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Difference between NPD and Psychopath

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Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby harleydog » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:50 am

These two sound very similar. My therapist said my wife may be a sociopath or psychopath. what is the difference between this and narcicstic personality disorder? Are they close to the same thing. Just thought all of you whiz types could tell me
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Re: Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby Anais » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:33 pm

Hi harleydog,

I'm not the best person to answer, I am a layperson...

but the board is quiet, I shall have a try.

The terms "sociopath" and "psychopath" have now been joined together under Anti-Social Personality Disorder... here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial ... y_disorder

ASPDs are more likely to be self-aware. They realize early on that they can't "read" others' emotions (and do not care to). So they adopt a sort of script, they "become" a normal person, they adopt that role. Then, if they choose to, they can still manipulate, gaslight, etc, as NPDs do, but they sort of know they are doing it and as I understand it they generally believe it's fairly harmless.
Some become violent, most do not.

NPDs aren't really aware of what they are doing. They believe others need to be corrected because they haven't recognized the truth, and that truth is that the NPD is superior 100% of the time.

You might want to read up on Malignant Narcissism. This is the form of NPD where ASPD traits also come into play (in the form of self-awareness)... so then the narcissist can also be termed a sociopath. Some of my N relatives may be Malignant I think.

But others will do better at explaining this... (unreal...?)
Last edited by Anais on Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby Anais » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:41 pm

Here is a link for Malignant Narcissism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malignant_narcissism
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Re: Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby unreal » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:53 pm

(unreal...?)


Sociopathy and Psychopathy are two supposedly distinct syndromes within antisocial personality disorder (AsPD). Generally speaking, sociopaths are supposed to be more "dangerous", but the distinction is kind of foggy and interpreted differently by lots of authorities. The main difference between the antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders is that they're entirely different, duh. There are more differences than commonalities, really. Narcissists are absolutely deluded about their identity and they're desperately addicted to human attention. Antisocials don't give a flying ###$. They are far less emotional, and far more rational than narcissists. They're also able to cope with criticism or abandonment perfectly well, whereas narcissists are terribly sensitive to both of these. The only thing that separates antisocials from normies is the lack of any kind of social conscience or empathy, and a certain liking for violence.

Malignant narcissism is a hybrid syndrome that combines narcissistic and antisocial traits - the "advantages" of both, so to speak.

Social psychologist Erich Fromm first coined the term malignant narcissism in 1964, describing it as a "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil." He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity."
What we are concerned with is narcissism in a pathological sense, with self-love that serves as a cloak for self-hatred. The polarities of self-hatred and self-love are linked together in the defensive system, but the nuclear problem is the self-hatred.
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Re: Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby Anais » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:12 pm

Thanks unreal, that's way better.

Also:

Malignant narcissism is a hybrid syndrome that combines narcissistic and antisocial traits - the "advantages" of both, so to speak.

Social psychologist Erich Fromm first coined the term malignant narcissism in 1964, describing it as a "severe mental sickness" representing "the quintessence of evil." He characterized the condition as "the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity."


Sounds rockin'
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Re: Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby LifeSong » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:44 pm

Anais wrote: Sounds rockin'


Rockin'... as in 'a good idea to be like that'?
I'm probably older than you, and may have misconstrued your meaning here, so pls explain.
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Re: Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby Anais » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:50 pm

Oh gosh, no! Sorry, that was my humor (such as it is)...

Obviously having Malignant Narcissism is a hellish way to be, but the description is so extreme, along with unreal's awesome highlighting of such...

my sarcasm came out.

Yes, "rocking" means awesome, but no, of course no PD is awesome...

I am going through the realization that the majority of my family are narcissists... I am trying not to lose my sense of humor... Life of Brian, anyone?... Always look on the bright side of life..?
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Re: Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby Anais » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:00 pm

Here we go, *intermission* -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ

Carry on.
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Re: Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby angelina3 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:29 am

OK, I'll add bits and pieces from what I've been reading. For what it's worth.

Psychopaths supposedly always have a narcissistic personality structure, but narcissists are not always psychopaths.

To look at it from the point of view of the DSM criteria, there are overlaps (lack of empathy, exploitation), but the emphasis in narcissism is on grandiosity, and the emphasis in ASPD (which may or may not be psychopathy) is on a violation of the rights of others.

Some theorists look at it as a spectrum from narcissistic traits, to npd, to malignant narcissism to psychopathy. From a psychoanalytic perspective, the first two are thought to be "analyzable" (treatable), the third questionable, and the last not.

On this board - somewhere - there's an article that says narcissists can be thought of as basically hypersensitive ASPD's.

Also from a psychoanalytic perspective, probably the biggest distinction is that the superego (conscience) can be more or less functioning for a narcissist, and is -- pretty much by definition -- not functioning (or poorly functioning) for a psychopath.
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Re: Difference between NPD and Psychopath

Postby Anais » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:35 pm

angelina3 that's really helpful, thanks.
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