Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Before talking about Narcissistic Personality Disorder in detail, I need to explain what a
Personality Disorder is.
There are many technical explanations which you will be able to find, but at its simplest, somebody
with a Personality Disorder is someone whose brain is somehow wired differently from the rest of us, and so
they act in ways which are abnormal and dysfunctional by the standards of most humans.
The American Pschiatric Association describes a personality disorder like this:
The essential features of a personality disorder are impairments in personality (self and
interpersonal) functioning and the presence of pathological personality traits.
These people are NOT insane. They are sane, and fully aware of what they do, and also are probably aware that
society does not approve of these actions. But they don't care. They think the rules do not apply to them.The
DSM V (i.e.the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder is one of
those as a personality disorder.
Having said that, NPD was only recognised since 1980. And it seems to be very little known - most
people have never heard of it. This means that victims of Narcissists, both Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers and
other victims such as spouses of Narcissists, can be living a nightmare without ever realising what's going on. And
also even when they do realise what's going on, none of their circle can understand and they get told,
"But she's your mother!" This can leave us DONMs feeling so isolated.
You can read about the Definition of Narcissistic Personality
Disorder here, and the traits of Narcissists here. And there's amazing
information about how narcissists behave in Drew Keys' book Narcissists Exposed, which is available as
part of the Narcissistic Parents Survival Kit - highly recommended.
There is also a spectrum to Narcissistic Personality
Disorder, and you might be able to identify where on it your mother is situated. I also invite you to read my
page on what causes NPD - short answer is
that it's possibly genetic.
You will also need to know about Narcissistic Supply and
Narcissistic Rage - if you're the Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother, you've no
doubt experienced the second when you didn't do enough of the first.
And very importantly, you'll need to know how to recognise a narcissist, and once you've done
that, how to deal with that same narcissist.
Incidence of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Nobody knows exactly what the incidence is. Narcissists rarely
present for therapy. And of course, it's a spectrum disorder which makes
it more difficult to know. But the estimates are between 0.6% and 1.0%.
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