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It's Still the Same.

Definition

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, limiting their ability to function in relationships and in other areas of their life, such as work or school. In particular, narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, in the same category as histrionic, antisocial and borderline personality disorders. Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is centered around psychotherapy.

 

 Symptoms Symptoms

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

  • Believing that you're better than others
  • Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
  • Exaggerating your achievements or talents
  • Expecting constant praise and admiration
  • Believing that you're special
  • Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings
  • Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
  • Taking advantage of others
  • Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
  • Being jealous of others
  • Believing that others are jealous of you
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Setting unrealistic goals
  • Being easily hurt and rejected
  • Having a fragile self-esteem
  • Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don't value themselves more than they value others.

When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don't receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may also seek out others you think have the same special talents, power and qualities — people you see as equals. You may insist on having "the best" of everything — the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.

But underneath all this grandiosity often lies a very fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.

This if from the Mayo Clinic In Roschester, Mn.

It's amazing now as an adult to be able to look back into my childhood and recognize part of the dysfunction.

WarriorMom WarriorMom 51-55, F 30 Responses Oct 19, 2008

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My mother in a nutshell. This mother of mine refuses to place my frail , dementia suffering father in a nursing home and insists on taking him home from hospital and getting him home care. She can afford the best aged care facility since they have 3 properties. She refuses to grant me or anyone else power of attorney or guardianship over dad. Yet she is frail with ostepaenia , spinal stenosis and is on warfarin for artificial valve replacement. She screams at dad at home, threatens to dump him in a home and divorce him but when given the humane opportunity of giving him the best care in the best home she wouldn't. Also, she still makes dad drive pandering to his like of cars. she can't drive and wouldn't spend money on taxis and hates organising community transport for the aged as she can't summon them whenever she wants. he is to frail for public transport like trains and buses. She blames me, he daughter for everything including not caring or doing anything when I did everything to set up meals on wheels, home services and alert necklace and chemist organised medicine packs to be delivered. Mum was in hospital at the time. She came out and cancelled everything I had done and wouldn't take advice from medical staff. She falls out with any neighbour who can't drop everything to attend to her and agree with her. I want the best for dad and am not after their money. I ma miserable v=because of this woman

This is a clear description of my mum. She's 83 and she lives with my father. Luckily I've been living in another country for the last number of years and this makes it easier for me to put up with her behaviour.
When I visit my parents, she praises her beauty in the past and now; recently she even told me that a friend of ours was admiring her beauty during a dinner party twenty years ago and that he was obviously in love with her. Back then she was 63 and he was about 33! I wonder if this is also what she believed twenty years ago or if this is what her old age has made her believe now...
She believes that she deserves a pension just like everyone else although she hardly worked in the past. She's told me that I've never let her enjoy herself and that her social life ended when she got married and she got me (I don't have any siblings). According to her she couldn't enjoy herself because I wouldn't let her dance or sing at parties. She often accuses me of defending my father all the time and that I don't care about her. I can't stand it when she accuses my father of flirting with other younger women; my family and I see my father as a caring person who wouldn't want to harm anyone. He takes his wife to the doctor, takes care of her when she's ill, does the shopping, cooking, buys her medicine etc. Of course I wouldn't say he's flawless (just like very human being his character has positive and negative aspects.).
I feel great empathy and sympathy for my father who has to go through all this in the last fase of his life. I also have a hidden fear that I might become like my mother...

I believe more and more now, that my mother has NPD. Reading this information got me thinking about it more. It fits very very well! Thanks for sharing this WarriorMom, it helped alot actually.<br />
I don't live near my mother anymore, and decided to move to my dad's when I was 15, and that's when my life started to improve slowly. I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder myself, but I really think my mom could have NPD. I will likely never find out to be frank, but it makes more sense now I guess, so again, thank you for enlightening me =)

Your welcome. For me it was my Dad and I no longer have anything to do with him. I wish you the best..........

you just desribed my mother and brother. sad but true

Well, that's my dad in a nutshell.

I will definately get a copy of that book and Muppetsgrl I can really relate but can't be quite so succinct about it..and need to rant. From early teens I distanced myself from my NPD father and my wonderful Mother became 99% of my parents. Both my Mother and myself received so much verbal abuse as he would never confront anyone as he is a weak coward who would give us grief afterwards. He was not expected to live in 2005 when he was found to have a very rare cancer. He survived a drastic op and after months of rehabitation and expecting my mother to vist every day, he lied to get home to my frail mother - then demanded constant attention. Within weeks she collapsed and died. Only after that did I find out that she had leukemia (from her best friend whom she had confided in) - my father had made her promise not to tell me and talked her out of treatment. I promised my Mother on her death bed that I would look after him, believing he had around 3 months to live and not knowing how I could cope with even that.. He is still here and has had strokes, heart attacks and three other types of cancer with bowel cancer diagnosed last Christmas. He has just completed treatment and I have been told that it should give him another couple of years. 3 years ago he had treatment for NH Lymphoma and I was told the same thing then. He is 89 and tells terrible lies about me as well as my sons to get attention from others (especially young women) who believe his stories. He has always bullied my mother and myself but is so charming and pleasant in public. After my Mother had a stroke in around 2003 he made her put his name on the house title as it was her parents' house and they wanted it to go to me (only child) as they knew what he was like. Now I am worried he will leave it to one of the young women that he is obsessed with and have back up from everyone that I am the horrible, neglectful daughter when I contest it. I am topping up his bills and expenses to the point we are barely able to exist from one pay to the next. I only found out about NPD when I needed help to deal with my own major depression and of course anger issues. Had help many years ago for same re ex-husband who doctor said at the time told himself lies and believed them - never got as far as father problems back then as more than enough to deal with ex - who of course has NPD as well. He is blaming me for all his problems even 16 years after breaking up. I keep going by telling myself that life will improve once my father has gone but worry that he will outlast me as the last few years have had a very negative effect on my health and mental state. Sorry to go on but had to get all that out. He is just getting worse by the day. It is Easter and he refused to come to a family get together but will tell everyone that no-one came near him and he was all alone over Easter. My younest son and my partner are there with him now - partner checks on him daily as I work but he and my son are seen as a nuisences who he says only go there to eat his food and drink his soft drinks... Sorry still going -sorry. Both partner and son are getting so stressed about him now as well, both trying to help me with the burden but sufferring as well for it. Not until you are very close do you discover the full extent of his evil. Did I mention that he used to say to my Mother after her stroke and even after he was sent home from hospital when he knew about the leukemia "you are no use any more." He is a racist, sexist, agest wowser who says that any woman over 50 is too old..

OMG you wrote this last April &amp; I'm just now reading it. I am there with you all the way.......I don't even know if I can put my feelings in concrete form as you did so well. My dad gave my Mom the best of everything, while he slammed her around in her wheelchair. He had the gull to whine to my Mom's MS Dr. about how hard it was for him! I refer to him as the romain catholic upper class republican ******* who thinks he's entitled to your mind and soul. He actually says the rosary 3 X's a day like the pope does. He came home from confession one night saying the priest said that he, my dad, is a holy man. He must be in his mid seventies now and it won't be until he's gone before I can rid whatever is left in me from him, except the scars. Take Care my friend.

That is my mother and I hate her...I hate her so much...I often wish she would just die but she will be one of those that lives 100 yrs just to ruin the rest of my life.

Hi fromNZ, I just purchased a book: Children of the Self Absorbed - A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents. It's really insightful. The most valuable part about the book for me is putting words to the things I experienced so I can process it, and also tools to use in dealing with the narcissistic parent. Information on it is the best way I'm sure for your siblings. If their not open to the book or info yet, just letting them know is a beginning. I wish you the best. WM

Thanks for the info i am a son of a N father.I excluded my dad from my life before i realised he had NPD.Now that i have found all this information in it i no longer feel guilty for having nothing to do with him now. do you have any advice for siblings how dont understand NPD or are showing traits of NPD

kmkkk, that's so sad she hurts you like that. My dad is the same way. His old age, I think has made it worse, or is it we're wiser? Bottom line is it doesn't matter what causes their behavior becase it still hurts. Is it possible to forgive someone who continues to abuse you? I'm struggling to forgive. When I had left home at 15, I stayed away for decades and with some help I did forgive him. Two yrs ago, I became disabled and had no other options then to stay with him for over a year. Not only was I abused with verbal abuse (in my face about a foot away) screaming my daughter does not have cancer (which she has had both cemo & radiation treatments for) but the emotional & mental abuse brought up more childhood pain. It's been 16 months now and about a month ago I finally stopped having visual flashbacks from the more recent abuse. I can't forgive him either right now. I do know when I'm ready to forgive him again, it'll be for me, not him. I need to stay away from him and then with time and healing I'll be able too. I believe he's mentally ill, but it still hurts. I wish you the best. Please keep in touch, WM

I am the 55 year old daughter of an 81 year old narcissistic mother who was recently diagnosed with alzheimers, One of the biggest problems is not being able to tell whether her lies and verbally abusive behaviors are because of the personality disirder or the dementia. Narcissists tend to lie. People with dementia tend to forget. You can forgive someone for misinformation due to forgetting, but how do you forgive someone for deliberately lying to you and/or about you to others (to the point of slandering your name to anyone who will listen).

Thanks for sharing 4vrUnique. It's amazing just how much it effects children. I just purchased a book: Children of the Self Absorbed - A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents. Honestly, reading it makes me feel both anger & pain. I'll have tears running down my cheeks and want to throw the book across the room. The most valuable part about the book for me is putting words to the things I experienced so I can process it, and also tools to use in dealing with the narcissistic parent. I wish you and others the best. WM

Both of my parents are narcissistic. It is a very hard life for me. Thanks for the info.

PPP Just now caught your comment. Man, I thought having a Dad like that was bad, I can't imagine a Mother & daughter dynamics.

Totally!!!

This describes my mother to a T. She's such a *****! Makes my life a living Hell if I let her...but I've finally learned NOT to let her.

Ya you, way back on a different story (don't ask me which one cuz I couldn't tell ya) lol. Maybe something along the lines of being ripped apart at the hips????? I don't know......do you? lol

Hey You.....What was it you said about........um, same family ?

oh oh..........

you just described my hubby!..... oh boy!!

That is all so true. I stayed away from my Dad for decades, but maybe one or twice a year so my kids would know who their Grandpa and Grandma were. Life was easier. I had an unforunate situation of needing to recover for 1.5 yrs. Staying with him was not good. Now I'm recovering from him. I'd lol about it but I'm still working on taking the emotional hooks out of me. Thank You so much for sharing. It helps. :)

Ladies and Gentlemen, i also think that when we get a little older, its easier to spot Narcs. in our friendships or within our families. As grown ups, we can then choose whether to have these people in our lives. Often, a relationship with a Narc. is all one way...they drain the life out of you and ONLY you have the power to make a change and save your sanity. One of the things I have learned is that - they never change. Only we can change how we handle it. After 35 years of abuse from my Grandmother, I have chosen to empower myself by avoiding her company and influence at all costs. Its a hard desicion to make, but Im a better person for it. When you let yourself be bullied by a Narc. YOU are empowering them and enabling THEM. Take yourself out of the equation, they lose their hold and dont get the attention they crave....its only a thought...Ill get off my soapbox now lol...

Springlight, you say that so well. I know you get it. Thanks.<br />
<br />
Toby2day: your so right. It explains a lot. There is some sadness with it all, but it does help to process what I need to.

YOu are right, looking back as adult and being able to put an appropriate label on things does make it easier to deal with. It comes with the understanding of the actual problem. and boy does that go a long way to regaining and hanging on to my sanity.

Oh Honey, that's terrible. <br />
What an awefull experience.<br />
Sending lots of Hugs & Kisses.

Even though this is a generic description of the disorder, it describes my Grandmother beautifully. At 92, she is a Narc. Bully, who rides on the self esteem of every member of the family who display even a chink of weakness. Ironic that they have lower self esteem of the people whose lives they make a misery.

At 1st I was glad I could put a name on it, but as time goes by, I remember what that was like.

Why are you sorry? Now I know why she is the way she is. Thank you!

I'm sorry.........

You just described my mother.