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Category Archives: Effect Of Narcissistic Parents Articles

Narcissistic Mother Checklist (And Useful Links)

narcissistic mother checklist

Narcissistic Mother Checklist :

I have published many articles about narcissism on this site, including articles about how traumatizing it is for children to be brought up by a narcissistic parent.

In this article, I wish to distill down into one list the most prominent traits, characteristics, attitudes and behaviors that the narcissistic mother may display ; here is the list (the useful, clickable links are in BLUE – clicking on these will take you directly to the relevant article in this site’s archives) :

 

  • extreme reluctance to admit being in the wrong (due to being in a state of denial, lack of insight or dishonesty) and, in the unlikely event that she does, minimizes or makes light of the harm done by her behavior
  • undermines, criticizes and denigrates you
  • treats you with contempt, disdain and derision
  • treats you dismissively, including being dismissive of your legitimate and deeply felt feelings
  • does not respect your personal boundaries
  • makes you question yourself / keeps you ‘off balance’ / mentally disorientated and confused
  • can make you start to question your own sanity, including by using the ‘gaslighting‘ technique
  • prone to jealousy and envy
  • vindictive
  • resentful and unforgiving
  • holds grudges
  • deceitful and devious

(This list continues after the inserted image)

narcissistic mother checklist

  • constant need to be center of attention
  • sees self as being ‘at the center of the universe’
  • hypersensitive
  • self-absorbed
  • emotionally ‘terrorizes’ you
  • selfish
  • immature
  • petty
  • undermines and interferes with your relationships
  • prone to extreme aggression
  • exploits and takes advantage of you
  • behaves how she likes and shows no shame about this (however, narcissists feel an extreme amount of internal shame)
  • parentifies you
  • seems oblivious to the sensitivity, feelings and vulnerability of others
  • blames others
  • as a psychological defense mechanism often unconsciously projects her own negative feelings about herself onto you

(The above list is not exhaustive and individuals suffering from narcissistic personality disorder will not necessarily demonstrate all of the above traits, characteristics, attitudes and behaviors.)

 

RESOURCE :

DEALING WITH NARCISSIST BEHAVIOR – click here for further details.

eBook :

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Above eBook now available on Amazon for instant download. Click here for further details.

 

You may also wish to read my article : FOUR TYPES OF BORDERLINE MOTHER

or you may wish to browse all my articles on the subject of narcissistic personality disorder.

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

 

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Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Narcissism : The Roles Of Nature, Nurture And Culture

narcissism nature and nurture

To what degree are narcissists created by their genetic inheritance (nature) and to what degree by the environment in which they grow up (nurture)?

The Role Of Nature :

According to a leading expert in the field of the study of narcissism, Dr Craig Malkin (Harvard Medical School), author of the fascinating book The Narcissist Test, some individuals may be born with an innate, or, in other words, genetic, predisposition towards developing narcissism in later life (which is, of course, a very different thing from asserting that there exists a gene for narcissism).

Indeed, he states that some young children start to display a temperament with narcissistic-like elements even before the age of three years, such as an abnormally intense need for attention. Furthermore, according to Dr Malkin, those children who display a deficit of empathy and compassion in relation to others’ feelings are more likely to go on to develop full-blown narcissistic personality disorder in adulthood. Also, importantly, says Dr Malikn, it is those with an extravert personality who are at particular risk of becoming narcissists.

The Role Of Nurture :

However. inborn temperament and predispositions are not enough per se to determine whether a person will go on to develop narcissistic personality disorder. Instead, it is how the child’s upbringing interacts with his/her particular temperament that is crucial.

It is when a child is brought up without receiving ‘secure love‘ that the s/he will feel driven to try to compensate for this deficit by desperately attempting to gain attention, but in ways that are ultimately dysfunctional or ‘unhealthy’.

Types Of Parenting That May Put The Child At Risk Of Developing Narcissism In Later Life :

Dr Malkin states that certain parenting styles may put the child at risk of developing narcissistic personality disorder later on in life ; I summarize these below :

  • parents who only show their children admiration and approval when they (their children) achieve tangible successes (for example, in the realm of sport or academia). This can, ultimately, addict children to the desperate pursuit of similar admiration and approval in later life by constantly feeling compelled to achieve further successes (such as the accumulation of large sums of money and the gaining of high social status) because their fundamental sense of self-worth becomes inextricably linked to, and dependent upon, publicly/socially acknowledged achievements.

 

  • parents who excessively intrude’ and ‘interfere’ with their children;s lives, ignore their need for privacy’ and place their own needs for ‘control and attention’ over their children’s needs for autonomy’. (Dr Malkin also points out that parents who behave in this ways are, themselves, narcissistic) Children exposed to such treatment at the hands of their parents may develop into adults who therefore have an intense need to prevent the desires of others impinging upon their own in order to preserve their identities (that were so threatened by their parents’ overbearing behavior during their childhoods).

The Role Of Culture :

Finally, Dr Malkin stresses the importance of the influence of particular cultures on the development of narcissism in individuals.

He suggests that :


Resources (Self-hypnosis downloads).

Dealing With Narcissistic Behavior : Click HERE for further details.

Escape Emotional Abuse : Click HERE for further details.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

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Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Three Types Of Narcissist : Extraverted, Introverted / Covert And Communal

introvert extrovert communal narcissist

We have already seen what the effects can be upon the child who is brought up by a parent with narcissistic personality disorder as well as how some forms of dysfunctional upbringing can put the child him/herself at risk of developing narcissistic personality disorder.

However, some narcissistic individuals are more easy to identify than others and in this article I will briefly describe three different types ; these are :

  • THE EXTRAVERTED NARCISSIST :

  • THE INTROVERTED / COVERT NARCISSIST :

  • THE COMMUNAL NARCISSIST :

Let’s look at each of these in turn :

The Extraverted Narcissist :

Narcissists who have an extravert type personality are, as one would guess, the easiest to identify ; accordingly,they are also the ones who fit most people’s stereotype of a narcissist : They crave attention, always desiring to be center stage and in the limelight. If wealthy, they are likely to ostentatiously flaunt their economic status by the means of material objects (e.g. flashy cars with personalized number plates, extravagant jewelry etc. ). They are also likely to be highly competitive in the workplace with a strong urge to rise to the highest possible positions thus enabling themselves to exert maximum power over others and to be able to insist upon respect and deference.

introverted narcissist, extraverted narcissist, covert narcissist, communal narcissist

The Introverted / Covert Narcissist :

Introverted narcissists have just as strong a need to feel special and superior to others in the way that the extraverted narcissists do, but manifest this desire in more subtle and less obvious ways (which is why they are also sometimes referred to as ‘covert narcissists’ in the psychological literature).

In fact, on the surface, they may even appear to others to be self-effacing and, in direct contrast to extraverted narcissists, are likely to actively avoid being the center of attention (due to an intense fear of being negatively judged by others).

Such behavior, though, is paradoxical because underneath this seemingly humble exterior lies a firm conviction of great superiority to others. The introverted / covert narcissists rationalizes this belief of great superiority – in the absence, of course, of its confirmation by others – by telling him/herself that others are simply not intelligent or perceptive enough to have recognized his/her ‘supreme and unique’ talents.

Due to this perceived ‘failure of insight’ by others, the introverted narcissist may go through life feeling deeply bitter and resentful ; a typical, secret belief an introverted/covert narcissist might hold is : ‘The only reason other people don’t realize how brilliant, superior and wonderful I am is that they are just too stupid to see it!’

The Communal Narcissist :

The communal narcissist wishes to be seen by his/her community as an outstandingly compassionate, caring, giving, nurturing and charitable individual and derives his/her self-esteem and self-worth by cultivating such an image. Just like the extraverted narcissist and the introverted narcissist, the communal narcissist’s primary motivation is a desperate and overwhelming need to feel special.

 

RESOURCE :

DEALING WITH NARCISSISTIC BEHAVIOR – SELF-HYPNOSIS MP3 : click here for further details or to view other available titles.

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

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Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Characteristics Of Narcissistic Parents

effects of narcissistic parents on child

Typically, the narcissistic parent views his/her child as a kind of possession whose sole purpose is to continuously fulfill his/her (i.e. the narcissistic parent’s) emotional needs.

In order to keep the child in this role (i.e. the role of existing solely to meet the parent’s emotional needs), the narcissistic parent may exert power over the child in highly manipulative and controlling ways.

Because such parents are so possessive of the child, as the child grows older and starts to become more independent (especially during early adolescence), the narcissistic parent may feel threatened that his/her hitherto exclusive relationship with the child is becoming increasingly precarious. Indeed, if the child begins to show signs of no longer fulfilling the role that the narcissistic parent has assigned to him/her, such parents may become deeply resentful of the child and start to punish him/her through emotional abuse (including directing intense rage toward the child).

The narcissistic parent essentially EXPLOITS their child, capitalizing on the fact that the child is biologically programmed to be dependent upon him/her (but especially the mother); as already alluded to, this enables such parents to exert enormous power and control over the child, a power which they ruthlessly abuse. Such parents feel little or no empathy for their child and are have scant regard for the child’s personal boundaries.

narcissistic parents

Narcissistic abuse tends to be covert in the sense that it takes place in the privacy of the family home ; in public, the narcissistic parent tends to be extremely careful to present as good an image as possible (in an attempt to maintain the illusion of being superior to others), perhaps trying to act ‘the perfect parent’ to keep up appearances (as already implied, narcissists are exceptionally concerned about how others perceive them)’

The child of the narcissistic parent is doomed to failure in as far that whatever s/he does in order attempt to meet the parent’s emotional needs, it will never be enough as, in this regard, the narcissist is impossible to satisfy.

Unfortunately, when growing up with a narcissistic parent, the child is highly unlikely to realize that the parent is suffering from a serious disorder that results in highly dysfunctional parenting. This is because most children just accept their family circumstances as ‘normal’ given that they have no point of comparison (in most cases).

Even more sadly, if and when they do realize how dysfunctional their family environment was whilst they were growing up, perhaps in early to mid-adulthood, they may have already suffered a great deal of psychological damage which may well require extensive therapy to alleviate.

in order to minimize the psychological harm caused to children by narcissistic parents, EARLY, EFFECTIVE, THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION IS OF FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE.

 


Resources (Self-hypnosis downloads).

Dealing With Narcissistic Behavior : Click HERE for further details.

Escape Emotional Abuse : Click HERE for further details.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

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Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Healthy Narcissism Versus Unhealthy Narcissism (Kohut’s Theory).

healthy naricissism

‘Healthy’ Versus ‘Unhealthy’ Narcissism :

We have seen from other articles that I have published on this site that being brought up by a parent or primary caregiver who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can result in us developing serious psychological difficulties in later life ; indeed, this includes increasing the risk of developing narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) ourselves.

Whilst extreme, destructive narcissistic personality traits are clearly undesirable, the psychotherapist Heinz Kohut (1913-1981) suggested that there is also such a phenomenon as ‘healthy narcissism.’ I briefly explain what he meant by this below :

‘Healthy’ Narcissism :

Kohut was of the view that we have primary need to develop a strong, solid and stable sense of self if we are to live a contented and fulfilling life.

He also believed that, in the case of young children, it was particularly important that their parents made them feel special and gave them a sense of being admired (and, therefore, as being admirable) and that this would lead such children to develop a healthy sense of self and general, emotional resilience.

Kohut also believed that as these children got older, and assuming their parents were psychologically healthy role-models, they would learn that nobody’s perfect, that this is OK and that it was not necessary to constantly ‘outshine’ others in every aspect of life.

As such, Kohut suggested, such children would, as adults, develop what he termed ‘healthy narcissism.’

Qualities Of The ‘Healthy’ Narcissist :

Kohut suggested that qualities of the ‘healthy’ narcissist included the following :

  • the ability to accept the admiration of others
  • the ability to admire others
  • a solid sense of self-worth / self-esteem
  • a healthy sense of pride
  • an appreciation of the needs of others
  • the ability to empathize with others
  • the capacity to feel self-love as a means of self-protection / obtaining emotional resilience
  • the ability to connect to our ‘authentic selves’
  • the confidence and self-belief to have hopes, dreams and ambitions (and the capacity to cope with, and to accept, failure to achieve them)
  • the ability to approve of ourselves and to withstand the disapproval of others

Unhealthy Narcissism :

Kohut contrasted children who were brought up in such a way that they were able to develop ‘healthy’ narcissism with children who are brought up by parents who were abusive and /or neglectful ; these abused/neglected children are at risk of developing unhealthy narcissism.

The unhealthy narcissist feels, deep inside, a profound and pervasive sense of inadequacy, inferiority, worthlessness, emptiness and vulnerability (as a result of his/her parents’ deeply psychologically damaging treatment of him/her when s/he was growing up) and, as a form of psychological defense (manifesting as overcompensation), develops a dysfunctional personality marked by intense hostility towards others, extreme arrogance, a condescending attitude and an insatiable need to feel superior to others at all times.

Furthermore, the unhealthy narcissist does not view others with empathy but views them as ‘servants’ and ‘playthings’ to feed his/her own ego.

On an unconscious level, the unhealthy narcissist strongly needs to avoid meaningful, emotional connection with others lest s/he becomes dependent upon such a connection which would make him/her vulnerable to being hurt emotionally in the way s/he was hurt by his/her parents as a child. As such, the unhealthy narcissist’s subconscious reasoning goes, a mutually loving bond with others is to be avoided at all costs; by desperately trying to convince him/herself that s/he is better than, ‘above’ and superior to others, s/he is simultaneously, frantically attempting to convince him/herself that s/he is emotionally self-sufficient and, therefore, emotionally invulnerable.

 


Resources (Self-hypnosis downloads).

Dealing With Narcissistic Behavior : Click HERE for further details.

Escape Emotional Abuse : Click HERE for further details.


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

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Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Enabling Fathers And Narcissistic Mothers

enabling fathers

Parents can hurt their children both by acts of commission (what they do) and by acts of omission (what they don’t do). We have seen already how narcissistic mothers can profoundly damage their children, and, if the father does nothing to intervene to prevent such damage occurring it is an act of omission; fathers who commit such acts of omission are often termed ‘enabling fathers’ or, more simply, enablers as, by failing to intervene or take preventative or protective measures, they are enabling the mother to continue her emotional onslaught against the child with impunity, unabated.

It is not unreasonable, then, to regard such non-interventionist fathers as complicit in the mother’s harmful behavior, whether this be due to fear of the mother, weakness of character, simple neglect, ignorance, complacency, moral cowardice or laziness (confronting such a situation requires considerable mental energy, after all).

Indeed, my own father was one such ‘enabler’ and, for the vast majority of the time, could not, or would not, confront my narcissistic mother, preferring instead to try to humor, placate or pacify her (although he did once hit her so hard she was knocked over and heated rows were far from uncommon) and effectively challenge her about her behavior, no matter how disturbing and extreme it became.

In the end, though, unable to tolerate her any longer, he left the family home when I was eight years old and divorced her (on the grounds of her adultery – indeed, she used to taunt my father by telling him he could not satisfy her sexually) not long after, leaving me, as it were, in the lioness’ den (and, to extend the metaphor a little, the den of a lioness who was soon to savagely turn on her very own cub).

It is not at all unusual for fathers to leave the narcissistic mother, as forming a stable, healthy relationship with a narcissist is not a realistic prospect (unless the narcissist undergoes therapy ; however, it is notoriously difficult to persuade narcissists to seek therapy as they tend not to accept there is anything wrong with them  – in their minds it’s everyone who’ve got the problem).

Some fathers, however, do remain living with the narcissistic mother, but not in a relationship which is healthy ; rather, they tend to have enmeshed / codependent / highly dysfunctional relationships with the mother.

Also, if the narcissistic mother is emotionally abusive towards the child, some fathers may take the side of the mother against this child even if they know the mother to be in the wrong so as not to ‘rock the boat’ and have an easier life. This, of course, amounts to complicity. Some such fathers may even agree to physically beat the child at the mother’s behest.

Resource :


DEALING WITH NARCISSIST BEHAVIOR | HYPNOSIS DOWNLOADS : CLICK HERE


 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

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Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

The Manipulative Parent

the manipulative parent

 

The Manipulative Parent :

There are many ways in which the manipulative parent may manipulate their offspring, including:

emotional blackmail

– threats (explicit or implicit)

– deceit

– control through money/material goods

– positive reinforcement of a behavior which is damaging to the child

– coercion

Because parental manipulation, by the mother, father or both, can take on very subtle guises, when we were young we may not have been aware that we were being manipulated; we may only come to realize it, in retrospect, with the extra knowledge we have gained as adults.

POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF THE MANIPULATIVE PARENT:

If we have been significantly manipulated, it can give rise to various negative feelings such as :

self-doubt

– resentment/anger

shame/guilt

– a deep and painful sense of having been betrayed

EXAMPLES OF PARENTAL MANIPULATION :

– causing the child to believe that s/he will only be loved by complying with the parent’s wishes at all times; in other words, there is an ABSENCE of unconditional love.

– causing the child to feel excessive guilt for failing to live up to the parent’s expectations/demands

– with-holding love as a form of punishment to cause emotional distress

– direct or implied threats of physical punishment

– physical punishment

– making the child feel s/he is ‘intrinsically bad’ for not always bending to the parent’s will

– spoiling the child and then accusing him/her of ingratitude

– making the child believe s/he is ‘uncaring’ for not fully meeting the parent’s needs

manipulative parents

 

WHY DO SOME PARENTS BEHAVE MANIPULATIVELY?

The reasons a parent manipulates his/her offspring are often subtle and complex. However, explanations may include

– the parent is narcissistic

– the parent has a grandiose self-view (often linked to above)

– the parent has low self-esteem/feelings of inadequacy and so abuses the power they do have as a form of overcompensation for own shortcomings

– failure of the parent to view the child as a separate, distinct and unique individual, but, rather, to view him/her as an ‘extension of themselves’ so that the child feels responsible for the parent and becomes ‘enmeshed’ in the relationship.

 

DEALING WITH A MANIPULATIVE MOTHER OR FATHER :

The effects of having been significantly manipulated by a parent in early life can have serious negative consequences in terms of our emotional development ; these consequences may be very long -lasting.

As adults, if we are still in contact with the parent, it is likely that the relationship remains problematic. We may have pointed out their propensity to manipulate, but to no avail – indeed, perhaps only making things worse.

So, what is the best way to cope with the manipulative relationship?

Essentially, we are less likely to be manipulated if we :

– develop good self-esteem (click here)

– develop a strong self-concept/sense of identity (click here)

– developing strong assertiveness skills (click here)

– being confident enough to refuse to do what we don’t want to do (click here)

– being confident enough to ask for what we do want (click here)

– have the confidence to act according to our own values and convictions (click here)


Resources (Self-hypnosis downloads).

 

  • Dealing With Narcissistic Behavior : Click HERE for further details.

 

  • Escape Emotional Abuse : Click HERE for further details.

 


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

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Copyright 2017 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Effect Of Parents With Low Empathy For Others’ Feelings

 

non empathetic parents

Parents with low empathy typically show little or no regret, remorse or guilt when they behave in ways that hurt and harm their children and children of such parents are therefore at particularly high risk of experiencing abuse.

At the extreme end of the scale, those with very low empathy are termed by psychologists as sociopaths or as suffering from anti-social personality disorder (however, this does not mean they will necessarily have been diagnosed or have broken the law – many such individuals can function well on a superficial level, seem charming on the surface and have cultivated a public persona that very effectively disguises their disorder; they may even strike the outside world as ‘model citizens’).

Other personality traits (on top of lack of feelings of guilt and superficial charm referred to above) of the sociopath include the following:

  • egocentricity
  • unreliability
  • dishonesty
  • an inability to form long-lasting relationships
  • superficial emotions
  • lack of awareness/concern regarding the harmful effects of their behavior on others
  • poor ability to make long-term plans
  • experiences abnormally low levels of anxiety (so can be good at jobs that require a strong nerve such as surgery)

People with very low empathy, such as sociopaths, tend not to be easy to change ; they are also, as implied above, often very hard to detect – this makes them all the more potentially dangerous.

POSSIBLE BRAIN DIFFERENCES :

One of the possible reasons why sociopaths may find it difficult to change is that research suggests they may be suffering from brain abnormalities (specifically, in the region of the brain responsible for giving rise to feelings of empathy for others, as, indeed, one may expect). However, much more research still needs to be conducted before a full picture can be built up of both biological and environmental causes (and, indeed, of how these two categories of causes interact, of course).

LATEST RESEARCH :

It is worth noting, however, that (at the time of writing), the latest research suggests that sociopaths may not so much lack empathy as have an abnormal ability to suppress it (Keysers et al. 2012).

HOW THE SOCIOPATH CAN BECOME AGGRESSIVE TOWARDS THE EMPATH :

First, an EMPATH  can be defined as a particularly sensitive and perceptive individual who is often the first to intuit that there is something ‘wrong’ with the sociopath. Such individuals can represent a threat to the sociopath as they have the potential to expose him/her (the sociopath) and challenge his/her manipulative behavior.

Frequently, due to this threat, the sociopath turns on/ becomes aggressive towards / attacks / tries to discredit the empath in an attempt to stop him/her (the empath) exposing him/her (the sociopath) and speaking the truth about his/her (the sociopath’s) behavior.

HOW THE SOCIOPATH ENLISTS THE SUPPORT OF THE APATH :

In order to try to defeat, or, even, psychologically destroy the empath, the sociopath will often enlist the support of the apath (or the support of several apaths).

An apath is someone who lacks the judgment or insight to perceive the sociopath’s malevolent manipulative behavior, or someone who is too apathetic and morally cowardly to care about it or do anything about it. If, on top of this, the apath bears the empath a grudge, the perverse collusion between the sociopath and apath may prove particularly devastating.

The psychological theorists, McGregor and McGregor, who originally formulated the above theory, termed this dynamic the sociopath-empath-apath triad. By way of illustration, the concept could apply to a family in the following manner :

  • mother = sociopath
  • youngest son = empath
  • oldest son = apath
  • father = apath

In the above example, there are two apaths; however, in other situations there may be just one or three or more.

eBook:

Above eBook now available from Amazon for instant download. Click here for further information.

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

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Copyright 2016 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Physical Differences In Narcissists’ Brains

brain differences in narcissists

I have written elsewhere on this site articles about how being brought up by a narcissistic parent can be extremely traumatic for a child and can have life-long adverse effects on his/her emotional and behavioural functioning in the absence of effective therapeutic intervention.

I will quickly recap the list of the main symptoms of the disorder below :

THE SYMPTOMS OF NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY

DISORDER :

– expect to be recognized as superior (even without any achievements to warrant this)

– exaggerated sense of own importance

– a tendency to exaggerate their achievements and talents

– belief of only being able to be understood by equally special people

– obsessed by fantasies of power/success/brilliance

– strong need to be constantly admired by others

– constant sense of entitlement

– expectation to be granted special favors

– expectations to always have wishes complied with by others

– exploitation of others for own ends

– unable or unwilling to acknowledge the needs of others / the feelings of others (lack of empathy)

– frequent envy of others

– frequent beliefs of being envied by others

– behaving in a high-handed, superior, arrogant and haughty manner

(Above list of symptoms adapted from the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, otherwise known as DSM -V).

 

WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL BRAIN DIFFERENCES IN

THOSE SUFFERING FROM NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY

DISORDER?

 

A study conducted by Ropke et al examined 34 individuals, 17 of whom had an official diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder; these 17 individuals had also, through testing, been found to be deficient in feelings of empathy (a main symptom of narcissistic personality disorder – see list of symptoms above).

Using a brain scanning technique known as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) it was found that the 17 individuals who had been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder had differences in the structure of a region of the brain called the cerebral cortex compared to the individuals in the control group (i.e. the individuals in the study who had NOT been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder).

 

WHAT WERE THE SPECIFIC BRAIN DIFFERENCES FOUND

BY THE STUDY?

Specifically, the MRI scan revealed that those who had been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder had cerebral cortices (plural of cortex) that were thinner in the region responsible for producing feelings of compassion for others (known as the insular region) than the cerebral cortices of those in the control group.

This finding emphasizes the fact that those with narcissistic personality disorder require treatment rather than moral judgment.


Resources (Self-hypnosis downloads).

Dealing With Narcissistic Behavior : Click HERE for further details.

Escape Emotional Abuse : Click HERE for further details.


Above eBook now available on Amazon for instant download. Click here.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery

Self-Defeating Personality? Its Link To Childhood Trauma.

self-defeating personality

Why Do Some Seem To Have A Self-Defeating Personality?

I have written elsewhere on this site about how my illness caused me to behave in ways that were self-sabotaging in the extreme.

Some psychoanalysts refer to people who are, to put it informally, their own worst enemy, as having a self-defeating personality disorder; below, I briefly explain how this disorder, according to psychodynamic theory, can be strongly connected to traumatic childhood experiences.

Stop_being_own_worst_enemy

Self-Defeating Behaviour And Its Relationship To Childhood Trauma:

Self-defeating and self-sabotaging behaviour in adulthood, with its roots in adverse childhood experiences, often lies at the heart of addictions (such as drugs and alcohol), compulsions (such as gambling) obsessions (e.g. in connection to romantic relationships), depression, low confidence, pride and poor self-esteem.

However, most people are unaware that the source of their problematic behaviours lies in their difficult early life.

This lack of awareness of what really lies behind our self-destructive inclinations is due to the fact (according to psychodynamic theory) that we repress (banish to the unconscious) the true cause (our painful childhood) as to be conscious of it would be too distressing. This is known as a psychological defense mechanism.

Psychodynamic theory also postulates that it is necessary to break through our psychological defense to bring into consciousness understanding and insight into these clandestine, dark and dysfunctional motivational forces.

Only then can we turn our behaviour around so that it helps, rather than hinders (putting it very mildly in many cases, including my own) us.

Essentially, then, to cure ourselves we need to resolve our, thus far, unresolved childhood emotional conflicts; these may include, for example:

– having been rejected or abandoned by our parents

– having been unloved by our parents

– having been emotionally deprived by our parents

– having been excessively controlled and manipulated by our parents

If we do not resolve these issues (again, according to psychodynamic theory) we will continue to be unconsciously driven to put ourselves in situations that cause us to re-experience the highly distressing emotions originally generated by our traumatic childhood experiences.

BUT WHY ON EARTH WOULD WE BE UNCONSCIOUSLY DRIVEN TO RE-EXPERIENCE THESE DISTRESSING EMOTIONS TIME AND TIME AGAIN?

Well, according to Sigmund Freud, the answer is that this repetition compulsion (as he phrased it) represents our inwardly driven frantic and desperate attempts to gain mastery over the original trauma and its associated negative emotions, something we (inevitably, because we were powerless) failed to do in childhood.


Example:

A woman rejected in childhood by her parents may be unconsciously driven to try to form relationships with utterly unsuitable men who are bound to reject her.


Yes, incredible as it may sound, according to psychodynamic theory, her unconscious mind compels  her to form relationships that are doomed to failure (some go as far as to say all our behaviours are, in the final analysis, unconsciously driven and our sense of control over our own fates is a foolish fantasy; but we are submerging ourselves in murky and hazardous philosophical waters here).

Finally, it is also theorised that we will also interprete events negatively, when it is not objectively justified, in an attempt to recreate our adverse childhood experiences and the negative emotions which pertained to them at the time.

So, following on from the example above, if we were rejected by our parents as children, we may constantly believe others are rejecting us when this is, in fact, NOT the case.

Resource:

SELF-HYPNOSIS DOWNLOAD : STOP SELF SABOTAGE – Click here for further details.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

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