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Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

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Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

Postby Passingbyfast » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:30 pm

Hi everyone :)
I'm a woman and I met a man and the only thing I'm sure of is that we both are disordered.
I suspect we may both be narcissists (grandiose him, covert me) but I have an alternative explanation for both of us and I have difficulties in choosing between the two. Let's start with him since it seems easier, maybe I'll do another post for my own differential diagnosis later.

He seems a textbook narcissist and I don't understand if he has an insecure core or a psychopathic core.
Please, don't question the options I'm considering because I'm not writing everything (of course I have a lot of evidence of him being very manipulative, lacking empathy, pushing boundaries and being extremely charming and unable to bond -not only with me-. I don't know if he is antisocial. I know that he changes jobs often and that he has a huge need for stimulation. I also saw a little of his carelessness amd impulsivity but I don't know the extent of it). I'm just writing a tiny sample of things that make me difficult to choose between the two options... If there is any way to differentiate the two without looking at a brain scan. I was hoping other narcissist could help, because you know how you yourself look like.

-When criticized he devalues me and shifts the blame. He never loses control when doing that, he is just quick to become patronizing and to put me down while smiling. A typical answer to (unintentional/imagined -I never told him something with the intention of hurting him-) criticism would be something like "Oh, the crazy fantasies of little girls always make me laugh". Is he doing that because it works (psychopath) or because he feels threathened (narcissist)? Is it a projection of bad intentions or a manipulative tactic to keep me insecure? I never catched him overtly defensive.
-We were searching for another woman in order to do a threesome and we failed. He told me something like "it's her loss"... Well, if no one was interested maybe we weren't offering that good of a deal. Does he believe he is a gift from God himself (unassailability of psychopaths) or was he protecting himself from the pain of failure/rejection (compensatory narcissism)?
-Before having sex for the first time he told me, unprompted, he was "pretty big". Did he said that because he lacks inhibitions or because he thought this would improve his chances to have sex with me or because he needed to regulate his self esteem?
-He seems fearless when considering non verbal cues. He never fidgets, he talks fast (so I would think he is not concerned with finding the right thing to say), we both have a slightly weird way to manage eye contact and it would seem like it's not natural for him to break it under pressure... Is he fearless because he is (psychopath) or because he feels superior to me (narcissist)? He always puts himself in situations I find a little risky, but nothing over the top as far as I know -not that he would tell me-.
-He refused some money I offered to pay for a prostitute for him (don't judge) because "We don't pay for sex. We don't need it". Was it because paying for sex is humiliating? Because he wants to be in control and if I'm the one who pays, I'm the one in control? Because he thought that refusing was more fun and spectacular and pleasant? Because he wants to be seen as noble? And does he want to be seen as noble to be admired, to gain my trust and loyalty or just because it's the first thing that he felt like doing and it seemed fun and why not?
-He uses a lot of big words. Is he trying to sound intelligent/royal or it's just that he doesn't care about rules, let alone implicit ones? I avoid big words because I'm inhibited and I care a lot about the judgment of others, so maybe he doesn't because he is the opposite. He seems to care about being elegant/proper (he refused to go with me to do some outdoor activities that can be seen as "for poors"; he is always well groomed and takes care of his body, takes a lot of selfies... Once he even told me I wasn't being elegant, but he also wanted to stop me to do what I was doing, so maybe it was instrumental)
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Re: Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

Postby easiersaidthandone » Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:51 pm

You are way overthinking it. Narcissism is not separate from Psychopathy, and who says psychopaths can't be insecure in their own ways?

What you described is psychopathic with high levels of narcissism. Other psychopathic types might not view themselves with such high regard, and others might do a better job of hiding it. Anyways, narcissism by itself lacks some psychopathic traits like impulsivity, high need for stimulation, fearlessness and risk-taking, and that ability to seemingly always remain unfazed and in control. Simple NPD types are more clumsy and also have a high need for admiration and/or adoration, making their interpersonal style a means to achieve validation.
I don't fake it. I just make it.
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Re: Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

Postby Esmoke » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:12 pm

NPD can ACT grandiose it’s mostly a defensive mechanism to protect an incredibly insecure and low self-esteem. Just as with external validation external criticism can have the reverse effect and trigger a full display of narcissistic adaptations deployed to protect their fragile self. Psychopaths are said to not have this issue in the same way, it’s hard to say what is going on and I’m not a fan of trying to label people as disordered. I’m not sure why you want this type of relationship to begin with.
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Re: Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

Postby HSS » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:09 pm

I agree with Easier and Esmoke, and I am not a fan of labelling people too.

However, I would add:
a psychopath can easily wear the mask of a narcissist.
But he can change and become humble, if it works better. It's much more ductile.
Moreover: not sure if it's always this way, but I noticed that the psychopath is more childish. The narcissist is childish too, but the psychopath is more childish. It's an oral temperament. Hare (who studied them) writes that he suspects something happened during fetal age. In my personal experience, there is something like a new-born baby, or a one-two years old toddle; this explains why he can be so ductile too. But this is very hard to be noticed, because he is great to hide himself. Moreover, even if this is true, sometimes he voluntarily plays the part of the little toddle.
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Re: Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

Postby DaturaInnoxia » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:56 pm

HSS wrote:Moreover: not sure if it's always this way, but I noticed that the psychopath is more childish. The narcissist is childish too, but the psychopath is more childish. It's an oral temperament. Hare (who studied them) writes that he suspects something happened during fetal age. In my personal experience, there is something like a new-born baby, or a one-two years old toddle; this explains why he can be so ductile too. But this is very hard to be noticed, because he is great to hide himself. Moreover, even if this is true, sometimes he voluntarily plays the part of the little toddle.


I'm trying to think of a definition of "childish" that can apply to what you're saying

I would find an example of how you think a psychopath is more childish to be helpful
They collect information to stock pile in their souls, saying, "I will tuck this into my subconscious for later use." ~ unknown
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Re: Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

Postby HSS » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:15 pm

@Datura: thank you. I am not sure if you are asking me, or if you are looking for it by yourself... :)

However, it's a subtle sensation, it's hard to articulate.
Mainly, I perceive the common narcissist (not the pathological one) as a structured “personality”: the body is well- structured, and the behaviour is quite constant, conditioned by the need to confirm the fake self-image. My perception can change when the narcissistic personality is so strong that it turns towards psychosis.

We call psychopathy a “personality”, we lack a better definition... but in my perception the psychopath isn't still so structured. Sometimes, I perceive him as “something” (?) that stopped before the creation of a “personality” (or, maybe, of a person). I suspect that it's also the reason why he is so skilled to play everyone's role, because there isn't still a... human being? I hope it doesn't sound offensive, I don't intend it offensively.

However: I can't look for it now, but on YouTube there is an old and shocking interview: “A Psychopath Describes His Behaviour”; I believe his first name is Robert, he is a pedophile who molested a toddle.
I am not sure it's authentic, but it's an example of what I am trying to explain.
You can see that he is satisfied for his criminal actions (sometimes his eyes shine), but mostly he is naive; he is also an example of a childish physical appearance. I am not saying that it's the way every psychopath looks like!
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Re: Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

Postby DaturaInnoxia » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:48 pm

HSS, I can't claim I understand, but I also can't claim my cognitive functioning is all that good at this time either.
They collect information to stock pile in their souls, saying, "I will tuck this into my subconscious for later use." ~ unknown
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Re: Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

Postby Akuma » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:41 am

We call psychopathy a “personality”, we lack a better definition... but in my perception the psychopath isn't still so structured. Sometimes, I perceive him as “something” (?) that stopped before the creation of a “personality” (or, maybe, of a person). I suspect that it's also the reason why he is so skilled to play everyone's role, because there isn't still a... human being? I hope it doesn't sound offensive, I don't intend it offensively.


This geos for all low-level PDs, probably especially for BPD... or for some psychotic disorders where the personality was unstable and then desintegrated.
I read a book half a year or so called "adult children of emotionally immature parents" (i think ?); since then I find the term emotionally immature is quite fitting for an array of behaviors and structural deficits; moreso than "narcissism" or other terms actually which might be too broad to be descriptive.
dx: dissociative disorder + npd
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Re: Differential diagnosis narcissism psychopathy

Postby HSS » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:55 am

DaturaInnoxia wrote:HSS, I can't claim I understand


Maybe you are focusing on their logical skills, and not on their emotional development; or you imagine a normal child. A psychopath isn't open, vulnerable, dependent, sincere, as a “normal” child is, but I am thinking about a child who never emotionally connected with his mother. Maybe Hare is right, something happened during fetal age. It's when we experience a full union with another human being.

However, if you watch some Kemper interview, he is another example of what I am trying to explain.

I am sorry that you aren't ok, btw.

-- Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:57 am --

Akuma wrote:This geos for all low-level PDs, probably especially for BPD... or for some psychotic disorders where the personality was unstable and then desintegrated.
I read a book half a year or so called "adult children of emotionally immature parents" (i think ?); since then I find the term emotionally immature is quite fitting for an array of behaviors and structural deficits; moreso than "narcissism" or other terms actually which might be too broad to be descriptive.


Exactly this.
The difference is just that emotional development stops at a different age; I suspect that it's really archaic for psychopathy.
Moreover, there is maybe another difference (as you mention too): for someone it's an arrested development, for others it's a regression. Not an expert, but as far as I know for some psychosis (for example, schizophrenia) it's a gradual regression, and it mainly concerns logical and cognitive skills.
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