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The Repentant Narcissist

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The Repentant Narcissist

Postby EarlGreyDregs » Thu May 12, 2011 7:12 pm

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Re: The Repentant Narcissist

Postby undenied » Thu May 12, 2011 7:59 pm

I know what you're asking, but....the answer isn't as simple as your question.

Can a narcissistic person feel guilt about being narcissistic? Certainly. Can a person with NPD traits feel guilty for their narcissistic behavior? Probably. Can a person with full-blown NPD feel guilty about their bad behavior? No. Lack of empathy and remorse are central to the disorder.

Personally, and what I've heard described by others, is that the closest we come to "guilt" feelings are actually "shame", and not shame because of our actions, but shame because we got in trouble and are exposed. I could do anything and not feel bad as long as I didn't think I'd get caught. Add the potential for punishment and suddenly I'm anxious and woe-is-me. (Side note, that's one of the differences between NPD and AsPD.)

Sooo...yes, you may be a full-fledged narcissist, but that's different than being NPD.

This is why these things are so hard to diagnose...I've actually got a lot of Borderline traits, too. But I just don't...fit the profile of BPD.

(Also, I know it's not what you're saying, but I feel the need to say: a person should not HAVE to feel guilt for having NPD, which is an illness, just as a person shouldn't feel guilty for being Borderline or Bipolar. Should they feel guilty about the way their BEHAVIOR affects others, well, that's a different matter.)

Please discuss. I really want to get some nice discussions for the Narcs on this board. I'm sick of seeing threads by Nons everywhere.

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Re: The Repentant Narcissist

Postby EarlGreyDregs » Thu May 12, 2011 8:09 pm

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Re: The Repentant Narcissist

Postby undenied » Thu May 12, 2011 8:38 pm

MMonroe wrote:I hope you guys still let me come on this forum being that I'm a Narc but not an NPD'er!

It's all levels of the same thing, so it's all relevant. :)

Did you get formally diagnosed? How would you put your empathy, remorse, sympathy on a scale of 1-10? I'm curious to know where you fall. Are you NPD or simply a Narc?

Sort of. I've got a PDNOS diagnosis (among other things). I think that...they are trying NOT to diagnose me with NPD, stigma and all. However, I seem to be a clone of all the other narcs here, lol. I'm most definitely NPD. I have almost no functional empathy, except what I've taught myself through analytical "research". (It's called cognitive empathy.) I only feel remorse if I get caught effing something up (and then I'm quick to shunt the feeling onto someone else). I don't have the angry-outlash or sadistic tendencies some others do, but if I felt that it was worth it and I could get away with it, I'd probably do just about anything.

I do agree that a lot of what I feel is probably not remorse but rather shame. Shame is something that projected onto you by society, am I correct? It's the feeling that I SHOULD be feeling something for people that is killing me inside. Because by society's standards I'm supposed to cry for my cousin that died of cancer. So I feel ashamed that I didn't care.

But, the sad thing is its not really accepted as anything similar to Bipolar or any other mental disorder.

Ha, I was JUST talking to my case manager about this today. I'm lucky to live in a US State where PD's are taken seriously (Borderline in particular), but there are many areas they are just...well, mistreated. (Here, the state can in-patient you involuntarily for Sz, BP, OCD, EDs, and BPD. I've also got an eating disorder and OCD, so it's actually a relief to know that if I ever go bonkers they'll stick me where I belong.)

The next version of the DSM, they are removing the concept of Axis 1 versus 2, in order to remove some of the stigma against PD's.

That said, do you believe that severe narcissism is a disorder?

Outside of NPD, then no, I wouldn't call it a "disorder". Unhealthy, yes. A problem, yes. But if there is an aspect of your personality that you dislike and is unhealthy to you, you DO have the power to change it, given time and effort. This has been proven by many others in the past. So don't despair there. :)

(As a side note, I actually think everything is "curable", including NPD, even if we just haven't found the proper treatment for it yet. Remember, ten years ago BPD was considered incurable, too. Now it's considered extremely treatable because we have better tools. On a more personal note, there are Narcissists on this board who have made some excellent progress on their own.)

However, I want to pause a sec here -- don't take anything I say as ultimate truth, even if I state it as such. NPD or not, I'm still just some schmo on the internets, remember? ;) I may act like I know everything, but I don't, lol.
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Re: The Repentant Narcissist

Postby funky » Sat May 14, 2011 12:49 pm

edited.
Last edited by funky on Fri May 27, 2011 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Repentant Narcissist

Postby undenied » Mon May 16, 2011 2:22 am

gwyn wrote:I have felt guilty about not being able to feel anything, or care about anybody.In the end, I accepted it, and realised that it isn't something that I have any choice about. It's what's described as shame, isn't it - that idea that you are morally flawed, as if you choose to lack empathy. All of that stuff you read about being 'born evil' didn't help, nor does also having ocd, which is tied up with a lot of guilt.

A sly question, but one I'm really interested in the answer to - you say you feel guilt about feeling guilty. You sure you just don't feel embarrassed about being different, being a freak? Being incapable of something?

I used to think I felt guilty about things. And then I realized it had nothing to do with empathy or connecting to people - it was still completely self-centered. I only feel "guilt" when I get caught.

(Coincidentally, I have OCD too, which occasionally like to tell me I'm on par with Hitler.)(Which I suppose is narcissistic it its own special way, isn't it?)
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Re: The Repentant Narcissist

Postby funky » Mon May 16, 2011 6:46 am

edited.
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