Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Q for experts on NPD

(5 Posts)
Lemonylemon Wed 29-Jul-09 15:45:08

I've been reading the other thread on NPD and clicked on the link for Halcyon and read the list of traits.

My question is: How many of these traits make someone narcisstic?


gettingagrip Wed 29-Jul-09 16:28:13

Hello Lemony

I first of all would like to say that I am NOT an expert! But sadly I have had a lifetime's experience with Ns, so I have seen most types.

NPD is on a spectrum...of course we all have narcissistic traits, otherwise we could not function in the world. However, when these N traits become the over-riding part of our being and our personality, to the exclusion of empathy and understanding of other's rights to autonomy, then these traits become a problem.

The person with the disorder, however, is not usually the one with the is the people who have to deal with that person who have the problem !!

Lists of traits are not helpful IMVHO. Usually they say things like 'grandiose'....well what does that mean really?

Also, there are several different types of mother for example is a 'cerebral' N, whereas my sibling is more of a histrionic type. The other problem is that most Ns have other personality disorders running alongside their NPD, so this makes it even more difficult to look at a list of traits and say...yes..they are an N.

The only person who can truly diagnose a PD is of course a psychiatrist...but with NPD they have great trouble, as the N is skilled at lying and manipulation so can never be pinned down in therapy.

Of course, most Ns never, ever reach therapy, as there is nothing whatsoever wring with them is there? By definition they are perfect.

It is the rest of us mere mortals who end up suicidal and with depression etc who end up in therapy , needing to know what hit us.

Ns also have cognitive difficulties, and personally I think this is a huge part of their difficulties that is overlooked by most lists of traits.

All you can really say is that they are all different, but they are also all the same!

Hope that isn't too garbled!

Why do you ask? Do you think you know an N?

Lemonylemon Thu 30-Jul-09 10:00:21

Thanks very much for your reply. Its reassuring to hear that there is a spectrum. I clicked on a link in another thread to the halcyon site and was quite shocked by the reams of "qualities" that go to make someone an N.

I think to a certain extent, that my late OH was an N. There were enough pointers on the list to make me think "Oh!".

So this new information is affecting my grieving in that I'm not sure what to think - I miss him terribly (still) but maybe I had a lucky escape?

And those thoughts are not sitting very well with me, I feel as though I am being disloyal in some way.

gettingagrip Sun 02-Aug-09 13:05:29

Hello lemony

How difficult for you this must be.

I understand the different feelings you must be having. Did you realise at some point when he was still alive that he may have a PD?

If it's any comfort, when my N-father died, years before I had ever heard of the PD, I just felt that I was glad he was dead... I had won. These 'people' make our lives Hell on earth, so why should we have any loyalty to them? Their only loyalty was to themselves.

That's probably an extreme view, however, as my N-F was an extreme N. And I know I am very damaged from my (ongoing) experiences with these freaks, so maybe , yes you have had a lucky escape.


toomanystuffedbears Sun 02-Aug-09 15:17:35

I'm not an expert, either. I've read a couple of books that rang a clarion of bells.

My sister is, I believe, a "covert" narcissist. Always helpful, solving the problems of others, over generous gifts-but it is all aimed to demonstrate her superior standing with the "icing on top" of people then "oweing" her- which makes her, in addition, morally superior. She'd then have a silent tissy fit if our "nothing less than a 5 min standing ovation" wasn't spontaneous enough. Simply saying "thank you" didn't quite qualify for her. Otherwise she is/was (out of contact) a normal micromanaging control freak-matriarchal mother superior (although single/no kids wink).

In a book another N trait was described :
she enters the room and proceeds to breathe up all the oxygen in the room so no one else can function.

Sorry for stirring my own stew pot there.

Another way of studying this could be from your perspective:
Did your relationship leave you feeling degraded, diminished, ground to dust in the sort of way that to survive you might think it better to just be "dormant" around this person? Hello, depression.

You are entitled to feel what you feel, without apology, or even explanation.

An NPD would convince you to feel only what they felt and disqualify any other opinion.
Consider the term: brainwashing.

I am sorry for your loss. Fwiw, I am glad my mom isn't around anymore.

Grief is a strange monster. It is absolutely different for everyone. I think "missing" someone is a couple of steps removed from grief. Grief is about ourselves, missing is about the absent one-something along those lines.

It might be worth talking to a counsellor for a few sessions to resolve this for yourself-peace of mind.

Excellent posts, gettingagrip
Books said many psychiatrists will not attempt to treat NPD because it is such a long and draining process-the NPD doesn't believe anything is wrong with them.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now