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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Unhappy Narcissistic personality disorder & my mother. - March 26th 2012, 06:15 AM

My mother shows pretty much every trait of narcissistic personality disorder. Ever since I was a little kid, I canít remember a time where she wasnít lying to make herself look better in front of other people or lying to me so Iíd agree with her point when her my dad were getting into a little quarrel over something. Sheís constantly willing to take advantage of people to get what she wants, and even if she has the same thing as someone else, sheíll find a way to convince herself (and try to convince everyone around her) that hers it better somehow. If you donít agree with her on a small point, all hell will break lose. She often steals money from her exhusband (my dad) and lies and finds an empty excuse on how he owes it to her.

1. How do you confront someone with this disorder, or should I even risk that?
2. Do people with this go to mental institutions, or what? Medication? Therapy?

She already has to take a parenting class because she is sending me to group therapy twice a week and then a one on one session. Iím considering telling my one on one therapist that she has it and seeing how he reacts, but Iím not sure if I should. Any suggestions at all on how to survive living with her for the next four years would be nice.

(my dad doesnít live with us, its only me and her.)



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Re: Narcissistic personality disorder & my mother. - March 26th 2012, 07:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenStar View Post
Ever since I was a little kid, I can’t remember a time where she wasn’t lying to make herself look better in front of other people or lying to me so I’d agree with her point when her my dad were getting into a little quarrel over something.


These behaviours are done by many people, including those with NPD but are not indicative of NPD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenStar View Post
She’s constantly willing to take advantage of people to get what she wants, and even if she has the same thing as someone else, she’ll find a way to convince herself (and try to convince everyone around her) that hers it better somehow.


This is common to a few disorders. Could you give a few examples because it's hard to understand from general statements? When it comes to manipulation and lying, some of it is pro-social, as doing something to benefit someone else regardless if it benefits you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenStar View Post
If you don’t agree with her on a small point, all hell will break lose. She often steals money from her exhusband (my dad) and lies and finds an empty excuse on how he owes it to her.


Manipulation and conning are characteristic of NPD but also of a few other disorders. Again, can you give some examples of how she will get angry when you don't agree over a small point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenStar View Post
1. How do you confront someone with this disorder, or should I even risk that?


This is a huge question and one that can stump professionals. The general answer is to not confront such a person since in all likelihood, it's not going to go anywhere positive. My view is a tad different since I have confronted several such individuals, although my goal wasn't to "cure" them. The main thing to keep in mind is such individuals are quite skilled at manipulation, it's what makes people believe the things they say are true while you know they're the farthest thing from the truth. People with NPD have a fragile self-esteem, it often is quite low but they over-compensate. Consequently, when you confront them, there's an immediate battle over power dynamics and if you make it in your favour, the NPD individual will become incredibly aggressive. In order to continue with successful confrontations, you cannot ease up on them, instead you have to continue applying pressure while not being affected by their, "rage". I don't know how skilled you are so I'll leave it up to you to decide. The biggest problem though is after the confrontation, even when I succeeded, it was only temporary. In your case, you live with your mother so it's not a one-time deal, it'd be continuous confrontation, something I haven't done to someone with NPD but I'd imagine it would be very tiring and frustrating quite fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenStar View Post
2. Do people with this go to mental institutions, or what? Medication? Therapy?


Typically, people see a psychiatrist for something other than a personality disorder but over time, they are diagnosed with the personality disorder and possibly something else. As I said, they are excellent manipulators and are very good at wearing, "masks", or displaying behaviours to seem like something they're not. Everyone wears masks but for NPD, the masks are much harder to see through, so they often will not end up in mental institutions. Psychotherapy is incredibly difficult since people with NPD blame anyone else for anything negative, other than themselves, however, for therapy to begin, one must acknowledge they need to change their behaviour, so there's an instant battle before therapy even begins. Since it is often voluntary, the person can easily opt out. Once they do agree though, there's another huge battle of getting through their masks and seeing through their deception. They've been over-compensating for years and therapy involves stripping it away, it makes them feel vulnerable and uncomfortable, resulting in aggression and unwillingness to continue. Bottom line, psychotherapy can work if your mother is extremely dedicated and has a strong social support network, such as no confrontations with you. Medications can drastically reduce or even eliminate aggression and cause mental slowing so manipulation is poor, however, it only lasts as long as the medication is taken and putting the person into a zombie state isn't viewed by anyone as treatment since they cannot fully function in their daily lives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenStar
I’m considering telling my one on one therapist that she has it and seeing how he reacts, but I’m not sure if I should.


You absolutely should tell him as it affects your progress outside of the therapy room. It doesn't matter if he reacts in joy or negatively, it's something that is crucial, although in all honesty I see no reason why he'd react negatively. If he does, time to find a new therapist.


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Re: Narcissistic personality disorder & my mother. - March 26th 2012, 03:12 PM

1. I wouldn't confront her if I were in your place. Honestly, I can't see it producing anything but negative results. Most likely, she will attempt to cover it up and come up with more lies that explain her behavior.

2. Seeing a psychiatrist could be helpful to your mother, but only if she would be willing to cooperate. A psychiatrist won't be able to prescribe medication based on your description of your mother's behavior. They will have to see it for themselves. People with NPD are really good at covering up their disorder through manipulation and lying. If your mother doesn't want the psychiatrist to find out, she won't show him. That doesn't mean they won't figure it out; they are trained in this, after all. But, it will be more difficult for them and it will make it harder for them to convince your mother to take the medication that she needs.

This is definitely something that you should bring up with your own therapist. As the previous poster stated, this affects your progress outside of therapy. Because of that, it's something that he needs to know about. Don't worry about his reaction - that's not what's important. What is important is that he provides you with the necessary tools to deal with your mother's NPD and keep it from affecting you any more than it already has.


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Re: Narcissistic personality disorder & my mother. - March 26th 2012, 06:36 PM

So, you've diagnosed your mom, huh?

I'm with Sammi on this one, if you're in therapy 3x/wk, this is something you should be talking about there. Your peers as well as the doc can best advise you on how to manage this.

We're all something, Becca...whatever you call it. The task isn't so much to look to label it as it is to recognize it and learn how to deal with it. Kids tend to label their folks not so much to better understand them, but rather to point the finger of responsibility away from themselves. That misses the point, you know: Your mom could be stark, raving mad----->but you still have to learn how to live with her, and the best way to successfully do that is see that the only person you can change is yourself and the way you respond to her craziness.


PM me with the link of the post you'd like me to respond to.
   
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