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Are Narcissists happy?

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Are Narcissists happy?

Postby expressivecreative » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:29 pm

This is something I've been wondering about. I see my narcissist ex as a very sad man, but at times he seemed quite contented with his little routines. Are narcissists ever truly happy? What if they have no supply and failed at their career? Or couldn't get a woman to stay with them? Would they be sad? Or is being a legend in your own mind a good place to be?
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, / But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep.

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Re: Are Narcissists happy?

Postby narcbolan » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:48 pm

Think of personality disorders as PTSD. A coping method half taught and half employed as a neccesity in childhood which has now become a habit and a hindrance in adult life. No we're not happy in any real sense. I would go as far as to say we're depressed.

Especially when you consider that there is a marked difference between sadness and depression.
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Re: Are Narcissists happy?

Postby Anais » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:00 am

There seems to be a bit of difference in the happiness levels of the two NPDs I know best. One is, I'd say, much happier than the other due to life circumstances and what their NPD case is made up of. They can vary quite a bit in happiness maybe, just as nons can?

My NPD mother is really quite happy indeed, because her life is pleasing to her. She did have a career and was good at it, but her career was never linked to her grandiosity. Her grandiosity is basically linked to her influence on others - it's sort of "domestic." So she has been able to continue on happily being grandiose, at least in her own mind, because she never had plans to make it in an industry or field. Right now I imagine she's not happy because I have ended my relationship with her and I am her only child, but if I had continued being a good puppet... then yes she was okay at least.

The other NPD I know (a friend) suffers terribly from the "grandiosity gap." He is a talented writer but he's never hit the big time etc, and other pilots/projects he has worked on have all fallen flat. His life is a "glass half empty" situation to him. He tries to put on a brave face but I know inside he feels like an abject failure, all his self-worth is attached to this need to be famous. As with many NPDs it maybe could have gone either way (there is talent there) so it's even harder to accept. As a replacement for achieving the success he has always imagined was coming, he is becoming more and more angry at other people and politics etc. He is fairly obnoxious to know now, as everyone who disagree with him is "ignorant" and whilst he himself is so good and worthy, others are responsible for society deteriorating, etc... He used to hide that side of himself much better, when he was younger and more hopeful for himself. Also, horribly, he leans on his role as a father more for supply now. He puts a lot of pressure on his children, but can't enjoy his relationship with them as a result.
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Re: Are Narcissists happy?

Postby Anais » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:08 am

narcbolan wrote:Think of personality disorders as PTSD. A coping method half taught and half employed as a neccesity in childhood which has now become a habit and a hindrance in adult life. No we're not happy in any real sense. I would go as far as to say we're depressed.

Especially when you consider that there is a marked difference between sadness and depression.


Hi narcbolan,

I was reading through some of your older posts yesterday. Was interested to see that you've said previously as well that PTSD and NPD are the same? Just wondered if you had any links to read more about this? I haven't heard of this idea before.

Many thanks
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Re: Are Narcissists happy?

Postby expressivecreative » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:58 am

anais - your second narc sounds like my ex (he is also a writer). Everything relies on his career. People who are more successful than him are alternately his supply (if their success can contribute to his) or his enemies. I won an award for a paper I'd written about a month before my devaluation - had to walk up in front of about 200 people in our department to receive it. He not only didn't seem pleased, but he never congratulated me or said he was "proud of me" (as I often told him). I really think it contributed to my devaluation. I've heard him complain before that if he does not become successful and has to return to work as an adjunct Professor, that it would be devastating for him. I remember the night he told me this - right after we'd made love - he had this wild look in his eyes and said "i can't go back to that! I just can't!" Fame is everything for him. And with the state of academia in the humanities right now, I doubt he will find the fame he's seeking. He doesn't have the talent that others in our department have - or even of other writer friends of mine. Talent does not even itself ensure fame in his field. I have a good friend who is a much more talented writer - has an MFA and several books out - and works as a waiter.

I know I shouldn't wish him unhappiness. But I have endured so much pain at his hands - and so masterfully orchestrated (he is brilliant, I'll give him that) - that I would like to believe I'm capable of a happiness that will elude him.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, / But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep.

dx: HPD with borderline tendencies, depression
suicide attempt 10/2/10
rx: Wellbutrin, valium
EMDR guinea pig (I'll let you know if it works)
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Re: Are Narcissists happy?

Postby Normal? » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:53 am

Anais wrote:
narcbolan wrote:Think of personality disorders as PTSD. A coping method half taught and half employed as a neccesity in childhood which has now become a habit and a hindrance in adult life. No we're not happy in any real sense. I would go as far as to say we're depressed.

Especially when you consider that there is a marked difference between sadness and depression.


Hi narcbolan,

I was reading through some of your older posts yesterday. Was interested to see that you've said previously as well that PTSD and NPD are the same? Just wondered if you had any links to read more about this? I haven't heard of this idea before.

Many thanks


Anais

Sorry to butt in. I found the studies by this psychologist very interesting vis a vis PTSD and the link to mental health:

http://www.pete-walker.com/fourFs_Traum ... exPTSD.htm
This should have been a noble creature:
A goodly frame of glorious elements,
Had they been wisely mingled; as it is,
It is an awful chaos—light and darkness,
And mind and dust, and passions and pure thoughts,
Mix’d, and contending without end or order,
All dormant or destructive.
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Re: Are Narcissists happy?

Postby narcbolan » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:04 pm

Anais wrote:
I was reading through some of your older posts yesterday. Was interested to see that you've said previously as well that PTSD and NPD are the same? Just wondered if you had any links to read more about this? I haven't heard of this idea before.

Many thanks



Hi Anais,

What I'm saying is not that PTSD and NPD are the same. It's that NPD, in fact all personality disorders are a form of PTSD. Along with any other type of compulsive behaviour, including addictions, self-harm and things like anorexia, you name it etc.

Whatever it is is as a result of trauma of some kind and the condition you end up with is dependant on the nature of the trauma and at what point in ones life it occured. If it occured in childhood it's more likely to take the form of some of the above. If, for example it's later in life, like for example, fighting in a war, it will take a different form.

But the fact is it's all delayed stress, a disorder from stress as a result of being unable to let out the bad feelings one experiences from a traumatic event. Supressing the feelings and not being able to feel them will result in them coming out in another, more delayed, elongated and ultimately damaging way.

If a bear is confined it will start to jerk it's head backwards and forwards like in those horrific adverts for the RSPCA, if a parrot suffers too much sensory deprivation it will start plucking out it's feathers almost like self harm.

It's all the same, but it's nothing new. It's an initial coping strategy which over time becomes a problematic habit.
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Re: Are Narcissists happy?

Postby expressivecreative » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:26 pm

So would you say that PTSD can mimic personality disorders when their actually are none - like Defensive Mirroring? If they occur later in life?

Just wondering. Spoke with my therapist today about whether a diagnosis is a good thing at this point, considering what I've been dealing with is similar to PTSD.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, / But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep.

dx: HPD with borderline tendencies, depression
suicide attempt 10/2/10
rx: Wellbutrin, valium
EMDR guinea pig (I'll let you know if it works)
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Re: Are Narcissists happy?

Postby narcbolan » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:31 am

If he has a personality disorder his original trauma didn't occur later on in life. Post traumatic stress isn't something that mimics anything. It's an umbrella term for any type of compulsive behaviour which started out as a coping mechanism but over time becomes disruptive to mental and emotional well-being, as a result of earlier trauma.

If the trauma happened in childhood the wound is far deeper and the symptoms that are far deeper and actually affect the personality of the victim are more likely.

If it was later on in life it is different and can be overcome.

I feel a bit frustrated that you seem to be struggling with the theory and I can't think of a clearer way to explain it to you. :( :?

Obviously I couldn't comment as to whether you are experiencing any delayed stress from the relationship although it is likely under the circumstances, but the nature of it isn't something you have talked about on here.

Unless I've misunderstood your post, which is also likely, in which case, forget everything I said. lol ....I think :oops:
Last edited by narcbolan on Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are Narcissists happy?

Postby SansStars » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:41 am

*taps chin*

I understand what Narcbolan is saying.. but how to explain it differently?

EC-

- PTSD happens from a trauma later in life and causes reaction/coping that are not normal adaptations.

- PDs are caused by traumas but very early in life so the coping that occurs becomes ingrained. Ingrained maladaptations are considered PDs.

PDs equal PTSD ish but PTSD don't always equal PDs

Like.. Peanut M&Ms always have peanuts in them... but peanuts do not necessarily have to go in M&Ms.

Maybe I'm rambling.. Any help, EC?
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