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Certain I have NPD


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 For the past few weeks/months I have convinced myself I have NPD. The covert type. Literally, every symptom/trait I have. I feel like a total lie.
- I do things for attention. I like people to think highly of me and view me as intelligent so I buy highbrow literature. If I'm out on the train, for example, I like to think that people are looking at me and what I'm reading and impressed.
- I have grandiose fantasies about becoming famous. I have often started hobbies with the intention of becoming famous in those fields.
- I am jealous of other people's success and hate it when I don't get attention.
- My empathy seems to be incredibly low. I can remember feeling deeply empathetic before, but now I question whether it was just a facade.
- I like to think I'm better than everybody else/more important. Of course, rationally I know this is #######4, but my mind panders to the idea. When I'm out in public I put on this facade of being more important/indifferent. I do this naturally and I hate it. I can't stop doing it.
- I hate it when people know more than me. It's like I can't admit other people are intelligent. I put myself on a pedestal and berate them.
- I am incredibly moody. I can be distant with my family and friends and often think I just use them.
- I have dropped out of so many college courses.
- I think I have anger issues, though I rarely express it. I get really frustrated with the littlest of things.
- I have trust issues. I rarely trust anyone and sometimes think people are lying.
- I constantly seek external validation, in almost everything I do, I think?

I was diagnosed with OCD and depression at 15 and have had countless obsessions but this one feels different. I read the traits of a pwNPD and I literally have them all. Various therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists have said I don't have it and it's just OCD but I'm not convinced. Since I came across NPD I have been trying to avoid people and avoid going out. I feel like everything about me is fake, like I have no personality/identity. I feel incredibly manipulative, I even feel so in therapy. I have told my therapist I feel manipulative but she doesn't seem phased. I've tried therapy many times before but never kept up with it because I always seemed to get better. I desperately don't want to have NPD but I fear I have it and I fear I cannot change.

Another thing. I have felt quite emotional today and cried a bit. When I was crying I wanted my mum to notice me and come over and comfort me/talk to me. Even more reason why I think I have NPD.

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Didn't you just recently post a similar topic? And wasn't the general consensus that there was plenty of reason to believe you were not a narcissist even though we don't diagnose? I'd go back and read that thread if I were you.

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1 hour ago, Nathan said:

I have told my therapist I feel manipulative but she doesn't seem phased. I've tried therapy many times before but never kept up with it because I always seemed to get better. I desperately don't want to have NPD but I fear I have it and I fear I cannot change.

Question - when you get better, do you stop obsessing over whether or not you have NPD?

 

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The very fact that you are obsessing over it casts a whole lot of doubt in my mind that you actually have it. But suppose the worst happened and it turns out that you do have NPD. Would it really be that bad? How would your life change? And couldn't you get therapy for it?

I'm going to reiterate that I think this is an obsession of yours. I don't think you actually have NPD. But even if you did, it would not be that terrible and it certainly would not be the end of the world.

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Oh come on. When I worked at the library people checked out "highbrow" books or travel books or high finance books all the time just to impress people. Which would equal just me as it happened. And then what would they have to read? I think all the things you list are pretty common for lots of people and for all of us some of the time.

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1 hour ago, sixteenshells said:

All of these things sound pretty normal to me. I think everyone, whether MI or not, has felt/done these things at some point, to some degree or another. 

They might have but I seem to do them alot. I have a yearning for attentino that is unhealthy.

3 hours ago, jt07 said:

Didn't you just recently post a similar topic? And wasn't the general consensus that there was plenty of reason to believe you were not a narcissist even though we don't diagnose? I'd go back and read that thread if I were you.

 

I did, yeah, but it's still here. I know it's reassurance seeking but I literally cannot stop thinking about this.

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2 hours ago, whome said:

Question - when you get better, do you stop obsessing over whether or not you have NPD?

 

Erm, I guess. I haven't had this obsession before. It has been continuous for a few months now.

2 hours ago, jt07 said:

The very fact that you are obsessing over it casts a whole lot of doubt in my mind that you actually have it. But suppose the worst happened and it turns out that you do have NPD. Would it really be that bad? How would your life change? And couldn't you get therapy for it?

I'm going to reiterate that I think this is an obsession of yours. I don't think you actually have NPD. But even if you did, it would not be that terrible and it certainly would not be the end of the world.

It would be, because I want to genuinely connect with other people. I want to stop yearning for attention and showing off.

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7 minutes ago, Nathan said:

It would be, because I want to genuinely connect with other people. I want to stop yearning for attention and showing off.

Can't you see how these statements are themselves incompatible with NPD? A narcissist doesn't worry about connecting with other people. It's all about him, him, him. A narcissist would say that it's up to other people to connect with him. And a narcissist wouldn't worry at all about yearning for attention and showing off. I mean, for goodness sake, look at Donald Trump. I don't know whether he meets the clinical definition, but he certainly is a narcissist. You think he wants to stop yearning for attention and showing off?

I have found that the first step to overcoming an obsession is to de-tooth the beast. So that's why I asked what would be so bad about being a narcissist. The more you fear it, the bigger it grows in your mind, and the more you obsess on it. So ask yourself, would it really be so bad? It wouldn't kill you and the world would not end for you. You could live a perfectly happy life as a narcissist (again, look at Donald Trump).

You really need to work on this in therapy. You are displaying classic symptoms of OCD which is your diagnosis and not NPD.

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several other psych forums seem to end up saying the same thing when people post things like "i'm a covert narcisst" and are obsessive about it - it's just anxiety, basically. i don't think a true narcissist would so readily admit that they have a problem, or rather that they are the problem

Edited by y1gFwo
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Your anxiety sounds awful and your obsessions sound beyond preoccupying and certainly distressing.  What does not sound apparent, however, is that a NPD label is the appropriate fit.  You seem to be the only one who thinks so.  That's essentially the opposite of an NPD diagnosis.  Even your very detailed list of examples don't convince me.

the usual warnings that I'm not a professional apply, but please try to listen to those who are treating you and follow their recommendations.  I recognize its hard and that is a lot to ask.  As I said previously, I diagnosed myself with everything under the planet while in an extreme crisis while my treatment people refused to do so until the crisis passed.  

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2 hours ago, jt07 said:

Can't you see how these statements are themselves incompatible with NPD? A narcissist doesn't worry about connecting with other people. It's all about him, him, him. A narcissist would say that it's up to other people to connect with him. And a narcissist wouldn't worry at all about yearning for attention and showing off. I mean, for goodness sake, look at Donald Trump. I don't know whether he meets the clinical definition, but he certainly is a narcissist. You think he wants to stop yearning for attention and showing off?

This is brilliant. Picture a narcissist. Do you have anything in common with him/her?

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10 minutes ago, whome said:

This is brilliant. Picture a narcissist. Do you have anything in common with him/her?

Many things. There's a thing called "covert narcissism" which is pretty much the opposite of what most people think of as being narcissism. I fit the criteria for that quite a bit.

1 hour ago, y1gFwo said:

several other psych forums seem to end up saying the same thing when people post things like "i'm a covert narcisst" and are obsessive about it - it's just anxiety, basically. i don't think a true narcissist would so readily admit that they have a problem, or rather that they are the problem

Maybe I'm just doing so for attention? I don't know...

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11 minutes ago, Nathan said:

Many things. There's a thing called "covert narcissism" which is pretty much the opposite of what most people think of as being narcissism. I fit the criteria for that quite a bit.

There such a thing as objectivity, and this is why it is almost impossible to diagnose ourselves because we are not objective. This is why we pay doctors and therapists to diagnose us. Why do you refuse to listen to your therapist and to us who are telling you that it is all part of your OCD. Why do you want to force something to be true that isn't? I can't really say it any more plainly than I agree with your therapist and don't think you have NPD.

I forget whether you see a psychiatrist and are taking any meds, but I think it is time for an appointment with your psychiatrist to possibly get a med adjustment because you are suffering way too much over this. Also, you need to work this over intensively with a therapist. You can beat this obsession.

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1 hour ago, jt07 said:

There such a thing as objectivity, and this is why it is almost impossible to diagnose ourselves because we are not objective. This is why we pay doctors and therapists to diagnose us. Why do you refuse to listen to your therapist and to us who are telling you that it is all part of your OCD. Why do you want to force something to be true that isn't? I can't really say it any more plainly than I agree with your therapist and don't think you have NPD.

I forget whether you see a psychiatrist and are taking any meds, but I think it is time for an appointment with your psychiatrist to possibly get a med adjustment because you are suffering way too much over this. Also, you need to work this over intensively with a therapist. You can beat this obsession.

 

I really don't know how to put this to rest though. I'm worried to stop thinking about it in case I continue to act egotistically. I have another therapy session on Thursday so I'll go from there.

 

I haven't seen a psychiatrist for a few months now. I'm going to book a doctor's appointment tomorrow to get a referral. I feel like I should be on mood stabiliers as well as my antidepressant.

 

Thanks for all the advice.

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I don't mean to over simplify things, but the way to put it to rest is by getting the appropriate treatment and trusting the people who are providing said treatment.  Certain medications are reported to help with OCD (I believe some of the SSRIs, though not completely sure).  And there are therapeutic techniques to combat obsessive thought patterns and potentially even to raise self-esteem (I know it feels to you like the opposite, but I do wonder how much of this is rooted in an overly critical, overly negative view of yourself).  It's hard as hell and takes time.  But it can be done with the right treatment team and with you participating (people frequently say complying, but I don't like that language as it suggests to me that you shouldn't have any agency in your own life).

in the mean time, it may help to try to wean yourself away from all the NPD googling, researching, forum participating, etc. I don't know the degree to which you are currently doing it, but I know you have a whole lot of knowledge about it and I both don't think there's more you would gain and are also concerned it will perpetuate the circular obsessive thought patterns.

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2 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

Certain medications are reported to help with OCD (I believe some of the SSRIs, though not completely sure).

Yes, SSRIs help, but sometimes require high doses. They really do help. Luvox is an SSRI that is specifically indicated for OCD, but really any SSRI can help. Citalopram keeps my OCD in check along with some skills I learned in therapy. Also, the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine (Anafranil) is known to work for OCD and used to be the gold standard treatment. 

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17 hours ago, Nathan said:

I'm worried to stop thinking about it in case I continue to act egotistically.

See that's the hook that OCD gets into you - the fear. That's anxiety and fear that exactly what you are obsessing about with come true. You have to realize that it's a fear and that it's an emotion and hence not reality. Just because you think something or don't think about something doesn't mean it's reality. Reality just is - it is independent of our thoughts. Thoughts are not reality and we cannot control reality by our thoughts alone.

Here's how I overcame OCD for the most part. I had the compulsive (classic) kind of OCD. I gave my self permission not to engage in the compulsions for 1 day. One day only. At the end of the day, nothing catastrophic happened. Then I would do two days, etc. Eventually I learned what I said above, that my thoughts do not control reality. I guarantee you that if you don't obsess on NPD, it won't mean that you have it. It won't make you more narcissistic.

I strongly encourage you to get that referral to a psychiatrist as soon as possible. You don't deserve all this suffering.

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I know a bit about personality disorders and I hope I can try and give an advice. I've had various psychiatrists try and diagnose me with a personality disorder when I moved to adult mental health services. It was a mixture of emotional unstable and narcissistic personality disorder. I was furious because from my notes I was clearly manic depressive. It took quite a while till they realised that the dx was right so they went back to bipolar last November. What prolonged this PD uncertainty was me denying it but my pdoc does think I have some narcissistic traits but it is understandable because of my past. I am a bit arrogant but that's because I was brought up middle class. Any doc can have his opinion but to me the whole "narcissism", "entitled" comes as an insult, to me and my family.

I will make two points that I wish help

1. If you were a proper selfish narcissist you'd be more pre-occupied about success and domination than being anxious about being narcissistic. In my opinion your anxiety issues would probably manifest in feeling inferior instead of being a narcissist. 

2. Having a diagnosis of any personality disorder unfortunately comes with a stigma (even from professionals). I'm saying this from personal experience when my old psychiatrist thought I had one. I went through a six month utterly disabling depressed episode and he thought it was down to the personality disorder he thought I had. Being in my room months and not coming out, not showering, not eating and crying is being chemically depressed but he thought otherwise...until I actually ended up in psych. If I didn't had that label down I would have been treated instantly but I didn't.

So if you ever have an indigenous mental health crisis with a diagnosis of PD you'll be ignored like hell. I mentioned this to a psych nurse I met in a pub and she agreed with me, having a PD diagnosis does mean you get less help and if it is a misdiagnosis, like what I went through, YOU ARE FUCKED.

 

 

Edited by The Right Honourable Jimmy
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Hello. I had this worry last year. I would wake up every morning with a knot in my stomach and a feeling of doom. Like it was the worst thing in the world. It went on for months.

I am not diagnosed with pure-O but my therapist and a psichiatrist i saw recently agree that i am very obsessive.

In my opinion, a lot of the internet "experts" on "covert narcissist" are wildly biased, are projecting/blaming others for their own issues, or in one notorious case trying to create a cult of personality around themself to control people. I agree with others that constantly researching that stuff on the internet is just going to feed the obsession.

 

 

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