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Recently discovered I am a covert narcissist, what now?

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Recently discovered I am a covert narcissist, what now?

Postby 7452903 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:02 pm

Long post, sorry! Gratitude to anyone who reads.

I am a 21 y/o female, studying psychology at university. For literally as long as I can remember I have struggled with self esteem, and have tried various labels and ways of tackling this, to no avail. This includes CBT for social anxiety, antidepressants for GAD, counselling, meditation/mindfulness, etc.

A few months ago my boyfriend pointed out to me that I could be a narcissist. My mother claims my father is one, which I strongly believe, but his objective view on her behaviour was that she could be too. Therefore it's likely that I have picked up some traits. I began reading more into this and I am convinced that I am a classic covert narcissist.

My perception of myself as a child is that I was a pathetic, snivelling mess. I have memories of my mother telling me that I was an embarrassment to her for being overly sensitive and not putting on a "face" in public (I have a chronic bitch face and am shy). She also called me a crybaby. Moreover I remember that teachers had a similar attitude towards me, with lots of painful memories included. My father was mostly absent.

My saving grace was that I was a real swot. I excel academically, due to a winning combination of being able to write well (therefore acing exams) and being an all-rounder, so I can easily blag things, as well as being a talented artist. My self esteem became reliant on my grades and achievements.

Puberty also did me a huge favour. Think of a transformation akin to turning from a bushy-haired, gawky ginger Hermoinie Granger type to a mature Emma Watson (who I am compared to often). This obviously also contributed to my self esteem.

I have a false self in which I am aware that I am attractive and intelligent, and am very good at pleasing people. And so I alternate between the two extremes. I am the same vulnerable child hiding behind my false self, simulatenously believing that I am special whilst compulsively and obsessively hating myself. Above all, I wish I didn't exist.

Upon living with two girls in close quarters who, although not without their own issues, have a strong sense of personality, they have began to crack through my facade. I believe I am going through a narcissistic mortification / reality check, and I want to turn this into a positive (although inevitably painful) ego death, and make some real change. I don't know if I can carry on through life if I don't. I know that change will not be immediate, and will take years, even decades, but I need to know where I can go from here.

I do not want to be this, and I need help.

I have been looking into psychoanalytic therapy and psychedelics. Anyone's experience of this would help. And has anyone managed to befriend/manage their narcissism? Is it merely a matter of accepting myself and learning to work with it? Or can I shatter my false self completely, and do my best to start again?
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Re: Recently discovered I am a covert narcissist, what now?

Postby Akuma » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:11 pm

I began reading more into this and I am convinced that I am a classic covert narcissist.

CNPD as an official diagnosis does not exist, neither in the DSM nor the ICD. So you can't be diagnosed with CNPD.

I do not want to be this, and I need help.

Thats normally a dead giveaway for not having a PD, especially at your age. Essentially, you dont "befriend" your personality, its your personality. Usually the people that show up here with this specific complaint either suffer from a form of OCD or introjective depression.

I want to turn this into a positive ego death,

Concentrate your efforts in finding a therapist instead. This whole preparation stage of "studying" and self-diagnosing seems to be normal for many people but is a complete waste of time and really just a way to delay committing to a treatment, because both those worthless pop-psych concepts and your self-diagnosis will immediately become irrelevant once you are in therapy.
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Re: Recently discovered I am a covert narcissist, what now?

Postby LittleMissToxic » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:24 pm

If you haven't been diagnosed by a qualified therapist, you are (technically) not a narc. I see that you're studying psychology. Are you aware that students of mental health, medical, etc. often develop the symptoms of various diagnosis as they study (and they do NOT have whatever issue or disease it is, it's just human nature to do so)?

You should definitely go see a therapist, but don't walk into his/her office and announce that you're a covert narcissist. Your issue could actually be completely different because you and your boyfriend aren't trained to make an accurate diagnosis of your mental health problem (if you have one). What you perceive as narcissism could be a fixable psychiatric issue based on your childhood rather than that you actually have a personality disorder.
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Re: Recently discovered I am a covert narcissist, what now?

Postby dazn153 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:36 am

You are not malignant or a 9-10, so it looks like you're somewhat salvagable. Note that with personality disorders, your personality is shattered from your childhood like glass falling on cement. It is nearly impossible to piece back together and if you try, you might prick your fingers and bleed. It's a hard process to piece back together.

I recently was diagnosed and I'm covert. Fortunately, you're young and going through this "episode" or reality check. You essentially have another person in your head, who you can either push against and result in anxiety, depression, or disassociation, or learn to accept it. Take the parts of the narcissism that can benefit you like your ability to become successful, but learn to not abuse it. Learn to accept who you are and perhaps you can use this "gift" to help others who you deem less worthy. :shock:

However, like others have stated above, unless you are formally diagnosed, do not assume anything. Only a trained psychotherapist or psychiatrist (if you can afford one) can help you come to this conclusion and help you come up with somewhat of a plan.

Just realize that you are not alone in this, nor are you "that" special. A significant portion of folks fall in the Cluster B group with us, so welcome to the family.
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