Our partner

17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Moderators: narcbolan, masquerade, Esquire

17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby hierge » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:55 pm

Hello, this is my first post.

I'm trying to pin down a potential personality disorder with my stepdaughter. She is a highly intelligent girl that does exceptionally well in school to the point where they wanted to graduate her a year early. She is an immature girl that might have a narcissistic personality disorder or anti-social disorder on the other side of this.

Typical and perhaps "normal teenage" interaction with this girl:

Parent: "We are shopping for a new family vehicle"
Daughter: "I'll be happy to help, you say I never help so I will do the research and pick the vehicle"
Parent: "Ok" (Reluctantly)
Daughter: "I found a vehicle. It's not exactly a Mini Van like you asked, but I think it's a lot better."
Parent: "Ok... let's see."
Daughter: "It's a new Camaro I saw on sale"
Parent: "Ok honey, not exactly what we are looking for but thank you."
Daughter: "Mom, just listen to me! I know we need room for the whole family, but if we just got the old car fixed we could take two vehicles. Come on, I REALLY love this car and they are going to sell it if we don't get right over there and make them an offer."
Parent: "Honey, we aren't buying a Camaro and we aren't fixing the old car. Now if you want to help find a Mini Van that'd be great."
Daughter (Shouting) "Mom, you NEVER listen to me, it's always like this... "
---------------------------------------------------------------

Sound like your teenager? Maybe, but this same girl when being given time behind the wheel on a family trip to Kentucky got so passive aggressive that she would "play chicken" with the adults in the car causing everyone to scream "STOP!" while moving quickly (and unjokingly) within inches of knocking out a deck support beam on a relative's house. When confronted responds in an ugly voice "I saw it! I don't know why everyone so freaked out."

She has a car now and after only three months has two serious speeding tickets and an accident. She will probably lose her license, but remains unconcerned. She doesn't expect anything to happen to her either by the legal system or her parents. We kind of chuckle and she just gets sarcastic.

Every situation with her is exactly the same as the above. Excruciating, and it seems intentional. If we have a car load of eight people getting ready to go on a long trip, there will be three or four occasions where she will force everyone to delay or stop for her. No consciousness or care of anyone else.

No fear. We were moving into a new house, she decides to go for a walk without permission into the woods with a friend and disappears for many hours. We call the other parent and finally the police. They find her after dark walking along the road to the new house. She wonders why anyone is concerned and angry with the fuss.

There a huge slope behind the new house. In the snow, she decides to sled through the trees full speed and right into a tree where she breaks her foot. She did this after being warned by another teenager that it was simply crazy to attempt it.

Zero empathy. When I first met this girl she was 11. I stood talking on the phone in the kitchen. I ignored her while she proceeded to light a candle and pour wax on the counter. I just looked at her and motioned for her to watch it (just a precaution not an admonishment.) She then moved outside and started to set pieces of mulch on fire next to the house. She started a fire.

I reacted calmly and said "you know if you burn the house down, you will lose a lot of your things too like photographs..." She responded by saying "I have photographs at my dad's house" and proceeded to start another fire. I made her give me the lighter and she stormed off.

Now that I write this I am thinking an anti-social personality disorder possibly or narcissistic. She is nearing adulthood and dangerous territory with driving, pregnancy, drugs and alcohol etc. She has some sort of a "disconnect" with reality where everything is pink bows and kitties where her dreams come true. She has scholarship offers all over the table and wants to go to a two year art school that costs a hundred-thousand dollars.

Typical juvenile girl or potentially something more serious? Thanks.
hierge
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:58 pm
Local time: Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:16 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: 17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby My2cents » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:19 am

It could be anything. First, she is 17, an age when the brain is going through changes, and teenagers tend to underestimate risks.

Does she behave the same way around everyone, or only around the family? If she behaves well in school, gets along fine with friends, listens to teachers, only acting up with the family, then maybe she is reacting to something going on at home. It could be a family problem. If a balloon has too much air in it, it will pop, but it will not fall into a million pieces. The hole will have a single point of origin that gives out first when it is unable to withstand the pressure. Maybe there is a family problem, and the pressure is greatest on her, since she doesn't have the luxury of authority that comes with being a parent.

I saw the car shopping incident as passive aggression. Any intelligent near-adult would know you weren't looking for a Camaro. I thought the same thing about walking unsupervised in the woods. She is probably upset about something, but doesn't expect telling you directly to do any good (or can't even articulate it to herself), so she uses indirect tactics to express dissatisfaction.

It sounds to me like she felt upset about her father marrying you without consulting her, since it would have a major effect on her life, and she had little control. "No taxation without representation!" All of the acting up could be spite and defiance if she feels like she is not given enough power over her own life, or she feels like her opinions are not respected or taken seriously.

Whenever you can, try to set aside the age difference. If you are talking about something (not something like which college to go to, more like who should be the next president), don't force your view on her. Ask her what she thinks, and consider the possibility of it being right. Don't go in having all the answers or relying on parental authority to be right. Try to respect her as much as possible. Give her whatever privileges you can, like how late to stay up, choosing what's for dinner, etc. One idea to solve the reckless driving problem would be to require her to pay for her own car insurance. That way if she crashes, she will be the one paying for repairs with money she earned working, and have more incentive to drive carefully. Try to minimize those moments of teaching - correcting how she folds laundry, supervising while she cooks, sharing the wisdom you've accumulated over the years, criticizing her driving, nagging that she clean her room - these can feel insulting and demeaning to a teenager. Once she has grown up and moved out she will probably be more receptive to advice. The best thing would be for her to have a safe hobby that doesn't involve any input from you; playing an instrument, dying her hair, having a pet or a small flower garden, drawing or painting.

She may very well have a personality disorder, or be developing one, but there is a serious danger of you thinking of it that way. If she has a disorder, then she is flawed, and therefore inferior, so if there is a disagreement she is automatically wrong. If you can blame every problem in the family on her disorder, this can distract you from seeing how you or another member of the family could make a mistake.
My2cents
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:08 am
Local time: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:16 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: 17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby My2cents » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:20 am

There is something I wasn't clear about last time I responded. I'm not advocating excessive permissiveness. There are certain situations (alcohol, truancy) where you need to put your foot down. The key is to pick your battles wisely. Any healthy person will accept that there are limits, and follow the rules as long as they aren't excessive. It's important that she knows what is and isn't important, and why. If you make a big deal out of everything, reacting the same to an unmade bed and a failed class, she might reject rules altogether.

If she is 17, she is a minor (depending on where you live). I think this means she needs parental permission to drive. You can probably withdraw her right to drive until she legally becomes an adult. Odds are, "her" car is in her parent's name and s/he makes the payments, right? You can make her stop driving, and then when she is 18, tell her to buy her own car with her own money. This is not punishment; it's negotiation. You can let her drive the family car when she earns the privilege through good behavior.

If you are the step-parent, and she has been misbehaving since you met her, some of the responsibility is with her parent that you married. If the other parent is still alive and involved in her life, then all of the parents and step-parents should discuss discipline policies so everyone is on the same page. If you, the step-parent, try to use effective methods, but your partner does something else, especially if custody is shared with the other parent, your efforts may be undermined. There is not much you can do if her parent(s) are not on board.
My2cents
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:08 am
Local time: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:16 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: 17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby Euler » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:00 am

Let's get something right, and get it right right now.

You met her when she was, what...11 right?

You married her dad without her consent, she is 17, she doesn't know you, and maybe just maybe you're trying to be an authority figure, which won't work by the way after age 5 or so (they say)...

Now, you're here seriously asking if she has a PD, since you're so blind to the situation.

Let's go by your list, and how I fit as a diagnosed saddistic Narcissist, just to beat the point into your thick head:
No fear. We were moving into a new house, she decides to go for a walk without permission into the woods with a friend and disappears for many hours. We call the other parent and finally the police. They find her after dark walking along the road to the new house. She wonders why anyone is concerned and angry with the fuss


Okay, how about starting a fight with 9 guys hoping you'll get to maim the first guy...and only thinking about how much fun that would be.

If you discount that, how about driving up a mountain path (25mph zone) doing 95 just so I can feel my heart beat?
Zero empathy. When I first met this girl she was 11. I stood talking on the phone in the kitchen. I ignored her while she proceeded to light a candle and pour wax on the counter. I just looked at her and motioned for her to watch it (just a precaution not an admonishment.) She then moved outside and started to set pieces of mulch on fire next to the house. She started a fire.


What if I told you, that instinctually, nothing pleasing me more than watching someone break down completely, or seeing something starve to death. Has your "daughter" done any of that? I doubt it.

Or having a life long pattern of being caught in serious situations without showing empathy. Have you seriously had a conversation with your husband about her? Or is this just from your recent experience. Just me, but at age 5 I scared my folks because seeing a dog get hit with a car didn't bother me. Is she like that? I doubt it.

Chica, I've been saved, so to speak, by therapy as I shudder to think of how I was. What you accuse her of is serious and without serious thought. Its despicable on your part to even think of it.

Perhaps, just let her be a teenager and backoff. You're not her mother, she is grown, she doesn't know her, so just back off her life.
Euler
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 700
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:46 am
Local time: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:16 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: 17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby justsomewhiteguy » Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:44 am

If this girl were a boy, you wouldn't be gingerly trying to assess the situation. But we generally don't regard women askance because we have a difficult time perceiving them as a threat, also society requires that we make allowances for them because they are the more vital sex for propagating the species. (Sorry, for some reason this thread brought back all kinds of memories of college social sociology classes.)

Clearly this your daughter has issues. The question is, Are they serious enough to warrant some kind of intervention. Consider, for a moment, all of the various media whores and reality TV stars that seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days. Clearly a good many of them are mentally ill (we have video evidence). But people rarely define their erratic behavior as a kind of mental illness.

I dunno, maybe she'll grow out of it or maybe she'll grow up to be the next Angelina Jolie (you know, during her veil-of-blood-necklace days). The best you can do is try to convey to your daughter your expectations of her and the reasonableness of your demands.
justsomewhiteguy
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 2:40 am
Local time: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:16 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: 17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby hierge » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:21 pm

My2cents wrote:It could be anything. First, she is 17, an age when the brain is going through changes, and teenagers tend to underestimate risks.


That of course is the right response to this. If there's a scale then, she's in the top quarter percentile on this variable.

Does she behave the same way around everyone, or only around the family? If she behaves well in school, gets along fine with friends, listens to teachers, only acting up with the family, then maybe she is reacting to something going on at home. It could be a family problem.


She has alienated a lot of people over the years including almost all of her friends. She usually gets in battles on social media then it's over for good with them. She is a tall skinny blonde girl and goes through boyfriends at a fast pace too. She usually allows herself to be treated as a sex opportunity then gets mad at them for not being a good boyfriend. Then she's done.

I saw the car shopping incident as passive aggression. Any intelligent near-adult would know you weren't looking for a Camaro. I thought the same thing about walking unsupervised in the woods. She is probably upset about something, but doesn't expect telling you directly to do any good (or can't even articulate it to herself), so she uses indirect tactics to express dissatisfaction.


I agree with all of this, but she is quite Machiavellian. We have a fair sized tribe here and she compulsively throws monkey wrenches in all plans. Nobody else does this in the family and it's quite irritating. If there is a wrong way to approach a situation she compulsively goes the opposite direction. She openly admits it to her brother and says that it's more "fun" for her than getting along. My reaction as a step father (no, I'm not the step mother) is to keep my mouth shut and let mom handle it. Mom is a southern sweet woman who calms baby down and puts binky in mouth for all her kids. I wait until things get really bad then I calmly express my deep anger. I told her since this first post that she's losing her car. She told me that I'm a paper tiger I won't do anything. I told her "watch me" calmly.

The best thing would be for her to have a safe hobby that doesn't involve any input from you; playing an instrument, dying her hair, having a pet or a small flower garden, drawing or painting.


This is good advice. I actually do not interact with her much because I'm not sure she is capable of having an "authentic" conversation - my conversations with her are bizarre. I've taken a passive approach since her mom brokered a "truce" after she hacked my computer administrator account and took over my system. The computer incident was when she was 14. She's a genius IQ and unfortunately she's an "evil" genius. She has exhibited anti-social behavior since an early age, it's just that I became her target. The truce worked for a long time until the driving came around. Her mom wanted me involved in this and that's when she started getting nuts again. She's going to lose her license now probably from the court.

She may very well have a personality disorder, or be developing one, but there is a serious danger of you thinking of it that way. If she has a disorder, then she is flawed, and therefore inferior, so if there is a disagreement she is automatically wrong. If you can blame every problem in the family on her disorder, this can distract you from seeing how you or another member of the family could make a mistake.


Yeah, I get this part of it. I actually have an undergraduate degree in Psychology from a major university. I know the drill on labeling disorders. I haven't looked at a psych book or article in 25 years. She has a significant personality disorder in my opinion. I just don't know what type. Reading the comments of a self-professed Narcissist who commented on my first post, I'm not sure I'm barking up the right tree.
hierge
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:58 pm
Local time: Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:16 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: 17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby hierge » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:33 pm

justsomewhiteguy wrote:If this girl were a boy, you wouldn't be gingerly trying to assess the situation. But we generally don't regard women askance because we have a difficult time perceiving them as a threat, also society requires that we make allowances for them because they are the more vital sex for propagating the species. (Sorry, for some reason this thread brought back all kinds of memories of college social sociology classes.)

Clearly this your daughter has issues. The question is, Are they serious enough to warrant some kind of intervention. Consider, for a moment, all of the various media whores and reality TV stars that seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days. Clearly a good many of them are mentally ill (we have video evidence). But people rarely define their erratic behavior as a kind of mental illness.

I dunno, maybe she'll grow out of it or maybe she'll grow up to be the next Angelina Jolie (you know, during her veil-of-blood-necklace days). The best you can do is try to convey to your daughter your expectations of her and the reasonableness of your demands.


I buy this logic. I actually do. I know the social expectations are different for girls etc. I guess I could crack out my old Freud books and start diagnosing "hysteria" for her (teasing.) She has issues that is for sure. I do think that she needs help, it's why I'm seeking it here. I think the sharing of expectations is valid and has worked sometimes with her. She just seems to get a perverse thrill out of watching other people freak out when she does something off the wall.

Once, we were at a park called Great Falls in Virginia when she was about 12 or 13. I asked everyone to read the sign that explains to stay on the safe side of the fence that one slip on the rocks and you're a goner due to the current. This park is listed as the most dangerous national park in the country with an average of six deaths per year.

To put this in perspective, we were at the top of a 100 foot bank of sharp rocks above a massive river wide waterfall 2/3rd the size of Niagara falls with fences keeping people from getting too close. That's when I reminded my own elementary school age girls firmly to be extra careful. Well... Guess what? Almost on cue the potential narcissist disappears leading to a formal search with Park Police officers involved. Finally, someone with binoculars spots her. She had climbed all the way down these massive rocks to the edge of the water and started trying to fish something out with a stick. Mom nearly fainted when she saw this. I was floored.

Is this "normal teenage" behavior? She did it on purpose to watch us all freak out and send a message. My reaction was "to heck with this little psycho, I didn't sign up for this type of crap." Well, I didn't leave my wife over it, but incidents like this are really getting old. I get it... she loves to watch people freak out by doing dangerous oppositional things, no matter the cost to her or anyone else. Is that a narcissist?
hierge
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:58 pm
Local time: Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:16 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: 17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby hierge » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:18 pm

My2cents wrote:There is something I wasn't clear about last time I responded. I'm not advocating excessive permissiveness. There are certain situations (alcohol, truancy) where you need to put your foot down. The key is to pick your battles wisely. Any healthy person will accept that there are limits, and follow the rules as long as they aren't excessive. It's important that she knows what is and isn't important, and why. If you make a big deal out of everything, reacting the same to an unmade bed and a failed class, she might reject rules altogether.

If she is 17, she is a minor (depending on where you live). I think this means she needs parental permission to drive. You can probably withdraw her right to drive until she legally becomes an adult. Odds are, "her" car is in her parent's name and s/he makes the payments, right? You can make her stop driving, and then when she is 18, tell her to buy her own car with her own money. This is not punishment; it's negotiation. You can let her drive the family car when she earns the privilege through good behavior.

If you are the step-parent, and she has been misbehaving since you met her, some of the responsibility is with her parent that you married. If the other parent is still alive and involved in her life, then all of the parents and step-parents should discuss discipline policies so everyone is on the same page. If you, the step-parent, try to use effective methods, but your partner does something else, especially if custody is shared with the other parent, your efforts may be undermined. There is not much you can do if her parent(s) are not on board.


Again, good advice to run through definitely. We have most of what you suggest in force already and it has had a positive effect. This would work on most normal teenagers and it has worked perfectly with her sister who is one year older. The shared custody parent is a definite underminer. Father had affair with wife's best friend leading to divorce, moved her and her kids into my wife's old house, kids were best friends of my wife's daughters, attempted to turn daughters into his tools to make my wife miserable.

My wife is an upstanding and honest person by the way. We decided to go silent on father, take high road and this all died out. He dumped the ex best friend and forbid his daughters from contact with their former best friends. It's a mess and he has the kids fifty percent of the time. He's like a mini-Cult type leader Koresh lite. Controlling, but charismatic. Daughters have need to please him and probably think he wants them to create problems in our family. The other daughter decided to become a "neutral" in parental battles and has successfully adapted to her great credit. The younger sister... not so much.

I'm really not trying to solve our family issues here. We are both grad school educated adults and have the obvious things covered. I'm trying to diagnose a possible disorder. I forgot the Great Falls incident... it was traumatic to all of us except the little potential narcissist. She thought it was pretty funny that we got all worked up about the incident. There are more I'm sure if I try to remember.
hierge
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:58 pm
Local time: Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:16 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: 17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby hierge » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:54 pm

Euler wrote:Let's go by your list, and how I fit as a diagnosed saddistic Narcissist, just to beat the point into your thick head:


Euler, I am sorry that you are a saddistic Narcissist. Your response really shocked me since I haven't picked up a psych book or article in 25 years. I have a degree in Psychology from a major university, by the way. I forgive you the "thick head" opinion because as a person seeking help for a family member this is actually the opposite of my help seeking behavior. I'm sure you can respect that.

Okay, how about starting a fight with 9 guys hoping you'll get to maim the first guy...and only thinking about how much fun that would be.


No joke. You are one crazy dude. I'm not trying to get into a game of who is the best narcissist though. You don't have enough details to pass judgement yet and I need your help sincerely.

If you discount that, how about driving up a mountain path (25mph zone) doing 95 just so I can feel my heart beat?


Again, wow. Hard to top that for wild behavior. Translate this into a teenage female though... are female narcissists the same? Just wondering if there's a scale to behaviors like this. Read my post about her causing a search by Park Police almost with a helicopter involved. She was in extreme danger of drowning at the time and laughed about our reaction including the police. Is that similar to the type of reaction you would have had after you had after being warned of extreme danger to walk out to the edge just to watch people freak out including the police?

What if I told you, that instinctually, nothing pleasing me more than watching someone break down completely, or seeing something starve to death. Has your "daughter" done any of that? I doubt it.


Yes, that is sick thinking. Glad you are getting help.

See above comment on Great Falls incident. When she heard me warn my younger daughters about danger of falling and drowning almost on cue she disappeared, climbed the fence down to a waterfall nearly as large as Niagara and knelt down by the water trying to get an object with a stick. By the way, she was 12 years old at the time.

The Park Police spotted her with binoculars and her mom climbed down with police to retrieve her. Is that extreme enough for you or do you have a story that will top this too? I'm not trying to get into a contest. I just want to know from you whether or not you think she might be a less extreme version of you.

Remember, I do have a psych degree with my name on it. I have never met anyone like you so forgive my unfamiliarity. I decided not to practice Psychology so I'm rusty, not thick headed. Please help me figure this out.

I read a bit about your disorder but as "malignant narcissism" and understand that this is serious for you. My wife once looked at a photo of her daughter with her cold blue eyes and told me that she has had a recurring nightmare about this. Those eyes were the last thing she saw alive. So, I challenge you now. Why would a normal mother have that type of dream about her own daughter?
Last edited by hierge on Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
hierge
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:58 pm
Local time: Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:16 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: 17 Year Old Female - Narcissistic Disorder?

Postby justsomewhiteguy » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:23 pm

I just thought of something that may sound of silly, but here it is...

I remember watching some TV show back in the '90s (My Secret Identity, anyone?) where a mother a was concerned about her teenaged son's mental health. She invited a therapist to dinner to observe the him, under the guise of a family friend.

Yes. It was a TV show about a kid with super powers, but this particular scenario seemed plausible enough to me; maybe this is something therapists do. Actually, the more I think about it, it must be. Perhaps you should try contacting a local therapist to see if you can arrange something like this.

You say she's highly intelligent, so make sure you don't underestimate her intelligence while going ahead with this ruse. Make sure you cover your tracks, including your visits to this very message forum. Also, if you go ahead with this plan, try to think of some kind of scenario or trigger that would put your daughter's mental health to the test (nothing too extreme, just think of a benign request you've made that prompted an bizarre reaction...and then recreate that situation). Discuss this with the therapist.

And remember, If your daughter is as intelligent as you think she is, she'll probably be able to fake normalcy if she knows she's being tested.
justsomewhiteguy
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 2:40 am
Local time: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:16 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Next

Return to Narcissistic Personality Disorder Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: fergi6777, georgessa, Nastynarc and 188 guests

cron