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research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

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research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby user03 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:17 pm

i was wondering if anyone has researched much on covert narcissism vs the more "garden variety", classic narcissism, or more typical presentation of narcissism, specifically what the dsm has for narcissistic personality disorder.

because in my opinion, from my research and experience, they are completely different, or at least, they should be distinct conditions, now of course, because neither overt or covert are mentioned in dsm criteria, only in research literate which are randomly dispersed combined with subjective anaylsis from either clinicians or random people, makes it hard to really measure any proper distinction or naming.

sam vaknin does have a lot of good points on narcissism and personality disorders in general, however, he is a very unique and specific case himself ( who apparently he self identifies as a narcissist ) and so it's not exactly the best form of analysis, at least for me.

in most of research surveys done on the population, both randomized of people who may or may not have had a disorder or were actual clinical cases who had a professional diagnosis of a PD, showed that narcissistic PD usually does not or showed very low score on lower quality of life and general functioning, this is one example why i believe "covert narcisssim" should not be even called narcissism, but rather some other entity because covert "narcissists" are not functional people, whether it's in general functioning or quality of life.

now before you say, well all narcissists are dysfunctional, um...first of all, no they aren't, there is a reason why you tend to see "covert narcissists" show up in therapy more often, it has nothing to do with whether or not they are self aware, admit problems or w.e, it simply means they can't function in life, have lower quality of life, have commorbid depression and so desperately go to therapy to feel a sense of connection or support from someone.

this also happens with the wrong stereotypical analysis on men vs women seeking therapy, the reason why most women seek therapy compared to men is not because of some superficial reason that men think it's wrong to or feel weak if they do, it's simply because women ( in general ) tend to have more sensitive temperaments and body makeup, etc, so therefore automatically this causes them to need to seek help because they actually NEED it, and this is the same with every other human being, regardless of sex orientation.

instead personality ( specifically MBTI and / or enneagram ) is more of the factor in general, in my logical viewpoint.

although back to the narcissism related part, one can look at many of the PD's and say well, narcissism is part of some if not all PD's, and that can explain why a lot of the research literature on avoidant PD or schizoid ( as an example ) can have the same descriptions as those put on covert PD, however i already been through all this and got all this info, i am simply trying to be more specific on the conditions because it's not right to group things together when they shouldn't be, having commorbid conditions is one thing, but when you lump in things together as the same thing, obviously it's a problem

this is the same thing Russell Barkley voiced out and mentioned on his youtube videos on sct vs adhd, it's called a double dissociation where one pathology or problems repels an opposing one, basically meaning that the problems are qualitatively different, what they are is different, so therefore the causes would likely be different too.

so, with all that being said, i do not consider covert narcissism as a subtype or different manifestation of dsm's narcissistic PD, it's wrong for it be like that but then again i don't agree with the dsm criteria or the dsm in general, i think it's confusing, phony, and flawed in general, much like the MMPI-2 test i took, horribly bad! so now someone who is labelled "shy" is also someone who fits the pathology of "paranoid schizophrenia", but it's amusing to say the least, at least it's asking for your opinion and not other people's opinion on you :lol: , so at least you don't have to have stupid people treat you like a kid and flat out ignore you while you sit there rolling your eyes at their #######4, so much for saying narcissism is only 1 percent of the population, well technically sam vaknin said it can be as high as 10 percent, i don't see any clarity on it because as far as im concerned, the majority of people i met in mental health groups and many in everyday life had typical "narcissistic" traits, i guess this is where they are pulling the numbers out. they are drawing numbers out of immature people who don't actually have a personality disorder and then calling them narcissists.
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Re: research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby Solowolfpack » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:11 pm

From what I’ve read it depends where you get your information from. Sam Vaknin is not a good source. To my knowledge he’s a diagnosed psychopath and not a narcissist. There is a good chance he is duping people he certainly isn’t someone who’s done the type of studies that other more knowledgeable DRs have done on the subject.

From what I’ve read and believe they are different and distinct from one another yet share an underlying grandiosity and or devaluation of other people to feel special. I don’t think one group is more or less functional than the other, the overt is more extraverted which can be an advantage, they are also more convinced of their delusional false self and less likely to be aware.
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Re: research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby user03 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:55 am

Solowolfpack wrote:From what I’ve read it depends where you get your information from. Sam Vaknin is not a good source. To my knowledge he’s a diagnosed psychopath and not a narcissist. There is a good chance he is duping people he certainly isn’t someone who’s done the type of studies that other more knowledgeable DRs have done on the subject.

From what I’ve read and believe they are different and distinct from one another yet share an underlying grandiosity and or devaluation of other people to feel special. I don’t think one group is more or less functional than the other, the overt is more extraverted which can be an advantage, they are also more convinced of their delusional false self and less likely to be aware.


ok, but these are obvious points you mention, most sources indicate these already, some of which i already mentioned, what i am trying to say is that i feel like "covert" vs "overt" "narcissism" are / should be distinct in the sense that any overlap should not be a overlap because the overlap is a wrongdoing, so it shouldn't even be called covert narcissism, it should be called something entirely different, i don't know, maybe vulnerable envy disorder? where as "overt narcissism" can simply be called narcissistic personality disorder as it normally does.

it's somewhat the same with "unipolar depression" and "atypical depression", as much as a symptom of eating too much vs eating too little is a LOT different in pathology, yet they are grouped into the same universal definition of depression which is "major depressive disorder".

it's difficult enough with causes too which makes a huge difference with the what part. for example, schizoid pd criteria entails takes pleasure in few if any activities, i don't see how this wouldn't be any different than someone who either has low ego strength and / or depression for example, but it doesn't explain why, and it certainly doesn't help knowing that there aren't really any actual cases of schizoid pd people to qualitatively access, limited to mostly self diagnosed 'schizoids".

the same way someone with adhd can be explained as getting bored easily, bored from what? is this person apathetic, anhedonic or simply doesn't find most things in their current / ongoing environment and life appealing, rewarding, etc, or is it entirely different in that the person ( not necessarily adhd person ), but any one struggling in life just doesn't know what to do in their long void of life which is a BIG difference, and thus the individual then suffers from emptiness, boredom, and depression.

if we can create a theory and say that covert and overt Narcissism are the same disorder, and that why there is so much variation, has to do with personality, well then that's a big problem, because essentially what you are doing is that you are saying certain people are more inferior and therefore will automatically "Acquire" a case of a disorder ( not literally ), im using this as a sarcastic or ironic conclusion, in relation to the andrew personality disorder video on youtube.

honestly, i think the bigger problem is that research is simply flawed / limited so far, and they really need to work on it, russell barkley has made an impressive study i would admit but it's still a bit inaccurate and / or some things he mentions are a little assuming / not necessarily true.
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Re: research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby Akuma » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:15 am

user03 wrote:ok, but these are obvious points you mention, most sources indicate these already, some of which i already mentioned, what i am trying to say is that i feel like "covert" vs "overt" "narcissism" are / should be distinct in the sense that any overlap should not be a overlap because the overlap is a wrongdoing, so it shouldn't even be called covert narcissism, it should be called something entirely different, i don't know, maybe vulnerable envy disorder? where as "overt narcissism" can simply be called narcissistic personality disorder as it normally does.


Its called narcissistic because its based on psychodynamic terminology and indicates cathexis of an internal object-structure that some call grandiose-self; its a pathological accumulation of early super-ego precursors that get clustered together in a way somehow relating to the psychotic where subject and object representations are mixed up, just that the GS creates a stable pseudo-self - in another way of looking at it its an identification with early idealized object / parent imago part-objects. Which parts are where and which are getting repressed / split-off then dictates how aggressive (ASPD/MNPD) or how covert or vulnerable the whole thing becomes.
What current researchers are doing is looking at the expression of grandiose / vulnerable and overt / covert aspects of such disorders finding for example that people with VNPD are more depressed unhappy and dysfunctional than their GNPD counterparts.

honestly, i think the bigger problem is that research is simply flawed / limited so far, and they really need to work on it, russell barkley has made an impressive study i would admit but it's still a bit inaccurate and / or some things he mentions are a little assuming / not necessarily true.


Russel Barkley is not a NPD researcher. NPD researchers are people like Keith Campbell or Aaron Pincus for example.
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Re: research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby user03 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:29 am

Akuma wrote:
user03 wrote:ok, but these are obvious points you mention, most sources indicate these already, some of which i already mentioned, what i am trying to say is that i feel like "covert" vs "overt" "narcissism" are / should be distinct in the sense that any overlap should not be a overlap because the overlap is a wrongdoing, so it shouldn't even be called covert narcissism, it should be called something entirely different, i don't know, maybe vulnerable envy disorder? where as "overt narcissism" can simply be called narcissistic personality disorder as it normally does.


Its called narcissistic because its based on psychodynamic terminology and indicates cathexis of an internal object-structure that some call grandiose-self; its a pathological accumulation of early super-ego precursors that get clustered together in a way somehow relating to the psychotic where subject and object representations are mixed up, just that the GS creates a stable pseudo-self - in another way of looking at it its an identification with early idealized object / parent imago part-objects. Which parts are where and which are getting repressed / split-off then dictates how aggressive (ASPD/MNPD) or how covert or vulnerable the whole thing becomes.
What current researchers are doing is looking at the expression of grandiose / vulnerable and overt / covert aspects of such disorders finding for example that people with VNPD are more depressed unhappy and dysfunctional than their GNPD counterparts.

honestly, i think the bigger problem is that research is simply flawed / limited so far, and they really need to work on it, russell barkley has made an impressive study i would admit but it's still a bit inaccurate and / or some things he mentions are a little assuming / not necessarily true.


Russel Barkley is not a NPD researcher. NPD researchers are people like Keith Campbell or Aaron Pincus for example.


i wasn't necessarily looking for a highly detailed complex definition on narcissism, although as you have already did, they are here now for reference if applicable. i will see if i can possibly look at and find any valid / useful information from the researchers you mentioned, it's far easier to get a visual understanding on a topic through some video explanation, etc, showing patients with the conditions for example, which is usually rare for PD's in general.

i am aware that russell barkley is not a NPD researcher, i just mentioned him when i was making my analysis on other points because he's one of the few who has done the specific national research survey studies in trying to get a "Better" understanding on more of the "clinical" populations, something that either is done poorly in general or not on large enough samples.
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Re: research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby Akuma » Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:19 am

user03 wrote:i wasn't necessarily looking for a highly detailed complex definition on narcissism, although as you have already did, they are here now for reference if applicable. i will see if i can possibly look at and find any valid / useful information from the researchers you mentioned, it's far easier to get a visual understanding on a topic through some video explanation, etc, showing patients with the conditions for example, which is usually rare for PD's in general.


I think you are lookin at this in an overly simplistic and self-contradictory way. A "visual explanation", by looking at patients is only going to give you symptom lists by abstracting their behaviour - which seems to be one of the aspects of psychiatric practice that you are criticizing, so youre asking for that which you are rejecting. To be able to figure out which dynamic creates their subjective experience you need an extensive understanding of psychology.
In addition I have to admit I find your idea of being shown patients amusing - it summons up the idea of a zoo.

i am aware that russell barkley is not a NPD researcher, i just mentioned him when i was making my analysis on other points because he's one of the few who has done the specific national research survey studies in trying to get a "Better" understanding on more of the "clinical" populations, something that either is done poorly in general or not on large enough samples.


The image that I get when I read your posts here is not that of someone interested in research. You are way too unconcentrated, jumping from topic to topic, seemingly angry about something and using psychological research as a strawman. So I'm not really motivated of helping you out, also ebcause I still have no clue what you actually want to know. But you do know scholar.google.com and researchgate, right? You really just have to put your topics of interest in the search bars there.
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Re: research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby user03 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:51 am

Akuma wrote:
user03 wrote:i wasn't necessarily looking for a highly detailed complex definition on narcissism, although as you have already did, they are here now for reference if applicable. i will see if i can possibly look at and find any valid / useful information from the researchers you mentioned, it's far easier to get a visual understanding on a topic through some video explanation, etc, showing patients with the conditions for example, which is usually rare for PD's in general.


I think you are lookin at this in an overly simplistic and self-contradictory way. A "visual explanation", by looking at patients is only going to give you symptom lists by abstracting their behaviour - which seems to be one of the aspects of psychiatric practice that you are criticizing, so youre asking for that which you are rejecting. To be able to figure out which dynamic creates their subjective experience you need an extensive understanding of psychology.
In addition I have to admit I find your idea of being shown patients amusing - it summons up the idea of a zoo.

i am aware that russell barkley is not a NPD researcher, i just mentioned him when i was making my analysis on other points because he's one of the few who has done the specific national research survey studies in trying to get a "Better" understanding on more of the "clinical" populations, something that either is done poorly in general or not on large enough samples.


The image that I get when I read your posts here is not that of someone interested in research. You are way too unconcentrated, jumping from topic to topic, seemingly angry about something and using psychological research as a strawman. So I'm not really motivated of helping you out, also ebcause I still have no clue what you actually want to know. But you do know scholar.google.com and researchgate, right? You really just have to put your topics of interest in the search bars there.


hopefully we can reverse some misunderstandings, can you clarify to me what you mean by " I have to admit I find your idea of being shown patients amusing - it summons up the idea of a zoo", also yes, i am aware of scholar.google.com, i used it a while back which one of the psych interns i used to see told me about but i couldn't get much information from it because of some limitations which prevented you from being able to see many of the studies or articles, and even the few studies i found that were accessible didn't shed any more light than i already had.

also, i did find it rude though that you think i wasn't interested in any research, i've put myself out there a lot, im sure my post indicated this, but unfortunately, resources and my own capacity have limitations, i mentioned russell barkley's study and it's as if you didn't notice it or didn't find any value in it, too bad, i was hoping you / or someone else might have found some value in it, unfortunately, there are very few people out there in a "similar boat" or in the place worthy of comment.

this thread wasn't necessarily on narcissism only, it was bouncing off ideas and seeing how well we could make sense out of things or if anyone could give any specific experience of their own and if i can relate to anyone, because it seems to be so difficult not only in real life with all the mental health groups i been to in the past, not going anymore of course due to being hurt so much, fatigued and overwhelmed by people who i never was able to genuinely relate to or find comfort with, while having my condition as it is

and when i go back online, it's the same thing, the same type of people i meet in real life in person end up being usually the same type of people i see online, yes, this may seem like a broad generalization in the literal sense but i am simply speaking off my own experience which has validity, i am not someone who complains or feels misunderstood who never even tried therapy or medication for example.

we probably won't relate, that's fine, this already somewhat showed itself in a self explanatory way, the stereotypes happen to be the actual reality, but now that i brought this up, it reminds me, have you taken the MBTI test and do you know your type? it probably will sum up a lot of things.

if you wanted my honest opinion, most of my mental illness has been developed / made worse from online experiences, i've had some serious episodes online, i really do not like posting online, but desperation and lack of "support", emptiness and not relating to others causes me to do so, like i said, if i can't find a community where i can go to and feel safe and secure, i ought to try to find it elsewhere, so far, i haven't, honestly, if i could, i would have reversed all these threads too, not because they aren't valuable, but because they gravitate me to dysregulation, psychosis, or extreme anger, and i put so much effort and capacity, while other people can be so cruel to me, not realizing how much stress and difficult it is for me to communicate with people at ease or in general , typing online being the worst probably.
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Re: research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby Akuma » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:04 pm

user03 wrote:hopefully we can reverse some misunderstandings, can you clarify to me what you mean by " I have to admit I find your idea of being shown patients amusing - it summons up the idea of a zoo", also yes, i am aware of scholar.google.com, i used it a while back which one of the psych interns i used to see told me about but i couldn't get much information from it because of some limitations which prevented you from being able to see many of the studies or articles, and even the few studies i found that were accessible didn't shed any more light than i already had.


There is a website which I cant link here because illegal where you can get all the papers and studies.
But if you want change, you need to get your ass off the meta-level and into the concrete. Diagnosing yourself wont help you; some more or less abstracted, generalized name for what you "have" will not tell you much about what you "are" or what you want to become. If youve "tried" therapy a more concrete aka useful question would be, why did it ###$ up.

also, i did find it rude though that you think i wasn't interested in any research, i've put myself out there a lot, im sure my post indicated this, but unfortunately, resources and my own capacity have limitations, i mentioned russell barkley's study and it's as if you didn't notice it or didn't find any value in it, too bad, i was hoping you / or someone else might have found some value in it, unfortunately, there are very few people out there in a "similar boat" or in the place worthy of comment.


This is a forum specifically for people with NPD, so studies about depression or ADHD are off-topic.

this thread wasn't necessarily on narcissism only, it was bouncing off ideas and seeing how well we could make sense out of things or if anyone could give any specific experience of their own and if i can relate to anyone, because it seems to be so difficult not only in real life with all the mental health groups i been to in the past, not going anymore of course due to being hurt so much, fatigued and overwhelmed by people who i never was able to genuinely relate to or find comfort with, while having my condition as it is


Again I'm not sure what you are looking for. If you're looking for empathy lookin in the Cluster B subforums is a bit of a naive choice, if not a masochistic one. The same goes for the concept of relating - if relating is what you want its no wonder I have no clue wtf you are on about, I dont do relating.

we probably won't relate, that's fine, this already somewhat showed itself in a self explanatory way, the stereotypes happen to be the actual reality, but now that i brought this up, it reminds me, have you taken the MBTI test and do you know your type? it probably will sum up a lot of things.


I'm going to quote what my current therapist says about diagnosis. Its a greek word and means "knowing / investigating thoroughly". Its a deep, ongoing process and wont be eased nor replaced nor supported by shallow abstractions like the MBTI - which is unscientific garbage btw which tells you nothing you dont already know.

I see a pattern with you, you look for stuff in the wrong places and then you're confused and annoyed. You wont get empathy or satisfying emotional relatedness from pwNPD in the same way than you wont get a deeper understanding of yourself by filling out personality quizzes or browsing study abstracts. Maybe its time to rethink what you actually want, how realistic that is and where you can get it - and also if people even want to give it to you, after all youre not entitled to that stuff, a relation is a bidirectional thing. Or so I hear lol.
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Re: research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby Autumn218 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 pm

Akuma wrote:Again I'm not sure what you are looking for. If you're looking for empathy lookin in the Cluster B subforums is a bit of a naive choice, if not a masochistic one. The same goes for the concept of relating - if relating is what you want its no wonder I have no clue wtf you are on about, I dont do relating.




that is so true.it is so weird but the whole pd relationships seem like whenever someone has empathy in healthy amount they can't be with him and get attracted to people that reflect some childhood trauma.
like you keep trying to get the love of your parent or revenge him on going.stuck.
until maybe one day you realize it and think wtf am i doing.suddenly the awareness
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Re: research on covert narcissism vs dsm's narcissistic PD

Postby Akuma » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:44 am

Autumn218 wrote:that is so true.it is so weird but the whole pd relationships seem like whenever someone has empathy in healthy amount they can't be with him and get attracted to people that reflect some childhood trauma.
like you keep trying to get the love of your parent or revenge him on going.stuck.
until maybe one day you realize it and think wtf am i doing.suddenly the awareness


I think this has to do a lot with the kind of relationship, if its a part-object or a whole-object relationship, as they would say in the psychoanalytic field. A lot of the "relationships" I've indirectly witnessed here over the years primarily thru the writing of dependents and borderliners have made it clear that not unlike the pwNPD they dont really relate either; or maybe one should say they dont fully or maturely relate. The cry for empathy for example is one that you barely hear in everyday live with neurotic-level people - one of the reasons being that if you always need empathy then you're pretty often miserable apparently, so your problem is highly likely to be deeper than a "psychopathic boyfriend" ( ;] ). Another side is that as you've also pointed out there is a split going on in those part-object relations, one side being very oral usually - or you could also call it entitled, demanding and the other being withholding - in a way this is a trauma-bond yes but its also a defense against maturing, against tolerating ambivalence.
So anyways, this is actually a topic atm in my therapy a lot, the question how we relate to others, do we relate more to a all-good / motherly / giving part-object or do we realize that relatng is a lot of work, compromises, economics - which also entails grieving for the lost idealized perfection of childhood figures... grieving again being something that is another hard nut to crack for a person who has borderline structures in their mind.
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