[DWJ] narcissistic personality disorder site (was (now with F&H spoilers))

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Fri Jan 26 10:44:50 EST 2007

> Does anyone who hasn't happened to give birth ever present with
> narcissistic personality disorder, or is it confined to females with
> children; if so, how do these people get by if they happen not to spawn?
> How do they express these characteristics if they lack child-victims and
> have nobody readily-available to practise on?

Oh, there are lots of narcissistic personality disorders in other kinds 
of people. I've been listening to an audiobook called "Social 
Intelligence" and have just gotten to the point where he talks about 
'the dark triad' of Narcissistic Personality, Machiavellian Personality, 
and Psychopathy, which are all characterized by lack of/severe 
deficiency in the neurological/psychological capacity for 'empathy'. 
> That may be a silly question, but this entire site seems concentrated
> exclusively on "the *mother* as evil Aunt Maria figure" 

It does seem to be concentrated on mothers with narcissistic personality 
disorders. Now, it just happens that I've met 2 people who really do 
have mothers of this exact stripe, to the point where both mothers have 
had run-ins with the law. So I recognize the description.

But I think this particular site, referenced because of this discussion,
is describing how the disorder presents in mothers specifically; there
are lots of other sites discussing it more generally, and the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual IV gives a very clear definition.  (After my last
run-in with an out of control [male] narcissist, I happened to look that
up while reviewing the psych books in the reference section.)

> Am I missing the point by not knowing the proper
> words used to describe the paternal/male subset of "semi-professional
> self-centred bullying toad" (and those for the adolescent of this type of
> both sexes)?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Aka Pointy-haired boss to the Nth 
degree, Psychopath Dad etc. He's a standard figure in most fiction, and 
twice as much in fantasy. DWJ sets The Ogre Downstairs up as one of 
these. It's actually generally agreed to be more common in men than in 

> I also wonder both how they get that way (is it gender-specific because it
> is a byproduct of some aspect of the birthing experience, is it related to
> Post Natal Stress or something?) and what they benefit from it.  Doesn't
> look to me as if someone going to all that trouble to make someone else's
> life a misery can be having much of a good time herself...  Are they happy
> with their condition, is it fulfilling and satisfying?  Ivy seems to have
> had (or to be having) a genuinely awful life at least partly as a result of
> her own behaviour, I think.

No, usually they are not happy, and they are spreading their unhappiness 

> Is there any defence a mother can make when her adolescent turns round and
> says "You've got narcissistic personality disorder", or is this like "When
> did you stop beating your wife?", one of the Great Unanswerables?  I can't
> off-hand think of any way to rebut, rebuff, refute or otherwise squish that
> charge without it instantly looking as if it were true!

Hm... Well, I'd say dealing with the charge calmly is probably one's 
best bet. Since adolescents have a fair share of narcissism (it's a 
developmental trait of the age), it's going to be tough going. Nothing 
much you could say in the heat of anger, definitely-- my best bet would 
be to tell them go look it up in some psychology books and write up the 
charges, and we'll discuss them later.  In the cold light of a standard 
psych text and having to do homework about it, it might be easier to 
deal with.

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it screams
'Why don't you ever listen to me?' and lets fly with a club."

More information about the Dwj mailing list