Wednesday, November 12, 2014

People Will be Lovers of Self: Identifying Narcissistic Personality Disorder

I have decided to take a “General Psychology” course at university. If schedule permits I would like to go on to the “Abnormal Psychology” class after that. Or maybe it is “Social Psychology” I am interested in learning. I want to cover “personality disorders” like bipolar and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). I have reason to believe I have come across a few, in my life, who fall into these two categories. It would be good to know how to properly interact with them in a healthy manner. If you have ever engaged with someone with one of these disorders you will know how insanely difficult it is, especially with the NPD, to communicate with them. At times it is nearly impossible.

While reading up on the topic I have come across many informative articles on the matter. Is there a husband or wife you do not quite understand? Perhaps he or she appears to do things a particular way. By chance it is in order to try and avoid tirades by his/her spouse. Did you ever ask him/her if his/her spouse resembles this example:
(Think of the man who berates his wife when dinner isn't ready as soon as he comes home. He lashes out precisely because at that very moment, he's forced to acknowledge that he depends on his wife, something he'd rather avoid.)(“5 Early Warning Signs You're With a Narcissist: Learn how to spot the red flags for narcissism you might have missed”. Published on June 21, 2013 by Craig Malkin, Ph.D. in Romance Redux.
So, why would a woman want to be an excellent wife if her husband is going to lash out at her for caring for him and doing what she is taught to be what a good wife does?

But I am putting the cart before the horse, here. First, let us look at the “Mayo Clinic” definition of NPD.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder 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.

Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is centered around psychotherapy.

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, which is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders.

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 and acting accordingly
• 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
(“Disease and Conditions: Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. Mayo Clinic.

The tricky part comes when trying to have every day, run of the mill conversations with someone who exhibits NPD.
You will find you are always to blame and it is rare that they will be accountable for their actions due to the fact that one of the main characteristics of narcissism is an unwillingness to see symptoms as flaw; experiencing them—believe it or not—as virtues. This is in large part due to an amazing sense of denial that the narcissistic individual possesses in order to maintain their fragile self-esteem. This sense of denial makes it very difficult for them to benefit from treatment or to take criticisms constructively from a significant other.(“Should We Treat Narcissists Like Alcoholics? New use for an old method just might help break through the denial. Published on March 17, 2014 by Neil J. Lavender, Ph.D. in Impossible to Please

There is a vast amount of information out there. What does God’s word say about NPD behavior?
1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,7always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. (2 Timothy 3:1-9. ESV.)
Take my word for it, avoid the narcissist! He/she cannot be reasoned with or changed.
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