Showing posts with label Psychology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Psychology. Show all posts

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Clinical Features

Clinical Features of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder 

Opinions vary as to whether the narcissistic traits evident in infancy, childhood and early adolescence are pathological. Anecdotal evidence suggests that childhood abuse and trauma inflicted by parents, authority figures, or even peers provoke "secondary narcissism" and, when unresolved, may lead to the full-fledged Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) later in life.

Person washing his hands
Person washing his hands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This makes eminent sense as narcissism is a defense mechanism whose role is to deflect hurt and trauma from the victim's "True Self" into a "False Self" which is omnipotent, invulnerable, and omniscient. This False Self is then used by the narcissist to garner narcissistic supply from his human environment. Narcissistic supply is any form of attention, both positive and negative and it is instrumental in the regulation of the narcissist's labile sense of self-worth.

Perhaps the most immediately evident trait of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is their vulnerability to criticism and disagreement. Subject to negative input, real or imagined, even to a mild rebuke, a constructive suggestion, or an offer to help, they feel injured, humiliated and empty and they react with disdain (devaluation), rage, and defiance.

From the book "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited": 

"To avoid such intolerable pain, some patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) socially withdraw and feign false modesty and humility to mask their underlying grandiosity. Dysthymic and depressive disorders are common reactions to isolation and feelings of shame and inadequacy."

Due to their lack of empathy, disregard for others, exploitativeness, sense of entitlement, and constant need for attention (narcissistic supply), narcissists are rarely able to maintain functional and healthy interpersonal relationships.

Many narcissists are over-achievers and ambitious. Some of them are even talented and skilled. But they are incapable of team work because they cannot tolerate setbacks. They are easily frustrated and demoralized and are unable to cope with disagreement and criticism. Though some narcissists have meteoric and inspiring careers, in the long-run, all of them find it difficult to maintain long-term professional achievements and the respect and appreciation of their peers. The narcissist's fantastic grandiosity, frequently coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically incommensurate with his or her real accomplishments (the "grandiosity gap").

There are many types of narcissists: the paranoid, the depressive, the phallic, and so on. 

An important distinction is between cerebral and somatic narcissists. The cerebral's derive their Narcissistic Supply from their intelligence or academic achievements and the somatics derive their Narcissistic Supply from their physique, exercise, physical or sexual prowess and romantic or physical "conquests".

Another crucial division within the ranks of patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is the classic variety (those who meet five of the nine diagnostic criteria included in the DSM), and the compensatory kind (their narcissism compensates for deep-set feelings of inferiority and lack of self-worth).

Some narcissists are covert, or inverted narcissists. As codependents, they derive their narcissistic supply from their relationships with classic narcissists.



Treatment and Prognosis 

Talk therapy (mainly psychodynamic psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral treatment modalities) is the common treatment for patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The therapy goals cluster around the need to modify the narcissist's antisocial, interpersonally exploitative, and dysfunctional behaviors. Such re-socialization (behavior modification) is often successful. Medication is prescribed to control and ameliorate attendant conditions such as mood disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorders.

The prognosis for an adult suffering from the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is poor, though his adaptation to life and to others can improve with treatment.




Monday, July 10, 2017

Characteristics of SOUL

At the dawn of spring, I am reminded by my children the joy of anticipating new life.

They will usually see a flower or two that has made its way through the soil to a world beyond itself. What starts out as a seedling or bulb is transformed by nature's capacity to evolve.

English: Yellow flower of Gazania rigens Franç...
Yellow flower of Gazania rigens  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Inside each of us lies dormant an awareness, an identity, an ability to grow beyond what we appear to be. Every moment, we are being challenged by others and by circumstances to create a life that exceeds our present state of living.

To move toward our highest good takes a willingness on our part to let go of what we know to what can be known in and through us. You and I are part of the Created Order we see around us, and we are participants in Creating Order out of what we have been given to care for.

With this in mind, let us turn to ways our soul can be described in the characteristics that make up a flower:

1. The Ground.

The ground nurtures, protects, and gives birth to a flower. Inside the womb of the ground, life is taking root long before we can see it. Because we cannot see a flower that has been planted in the earth, does not mean life is not being created. To be full participants in our world means to be fully connected and rooted in the world we have been given.

2. The Stem.

The stem begins its growth in the earth below and into the sky above. This part of the flower is the connecting characteristic of the plant. Much like humanity, we are in this world without being fully of it. This creates a sacredness to our lives. It is our unique ability to live and grow in a way no one ever has, is, or ever will.

3. The Flower.

In full bloom, a flower is the illumination of all the life that has preceded it. The radiance and color that pour out of it create life. Notice the next time you look at a flower how you are affected by it. You may notice your heart open and be filled with joy. Or, you may notice more energy and clarity in your vision for being blessed with great beauty.

4. The Spirit of a Flower.

The spirit of a flower is the life force moving in and through it. It is the essence of a flower that identifies with your spirit. This part of you opens from the inside out and becomes ONE with the spirit of a flower. It is the same energy that runs in and through you. Like a flower, you begin to radiate your own soul from the essence of your own being. 

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Each spring, take the time to notice the part of you opening up to new life. Just like flowers, we grow from the inside out. What illuminates in our life began inside us. We nurture these inner qualities of attention until they eventually take root and grow into our daily lives. The growth that follows is created from what we attend to or hold our attention on within us.

Like the pedals of a flower opening to the world around it, we create a presence of awareness. In full bloom, the beauty or the lack thereof touches the lives of everyone around us. As our inner patterns of attention move through us, the world illuminates the seeds of awareness contained within us for so long. Here, a life is created. It is the life of our soul.

                                                                                                                 Samuel Oliver, author of, "What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living"