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Do individuals with NPD ever recognize it?

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Do individuals with NPD ever recognize it?

Postby AnonymousConcerned » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:54 pm

Hello. I did read the informational sticky but didn't get far beyond the initial few responses. I also couldn't find the appropriate search terms for this, apparently.

Okay enough with the preliminaries. I need to know if someone with NPD ever recognizes they have the condition. I have read and heard over and over that individuals with personality disorders do not know they have them. I've even heard that it's a hallmark of personality disorders that the person does not know they have it - crazy people don't know they're crazy and all.

Now I did read some writings of a Sam Vashkin. But I thought it odd a person with NPD would acknowledge it publicly and wondered if he was just an attention whore.

So, basically is it possible for someone with this disorder to know/admit to themselves they have it?
And if so, have there been any studies or research saying so? Is it known to be possible in the pysch world?

Also - if a person does admit this to themselves, is it normal to have a sort of breakdown? Would it cause immense fear that they are delusional and will never achieve their outrageous ambitions?

Okay one more thing - do individuals with NPD ever go through some sort of off period? perhaps supply dries up for a time and/or they have some sort of realization that they're not who they thought and are no longer unique, special, or deserving? Perhaps they come across others with achievements they just can't top and start to panic as the inner vision starts to crumble? Could this lead to a severe depression and despondency for a good while? Or is this impossible for someone with NPD?
What happens to one who goes a long while without adequate supply? could this cause depression and lost sense of self?
Thanks for any help.
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Re: Do individuals with NPD ever recognize it?

Postby computerology » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:41 pm

From my experience having a narcissistic mother and from reading,

Narcissists rarely "realize" they have npd. When their surroundings change and they are cut off from those who play along in the narcissists games and give them supply (in my moms case, when all the kids were gone) they may seek help for depression or anxiety or a raft of other problems. Often the treatment for these things because they are based on building up self esteem and validation merely rebuilds the narcissism as the narcissist plays the therapist to get what they need. They may wear their new condition on their sleeve to obtain narcissistic supply from others, and when they get enough of it, they may continue with therapy even when it no longer seems necessary.

When the last of the kids were gone and living normal lives, my narcissistic mother had a "nervous breakdown" and started getting treatment for depression. This involved a lot of moping around the house and wringing her hands, interrupting everyone elses grown up conversations acting like a child. Unlike my brothers and sisters, i could see it was mostly an act after the first 5 minutes, and once i tuned it out the crocodile tears came without reason to up the ante. Every opportunity to bring up her condition was seized upon. We could be having a conversation about video cables and hooking up a tv and shed find a way to slip her condition into our conversation by interrupting.

Eventually she reorganized her life in such a way that she reobtained supply (by taking in a bunch of troubled foster kids.... Ugh) and started a business and hired an employee who was not capable of doing the work properly (completely on purpose, i might add, my sister could type like a demon and had mad office skills and she was passed over) then she started acting like a normal narcissist, grandiose as ever.

When my sister committed suicide (my narcissistic mother had both of her kids taken away, an had excommunicated her from the family for a tenth and final time), she again saw an opportunity not unlike with the supposed nervous breakdown. She did the hand wringing thing again, put up a shrine to her in the house, talked about her sadness incessantly. She also organized a bizarre highly religious funeral for a girl who had no religious affiliations whatsoever, something that much of the siblings found offensive, didnt give us brothers and sisters an opportunity to speak, and just happened to invite the entire congregation. Now, if your concerned that maybe im being a bit insensitive, this is the same woman who took down and hid all of my sisters pictures, who said she hoped that my sister died and she was just waiting for the police to call to say that she was dead so she wouldnt have to dread that she might show up god forbid, at the door needing help. And she didnt greive like a normal person at all. She greived for five whole years. Made me sick.

So to answer your question more simply, in most cases no. Some may find themselves questioning why they are feeling in a socially unacceptable way (hating their own kids and wanting to kill them or hoping they run away for example) and seek counsel, but most seem to only reach out for treatment as a crutch due to lack of supply and therapists inadvertently supply them in droves. Usually its the kids of a narcissist who realize whats going on when in therapy for something else themselves, and in probing the therapist realizes the root of the problem. I cant imagine a positive outcome though, of an adult child of a narcissist telling their narcissistic parent that their therapist suspects they are a narcissist, i doubt that method would lead to treatment at all, it would probably lead to the narcissist trying like hell to get the therapist on their side so they can triangulate the child through the narcissist, a disaster.
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Re: Do individuals with NPD ever recognize it?

Postby Jasmer » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:46 pm

AnonymousConcerned wrote:Now I did read some writings of a Sam Vashkin. But I thought it odd a person with NPD would acknowledge it publicly and wondered if he was just an attention whore.


Sam Vaknin does not have NPD, he is a diagnosed psychopath. He even did a documentary on his diagnosis, it's called "I, Psychopath" and is probably available at the local library and for free on Youtube.

Unfortunately this isn't common knowledge and therefore people seek him out as a knowledgeable source on the inner workings of NPD. In reality he just tells you what he thinks you want to hear and what will sell more books. Take it with a grain of salt. I'm sure he's amusing enough in his own right, but the man really is clueless and useless when it comes to NPD.
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