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Depression and Narcissism

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Depression and Narcissism

Postby Doc Grant » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:53 pm

I'm probably going to be a bit scatterbrained here, not to mention very long, and I apologize.

The thing is, I'm not sure what's wrong with me. There seem to be several things, social anxiety, excessive anxiety in general, ritualistic patterns of behavior, and so forth. I've been deeply depressed since my sophomore year of high school, so around 7 years now. I can't really remember feeling happy for a long time. But usually, I'm not sad either. Most of the time I'm just empty. My main positive emotion seems to be contentment anymore. I find myself engaged in a task and I don't really want for anything else. Occasionally I'll feel excited about something, and maybe I'm happy then. But for simplicity sakes, most of the time I just feel empty or bored.

Well this weekend for some reason I've felt a terrible sadness. It aches. I feel mostly better now, but "better" is feeling hollow again. I almost want the aching back, because I want to feel some intensity. This probably sounds confusing, but I think most depressed people will understand what I mean.

I've always been a reserved person, but there were times when I was happy. Let me offer an example. For some reason or another I was running somewhere one day years back, and I saw a crack in the pavement. And for whatever reason I jumped over it. It seems stupid, and it is, but back then I felt happy, optimistic. I felt free enough to be exuberant, at least when no one was around. My problem is that I can't see myself doing stuff like that anymore. I can't see myself acting so freely, just being happy for no reason at all.

Now on to the second part of my problem. I lack empathy for others. I don't like other people, and even most of the few people I consider my friends are more or less distractions for me. I've seen them hurt, and at best I try to help them to alleviate my own boredom. Their problems are a curiosity to me at best and an annoyance to me at worst. Generally I'll try to help them for a little while and get bored if they're still upset after I send a few encouraging phrases like "I'm sure things will work out" their way. I know rationally that I'm supposed to care. These are people who are good to me, after all. But I don't, and I can't make myself care. It's funny, because there is someone who I emphasize with, and that's pretty much the only strong connection I have. So I tend to cling to it. But other than that cherished connection, I dislike most people, but I crave their approval. I need them to acknowledge how special I am. If even a person I dislike sends a rude comment my way, I tend to get hurt and depressed. What did I do wrong, to make them dislike me? This quickly turns to anger. They're trash anyway, of course they won't appreciate me. But it still hurts, because I need to be perfect from all angles. Everyone must view me favorably or I feel terrible. I've always been hypersensitive to criticism, and even the slightest correction is enough to have me obsessing for a day about what I could have possibly done wrong.

The above all sounds like Narcissism to me. However, I posted something similar to this in the Narcissistic forum before, and someone pointed out that Narcissists tend to have high opinions of themselves, and that's a pretty big part of the disorder. I clearly don't. I have pretty much no self esteem, and am always sure I've screwed something up. I see myself higher than other people certainly, but only in that I see myself as slightly shiner trash. Sure I'm better than them, but trash is trash.

This was mostly for venting I suppose. But my question is, for anyone who can help me, could I be a Narcissist despite this lack of self esteem? And if I'm not, what is my problem(Other than me being a jerk :)) And yes, I'm trying to see a shrink, but I really struggle with it. Talking about my feelings is bad enough, but I also don't know where to start. I have like 4 serious issues I need to address, and no clue on how to begin. But I may get around to it eventually.

Thank you all for reading, and I'd appreciate any input.
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Re: Depression and Narcissism

Postby EarlGreyDregs » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:38 pm

Hey,

I'm also anxious and depressed and I feel like I can relate almost exactly to what you are saying. No, I don't think your a Narcissist, what you are describing is very characteristic of depression. Depression can cause emotional blunting which would account for your trouble feeling empathy for others. I have emotional blunting as well. Its really difficult for me to listen to other peoples problems, which seem so trivial to me, and actually empathize with them. Also, low self-esteem is linked to the problem with criticism. I actually made a thread in the Living with Mental Illness forum about my trouble dealing with criticism. All of these things can be linked to your depression. People that suffer with depression tend to be very self-centered. We don't do this on purpose, its just kind of the nature of the disease so to speak. But you are definitely not NPD. They are right, NPD is more of an extremely high self-esteem and disregard for others. Not that I know much about it, but I do feel what you're feeling.
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Re: Depression and Narcissism

Postby Mango » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:33 pm

Oh I know just what you mean!I call myself a self-hating narcissist.
It's a black & white thing, and you use your narcissism as a cover for low-self esteem. You'd much rather think that the reason you don't fit in, are seperate from people, don't get them etc is because you're better then them, not worse. And as for not feeling empathy, in my worst depression I am jealous (don't know if you are jealous), spiteful, unsympathetic & totally sef-absorbed.

Example: "Those people, they have no idea how good they have it. I am sooooo glad I'm not like them, shallow & wallowing about their minor crap."

*Sigh*
~SUBMIT TO THE WILL OF THE LASER CATS OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES~

(Along with total obidience to the laser cats, I take 100 of Lamical & 30mg of Cymbalta. Inderal when I'm anxious & Remeron when I'm wacko & can't sleep)
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Re: Depression and Narcissism

Postby Doc Grant » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:49 am

Thanks for the replies. I never thought that depression itself could make me so self absorbed, but thinking about it that seems to be a common theme of the disease. We have difficulty relating to others and are isolated as a result. Of course certain self defense mechanisms would arise.

And now if I may rant some more, this has been a very difficult week for me. My sadness flared up horribly today. It was tremendously bad earlier in the day. Even now I feel awful, though it's a little less bad now. Today was just one of those days when I've realized how much this disease has destroyed me. I have a bad tendency to observe others. I don't know what I'm looking for. Maybe I'm trying to understand them. But I can't, I feel separated from them. I look at them with such loathing, as they talk about "petty" concerns such as parties or sports or just want they plan to do over the weekend, and I don't understand any of it. I try to make myself feel deeper, telling myself they're the dim ones, preoccupied with fleeting pleasures like sports. And maybe that is true, most people seem a bit stupid. But where do I fit in? I'm no better than them, I distract myself with pleasures as much as I'm able.

I don't know what I'm saying. I don't know what I want. Well to an extent I do. But damn it, I used to think I'd like to be normal. But I realize now I can't be. I've lost 8 years to this disease, if I did develop it at 14. Even before then I was socially inept. Its robbed me of the chance of making friends, aside from abusive ones that would reinforce my low opinion of myself, made me bitterer then I was and completely twisted my worldview. I have no drive or hobbies, save for a talent for writing that I'm constantly second guessing. After all, I can't be good at anything.

The point is, I don't want to get better. Frankly what would be the point? At least now I can retreat into my depression, use that as an excuse for my failures (And I am nothing if not fond of excuses) I fear not being depressed. I'd still be this inept, and I dislike most people so much what would change really? I hate the sadness, but I don't see a better option. Even if I could take a magic pill and be completely normal, I don't see how I could function in normal relationships.
And that's my whine for the day That's all I can do anymore is whine. I'm supposed to be writing a paper now, and surprise, it's not going well. Even as I'm typing this I know how bad I sound. it's pathetic, and I can't even face my problems, just whine about them.
Thanks for listening everyone.
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Re: Depression and Narcissism

Postby Mango » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:33 pm

Doc Grant wrote:The point is, I don't want to get better. Frankly what would be the point? At least now I can retreat into my depression, use that as an excuse for my failures (And I am nothing if not fond of excuses) I fear not being depressed. I'd still be this inept, and I dislike most people so much what would change really? I hate the sadness, but I don't see a better option. Even if I could take a magic pill and be completely normal, I don't see how I could function in normal relationships.
And that's my whine for the day That's all I can do anymore is whine. I'm supposed to be writing a paper now, and surprise, it's not going well. Even as I'm typing this I know how bad I sound. it's pathetic, and I can't even face my problems, just whine about them.
Thanks for listening everyone.


My god, I could have written that myself. You're in love with your pain, it's one thing that you can rely on. Something that's yours, something to make excuses for, many of them may be true, but some may not. There was a time recently where Metallica's Fade to black was my anthem. And despite my impovement I still am quite melencholy, I could sit & whine & complain about the tragedy of this, how horrible it was a few months ago. I still fear not being depressed, then there'd be no excuse to not do anything. I fear it because happiness has always seemed to be taken away from me, stolen.
Depression is an identity, at least for me. I wouldn't know who I was anymore if I didn't have my pain to dwell on.
~SUBMIT TO THE WILL OF THE LASER CATS OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES~

(Along with total obidience to the laser cats, I take 100 of Lamical & 30mg of Cymbalta. Inderal when I'm anxious & Remeron when I'm wacko & can't sleep)
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Re: Depression and Narcissism

Postby cr6zed » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:57 pm

OK. This may or may not clarify things for you.
I have not been diagnosed with anything...yet. I believe I have NPD (maybe AsPD).
NPD do not suffer from remorse. Other than the lack of empathy, do you feel any guilt for things you have said to people?
I never feel inadequate. By this, I mean, I can do anything...and most of the time better than most. I never feel useless.
I do not have sad days...AT ALL...I have 'Hate days'. Days I want to go out and hunt the people that I have a grudge against. You may wonder why people have 'turned' on you. I wonder why I didn't put them in hospital. GRUDGE!!!!(makes me feel like my Ego has inflated ten fold...I am invincible)...not self sympathy.

I am going to post on the main page. I fear that you will learn what depression is not.
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Re: Depression and Narcissism

Postby dominoid » Tue May 04, 2010 5:49 am

I fear it because happiness has always seemed to be taken away from me, stolen.
Depression is an identity, at least for me. I wouldn't know who I was anymore if I didn't have my pain to dwell on.


Sorry for being direct, but...How can you keep this identity, if now you know it's a deception? Would You allow yourself to admit it, if there wasn't anything beneath the depression?
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Re: Depression and Narcissism

Postby sadchocokitty » Wed May 19, 2010 7:19 pm

The point is, I don't want to get better. Frankly what would be the point? At least now I can retreat into my depression, use that as an excuse for my failures (And I am nothing if not fond of excuses) I fear not being depressed. I'd still be this inept, and I dislike most people so much what would change really?





“In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant. My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known -- no wonder, then, that I return the love.”
Soren Kierkegaard

Mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from natural experience, the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain.”
William Styron

"Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer."
Dorothy Rowe
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