but pull them. And due to concerns of being 24 and not having those two back molars to properly eat, we decided implants would be best there, too. But I sat on this information for half a year. Until every single second of my existence had been taken over by excruciating pain which I had tried every home remedy in the book to fix. Orajel, salt water, advil, tylenol, ibuprofen, motrin, midol, garlic & pepper water mix, hydrogen peroxide. They all helped, for a while, until they didn't anymore. I had no choice. I had to make the appointment. Not to mention it was a terrifying thought to have 7 teeth removed, my dad didn't care about how much pain I tolerated for so long, about why my teeth may be this way. In fact, he kept insisting they were lying about all of this in an attempt to "rob him" (not paranoia, just born in the '40''s). But I had to do it. I couldn't live like that anymore. So here I sit, writing, feeling incredibly inadequate, bleeding porfusely from the gaping holes in my gums, feeling terrible. Was my dad right? Is this just me overexaggerating? It really can't be, but he has this way about him where he knows exactly which buttons to push and how hard. So now, in pain, I feel like I'm completely incapable of supporting myself in this world, or even taking care of myself, or at the very least a sucker who got her father robbed (again, but that's a different story). I see I have run away with my point here, but my question still stands: Has your mental illness ever caused severe dental issues? It makes me feel terrible when the "normal" people don't have nearly the amount of dental work or problems I do, and to be frank, it makes me feel like shit. So CB, tell me what you think. --Alice
  3. *note: I have diagnosed pure-o OCD and BPD that might have some sway in this issue, but it seems like the more I obsess over being a narcissist, the more narcissistic I get so the other diagnoses might be a moot point? Right. So for the past two years every day I have been freaking out because I think I am a narcissist. Not that being a narcissist is a bad thing--I'm sure there are a lot of good people who are narcissists--but I'm afraid it will cause people not to love me anymore. Ever since I was little I haven't had a lot of friends and...I dunno... it always hurt. And obsessing over this narcissism thing has left me pretty numb, emotion wise--all I really feel anymore is depression. No more empathy, really, at least not for the people I know. Empathy has taken the backburner in some ways. I cry over movies. A lot. Just the other day I cried over Benny and Joon...but in cases like that, it's because I relate to the characters. For other people, I really just feel self-pity right now but if my mom needs help cleaning, I try to help her out. So that's a bit of empathy I guess. But I also don't often take people's emotions into account and lash out or ignore their needs. Probably more so than the helping thing. I can be manipulative at times. Like my dad had a bunch of candy from Father's Day and I ate one without asking and then only asked him for permission after eating half of it. Stuff like that. Writing used to be really pleasurable for me. It was fun to make up stories and I would devote hours to it. As soon as I won this contest, though, and some other contests, it's turned into something I have to do for the pressure of being successful for it because I really like how people treat me when I succeed at it. Before I was sort of the black sheep of the family, but now my mom and dad seem less concerned about my future and my teachers complimented me and it just felt so good to be wanted? It felt so good to be noticed. And I hate myself for it, but it's almost like I try to substitute success in writing for love because before nobody loved me and this seems to get something close to it? So writing's not even fun anymore--it's all competition, it's all what will get people to still like me. Is that narcissistic supply? One thing that I don't have that narcissists seem to have is a grandiose superiority complex. People are awesome and interesting. Literally everyone is better than me. Everyone is I love to hear people talk--like, if it were possible, I would just disappear and listen to people talk. That way, there would be no pressure about having to be liked or talk about myself and I could just enjoy learning about other people's lives. I am, however, very competitive when it comes to creative writing--in that, I *do* like to try to be better than others and get pretty jealous if other people are better. Like I get really jealous if someone gets attention over creative writing (or academics) and I don't. It's pretty toxic. But I never put down people and try to say good things about the work despite envy. But on the inside it just burns and I hate it...but I just want people to like my work so bad. It's not even fun anymore. It sucks. And I NEVER put people down, knowing how much it hurts for me. Ever. Even if I hate them. It doesn't make me feel better to put someone down and it won't make them feel better so what's the point? Also, I don't hide my emotions. No attempt whatsoever. Which amounts to a lot of crying in public. Which is also maybe why I don't have friends. On the other hand, though, if someone's crying I'm not very empathatic. It makes me feel uncomfortable and unsure what to do to help them. Double-standard there. As far as reacting to criticism goes, I wasn't sensitive about criticism until the narcissism obsession happened. But now if someone says anything critical about me I fall into a "oh no am I narcissistic"? cycle that can last hours. I guess I just don't want to be a narcissist because having relationships with others is something very important to me and I don't want a disorder to drive people away from me. My greatest fear is ending up all alone, and the more I obsess over this narcissism thing, the more people don't seem to like me. It's like I don't know how to love anymore--every thought when I'm with someone is either "how can I make them like me?" or "crap i am way too narcissistic in this situation stop it". People don't deserve that crap in their lives anyways, and I feel really bad for blindsiding people and only caring about my own emotions. They deserve more attention, but whether or not I have narcissism is literally all I think about 24/7. There is no feeling left but sadness. I'm just lost and don't know what to do and need help. With the academics thing, I really would prefer intimacy over praise but it just never happens so praise is the next best thing, you know? Is there anything I can do to reverse narcissism if I have it? I would do anything to fix it.
  4. *note: I have diagnosed pure-o OCD and BPD that might have some sway in this issue, but it seems like the more I obsess over being a narcissist, the more narcissistic I get so the other diagnoses might be a moot point? Right. So for the past two years every day I have been freaking out because I think I am a narcissist. Not that being a narcissist is a bad thing--I'm sure there are a lot of good people who are narcissists--but I'm afraid it will cause people not to love me anymore. Ever since I was little I haven't had a lot of friends and...I dunno... it always hurt. And obsessing over this narcissism thing has left me pretty numb, emotion wise--all I really feel anymore is depression. No more empathy, really, at least not for the people I know. Empathy has taken the backburner in some ways. I cry over movies. A lot. Just the other day I cried over Benny and Joon...but in cases like that, it's because I relate to the characters. For other people, I really just feel self-pity right now but if my mom needs help cleaning, I try to help her out. So that's a bit of empathy I guess. But I also don't often take people's emotions into account and lash out or ignore their needs. Probably more so than the helping thing. I can be manipulative at times. Like my dad had a bunch of candy from Father's Day and I ate one without asking and then only asked him for permission after eating half of it. Stuff like that. Writing used to be really pleasurable for me. It was fun to make up stories and I would devote hours to it. As soon as I won this contest, though, and some other contests, it's turned into something I have to do for the pressure of being successful for it because I really like how people treat me when I succeed at it. Before I was sort of the black sheep of the family, but now my mom and dad seem less concerned about my future and my teachers complimented me and it just felt so good to be wanted? It felt so good to be noticed. And I hate myself for it, but it's almost like I try to substitute success in writing for love because before nobody loved me and this seems to get something close to it? So writing's not even fun anymore--it's all competition, it's all what will get people to still like me. Is that narcissistic supply? One thing that I don't have that narcissists seem to have is a grandiose superiority complex. People are awesome and interesting. Literally everyone is better than me. Everyone is I love to hear people talk--like, if it were possible, I would just disappear and listen to people talk. That way, there would be no pressure about having to be liked or talk about myself and I could just enjoy learning about other people's lives. I am, however, very competitive when it comes to creative writing--in that, I *do* like to try to be better than others and get pretty jealous if other people are better. Like I get really jealous if someone gets attention over creative writing (or academics) and I don't. It's pretty toxic. But I never put down people and try to say good things about the work despite envy. But on the inside it just burns and I hate it...but I just want people to like my work so bad. It's not even fun anymore. It sucks. And I NEVER put people down, knowing how much it hurts for me. Ever. Even if I hate them. It doesn't make me feel better to put someone down and it won't make them feel better so what's the point? Also, I don't hide my emotions. No attempt whatsoever. Which amounts to a lot of crying in public. Which is also maybe why I don't have friends. On the other hand, though, if someone's crying I'm not very empathatic. It makes me feel uncomfortable and unsure what to do to help them. Double-standard there. As far as reacting to criticism goes, I wasn't sensitive about criticism until the narcissism obsession happened. But now if someone says anything critical about me I fall into a "oh no am I narcissistic"? cycle that can last hours. I guess I just don't want to be a narcissist because having relationships with others is something very important to me and I don't want a disorder to drive people away from me. My greatest fear is ending up all alone, and the more I obsess over this narcissism thing, the more people don't seem to like me. It's like I don't know how to love anymore--every thought when I'm with someone is either "how can I make them like me?" or "crap i am way too narcissistic in this situation stop it". People don't deserve that crap in their lives anyways, and I feel really bad for blindsiding people and only caring about my own emotions. They deserve more attention, but whether or not I have narcissism is literally all I think about 24/7. There is no feeling left but sadness. I'm just lost and don't know what to do and need help. With the academics thing, I really would prefer intimacy over praise but it just never happens so praise is the next best thing, you know? Is there anything I can do to reverse narcissism if I have it? I would do anything to fix it.
  5. I am having an assessment for Narcissism Personality Disorder in a week with a specialist pdoc. My key worker says it's very likely I am a narcissist. Personally I do not mind, I see it as a very positive trait and it's what keeps me alive since I'm bipolar as well and it kept me from not committing suicide when I had depressive episodes in the past except from once when I was at a horrible state. My ideology is, it's exceptionally important that I don't kill myself since my personality perceives suicide as weakness(NO OFFENCE...SOWWY) It's not good at the end of the day... The question is how to I convert negative narcissism to positive narcissism, how can I still be godlike but understand how others feel? How can still make my life shine, become someone very important, but not be an arsehole and not be a corrupted leader. I do like being in charge, that is true... I got to do something, my key worker thinks as my personality grows, people around me would suffer from emotional narcissistic abuse because I can be extremely manipulative at times. At the moment, I can't see why would that be true and I don't find my traits horrible. I love attention (NOT the sort of pity type attention), praise...positive attention such as WELL DONE!!! YOU'RE F%"!"£$ GREAT" that sort of attention. (I do despite negative attention, that's for sure). I can't seem to be causing my partner any narcissistic emotional abuse because I do think we share certain narcissistic traits, so I suppose that's good. Finally, I don't like this diagnosis at ALL, it's not an illness, if I'm an arsehole then I am...if I am arrogant DEAL WITH IT you judgemental psychiatrists. Although, if I can't recognise I emotionally harm others around me then I suppose that's not good and I will not be praised for that. Yes I want to change...for selfish reasons but that does not matter...it's actions that define us... Do you think narcissism is horrible? Do you see it as an illness? (I don't ) + How can I convert my negative narcissism to positive narcissism?
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