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narcissistic personality disorder


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So, after my second partial hospitalization, I asked for and received a copy of my discharge writeup, like I had for the first. To my surprise, the second one said that during my first hospitalization I received both a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a "provisional diagnosis" of narcissistic personality disorder. I was surprised, because the first discharge summary hadn't mentioned a personality disorder dx.

I guessed that "provisional" meant "we're not really sure yet", and after thinking about it I thought it was probably because I told them that difficulty connecting with people was a problem for me, and in an uncharacteristic fit of honesty because my life was going to hell, said I thought I had difficulty relating to people who weren't really smart, and in an attempt to say "I think this is heavily contributed to by my having so much higher education, and this really is a serious problem for me and isn't solved by the social options I currently have", made them think I thought I was a font of wonderfulness.

What I missed the first time I read the second discharge summary was that at the end there was a sentence about the diagnoses remaining the same as the first time. I discovered that when I pulled them out tonight to see whether they'd given me a I or II onto the bipolar (turned out to be neither, although I was verbally told I was II the first time around).

I suppose I could be unaware of meeting criteria, but I don't appear to, as far as I can tell, in part because one of the things I'm really worried about is that I might hurt other people and I really don't want to. I don't know. I mean, one therapist who also worked with my mother said that my mom's father "was narcissistic" so maybe I could have gotten some traits that would make me look like that to the pdoc without making me all the way.

But, you know, I don't know how to tell what's wrong if anything, so I don't know what to rein in so it doesn't hurt other people, and somehow I doubt there are going to be self-help resources online for npd'ers.

It makes me want to hide under the table, really.

But instead I am going to another Thanksgiving dinner with the community I've been slowly joining. It will be fun! And that makes me feel better.

But I don't know what to do about this.

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Could it have something to do with growing up homeschooled with a super high IQ and never getting the hang of how not to let on that you're smarter than everyone else?

At what point is believing you're not better than everyone else the same as low self esteem?

Ever read Nietzsche?

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Could it have something to do with growing up homeschooled with a super high IQ and never getting the hang of how not to let on that you're smarter than everyone else?
I knew from pretty early I shouldn't tell anyone that, but knowing how to look normal is more difficult.

At what point is believing you're not better than everyone else the same as low self esteem?

Well, sincerity is much more convincing than pretense.

Ok, the criteria:

(At least five of the following are necessary for a diagnosis:)

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i've never met you in person and the internets are wacky so maybe you're somehow completely different in real life that you come across here, but i really doubt you have NPD. i'm always sceptical, to be honest, of dxs given in hospitals. "wow, you talked to me for 5-15 minutes while i was at one of my worst points... of course you think i have issues."

my mother has npd so, and while one individual is not representative of a whole population, i have a pretty good sense of what it entails. if you want to talk to me more about this, feel free to send me a PM.

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i've never met you in person and the internets are wacky so maybe you're somehow completely different in real life that you come across here, but i really doubt you have NPD. i'm always sceptical, to be honest, of dxs given in hospitals. "wow, you talked to me for 5-15 minutes while i was at one of my worst points... of course you think i have issues."

my mother has npd so, and while one individual is not representative of a whole population, i have a pretty good sense of what it entails. if you want to talk to me more about this, feel free to send me a PM.

i mean, yeah... penny said the real life versus internet thingy.... but I have really never gotten the impression that you had npd. I'm no doctor, of course, but I did have a friend with npd, among other things. I don't get the same vibe from you, I don't know.

I'm sorry. i wanted to say something but i am trying to outline an essay and i took ambien, soooooooooo, yeah.....

<3

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I don't see a narcissitic personality, from the limited exposure. I think the fact that you have concerns about others and their feelings, and don't seem to use them for your purposes almost negates any possibility of that dx.

A short hospitalization is not the best for indepth diagnosis, and it's telling that the docs were honest enough to label it as tentative.

Interacting with people can be tough. Even when the MI seems reasonably stable, I can find myself straining just to keep up a casual conversation, overcompensating and being edgy while trying to be engaging and upbeat. I think the meds mental dulling effect makes it harder to relate as well. Finally, is the overall loss of confidence that comes with the MI mileau. (gosh, I wait years to use that wonderful word). ;)

a.m.

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it was probably because I told them that difficulty connecting with people was a problem for me, and in an uncharacteristic fit of honesty because my life was going to hell, said I thought I had difficulty relating to people who weren't really smart, and in an attempt to say "I think this is heavily contributed to by my having so much higher education, and this really is a serious problem for me and isn't solved by the social options I currently have", made them think I thought I was a font of wonderfulness.

Sounds like they misinterpreted you to me. I think I understand how you feel, although I am still in the midst of my education. Generally I have very low self esteem and often feel like a failure rather than having pride in my achievements, but it can be very difficult to talk to people who have not had such a good education. It can be both frustrating and isolating when nobody else understands or appreciates what you're talking about.

I would have thought that not being able to relate to people who are different is not so much about narcissism as maybe some kind of social anxiety. When I feel like that I feel lonely, not conceited. (Either that or I worry that I will be seen as arrogant which I am afraid of)

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As a communication tip, telling someone you have trouble relating to people with different interests is going to sound way less narcissitic (NPD or not) than telling people you can't relate to people who aren't as "smart" as you.

And what do you mean by smart? Accidemically smart? People smart? Artistic smart? Sports smart? Spacially smart? Mechanically smart?

I know accidemically smart people who don't have enough common sense to think their way out of a wet paper bag, but can give you every detail of the seige of Troy, or recite Dickens from memory. Neither one of those "smarts" is going to come in very handy on a day to day basis, but these individuals would be considered "smart people".

I also know plenty of people who barely graduated high school who have enough common sense to develop great careers, raise happy families, keep their cars running, and actually stop their VCR from blinking :::12:00 - 12:00 - 12:00 - 12:00:::

I am an artist. Imagine if I judged everyone by artistic ability. Would your inability to draw a moose make you stupid? Or would we just be people with different talents and interests? There is more than 1 kind of smart in the world, and if you judge everyone by education level, you are seriously missing something.

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I don't judge everyone by education level, although it can be a proxy for what I'm looking for.

I don't judge people by social skills, artistic skill, sports skill, people skills, or spatial skills. I'm not particularly interested in any of those things, although I find that minimal social skills make starting a friendship easier. I also have no particular interest in people who are simply good at memorizing facts, like details of the siege of Troy. I do like common sense, although I don't judge extremely harshly on it.

I'm not going to go to battle over the scientific validity of IQ tests, so I'm not going to start that conversation. I will note that the issue isn't that people have different interests from me, but that the ways of talking and thinking and communicating about interests differ. Some involve simple ideas and obscure communication; others involve complex ideas and clear communication. I like the latter better.

I do like the word "accidemically" though.

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i don't think that what she said means she judges people by IQ. it's not as if people have their IQs tattooed on their foreheads anyway.

i don't think what she said was offensive. she said it to a psychiatrist. she didn't say in in a social situation with peers. and then she relayed this to us. it is not as if she said "i can not relate to people on this board because they are not smart".

a lot of people have a lot of problems relating to people. it is really hard to watch my gifted sister grow up because she is in a completely different universe than her peers. does that mean she thinks she is better than them? no. it means that she has a hard time talking about toys because she does not enjoy watching television (and so doesn't see commercials), and her primary interests right now are political and humanitarian. most 10 year olds just don't want to talk about issues like Darfur. hell most adults don't want to talk about darfur. so she doesn't want to ride bikes, she wants to get signatures on a petition for aid to darfur. NO WHERE in there is there an implication that she is better than her peers or that she thinks she is better.

being self aware enough to know that there are reasons that help explain why it is difficult to make friends is a good thing. it doesn't make you elitist. it doesn't make you egotistical.

my husband and i both studied history in college, and i continue to study it now on a graduate level. it is not a coincidence that i fell in love with a man who wants to sit and talk for hours about history.

perhaps i am going into far too much detail here, but what i'm trying to say is...

resonance posted here to ask about NPD. not to be berated for knowing that, for her, it may be easier to relate to academics. that doesn't mean she refuses to talk to people outside of academia or that she looks down on them.

you are making an issue out of something that was not the purpose of this thread.

and you are accusing her of being something that she is not.

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OK.

I'm going to rant.

It's sorta a catch 22. You're not supposed to think you're better than other people, but it's society that assigns the valutive norms, not you.

I know I'm smarter than 95% of the human race and as a result have trouble communicating with people. I'm not the one who decided that smarter = better. I personally think it's a pain in the ass. I'm also 6'3". That's a pain in the ass too. I don't see a whole lot of difference between the two except it's not harder to communicate with short people. I don't think I'm better because I'm taller than most people. I don't think I'm better because I'm smarter than most people. Society thinks smarter is better. The thing is, it's not OK to think you're better because you're smarter. Only, it's also not OK to have low self-esteem. So, fuck all that.

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My personal take on it is that smarter means different needs and challenges than most people, but it's impossible to convey that particular personal take without someone thinking *you* think you're better than other people and are therefore doing something horribly offensive (sometimes merely because you're suggesting that there might be such a thing as "smarter" and that it might matter in some way to everyday life).

Even when all you're doing is saying "the standard inputs are not working for me and here is why, so that you know what kinds of inputs I need to get to have experiences that are not worse than most peoples' experiences". In that particular respect, giftedness is not different from any of a variety of other ways of being mentally atypical (autism, learning disability, etc.).

I'm not saying it isn't valued by society. It is, sometimes and in some ways. I'm saying I don't think it makes me better than other people, just more frustrated and unhappy. If I could pick and choose, I'd pick in the "just barely gifted" range, where you get to be popular with your peers but not so far off you have difficulty relating to them.

You can't say you're smarter without at some level saying you think you're better than other people. "gifted." It's a value laden term. It implies you have something that others do not. Most people don't realize that in special ed gifted is often classified as a disability. For some annoying reason society thinks smarter is better. You can't acknowledge that you're smarter without tacitly saying you're better, even if you're just reading it off a piece of paper somebody else gave you. I tend to look at IQ, like hight, as nothing more than a unit of measure. Like hight, as you get to either end of the bell curve you have the freaks. There just aren't social double standards for dwarves and giants.

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Berate? I think you are reading way more in to my post than actually exists Penny. I suspected based on the information on this thread resonance was having a communication issue. I gave a possible interpretation that could have lead people to think there was NPD...and this was diagnosed not once..but TWICE.

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Penny said basically the same thing I'm going to say, but let me clarify. You suggested:

As a communication tip, telling someone you have trouble relating to people with different interests is going to sound way less narcissitic (NPD or not) than telling people you can't relate to people who aren't as "smart" as you.

It may be an issue of interests for you, and for you to say that you were into different things (instead of that you were smarter) would be not only a more reasonable way to state things but also a more correct one.

For me to say that would be for me to lie. More stupidly, to lie to a mental health professional. It's not an issue of someone likes to watch Survivor and I like Battlestar Galactica. I risk damaging my mental health by withholding critical information about my relationships from my mental health providers.

I'm not thrilled that this may have been 1/5 of the reason I got diagnosed with a personality disorder (since it's supposed to be five criteria, it ought not be the only one, but perhaps it was), but I'm going to let itself work itself out (if it's wrong) by feeding them more information, not what would be for me euphemisms and lies.

As someone else here said, this is something I told mental health professionals, and something that came up here because I was discussing what they did with that information. It's not something I tell employers, co-workers, advisors, students, collaborators, friends except for extremely close friends in the same situations, acquaintances, or my fellow patients in the partial hospitalization program.

I'm considering trashing this whole thread for that reason, so that it won't be here either. This is part of why the issue is so emotionally laden for me, because not only does it totally fuck up my relationships, I have to hide it and lie about it.

(Edited multiple times for accidentally saying things that meant the opposite of what I meant)

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