Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a problematic neurological condition. It shows up on brain scans.
You are not deliberately creating it, you have it, and you are not deliberately refusing to cure yourself. I know that.
In your anonymous comments, please leave notes about how society might be able to help you be your best selves and hurt less inside.
Your comments will not be published instantly. That is the standard setting on this site.
(I will likely remove comments from people who do not have NPD, and who need to vent.)
I genuinely want to hear from all of you, that is, read your comments, added from your computer, tablet, or phone, not just from the people who believe that they own me or used to own me in the past).
Have any of you tried medications to do with oxytocin, or Prozac, or something else? Did that work for you? Do you have any other conditions that are related to this?
Have you pretended to be, for example, merely deeply depressed (which you probably often are), in order to receive any support? How did that work out?
Because for you, talking openly about what you need is usually a no no, so you need to do it anonymously.
Because the world is mostly obsessed with the negative aspects of your condition (understandably).
And because to my knowledge, shrinks don’t really know what to do with you, how to support you, either.
Because all of this makes me curious about what we might be able to do that might really make a difference.
Because if you hurt less inside, that will make the world a better place for all of us. Because a lot of what you do says “THIS MUCH is how I hurt inside, but I can’t let myself feel that, so I am making you feel it instead”.
By the way, it is my understanding that reading “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry can help. Because it can help you learn how adults are supposed to behave, I think. But also because it may comfort you.
It is my personal impression that if you have NPD, having friends in your life with a strong zen attitude and a thorough awareness of the condition, and perhaps also particularly someone who can serve as your business manager, depending on your situation, can make a big difference.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been writing a bit about NPD lately. This is common for “victims” of people with NPD.
Dealing with people with NPD is challenging enough, but dealing with people who have the malignant or sadistic form of the disorder is even harder.
And it can be really scary.
So why do people with malignant or sadistic NPD do things such as go into their targets’ homes or instruct one of the flying monkeys to do so and move things around or destroy something or hurt animals or even kill them?
Apparently, it represents how they feel inside. Except, they don’t allow themselves to feel much of anything and force others to experience their feelings for them.
“This much is how I hurt” is what the sadism supposedly is intended to convey when you find the remains of a dead animal, as I did a few years ago. Envy played a role too. As soon as I uploaded photos of that particular animal to my website, I got a really bad vibe. Unexplainable.
A week or so later, I found the remains of that animal.
(And it was followed up by a message.)
Like a little kid who does not want to eat the vegetables and throws the plate against the wall. “This much is how I hate the vegetables!”
Here is a question. Can you see this like the “peeing all over the place” of a cat with struvite formation? (I’ve had one who did that, initially.) If so, then you can also see that it is a symptom of a condition.
This is just one example of the stuff that’s been going on in my life.
On another stage, the same person goes around spreading myths and fables about me, initially telling everyone whatever sob story he told them (about my supposed mental illness?), and making everyone believe that he is helping me, making everyone admire him and eventually apparently progressing to turning me into some kind of villain or fool who just refuses to learn or whatever story that again will get him lots of sympathy. Jekyll & Hyde.
(“Alex” is the negative side of the person I am dealing with, so I understand, who wants total control over everything by any means. “Alex” is the one who needs to rest. He probably needs to feel comforted and safe?)
And underneath it all, people with NPD hate and despise themselves. They see themselves as utterly flawed, even in milder cases of NPD, when what they perceive as serious flaws may not be “flaws” at all. There is no harsher critic of the person with NPD than the person with NPD.
The problem is that society refuses to accept that conditions like NPD exist, so people with NPD have nowhere to turn to other than their victims (who I tend to call targets, as it’s more neutral).
And their victims have nowhere to go to either, because when they talk about what is being done to them, they sound unbelievable. Surely, no sane person would ever do things like that to another human being, and go to such extreme lengths? The victim must be making it up.
So while people with NPD go around causing as much hurt and loss as possible in their targets’ lives, those people have nowhere to go. There is zero support for them and the only support available to them – paradoxically enough – comes from their tormentors.
The only people who understand what is happening are other victims, and some (but not all) of the people with NPD. Some of them prey on the former victims and make money off them, off the victims’ need to understand what happened to their lives.
The best source, in my opinion, for information on NPD is Les Carter (see his practice’s website at drlescarter.com for his professional background and watch his videos on YouTube). A good source for information about malignant/sadistic and grandiose/overt NPD is Sam Vaknin, but as he has the disorder, you have to discern when he is speaking and when the disorder is speaking; his very high IQ enables him to step outside the disorder to some degree. You should watch videos about him as well, such as the documentary “I psychopath” and perhaps also the video fragments of a seminar in which he explains how he inflicts pain in his victims, how he seeks out their pressure points and drills down into the core to do serious harm, as he puts it.
Please keep in mind that the word “narcissist” is also used to express dislike. Calling someone a narcissist is not the same as dealing with a person who has mild or full-blown NPD.
It’s a myth that victims of people with NPD are all empaths and gullible. Sometimes, they merely were in the wrong place at the wrong time, which meant that they literally crossed someone’s path and caught someone’s eye.
I suspect that people with NPD need someone – a professional – who can teach them techniques for dealing with their disorder in a healthy manner, strategies for dealing with the here and now. I have also wondered whether medications like Prozac might help because when people with NPD have emotions, they tend to be overwhelmingly negative. They might also benefit from anything that increases their oxytocin levels. But these are just wild guesses, as some of the neurotransmitter pathways in their brains may be blocked, who knows. I have no idea. I do know that psychopathy apparently can be caused by some of these pathways becoming flooded in early childhood – even in utero – and subsequently ceasing to function properly. (All psychopaths have NPD, apparently, but not all narcissists are psychopaths. Not at all.)
All the victims need to do is focus on their own survival. They need to make sure they stay alive (not get pushed into suicide, for example) and that they stay whole inside, and refuse to let anyone with NPD drive them insane (which some say is the inevitable outcome of dealing with people with NPD, but I don’t like how that plays into the rhetoric about NPD). Adopting a zen attitude can help. (Letting go of labels, or focusing less on how “bad” something is.)
Happy survivors simply go on happily living their lives without dwelling on the past.
Partners cannot fix people with NPD. I know one former partner who associated the song below with the person he used to be with (and gave me well-intended “instructions” for how to support her as well as the responsibility to do so, without telling me what was going on with her, making him the second person who “unloaded” her on me):
The irony of the fact that “fixing someone” can also mean “exacting revenge” is not lost on me.
That said, I have seen a video with Sam Vaknin, who has pretty bad full-blown NPD, with his wife Lidija and although people with NPD are supposedly not capable of love in the sense of giving back what they receive, you can definitely see a kind of glow, a gentleness or mildness, like she provides a warm-blanket feeling for him. That may well go on outside his awareness (oh the brain is such a fascinating labyrinth), but I assume that she has a strong stabilizing effect on him. She seems to know exactly what she is dealing with.
Remember, that it’s not all bad. There is a person under the disorder. The trick is to imagine what the person would be like if the disorder wasn’t there.
People with NPD – like everyone else – also have many good qualities. That they don’t really believe that – no matter what they say! – does not mean that we have to overlook what is good about them.
That can turn into a trap, but focusing on the good can also save your sanity at times.
But whatever you do, do not go to police. Contacting police both enrages and empowers “abusers” of any kind and can get you targeted and victimized by police as well. Assuming that police will help is immensely naive. (Police have none of the required knowledge and equipment to deal with anything like this. Police have no interest in dealing with it either. And remember that people with NPD tend to use lots of silly word games and operate an army of helpers who all either believe what they are told – which police will fall for – or have become so embarrassed and/or afraid of being prosecuted that they will never tell police what they were asked to do, and what they did. )
Do not address the source of the pain in the NPD patient’s past. Supposedly, this serves no purpose and risks that he or she falls apart completely, unlike for dissociative identity disorder, which seems to benefit from unearthing the traumatic past. If anyone can deal with this, it would be a highly specialized professional.
PPS 17 January 2019
I would like to get that one individual with this extreme form of NPD professional assistance – and one or more people in his immediate surroundings as well – and I’ve indicated that if he commits to that, then I am willing to offer my support. I am not aware yet of any professionals in Britain who can successfully deal with his condition and help people with this condition manage it, get things under control, but surely someone somewhere does, can and will.
That offer first resulted in him trying to find out whether I had the hots for him – see how much trouble people with NPD have with reality, and with assessing how other people respond to what they do, how other people tick? – and also trying to find out who exactly I am willing to support.
Before, he’s also been hinting that he’s done something, that I have no idea what he’s done and that he feels I possess no empathy because he feels I abandoned him at some point when he really needed me to be there one way or another or something like that. (Probably: Not having provided sex, as he’s obsessed with sex.) And that I will have a very hard time appearing not crazy because nobody will believe me. I have no idea whether it is just words again or if he’s really been up to something and if so, what. I shrug. It doesn’t matter.
I understand that he may have to pretend that he is looking for help with something else. There is a tremendous amount of shame involved in NPD; people with NPD really despise themselves and any professional who does not understand the intricacies of the disorder would not be able to deal with him well, imho.
It is also my understanding that “outing” people with NPD in public is generally accepted much better by them than when you try this in private. When done in public, it gets them a kind of attention they crave, but when done in private, they likely feel it as bitter criticism.
As indicated before, in other blog posts, for years, I tried to find out what I was dealing with (what was going on) and how to deal with it best. In vain! When someone anonymously starts ripping your life to shreds, you want to get a handle on it. You want to know what on earth is going on, why someone out there is doing this to you and what that person wants from you. You want to know how you should deal with it.
I have contacted a counsellor in Winchester to see if that person may be able to help them (assuming that the message went out and that it went out unaltered; my pc froze while I was writing it and I had to reboot it by flipping the power switch).
In this very clear video, Sam Vaknin explains the distinction between the media’s and many people’s every-day use of the word “narcissist” – often meaning no more than “I don’t like that person” and/or “I am envious of that person” – and the personality disorder and elaborates on the variations of the disorder. (A related word that seems to be often intended to convey disdain is “co-dependent”.)
Sam Vaknin is blessed by his high intelligence, which often allows him to rise above his disorder to a large degree, but when you listen to what he says, in any of his videos, it remains important to discern when his disorder is doing the talking.
It can be quite confusing. Even listening to many of these videos, depending on your own situation (whether you have people with NPD in your life or not), you may start to wonder at some point about your own mental health… maybe because it makes you aware of how vulnerable we all are as humans.
It is always important to monitor your own behaviour in the company of people with NPD, to ensure that you stay grounded and don’t get swept away or pulled under by the effect someone else’s disorder has on you. Most people should be able to do that because they have the ego functions that people with NPD lack… except, when they become aware of the fact that they should have been doing this, they’ve often already been pulled under.
(Comparison that may help: When you are being targeted by a constant barrage of tennis balls from a row of tennis ball cannons, the only thing you are still aware of is the tennis balls and all your activity may become focused on dodging the tennis balls, getting hit, getting hurt and getting angry. The rest of the world drops away. That means that you are no longer grounded. There could be a bus shelter to the left, in which you would be safely shielded from the tennis balls, or you might be able to walk over to the cannons and pull the plug, but you are no longer able to notice that when you are not grounded.)
But Vaknin’s right: there is a lot of complete bullshit out there about the disorder and all it seems to accomplish is that it freaks people out and attracts a lot of angry people. People who feel angry would probably benefit more from going for a run or playing squash – or tennis.
By the way, psychopathy (a step further) appears to be promoted by war situations, by babies being exposed to the effects of war in the womb and when growing up. Brain chemistry. The brain becoming immune to some degree, and parts of the brain not developing. This could indicate that bombing countries in retaliation for terrorist attacks could lead to more terrorist attacks in the future. Something to think about.
The western world pays a lot of attention to attacks taking place on its own soil, for instance at train stations, but considerably much less to events such as Americans accidentally bombing a children’s hospital in, say, Pakistan.
A very complicated topic. What it all seems to boil down to is that the world is in need of more compassion and more empathy (I probably often mix the two up) – and less aggression.
It helps tremendously if you can VISUALIZE brain-related conditions for which other people tend to assign blame and make remarks such as that one should be able to grow out of it, admit it and seek help for it, and what have you.
It appears that people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) simply lack part of the brain in which empathy is created (though it is not the only part of the brain that is related to empathy, apparently). If you can’t feel empathy for others, you cannot feel empathy for yourself either.
That explains the usual Catch-22 aspects of the condition.
This could also mean that/why people with NPD rely on notably empaths to “create” empathy for them. Symbiosis.
(People with NPD, by the way, lack emotional empathy, not cognitive empathy, apparently, according to a 2010 paper from the same research group.)
So, yes, the brains of people with NPD are wired differently. They did not ask for this, so stop blaming them. Look for what is good in them, and embrace that instead.
They’re like, hey, albinos. Or hey, people who go grey prematurely. Not their fault.
They’re like giraffes that people insist are, say, antelopes.
Or, like I wrote before, table lamps of which we demand that they change themselves into coffee makers.
Let go of it… All the frustration etc. It’s futile.
They are right. They are special. It’s part of the neurodiversity we have on the planet. (The brain is a miraculous thing!)
Now I am done waffling about narcissists in a rather chaotic manner. Continue reading
(Please note that there appear to be two main types with narcissistic personality disorder, grandiose or overt on the one hand and covert narcissism on the other. This post probably mainly concerns the former.)
So, I stumbled upon someone on YouTube who says that he is a sadistic narcissist, that he enjoys deliberately hurting people – which is not admirable – and in spite of that, and in spite of knowing that he feels utterly miserable inside, I can’t stop chuckling because he is an amazing master spinner.
He does it so well that it’s very entertaining and his humour is entertaining too. He says that he is a dinosaur and that he was a therapist for a dinosaur once. Then comments “committed suicide”. And you have to laugh, but, yep, he is definitely a sadistic narcissist.
I’ve run into it before. I can’t help it, ya have to laugh. With my apologies to the hurt souls eternally buried inside all narcissists out there for the instances when they are not actually trying to be funny.
(They cannot be healed or fixed. Do not ever for a second think that you can heal someone with narcissistic personality disorder. The only thing you can do – also for the narcissist – is to be your best possible you and remain true to who you are, no matter what. Lead YOUR life.)
This interviewee did not CHOOSE to be this way; his brain is wired this way and he did not create his brain. Remember that.
These days (now that I know about the disorder), I therefore usually try to choose not to be angry at people with narcissistic personality disorder (who sometimes trip over cultural differences and the fact that I am who I am, instead of who they think I am or would like me to be).
I do not apply that same leniency toward so-called flying monkeys. These are mentally well people who do have a choice and who are tricked into or paid to mess with the life of someone they know or the life of a complete stranger. They make the deliberate choice to do that, unquestioningly. (No, dear sadistic narcissists out there, unh uhn. I saw that one coming from a mile away.)
(I’d been wondering why I had been getting all these ads for “Harry’s razors” lately, and vaguely remembered that there was a previous time here in England when I was getting lots of razor ads. Then it clicked. “Harry” was the name of my brother in law and he committed suicide. He was clinically depressed. I won’t say more than that, can’t give too much away to the sadistic narcissists out there. Is this funny? No, of course not, but unlike people with narcissistic personality disorder, I can choose to respond in a healthy way and see it for what it is. It is an immature way of saying something like “this is how bad I hurt inside”, wanting to make you feel the same way, possibly so that you understand how they feel without them realizing that. It is like a kid throwing the plate against the wall because he does not want to eat the veggies, and THIS MUCH is how he hates the veggies.)
Another example. Not being allowed to do any online marketing for any of my business activities – by hijacking my internet access – and then sending me a link about “permission-based marketing”. Translation: “Are you hurting already?”
Anyway, in another video, this interviewee says that narcissists are “frequently targeted by stalkers and erotomaniacs” who are “inevitably rebuffed” by the narcissists.
(That’s called “being delusional”.) ( 5 January 2018: This represents fear, the fear of being unmasked as incomplete or flawed human beings, in the eyes of people with NPD.)
(In an earlier video, apparently now deleted, he said that narcissists are often stalkers.)
He says he was diagnosed as “gifted” at age 9 when it was actually initially thought that he might be retarded, he says, with an IQ of 180. His IQ was reassessed again at age 25 and age 35, he says, and that it is interesting that his IQ went up, whereas it normally decreases with age. He continues to say that it was 185 when he was 25 and 190 when he was 35. “Oh, sorry, the other way around.”
He says he went to university at age 9, was at medical school at age 12. (See footnote.)
His first PhD was in philosophy, he says, and he also has a PhD in physics. His Wikipedia page says that he obtained that in 1982, at a university that did not start until the year 2005, according to Wikipedia. But I don’t know who added those data to Wikipedia. And the page says that that for-profit organization published his thesis, which is not necessarily the same as having done the research there. Oh, but wait, his LinkedIn profile says that he did his PhD in philosophy there. In the 1980s. And I found another website that says that that organization was indeed founded in 2005.
See the tragedy of this condition? See why people who have it are so angry at the world? They have to try to hurt others to be able to feel better about themselves…
Some handle their condition very well, manage to adapt. Many also find a way to contribute to society. Not all of them.
Lots of people, including psychologists, paint people with this condition in a very dark light that does little more than freak “normal” people out. One person with a practical, realistic and very healthy approach is psychotherapist Les Carter, by contrast.
This interviewee who describes himself as a sadistic narcissist, with genuine NPD, says that women tell him that he sometimes gives off the vibe of a machine and sometimes the vibe of a child. He then adds that he thinks that he stopped developing at age 9. That strikes me as insightful, but perhaps he was told this. And he says that for him, everything is geared toward “impressing the living hell out of his interlocutor”.
Elsewhere, he says that empathy is a bad strategy, that it costs too much, that it requires an investment, an investment that may not give you a return. But that is coming from someone who has no idea what empathy is, other than, in his eyes, something he can exploit in others.
Narcissists often do try to be the best they can be because of course, they eventually figure that they seem to have some kind of problem, but this being the best they can be is in the context of who they are, not of who the rest of us are. They cannot change themselves, just like a table lamp cannot decide to be a coffee maker. They are often highly practical people, in my experience. (They are also rarely what or who most people seem to believe they are, in my experience. That said, successful narcissists may have someone who helps them fix the mismatch between reality and what they want reality to be?)
He says that, relative to “normal” humans, people with narcissistic personality disorder are as different as “aliens”, “a form or AI” or “long-necked giraffes”.
Well, to “normal” humans like me out there I say that when caught between a rock and a hard place remember that life is too short to let it ruin your day. It is what it is. We can accept that. People with narcissistic personality disorders can’t. They are caught in views that they cannot release because those views own them, not the other way around.
What I haven’t seen anyone mention yet is that narcissists can also team up in small groups to target people. One may start targeting the person, while pretending to be one of the others, to undermine the target’s credibility. The target may not know of the existence of the other two… so it is impossible for the target to suspect those one or two others. I don’t know if this is always a mix of one grandiose narcissist with one or more covert narcissists, but it seems likely.
For more, see also this video below. I haven’t watched it yet, but I read the description under the video and so should you.
Footnote 3 January 2019:
Research by an English documentary maker back in 2009 confirmed that he was a child prodigy, was at university by age 11, and does have a high IQ. He was taken under the wing of a rich businessman at a young age. He got into business and then landed in jail for securities fraud, at age 24.
See more here (highly insightful!): https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/i-psychopath/.
(What it seems to boil down to is that narcissists etc have trouble learning certain things! There is a lack of connection with the memory part of their physiology. Maybe that is why they can have such a child-like quality.)
By the way, I too did that test once (MMPI or whatever it’s called), and I turned out to be a fairly regular person, pretty ordinary. (I remember feeling slightly disappointed that I was merely ordinary, lol, but there was also something reassuring to it.) The only thing that was potentially different about me, said the psychologist, was a possible touch of PTSD as a result of a pretty rough childhood, but that was probably based on what I told her about my childhood, not on the test results. When we were talking, she told me I was a “survivor!”, at one point, with exclamation mark. Because I manage to keep myself whole through bad experiences. I still remember what I was talking about at the time, and what I said to her that made her exclaim “You’re a survivor” was “I think my dad was trying to destroy everything that he loved (on a particular occasion)”.
I was not too pleased to hear about the possible PTSD that at the time. Now, decades later, in hindsight, no, a touch of PTSD would not have been surprising after my childhood, but it was actually an event that happened when I was still very young that hampered me for a long time because I was not aware of how deeply it had affected me at the time, and only remembered it very vaguely. It appears to have been something incredibly stupid that my parents did when I was a few years old, likely to do with some kind of “old wives tale”, and something about which my mother subsequently stuck her head in the sand, even though she knew that it had affected me badly. Her way of dealing with it was to avoid the topic, which is how the family she grew up in tended to deal with that kind of problems, I think. When I was an older child, I noticed that she avoided a certain topic with regard to me, but not with regard to my sisters, and I thought that that was odd, but I didn’t know what was behind it. When I found out, many decades later, nobody in my family wanted to talk about it or even acknowledge it, also because most of the adults who were around in my early childhood had meanwhile passed away. And it no longer matters now.)
I haven’t watched this video below, but the description fits with what I have learned about – from, through – narcissists:
I have said it many times before.
Police officers are not equipped to deal with cases of stalking and so on, at all. They do not have the knowledge to assess them (and are sadly too often led by their personal bias toward the victims).
It happened in the cases of Shana Grice, Molly McLaren and Bijan Ebrahimi in the UK.
And it happened in the case of Lauren McCluskey in the US as now transpires.
- Among others, ThinkProgress reported on it: https://thinkprogress.org/mccluskey-university-of-utah-warned-police-about-ex-boyfriend-6-times-bc08aed0fad5/.
- CNN also has the story: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/25/us/utah-student-killed-911-lauren-mccluskey/index.html
It has happened in many other situations.
Having specialized teams that are not part of the police but of new to be set up organizations and that respond instantly would also often benefit many people who could normally go on to murder someone because they would get the intervention and treatment they need IN TIME.
They too are criminalized and unnecessarily victimized if they are in ill mental health. Instead of saying that they believe they need help but being ignored by police or simply being ignored by police – period – or even being egged on by police after concerns are reported, they would get the help that just might stop them from committing murders, murders like those of Shana Grice, Molly McLaren, Bijan Ebrahimi and Lauren McCluskey.
Police officers often see themselves as superior experts in just about anything but in reality, their level of knowledge is often no different from that of the average homeless meth addict or industrious takeaway owner.
On the other hand, police officers now also waste a lot of time chasing up silly “he said she said” disputes and playing thought police. Silly “he said she said” quarrels and normal breakup situations could quickly be weeded out as representing little danger if there were dedicated teams of specialists to assess these situations.
The need for specialized IT staff on these teams is also made clear by the McCluskey case; see the screen shot below from the case review. (This looks like sadistic stalking to me, by the way. The taunting nature of it, the mix of openly seeming supportive with regard to what he was actually doing too, albeit in the dark, except that sadistic stalking usually occurs on much longer time scales, as far as I know, but it is a complex phenomenon that is almost impossible to escape from if it happens to you.)
The way the situation currently is, contacting police is the worst you can do if you are being stalked and harassed. Why? Because it will enrage your stalker and as police usually do nothing or next to nothing, it will greatly amplify the stalker’s power. At best, it makes no difference.
In addition to this proposed overhaul of police, we also need changes in the medical profession. Police officers and medical professionals are currently among the biggest propagators of mental health stigmas, stopping people who need it from getting treatment.
There appears to be a huge gap between the knowledge about physical health (with mostly physical effects) and the knowledge about brain-related or “mental” health. The fact that there is even a stigma on pain – as pain is not visible and often not directly measurable – indicates that there is a tendency to place stigmas on any health issues that are not visible or hard to show in a visual form. (Even having a brain scan that shows differences can help a lot.) People are being blamed for brain-related health conditions as it is often assumed that all humans have total control over them. The mere fact that personalities can change after a stroke or other type of brain injury already shows that we don’t.
(Hence, I also believe that it is wrong to criminalize people with brain-related health conditions, which is not the same as declaring them “insane”. We need different approaches to mental health and much better care. Genuine professional care. Support.)
Years ago, I screamed or cried at police over the phone “What the hell does this guy want from me? Ask him what he wants from me so that I can give him an answer so that he can move on and leave me in peace.” Police thought it was hilarious, but frowned at me. Delusional old cow.
Enjoy your day.
Or as I quipped some years ago, “life is too short to let it ruin your day”.
Narcissists can keep you in a cage, like a slave, without the rest of the world having a clue. It is one of the reasons why our society must not go 100% cashless (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46596154).
YOU, flying monkey, had a choice – unlike people with personality disorders who did not choose to have such a disorder – and YOU consciously decided to help someone who has a personality disorder by messing with someone else.
There are many resources out there, including by clinical psychologists, who make you feel that you are a complete idiot if your natural tendency is to take the gentle approach of decency and goodness if there is someone in your life who has a narcissistic personality disorder.
Let’s face it, most of us know nothing about personality disorders, so if you find yourself the target of “sadistic stalking” which happened to me or whatever it is that happened to you that made you look into narcissistic personality disorder and then recognize it (it’s how I realized that I have a friend on the other side of the world who has this disorder), you will find that there is no one to advise you and the only thing you have – besides your own inner compass – is what you find on the web. And a lot of that information is, well, crap, practically speaking.
NOBODY chooses to have a personality disorder and if there is one mental health condition that I think the people who have it would do almost anything for NOT to have it, it’s narcissistic personality disorder, because it is my impression that life hurts almost all the time when you have that.
As mentioned, I have a long-time friend who has this disorder and after I began to understand that, and started reading up, I made mistakes. I became afraid of these people. Being afraid is silly. This mistake makes me feel very stupid, in hindsight, but hindsight is always 20/20.
So, don’t repeat my mistake if there is someone in your life who has narcissistic personality disorder.
(By the way, in Britain, people with this condition appear to be revered – and very very common. Why is that? This is something I will want to dive into, eventually. I suspect that Theresa May is a covert narcissist, for example, the way in which she lies, the complete lack of empathy and the way she acts all personally injured at times. Or is it just a public persona that she adopts, because it is revered in Britain?)
… you may be dealing with someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder.
This is one of the reasons why narcissists like single immigrants who are relatively “fresh off the boat”. They have no local network yet, no local friends yet for emotional support, and nobody who will stand up for them in that environment, nobody who knows them well. Narcissists perceive them as “easy prey”, with less work required.
Don’t hold it against them. Nobody chooses to have a personality disorder. Learning about the disorder is very helpful.
Here is more:
I wrote an article about it on LinkedIn. If you’re interested, you can find it, and you don’t need me to post the link here. Southampton can’t do anything as drastic as this. Bournemouth can’t. Chichester can’t. London can’t. But Portsmouth can.
And Portsmouth can turn this into a giant plus and use it to boost the economy, but it won’t. Because it is drowning in crap such as bullying and corruption, also at city council level, and likes seeing itself as the powerless whining underdog a little bit too much. There is very little true vision left in this town, where too much of the focus is on traditional capitalism and on the past. The industries of the past are GONE, folks. Quit waffling about that and move forward.
Here are a few links to supporting studies:
- “Designing suburbs to cut car use closes gaps in health and wealth”, by Jerome N Rachele, Australian Catholic University; Aislinn Healy, Australian Catholic University; Jim Sallis, University of California, San Diego, and Takemi Sugiyama, Australian Catholic University
- More business, more tourism, less pollution:
- Also highly relevant is the fact that young people are often trapped in car dependency:
Get them out of that for fuck’s sake. A free tram line could presumably help a lot!
- And then there is this: 😉
- And this:
- As well as this TED Talk (TedX Southampton):
All I hear is stupid excuses.
No space for trams. Sure there is!
- The people with more than 2 cars will protest and shout very loudly. Wear ear plugs! (What about the 80 or 90% or 95% of the rest of your population? 70% have no car or only 1 car. Many of Portsmouth’s inhabitants hardly ever get out of Portsmouth.)
- Shop owners will complain. Show them that most of their customers are actually coming from within a small radius and give them decent business support! Most are probably delusional in thinking that their customers come from miles away and may blame traffic measures for their own failures (a certain pet supplies shop owner comes to mind).
- A certain lawyer will whine. Tell her to shut up. She doesn’t know what she is talking about. (If she makes you feel stupid and ignorant, that’s because she is talking complete rubbish!)
Someone just shared this video on LinkedIn and it struck me that, say, the local LibDems have no reason not to take similar action here in town, say, once a month. It would show true leadership.
Sex addiction is now formally a mental health condition in the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD) list. It will take until January 2022, however, for this to kick in in healthcare.
Like alcoholism and drug addiction, it can cost people their jobs and it also tends to lead to a lot of lying to cover up what is going on.
A few years ago, I was contacted by an organization that provides diversity training. Part of its mission was the following:
We seek to be an open, transparent, inclusive non-profit organisation, promoting diversity and equality.
We also firmly believe that individuals should be treated equally regardless of disability, gender, ethnic origin, religion and sexual orientation.
I met with its Chairperson, who asked me to take a look at the organization’s Articles.
I did that and found that they were (a slightly adapted version of) older standard Articles, even though the organization was set up more than half a year after the change in the standard Articles (28 April 2013).
Different in the newer version was that it no longer discriminated against mental health versus physical health. The Mental Health Discrimination Act 2013 had something to do with that.
This is the offending sub-clause in the articles up to 28 April 2013:
18. A person ceases to be a director as soon as—
(e) by reason of that person’s mental health, a court makes an order which wholly or partly prevents that person from personally exercising any powers or rights which that person would otherwise have;
Compare it with sub-clause 18d, which is not discriminatory toward mental health relative to physical health:
18. A person ceases to be a director as soon as—
(d) a registered medical practitioner who is treating that person gives a written opinion to the company stating that that person has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a director and may remain so for more than three months;
The newer version reads:
18. A person ceases to be a director as soon as—
(e) [paragraph omitted pursuant to The Mental Health (Discrimination) Act 2013]
Even though the fact that the sub-clause in question (18e) was rendered invalid by the Mental Health Act because of its discriminatory nature, I felt that the organization should update its Articles.
- It would reflect the organization’s stated values and objectives.
- Unless the person was familiar with company law, whoever read that sub-clause might not know that it was invalid.
The organization’s Chair didn’t see the need.
The annual Uehiro lectures will take place in Oxford next week. This year, they are by Richard Holton, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. Their topic interests me because I feel strongly that we need to start looking differently at various forms of illnesses. Continue reading
In my book “We need to talk about this“, I mention sadistic stalking, that is, I point out how difficult it is to tell that the target of such activities is not imagining things, is not mentally ill.
I give the example of the woman who was stalked for a long time and eventually found the excavated remains of her deceased husband dumped on her doorstep. She had a heart attack. In my book, I take you through a few scenarios that put you in such a woman’s shoes to show you various sides of what are in fact “mental health” prejudices. Continue reading
I just ran into the case of KW, a 52-year-old woman who suffered a brain haemorrhage during an operation at age 34. A complicated matter. Am still reading and mulling it all.
Want to know how? Watch this TED Talk.
People are currently focusing on Trump and his silly comments, but perhaps they should be focussing on Britain.
A few days ago, British newspaper The Guardian reported about a eugenics meeting that allegedly had been convened in secret, involving someone who has previously advocated child rape. This meeting is supposed to have taken place at University College London and white supremacists supposedly were present at this meeting. Continue reading
Interview with Mark Easton, BBC. Date unknown, but near the end of Tony Blair’s premiership.
Keep in mind that “hooliganism” and “anti-social behaviour” are often labels used to indicate (and reject) people from a lower socioeconomic class in Britain and that this “hooliganism” for example gets expressed in graffiti.
Of course, causing (increased) financial hardship for parents by taking any benefits away is most definitely not “in the best interest of the child”.
Tony Blair did consider graffiti “anti-social behaviour”. During a photo-op as part of his crusade, he hosed down graffiti and said that older generations of his family would have abhorred such behaviour. It then turned out that his own grandmother had been a “commie” graffiti vandal.
There probably is a work by Banksy somewhere in response to all of this.
Tony Blair also criminalized a lot of behavior that is essentially merely human behavior. That too was in nobody’s best interest and probably did nothing toward decreasing inequality in Britain.
It did not enable (more) people to flourish.
A designer baby is any baby who is preferred over another baby, the way one might pick a handbag or a rug.
The only exception should be when the resulting baby ends up having a life not worth living. In my book “We need to talk about this“, I give a definition of “a life not worth living” that has held up so far. This definition does not represent what I feel, but what could be doable to work with in practice.
This also means, however, that parents should get all the assistance they need. This means that the baby (and child) should get all the assistance he or she needs to enable him or her to FLOURISH.
Society creates so many hindrances for anyone who isn’t mainstream. We should embrace diversity as it enriches society and we should address the artificial impairments so that they disappear.
I also believe that techniques like CRISPR should be used first to help remedy these “lives not worth living”. Why? Because it is a logical approach, based on the application of (generally globally accepted) principles instead of personal preferences.
Model and former Miss Great Britain Danielle Lloyd is flying to Cyprus for a designer baby:
I am wrapping up the much improved version of “We need to talk about this“. There is now a chapter on euthanasia, for instance, with a discussion of the Groningen Protocol.
I didn’t write this book to convince you that my views are the right ones, even though I hope you will agree with many of them. I wrote this book to encourage as many people as possible to develop their own opinions in these areas, to go beyond impassioned exclamations like “this is so wrong” or “this is very good” and to make their opinions known to their governments and academics, and to discuss these issues with their friends, relatives and colleagues. Continue reading
Well, okay, as long as you start with Juan’s talk.
Read the report: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/section/usa-taser/
As a psychiatrist, I find that one of the hardest parts of my job is telling parents and their children that they are not to blame for their illness.
Children with emotional and behavioral problems continue to suffer considerable stigma. Many in the medical community refer to them as “diagnostic and therapeutic orphans.” Unfortunately, for many, access to high-quality mental health care remains elusive.
An accurate diagnosis is the best way to tell whether or not someone will respond well to treatment, though that can be far more complicated than it sounds.
I have written three textbooks about using medication in children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems. I know that this is never a decision to take lightly.
But there’s reason for hope. While not medically able to diagnose any psychiatric condition, dramatic advances in brain imaging, genetics and other technologies are helping us objectively identify mental illness.
Knowing the signs of sadness
All of us experience occasional sadness and anxiety, but persistent problems may be a sign of a deeper issue. Ongoing issues with sleeping, eating, weight, school and pathologic self-doubt may be signs of depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Separating out normal behavior from problematic behavior can be challenging. Emotional and behavior problems can also vary with age. For example, depression in pre-adolescent children occurs equally in boys and girls. During adolescence, however, depression rates increase much more dramatically in girls than in boys.
It can be very hard for people to accept that they – or their family member – are not to blame for their mental illness. That’s partly because there are no current objective markers of psychiatric illness, making it difficult to pin down. Imagine diagnosing and treating cancer based on history alone. Inconceivable! But that is exactly what mental health professionals do every day. This can make it harder for parents and their children to accept that they don’t have control over the situation.
Most important of all is making sure your child is assessed by a licensed mental health professional experienced in diagnosing and treating children. This is particularly important when medications that affect the child’s brain are being considered.
Seeing the problem
Thanks to recent developments in genetics, neuroimaging and the science of mental health, it’s becoming easier to characterize patients. New technologies may also make it easier to predict who is more likely to respond to a particular treatment or experience side effects from medication.
Our laboratory has used brain MRI studies to help unlock the underlying anatomy, chemistry and physiology underlying OCD. This repetitive, ritualistic illness – while sometimes used among laypeople to describe someone who is uptight – is actually a serious and often devastating behavioral illness that can paralyze children and their families.
Through sophisticated, high-field brain imaging techniques – such as fMRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy – that have become available recently, we can actually measure the child brain to see malfunctioning areas.
We have found, for example, that children 8 to 19 years old with OCD never get the “all clear signal” from a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex. This signal is essential to feeling safe and secure. That’s why, for example, people with OCD may continue checking that the door is locked or repeatedly wash their hands. They have striking brain abnormalities that appear to normalize with effective treatment.
We have also begun a pilot study with a pair of identical twins. One has OCD and the other does not. We found brain abnormalities in the affected twin, but not in the unaffected twin. Further study is clearly warranted, but the results fit the pattern we have found in larger studies of children with OCD before and after treatment as compared to children without OCD.
Meanwhile, the field of psychiatry continues to grow. For example, new techniques may soon be able to identify children at increased genetic risk for psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
New, more sophisticated brain imaging and genetics technology actually allows doctors and scientists to see what is going on in a child’s brain and genes. For example, by using MRI, our laboratory discovered that the brain chemical glutamate, which serves as the brain’s “light switch,” plays a critical role in childhood OCD.
What a scan means
When I show families their child’s MRI brain scans, they often tell me they are relieved and reassured to “be able to see it.”
Children with mental illness continue to face enormous stigma. Often when they are hospitalized, families are frightened that others may find out. They may hesitate to let schools, employers or coaches know about a child’s mental illness. They often fear that other parents will not want to let their children spend too much time with a child who has been labeled mentally ill. Terms like “psycho” or “going mental” remain part of our everyday language.
The example I like to give is epilepsy. Epilepsy once had all the stigma that mental illness today has. In the Middle Ages, one was considered to be possessed by the devil. Then, more advanced thinking said that people with epilepsy were crazy. Who else would shake all over their body or urinate and defecate on themselves but a crazy person? Many patients with epilepsy were locked in lunatic asylums.
Then in 1924, psychiatrist Hans Berger discovered something called the electroencephalogram (EEG). This showed that epilepsy was caused by electrical abnormalities in the brain. The specific location of these abnormalities dictated not only the diagnosis but the appropriate treatment.
That is the goal of modern biological psychiatry: to unlock the mysteries of the brain’s chemistry, physiology and structure. This can help better diagnose and precisely treat childhood onset mental illness. Knowledge heals, informs and defeats ignorance and stigma every time.
A world mental health survey shows that about 5.2% of people who lose loved ones suffer from PTSD. But how do you know who suffers from PTSD after a traumatic loss so that you can give them the care they need?
Unfortunately, in Africa most people go undiagnosed. This is because only two countries on the continent have carried out national surveys on mental health – South Africa and Nigeria. Concerning trauma and PTSD, the only significant data emanated from the South African Survey, since the Nigerian one did not have a high enough prevalence rate to enable detailed analysis.
The recent global survey identified a number of predictors that significantly increase the risk of PTSD after a loss. These include: whether the deceased is either a spouse or child, being female, believing that one could have done something to prevent the death, prior exposure to a traumatic event and having a previous mental disorder before the trauma.
Using these predictors it was possible to construct a model that can be used to determine those with the highest risk of developing PTSD after the unexpected death of a loved one. This model makes it feasible for clinicians helping people who have suddenly lost loved ones to develop interventions that are evidence-based and with high probability of success. This should provide opportunities for affected people being able to be provided with the appropriate care after this traumatic event.
PTSD and death
PTSD happens after a person is exposed to an event that poses a threat to their life. It is a group of symptoms that include re-experiencing the event, changes in emotions and cognitive functions. Irritability, reckless or self-destructive behaviour, sleep problems and low concentration are common.
Families and caregivers can recognise PTSD in a loved one because the symptoms are a change from their usual behaviour. These signs and symptoms begin within a month of experiencing the traumatic event like the unexpected death of a loved one.
The person may experience nightmares or flashbacks, will avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings associated with the traumatic event.
Due to the trauma, the person may also develop memory problems and feelings of detachment from friends, colleagues and family are common. The person may also display exaggerated negative beliefs about themselves, others or the world. In some cases, depression and drug abuse is noted.
People who have unexpectedly lost a loved one are at a higher risk of getting PTSD so they should be identified early enough and appropriately counselled.
The high prevalence and meaningful risk of PTSD makes the unexpected death of a loved one a major public health issue. Due to a collaborative initiative under the World Health Organisation (the World Mental Health Surveys Initiative) it is now possible to predict the occurrence of PTSD after a traumatic event such as the unexpected death of a loved one.
The resulting screening assessments will be useful in identifying high risk individuals prone to PTSD for early interventions.
Raising relevant data is one of the biggest challenges to tackling the issue of PTSD in Africa.
African countries should carry out national mental health surveys because they provide information that can be used for planning care and rationally allocating resources in mental health. They also provide information necessary in policy formulation and mental health interventions.
Without a national survey, countries often misallocate resources, ending up with situations in which they neglect the most important problems and intervene disproportionately in low priority areas. This is responsible for the current situation in which what is probably a silent mental ill-health epidemic which is sweeping across the continent.