Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Its Effects

Postby zabi » Mon May 20, 2019 4:35 am

I'm a 25 old male. And I've diagnosed with NPD(narcissistic personality disorder). The diagnosis came almost 5 year ago when i had a major depression. And since then i've been reading, searching, talking ,thinking about it. I've gotten professional help ( both therapy and medicine) time to time, because it was not easy to remain that for me. Basically along these 5 years,
my whole life was based on my illness. I've lost so many things. I did not care anything else -or could not-. My school life , my psychical heatlh, my mental health, my relationships with friends, family and partners were affected heavily and in some cases they've got destroyed. And i just wanna get some help i any of you can. I am currently getting professional help. But i think thats not gonna be enough by itself or even if it does it will be a slow progress that i want to hear other peoples thoughts about situation.

Basically these are the sum up of the thing that led this situation according to my therapy so far:

All of my lfie, since childhood, i was told that i was special. Even in kindergarden, my teacher wanted to talk to my parents about my IQ. She told my parents that i may be a genius or something. I was the center of the attention all of the time. I was treated very different from others by my teachers, family and friends. Even my little psychical anomalies (front of my hair is twsited, and my rib cage is shaped like i am very muscular- idk what it is called in English-) made me feel like i was special. I was in a rock band in a small town so that made me somewhat more popular. And things like these small things add up and made me feel and act like i was superior than others.

My brother was very hard to grow up with. He was very dominant and independent among our family. And i got bullied one or twice total when i was like 9-10 but that was all. And these two factors (my brother and my bullies) led my insecurities.

These insecurities needed a defence. And this need of some sort of defence, created this narcissistic personality that fed by all the attention and praise i've got.

This narcissistic personality isolated me from other people. Because they were not at the same level as me. But living apart from the society, friends or family destroyed me finally. Because a monster was created in me that needed constant attention and admiration. And that monster couldnt get any when there is no one to recieve these from. I've romantical relationships that i can fed. But as you can imagine they didnt go well simply because of my attitude.

My last relationsihp ended almost a year ago. Thats were this phase started. My inner monster was very hungry and could get any of its needs. I ve experienced huge depressions. Used drugs, alcohol. Simply just lived to survive. Through all this, my inner monster evolved into a new level. A level that, a constant lack of self-confidence, a voice that always talks about my deficiencies. My looks, my relationships, other peoples bad thoughts about me, my future etc.. Anything bad about me or my life is always in my mind all the time. This is so powerful that its almost like there is another mind inside my brain. When something bad or unplanned happens (doesnt matter how big or important that is), this inner demon or voice starts to work and leads a huge downfall. Eventhough i as aware of my illness, in some cases i cant overcome it and experience a minor depression that may last one or two days or even weeks.

I know best way to cure this is getting professional help. And i am currently in a therapy. But i want to do anything that can be helpful. Like gaining self-esteem, socialising etc. But i dont know where to start or what to do. These last five years, my mental health was my only thing as i said at beginning. I've lost friends, i've lost my interests , my hobbies. I dont even know what makes me happy anymore. I dont know what i want to do with my life or what kind of relationships i want. All i want for now is, find some things that slows down this inner demons, and regain what i've lost.

I know this is a very long post. And i thank you for reading it. Any reasonable idea or advice is welcomed.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon May 20, 2019 6:33 am

Try shortening or narrowing your mental focus to things you can control. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the term “mindfulness” but it sounds like you spend a lot of time in your head either in the past or future rather than actively engaging in the present.

Another thing you may benefit by discovering, is the process used to determine certain behaviors = a mental disorder.

For example, homosexuality was previously considered a mental disorder. The behavior of two people of the same gender engaging in sex was a disorder. Now it is no longer considered a disorder. How did that happen? Did the tens of thousands of years of evolution of the brain suddenly change? No. Instead, disorders are determined by a panel of psychologists that every few years debate over what is or is not a “disorder”.

The above is not to state that some of your behaviors might not be counterproductive, but don’t swallow the whole disorder thing as objective, undeniable, scientific fact.

The same as you being told your special had long lasting impacts, so is being labeled with a disorder. Same as you now question the potential negative aspects of being labeled special, consider the negative impacts of being labeled as having a disorder or the whole “inner monster” thing.

These things can have a major impact. Ever hear of the “brown eyed” “blue eyed” experiment? Just telling kids the color of their eyes signified differences in intellect had a massive impact due to belief.

A kid being told they “are bad” instead of being told what they did was bad makes a big difference.

Some of your behaviors are not productive. This doesn’t mean you ARE those behaviors. There exists no “inner monster”. You don’t HAVE a disorder the same as you might have a disease. You can work to modify those behaviors.
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#2

Postby zabi » Mon May 20, 2019 10:48 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:Try shortening or narrowing your mental focus to things you can control. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the term “mindfulness” but it sounds like you spend a lot of time in your head either in the past or future rather than actively engaging in the present.


Thats the part that i cant accomplish. I simply cant get out of my mind.It feels like i cant think my way out of this situation if i can understand it clearly. And also I am too scared to experience these kind of depression so i want to be on alert always. When these kind of thoughts start to grow and affect me, I want to be aware and try to stop it before it grows too big.But i am aware that, most of the times, this being on alert thing makes it even worse but i can not overcome it yet.
Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:Some of your behaviors are not productive. This doesn’t mean you ARE those behaviors. There exists no “inner monster”. You don’t HAVE a disorder the same as you might have a disease. You can work to modify those behaviors.


I use words like disorder, ilness, NPD to describe it. Because this is what they are called most of the time. I dont think about it like its a huge thing or anything. But i do know that this situation whatever it is called, makes my life very hard and makes me feel very bad. And I want to do something to make things easier for me. I just want to make is stable at some level so i dont lose anything anymore thanks to it. And regain what i ve lost.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon May 20, 2019 11:51 pm

zabi wrote:But i do know that this situation whatever it is called, makes my life very hard and makes me feel very bad. And I want to do something to make things easier for me.


Great, so you are already aware a disorder is mainly language used to describe certain symptoms/behaviors.

What you can then do is start targeting specific feelings associated with a symptom that you want to change. You must have some specific recent memories that make you “feel very bad” and some situations that are more common than others. Pick some of these memories and begin to construct ways to navigate those situations in the future.

Here is the key...once you have constructed a way to navigate the situation in the future, deliberately go out and practice, focusing on dealing with the situation. If need be, try to simulate the situation. Practice again and again and again and you will see progress.

For example, you might have a recent memory of not receiving praise for a project you worked on. You can confront this feeling by playing sports or games with people. You can intentionally confront not receiving praise whenever you win or do good. Reflect each time you score and no one says anything positive. Ask internal questions about the impacts of not receiving praise. Are you physically injured? No. Are you capable of continuing the game? Yes. What is the worst thing that can happen because no one said congrats? Nothing.

It isn’t that you don’t know the above already, but it is a matter of deliberate, intentional confrontation of the negative feelings in small doses that you can manage. It is practice.

The above is a very rough outline of a concept in education called scaffolding. In clinical terms it is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy.
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#4

Postby zabi » Tue May 21, 2019 3:23 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
For example, you might have a recent memory of not receiving praise for a project you worked on. You can confront this feeling by playing sports or games with people. You can intentionally confront not receiving praise whenever you win or do good.


It is more sensitive than that. Not receiving any praise was the reason at first place. Eventhough i didnt score anything i wanted that praise, because the attention and praise that given to me is for me being me mostly. I really didnt do anything that worhty of any kind of praise at that ages. When i lost connection to others, even i accomplish something i didnt get any praise of attention i used to recieve. But that was early years of my problem.

But now its more complicated and sensitive than that. A trigger so soft that can be trigerred by smallest details. Even a single thought lights the fuse. Even a basic nightmare or a single defeat in agame starts the "bad thoughts about myself engine" in my mind. Than they grow into something so huge that i can not simply function in any fields.I tell myself how ugly i am,how weak i am,how my life is gonna be destroyed,how i am gonna be lonely.-i feel like i need to mention that i ve experineced extreme paranoia last 4 years, especially about my during my romantic relationships.- Some of these bad thoughts are so irrelevant that when i think about them when i am relaxed, they seems painfully funny.

I am aware that i ve lost all of my self-esteem. And that is the main reason behind all of this probably. But i am experiencing these situations on my daily life very extremely and constantly that i cant do or even tryto do somehing to gain self-esteem. Thats is my main and the biggest nuisance right now. And i try to seek help for this exact problem.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue May 21, 2019 3:44 am

zabi wrote:... or a single defeat in agame starts the "bad thoughts about myself engine" in my mind.


Exactly. So intentionally play games as to deliberately practice working on this specific issue.

Look into cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy.

There is a huge difference between just playing a game without a plan verses playing a game with a therapeutic goal of addressing the bad thoughts.

Consider a person that fears spiders. Simply exposing that person to spiders won’t solve anything. It just reinforces the fear. Neither will you playing games without any structure do anything, but trigger bad thoughts. But, exposing a person to a spider followed by deliberate reflection and scaffolding becomes a learning experience that spiders are not all that bad. Playing a game where you might lose followed by structured reflection is similar. It can help you learn to deal with the irrational thoughts that result in bad feelings.

It sounds like your issue is much broader, but you have to start somewhere. You start with the basics. You start by conquering the specific issue of feeling bad after losing a game. Once you conquer this specific issue, it can be applied to other areas in your life.
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#6

Postby zabi » Wed May 22, 2019 12:38 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:It sounds like your issue is much broader, but you have to start somewhere. You start with the basics. You start by conquering the specific issue of feeling bad after losing a game. Once you conquer this specific issue, it can be applied to other areas in your life.


Thank you for your help and time. I will look about those therapies and try them.
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#7

Postby zabi » Wed May 22, 2019 5:13 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
Exactly. So intentionally play games as to deliberately practice working on this specific issue.

Look into cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy.

There is a huge difference between just playing a game without a plan verses playing a game with a therapeutic goal of addressing the bad thoughts.

Consider a person that fears spiders. Simply exposing that person to spiders won’t solve anything. It just reinforces the fear. Neither will you playing games without any structure do anything, but trigger bad thoughts. But, exposing a person to a spider followed by deliberate reflection and scaffolding becomes a learning experience that spiders are not all that bad. Playing a game where you might lose followed by structured reflection is similar. It can help you learn to deal with the irrational thoughts that result in bad feelings.

It sounds like your issue is much broader, but you have to start somewhere. You start with the basics. You start by conquering the specific issue of feeling bad after losing a game. Once you conquer this specific issue, it can be applied to other areas in your life.


After re-reading all posts and looking up about CBT, I just wanted to add something that i think as a big problem for me at the moment. I didnt know what CBT was -what its name was-, and my therapist uses that on our session. She gives me some homework and we talk about them weekly.
I think this way of therapy is working for me at some point. I experienced some situations that i was trying to avoid and saw that they were not that bad.
But the problem begins, when it doesnt work.Sometimes when i encounter a situation, it can immidiately put me in depression. It shows that i was right about avoiding that situation. Because it really starts what i am afraid to experience. Another problem is that it is not stable. I experience a situation and i see thats not that bad. But in another time, against the same situation i may experience that bad feelings and depression. It doesnt matter if i succesfully manage and get over it at the first time, second or third or tenth time, the situation can still wake my "inner demon", It can still drown me with bad and paranoid thoughts about myself.
I obviously know, a problem like mine needs some time to heal, but i really really dont wanna feel that way. It just prevents me from living my life, functioning and doing what i need to do or what want to do. I really need a plan B to deal with it instantaneously so i can live my life, gain some self-esteem and continue my therapy to heal myself fully in long term.

I really dont like the word "inner demon" but i dont know how else i can describe it. All i need right now is find a way to shut my inner demon up, so i dont have to live a life in my mind. I am so afraid of these "inner demon" that i am always in my mind, always on alert to prevent these situations. And i dont wanna live like that. I want to live fearless about my mental and emotional state. And the only way to achieve this, coming up with a solution that limits the harmof these bad thoughts, make them tolerable. Simply make my inner demon weaker.
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#8

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu May 23, 2019 1:29 am

zabi wrote: I really need a plan B to deal with it instantaneously so i can live my life, gain some self-esteem and continue my therapy to heal myself fully in long term.


Ugh.

A fat person goes to the doctor. The doctor provides the person homework in the form of diet/exercise. It sucks. It takes sustained discipline/effort. The person begins to lose some weight, but they feel like they still can’t live life as their massive weight stops them from enjoying many of the things in life they wish they could. They go back to the doctor and say, “I need a plan B to deal instantaneously...”.

No.

Sure, give yourself a cheat day. You won’t get healthier as quick, but it’s a “Plan B”. Maybe the fat person can take some pills to curb hunger pains, but eventually they must stop the pills. That’s a “Plan B”. Maybe the fat person can use a motorized scooter to “live life” while trying to heal long term. That’s a “Plan B”. There are many crutches sold to fat people to help them live life better, but most often all these things do is enable them to continue being fat.

Mental fat isn’t easily observable, but the same underlying principles apply. You can ask your therapist to prescribe you pills and then try to wean yourself off them. You can search for crutches to give you some instantaneous help, but I do not think that is a good idea.

When you do see a success story, the person didn’t have a “Plan B”. A “Plan B” means you have not yet hit rock bottom. You are not yet fully willing to commit to the homework, to the effort required. You dabble, you do some homework, but it isn’t fun. The homework isn’t comfortable and why should you be uncomfortable? It is like physical therapy. People hate going to physical therapy. It is painful, it requires immense effort. Therefore, some people don’t ever recover from whatever ails them.

If you think you need a “Plan B” discuss it with your therapist. Otherwise, you will eventually blame your therapist for failing to help you. It is like the fat person blaming the personal trainer, but without the knowledge of the trainer is eating pizza and hamburgers. Effectively, that is what you are doing in here. Outside the knowledge of your therapist you are searching for a quick fix.

No quick fixes. No Plan B. Put in the work. Get better.
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#9

Postby zabi » Thu May 23, 2019 4:00 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
If you think you need a “Plan B” discuss it with your therapist. Otherwise, you will eventually blame your therapist for failing to help you. It is like the fat person blaming the personal trainer, but without the knowledge of the trainer is eating pizza and hamburgers. Effectively, that is what you are doing in here. Outside the knowledge of your therapist you are searching for a quick fix.

No quick fixes. No Plan B. Put in the work. Get better.


I see your point there. But i guess i didnt make my points clear. I was trying to say, since effects of my problems in my daily life are very harsh, what else can i do myself to speed up the process of my therapy. Something that i can try at least. I am not asking for a prescription, what i m looking for is more like a suggestion. Something other people with similliar problems like minor minor depressions tried and worked for them.
Of course i will do my homework, go to my therapy and do whatever is neccessary. But i am trying to find a way to help me in addition to that. For example, making some friends with similliar problems to have a brief chat or doing some extreme sports to release stress, or making peaceful art.

I know i can try these myself and see if it works. But i tried few things and when they fail to help me feel better, it just got worse. So i am asking for advice from poeple who has knowledge or experience about problems similar to mine. So i can narrow the options and reduce the risk of getting stressed all over again caused by a fail attempt. Because every failed attempt makes me lose hope.
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#10

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu May 23, 2019 5:36 am

zabi wrote:...what else can i do myself to speed up the process of my therapy.


What does your therapist say when you have said you would like to speed things up?

If a fat person says, “I’m doing everything my personal trainer says, but I want to speed things up,” then they need to talk with their personal trainer and ask what more they can do.

Answer shopping on the Internet is not a good strategy, especially when you have a therapist that has you on a program. What more can you do? Ask the therapist. If you are not happy with the pace of your progress, ask the therapist.

It is human nature to answer shop. We all do it. The Internet makes it easy. That doesn’t make it a productive use of your time.

At some point, there is a limit to how much mental fat you can lose in a week, a month, a year. You are on a program that will get you there. I understand the desire to speed up the process, but at some point you need to accept there are no instantaneous solutions or plan B’s.

Anyway, I have now basically repeated myself and you undoubtedly will continue to use your time scouring the digital world for a quick or quicker fix. Fair enough. I understand. I wish you the best of luck in your search. Hopefully another member will come along and provide you with some quick fix ideas.
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#11

Postby zabi » Fri May 24, 2019 12:08 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:Anyway, I have now basically repeated myself and you undoubtedly will continue to use your time scouring the digital world for a quick or quicker fix. Fair enough. I understand. I wish you the best of luck in your search. Hopefully another member will come along and provide you with some quick fix ideas.


Thank you very much for your time and and efforts.
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