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.
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
IV (i.e.the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders) defines 10 different Personality Disorders, and Narcissistic
Personality Disorder is one of those. (The DSM V will be reconfiguring the definitions somewhat. But it very much
seems that NPD will still be recognised in some way.)
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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