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Identity disturbance in NPD?

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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby covertunsure » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:35 am

ZeroZ wrote:
covertunsure wrote:
ZeroZ wrote:Reinventing myself usually feels good, I think I’m really accomplishing something. So not ego dystonic in that sense, but the looming danger of having potential threats all around you that you have to guard against is not enjoyable in any way and I usually avoid going outside when possible because of this. I’ve become very Schizoid like


Wow, I could have written the bolded part. I also feel much more comfortable in the confines of my apartment, particularly as for me these threats are everywhere because I live in a huge city. Could you please elaborate on how this manifests to you and what the potential threats are to you? That would be immensely helpful. To me, they are people not admiring my looks, not finding me attractive, me "realizing" (for the 832935th time, hence why it's quoted) that I'm not perfect and experiencing the torture-filled pain of that.


I don’t know what to add to this, I just feel like most people have bad intentions and I have to look out for myself. Dog eat dog world type of thing. I’m not sure about the admiring my looks. I don’t think that’s a particular issue. When I was lifting I felt like people were so intimidated by me, because my presence was overwhelming, I would have play down to them for things to go smoothly. Sounds crazy but that’s how I felt


Thank you for clarifying. Do you have any of the "needing excessive attention and/or admiration" that's part of NPD? For me, I guess that manifests for me as needing strangers to admire and gawk at me and continue staring at me.

I don't really relate to myself intimidating others, but there is definitely a level of grandiosity. When I had a 2.7 GPA in high school, I was obsessed with going to an Ivy League school; nothing else was good enough. Everyone tried gently telling me that was unrealistic, but I was convinced I was the exception to the rule.

The interesting thing is, everyone told me when I was 17 and without a degree that I'd never get a job making as much as a college grad. But I did. So maybe my narcissism is adaptive sometimes.
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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby ZeroZ » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:12 am

What do you think the reasoning behind the insecurity about your looks is about? Were you shamed by your mother About how you look? What is the psychology behind that u think
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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby covertunsure » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:25 am

ZeroZ wrote:What do you think the reasoning behind the insecurity about your looks is about? Were you shamed by your mother About how you look? What is the psychology behind that u think


My parents never really shamed me about how I looked. But as a teenager, I had, and still have, pretty bad acne, and now pretty bad acne scars. I always knew at *some* level that I was attractive--girls liked me as a little kid, although I was gay, and I felt that I could get any guy I wanted. The hottest football player in school checked me out, etc. That was probably grandiosity though, too. It's really hard to know where grandiosity ends and accurate self-assessment begins. Either way, it's splitting--either being perfect or being worthless.

I think the seeking attention is mainly just an extension of narcissism--needing to be perfect and special, which translates to everyone finding me attractive, so I look for that confirmation (narcissistic supply, I guess?) on the street, people checking me out, etc. even though I'm apparently no movie star in terms of my looks, and definitely no supermodel. So my expectations are out of line with reality, which is the painful part.
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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby Akuma » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:40 am

ZeroZ makes an important point here. It might be too early to address and it will sooner or later come up in therapy anyways, but I think its not too early to remember it. Mental illness and symptoms of such are always a solution of sorts, a strategy where no other strategy worked. In addition, mental disorders and personality disorders especially have their roots always in childhood. It usually takes a while of changing perspective though to perceive things that might look very normal at the beginning as causative for ones suffering.
From this perspective being focused on diagnosis also leads away from getting any real insight.
dx: dissociative disorder + npd
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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby covertunsure » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:04 am

Akuma wrote:ZeroZ makes an important point here. It might be too early to address and it will sooner or later come up in therapy anyways, but I think its not too early to remember it. Mental illness and symptoms of such are always a solution of sorts, a strategy where no other strategy worked. In addition, mental disorders and personality disorders especially have their roots always in childhood. It usually takes a while of changing perspective though to perceive things that might look very normal at the beginning as causative for ones suffering.
From this perspective being focused on diagnosis also leads away from getting any real insight.


You make a good point, Akuma (as you often do!). And I know I'm too focused on diagnosis, but it gives me something to latch onto and cling to, some source of certainty, an ability to finally pin myself down and understand myself. I hate being in limbo, not knowing what disorder I have and thus, what the path will be to getting better.

I feel I've been getting worse, too. Retreating into grandiosity and fantasy-land. I walk even more insistently looking down at the ground, trying to convince myself that everyone finds me attractive, that I'm perfect and gorgeous. The moment I look up and have my grandiosity bubble burst (and I know it will be), I fly into a self- and other-hating rage. So I must retreat into this fantasy, for my own survival, at least as a crutch until I can make progress in therapy. If that ever happens. And if not, there's always suicide. :)
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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby Akuma » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:51 am

Well I've understood your intensified focus on treatable vs untreatable illness lately as a sign of ambivalence towards therapy, maybe even an early attempt to self-sabotage. Maybe keep it in mind.
dx: dissociative disorder + npd
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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby covertunsure » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:54 pm

Akuma wrote:Well I've understood your intensified focus on treatable vs untreatable illness lately as a sign of ambivalence towards therapy, maybe even an early attempt to self-sabotage. Maybe keep it in mind.


This is an interesting point, but I don't feel like I'm self-sabotaging. I feel like I really am excited about treatment, to finally have a (more) stable sense of self and self-esteem, to reduce my pathological need to be mirrored/have people admire me, and to feel good about myself independently of other people. I'm scared as well, of course, about having my grandiosity bubble popped. Hopefully I can handle it. If not, as I said, there's always suicide.

BTW do I still seem NPD or more BPD?
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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby AProphet » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:43 pm

covertunsure wrote:BTW do I still seem NPD or more BPD?


Cant say BPD for certain but less like NPD. The source of inner validation you seek is your true self, as oposed to Ego (false self, codependant self are examples of the ego in specific cases), the person you think you are but you aren't realy. The grand realization of the buddha is that the ego doesnt exist, there is no seperateness.
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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby ZeroZ » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:12 pm

I started reading the pursuit of love, admiration, and safety by Elinor Greenberg before and got stopped because it’s more aimed at the clinicians point of view, the diagnostic process etc. it’s more interesting to me now that I have a deeper understanding of the process.

The book focuses on what she believes are the 3 main personality adaptations she prefers to call them because, well that’s exactly what they are.

She covers a lot good stuff like she uses the topics the patients talk about the most to give her direction on which PD she is dealing with. She says she can usually tell if there is a PD present very quickly much before she can differentiate which one so that how her process goes, she also states the only real usefulness to a diagnosis in treatment terms is from the standpoint of making consideration for the client. Making the Schizoid feel safe, being aware not to say something that the narcissist take as criticism and send him into a self hating depression, and to not make the borderline feel abandoned.

So really from this top down view, it’s not that important which adaptation you have, there are so many things that are common in people who have these type personalities this is what is looked for.

Anyway I’m rambling abit I guess my point is what really matters is what is behind the issues that’s causing you to not live a happy life and getting to the root cause of that, calling it one thing or the next is pretty irrelevant when looking at the issues themselves.
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Re: Identity disturbance in NPD?

Postby covertunsure » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:48 pm

Thank you, AProphet. Hope so.

------

Today, the psychologist basically said that we had the most informative and telling (to him) session so far. I was also very surprised at myself and I feel like I saw a new side of myself. Almost like I just met a new covertunsure. It's kind of scary. Is this common in PD therapy/PDs?

He started the session out suggesting that he doesn't believe I have a mood disorder and that it's all related to a PD, which I believe is total B S, because he's only seen me 3x and I've been diagnosed multiple times with mood disorder and 3 psychiatrists believed lamictal was appropriate for me. He finally conceded that I could have a mood disorder but that I should see a psychiatrist.

I know he's objectively wrong about some facts, based on my research, and I told him that. There is plenty of research contradicting his opinions and stated "facts," as there almost always is in any field. But I admit and realize my narcissism makes me think only I can be right.

And we both agreed that I started devaluing him because I no longer felt he was the expert, but I don't think the devaluation is as bad as most with pwBPD/NPD; it doesn't feel extreme like "he's a total moron" vs "he's perfect."

I also became a bit panicked and worried that he was abandoning me because he kept talking about me needing to find a psychiatrist. He assured me he wasn't abandoning me. I developed anger too and wanted to lash out, but I didn't.

He maintains I have BPD/NPD traits (he says I know that already) but may not meet the full DSM criteria; he said the DSM is flawed and not accurate/up to date in many ways anyway and that a formal dsm dx is less important than figuring out treatment.

ZeroZ wrote:I started reading the pursuit of love, admiration, and safety by Elinor Greenberg before and got stopped because it’s more aimed at the clinicians point of view, the diagnostic process etc. it’s more interesting to me now that I have a deeper understanding of the process.

The book focuses on what she believes are the 3 main personality adaptations she prefers to call them because, well that’s exactly what they are.

She covers a lot good stuff like she uses the topics the patients talk about the most to give her direction on which PD she is dealing with. She says she can usually tell if there is a PD present very quickly much before she can differentiate which one so that how her process goes, she also states the only real usefulness to a diagnosis in treatment terms is from the standpoint of making consideration for the client. Making the Schizoid feel safe, being aware not to say something that the narcissist take as criticism and send him into a self hating depression, and to not make the borderline feel abandoned.

So really from this top down view, it’s not that important which adaptation you have, there are so many things that are common in people who have these type personalities this is what is looked for.

Anyway I’m rambling abit I guess my point is what really matters is what is behind the issues that’s causing you to not live a happy life and getting to the root cause of that, calling it one thing or the next is pretty irrelevant when looking at the issues themselves.


I've read some of Elinor Greenberg's writings on Quora and elsewhere. She seems smart but seems to have a different take than Otto Kernberg and other TFP-focused folks. She does not appear to believe that one can have comorbid NPD/BPD, and that typically one is a defense for the other (more commonly narcissistic defenses for a borderline personality, but not always), which seems totally inaccurate to me. I know I have both trait narcissism and BPD traits.
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