Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 69 · 4 years ago

E04: What's In A Name?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Discover the different personality disorders and how they are different and similar to narcissistic personality disorder. 

To learn more, visit www.growwithchristine.com 

Welcome to understanding today's narcissists, where we will explore how you can better relate and manage the narcissist in your life. I am your host, psychotherapist and author, Christine Hammond. One of the things I've noticed in my practice is that people come in and tend to lump everybody that they don't get along with as being a narcissist, and that's just simply not the case. So there are actually a lot of different personality disorders that a person can have, and what I would like to do, and what we're going to do today, is I'm going to go through all of them now, because it's so exhausting. It's such a ginormous list of symptoms and signs for each and every single one of them. I'm going to do it a little bit differently today and what I'm going to do is go through the personality disorders by their name, because there's a lot to be said for how something gets named, and we're...

...going to talk about the ones that have very descriptive names all the way for the ones that I think are actually inappropriately named or even misnamed. In the reason I'm doing this is so that we can kind of frame narcissism in light of other personality disorders. Just because somebody's narcissistic doesn't mean that they don't necessarily have another personality disorder. In fact, that's a common occurrence that we have more than one personality disorder in a person. So it's important to kind of have an understanding of all of the different ones that exist so that you can better understand just what type of person you're actually working with. Remember, everybody's different and everyone's unique and while these are general classifications, everybody has a different spin on it based on their past experiences, based on their DNA, based on their choices that they make in life. Those three factors really do make a big difference in how a personality disorder is developed. And let me just...

...start by saying that that what defines a person is having a personality disorder is that they have an inaccurate perception of reality. So their version of how things look is very different and quite distorted from how it actually is. So if you look at and think about a bell shaped curve, they're all the way at the outside ends of a bell shape curve word and other people that would be considered normal, which is a standard deviation of plus or mine is one would fall into the majority of the category and everybody else kind of falls on the outsirs, or we call out layers. So what's in a name? So what is in a name for all of these? Let's go through it and talk about it just a little bit. All right, some of the disc gypt of names that I think are great for personality disorders are these four. So one of them is avoidant personality disorder. Pretty much in one word, that thumbs up the whole disorder. So in nearly every single environment and...

...avoidant person literally avoid social interactions. So the name actually says what it does. Think of them as kind of a recluse or hermit and outside or a lone wolf or a loan or her likes to be it that way, like they're not doing it because they're upset or frustrated or depressed. They actually enjoy living life that way and they prefer to stay that way. They don't want to change. So this person is not going to be on social media. They will never understand the need for it. They are definitely on the avoidant side. The next one is dependent personality disorder. Again, it's a perfect description to summarize what it is. Dependent people need other people in nearly every area of emotional support and affirmation. So frequently they are reliant on one particular person, such as a spouse, a parent and adult child, and often their dependency is in direct contrast to another person who is usually very independent.

One of the reasons I'm going through this is because you will see a lot of narsiss this married to dependent personalities, because dependent personalities don't leave and narcissists need people who need them all the time and will never leave them. So that's why you see that match so often. The next is paranoid personality disorder. Again, the name kind of describes it. Some people truly believe that everyone is out to get them. They have baseless suspicions, and I would underline a highlight the word baseless suspicions, of family, friends, Co workers, the trash man, the police, even the cashier the grocery store intentionally harming them. So it's everywhere in all of their environments. The imagine hostile conversations and they project their irrational fears as real motives of other people. When confronting these accusations, they insist that the problem is everybody else. It can't...

...possibly be wrong. Can possibly be them? They are never wrong. And the last in the most descriptive names category of the personality disorders is Histrionic. The word Histrionic is defined as someone who is overly dramatic or emotional. So that says it all by themselves. But this personality disorder in particular includes overt least sexual or provocative behavior. So we take that drama and we not get up an not to the sexual and provocative. Interestingly enough, a histrionic person will see themselves as very sexual, even when they're not sexually appealing or even physically attractive. That is irrelevant. How they perceive themselves is how they see it. It is almost as that they have rose colored glasses on when they look in the mirror, but yet when they they'll take them off when they look at others. So it's how they see themselves is dramatically different than how...

...they see other people. A person with a similar body type might not be sexually appealing to them, but they will think that they are very sexually appealing. Those are the four avoidant, dependent, paranoid and Histrionic personality disorders that have very descriptive names. Now let's talk about the personality disorders that have a historical meeting meaning instead. So there are four of those that fit into that category. The first is narcissist. So a narcissist has its origins in Greek mythology. Around a a D there was a story about a beautiful hunter name Nar Narcissi, who was exceptionally proud in order to exposes it is arrogance, Nemesis. Isn't that interesting that? That's where we get the word nemesis, from which is a longstanding rival drew into a pool of water. Narcissy, upon seeing his own reflection and not realizing it was his own image, became...

...so attracted to himself that he refused to leave. He died there later. Thus the name narcissist describes one who is fixated on themselves, so this has a historical meaning. The next one is borderline personality disorder. Around in the S, psychoanalyst Adolf Stern first identified a group of people who seemed to be somewhere between neurosis and psychosis, and he called them borderline. They weren't quite an either category, so that's why he came up with a term borderline interestingly enough, this group is now more in line with skizo typical than borderline personality disorder. So the group that he identified isn't really the borderlines that we know of today. They are more in line with skizo typical than what we have right now for a borderline. But the name kind of stuck. Like once a name, always the name, and so it's stuck in. So since...

...then the official definition of borderline personality disorder has drastically changed with the name stuff. So that is a historical explanation for where we get borderline. The next is schizophrenia disorder. While this is not a personality disorder on I'm I'm mentioning it here so that you can underscan the difference between Skizo tyble and in schizoid personality disorders, because schizophrenia is a let is the Latin translation from a combination of two Greek words, and I can't pronounce these very well, so I'm going to do the best I can, skison meaning to split, and Preyn meaning mine. So a split mind is really a good description of a person who routinely struggles with hallucinations, false perceptions, frequent fantasies and delusions. There are times when this person is very lucid and aware of reality and times when they are not. So understand that this is not a personality disorder. I'm...

...just using it to help you understand two other personality disorders. But it does have a historical name, Skizo typeal personality disorder. Obviously this sounds like schizophrenia, right, because that's where it came from. So it is a derivative of two different words, so schizophrenia being one, in genotype being the other. So Schizophrenia is see here and believe things that aren't really there. Where the genotype is, is the genetic makeup of an in and of an individual, like they're DNA. So when you put the two together, a skizo type personality disorder is someone who may seem schizophrenic but is not not an actual fullblown schizophrenic. So they're what I call schizophrenic light, for lack of a better way of saying that. Now there are three personality disorders that I believe are completely misnamed, and this is just me, so you know, I'm sure other people have different opinions on this, but here we go. The...

...first one is antisocial personality disorder. The name antisocial does not adequately displit explain this disorder. In fact, it is often misused in our common culture as somebody who is more avoidant than they are antisocial, which is the problem here. Antisocial personality disorder is is like calling somebody antisocial personality disordered order is similar to calling an aggressively trained pit bull an unfriendly puppy, like it doesn't make any sense. The former name of psychopath or sociopath is much more understandable and creates an immediate comprehension of what this this disorder is. So when you put the two together, a psychopath and a sociopathy actually fall under the antisocial personality disorder umbrella. So, since antisocial personality disorders tend not to care too much about what other people think, this name is not likely the result of political...

...correctness. It is just a miss name that we wound up with. The next in this category of misnamed is obsessive compulsive personality disorder. The reason I can't stand this name is because it is so close to OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and people think that they're the same, but they are most definitely not the same. And trying to help somebody understand the distinct difference between the two is very difficult because of the similarities in the name. So so the one thing that they do share in common characteristics, however, is that they are both obsessive and they are both compulsive in traits, thoughts and actions. For instance, OCD not obsessive compulsive personality disorder, but OCD people might be obsessed with being clean and therefore do compulsive behavior such as handwashing. Generally speaking, though, that OCD is very limited to a few environments and in a...

...few instances. In contrast, obsessive compulsive personality disorder is not it is pervasive, it is in a variety of situations, in a variety of circumstances, and they are obsessive and compulsive about things all over the place, at work, at home and how they drive to work and how they put their clothes on and how they eat their food and what they even eat like. It is pervasive, it is in every single thing, in every area of their life. The last one I want to talk about that I think is misnamed is schizoid personality disorder, and the name schizoid was coined in the early nineteen hundreds, and yet it is not similar to schizophrenia, skizo effective or Schizo type, which is why this is so confusing, because it has the name schizoid in it. So the very beginning of the words sounds like schizophrenia, but it is not even similar to either one of those disorders, rather as much more closely identified to an avoidant personality disorder, because it has many of...

...the same characteristics and traits, but it has an element of like a a blunt effect, like completely flat effect, on top of being avoided. So perhaps the best definition of a schizoid is a person who pulls away from others and their own emotions or feelings, thereby creating flat, emotionless responses. I hope this helps to clarify some confusion about what the different personality disorders look like, just by looking at their names and by understanding it, because frequently when we talk about just one, we have to look at it in incorporation of the whole spectrum of all of the possible disorders that exist out there. Then you will find that most narcissists have like little idy BITs and traits of several other personality disorder. So it's important to know what those look like because we don't want to incorrectly label somebody as a narcissist who might really be obsessive compulsive, for instance, because I have seen that different, or somebody who's actually...

...antisocial personality disorder frequently is misdiagnosed as a narcissist. And when you look at female narcissists, a lot of them are identified as borderlines when they're not borderlines, they're actually female narcissist. So we see a lot of that kind of confusion that goes on back and forth. So hopefully this helps to clear it up and we will talk a little bit more about some of the narcissism later at a different session. Thank you for listening to understanding today's narcissist. If you've enjoyed the episode, please subscribe to the podcast on Itunes to make sure that you don't miss another one. If you'd like to learn more, you can visit us at grow with christinecom thanks so much for listening and we'll be back next time with a new episode.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (91)