Category Archives: Personality Disorders

High Narcissism (High Self-Esteem), Solipsism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Differential Diagnosis

Trash: NPD is sort of like Attention Deficit Disorder. The terminology is getting tossed around a great deal but I think a vast, vast number of people would fit its criteria.

No, Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD has very precise criteria, but clinicians do screw it up. I really doubt if true NPD is overdiagnosed. It is not an extremely common disorder. However, much has been written about how we are becoming more narcissistic as a society. That may be true, but that doesn’t mean we are in an NPD epidemic.

My last therapist told me I was a narcissist – not NPD but narcissistic traits. This took me aback because I am not real fond of these types. They really rub me the wrong way and mostly they are just too much. I have one in my family and he has been known on many occasions to not be a very unpleasant person. There is a real ugly and nasty side to this disorder when it gets bad. They truly do not care about you, are not interested in you at all, and they can be very mean and cruel. Not that they care about that either. Of course they are also utterly clueless.

My best therapist has told me that I am not a narcissist. He said I am self-centered, but that’s more of a case of being all wrapped up in my own stuff to think about others much rather than being selfish. It’s related to my OCD and a lot of OCD’ers are pretty much all wrapped up in their own stuff. This is often confused with narcissism, but it’s not the same thing. It’s more like solipsism. I admit I am pretty solipsistic. It’s not that I don’t care about others. I do, but I am so wrapped up in myself all the time that I do not have a lot of energy left over for others.

He also told me that I have high self esteem. This could also be called high narcissism if you believe that narcissism = self-esteem. In that case, low narcissism would be low self-esteem. However, high narcissism in the sense of high self esteem, though it may seem a bit much, and such folks are often conceited, vain and egotistical, is considered healthy in that generally empathy is fairly well preserved. It is typically considered to be a sign of good mental health. Personally, I think everyone should have high narcissism or high self esteem. Why not? What’s wrong with everyone thinking they are great? How is that bad?

The problem is that people keep going beyond high narcissism all the way into pathological narcissism or NPD. The problem here is that now self esteem has gone so high that as it gets higher and higher, one cares less and less about and has less and less empathy for others. To put it briefly, at some point, the more you love yourself, the less you love others. I am not sure why that is, but perhaps there is only so much love available in a human.

Also at some point, self esteem gets so high that you feel better than or superior to others. This tends to coincide with low empathy. I don’t claim to fully understand narcissism as it is an extremely complex subject. I have been studying it deeply for over a decade now, and it still doesn’t really make complete sense to me, but that’s typical of a lot of mental issues. I’ve also been studying sociopaths for most of my life, and they still don’t make sense to me. I can’t for the life of me see how anyone could be like that. To me they don’t make sense.

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Filed under Anxiety Disorders, Mental Illness, Narcissism, Narcissistic, OCD, Personality, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology

Schizoid Personality Disorder Vs. Asperger’s Syndrome

Ultra Cool: Is Asperger’s not the same as schizoid? They do seem to be VERY similar, at least on a superficial level.

Apparently quite a bit different, though the last DSM seemed to be saying that they are the same thing.

Schizoids do not seem nearly as weird and out of it as Aspies do. Schizoids seem like perfectly normal people who just want to be alone all the time and are perfectly happy that way. I don’t get the impression that they cannot read social cues or act odd or strange, etc. Also schizoids are rather muted emotionally, while Aspies are commonly wildly emotional to the point of frequent temper tantrums.

There is something really weird about Aspies. On some level, they just don’t get it. You do not get that impression with Schizoids at all. They seem absolutely sane, other than just wanting to be alone all the time. Also, Schizoids do not react much to either praise or criticism. If you come down hard on an Aspie, they might flip.

Aspies sometimes strike me as resembling retarded people in some ways. Now, they are typically much smarter than retarded people, but I have seen quite a few Aspies with that “retarded person” look on their faces like they are completely out of it and have no idea what is going on.

Schizoids are almost excessively rational and cool. If you go to their forums, you would be surprised at how shockingly sane they are.

Schizoids could change but don’t want to. Aspies usually have no idea that anything is even wrong with them. Studies have shown that Schizoids tend to cluster a lot more with other personality disorders than with forms of autism.

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Psychologists Say Trump Is Severely Mentally Ill

Well, we knew that.

The particular illness he has s called Malignant Narcissism. Although it is not in the DSM and has never even been proposed, it has a theoretical long history in psychiatry. Karen Horney did some of the best early descriptive work on it, and Otto Kernberg added to that with a superb monograph in 1984. Unfortunately, most of the writing about this disorder is coming out of the psychoanalytic community, where dubious theory is common.

Think of narcissism as self-esteem. They are the same thing, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Almost all human beings are narcissistic, and narcissism is an essential part of the makeup of any healthy human. However, as with most things, even water, you can have too much of a good thing.

Narcissism, like most things in abnormal psychology (or for that matter, on Earth), exists on a continuum.

At the far left, we have low narcissism, which could be seen as low self-esteem. This is not a good condition, but it is very hard to fix once it gets set in.

Healthy narcissism is the sort of thing that most people have.

High narcissism is better seen as high self-esteem and it is generally regarded as a sign of good mental health. Some people might find these people a bit too much, and some people refer to them as vain, conceited, or self-impressed. At worst, they can be arrogant, condescending, and cocky and they can wear out their welcome after a bit. However, if the downside of the feeling (arrogance, condescension and cockiness) are played down, high self-esteem does not generally get too much in the way of functioning well as a human being. In addition, many of these people retain a lot of empathy for others,  but as they tend towards arrogance and cockiness, they can start to seem unempathetic.

Beyond that, we move into the toxic zone of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which may also exist on a continuum of mild NPD, moderate NPD and serious NPD. If you told the first two that they had NPD, they would laugh in your face and turn it into an attack on you. The latter may well recognize that they have this condition, but they don’t care that they do, or else they like it.

Beyond NPD, we move into the area of Malignant Narcissism. This is a poorly understood construct, but I believe that it does exist and should be in the DSM. This could be seen as narcissism heading off into psychopathy. They are sometimes called Narcissistic Sociopaths.

A lot of people think that narcissism and psychopathy are on the same spectrum , as the sociopath is the ultimate narcissist. In a way he is, but it is in an odd way. To the narcissist, other humans exist, but he just doesn’t care about them.

For the sociopath, in a sense, the sociopath is the only person in the whole world. Not only does the world revolve around them but even worse, the world is them and they are the world. Other humans don’t exist as such. They exist in a way, but they are not really human. Instead, other humans are like the hammers and screwdrivers in your tool chest. Sure, they come in handy sometimes, but they’re not exactly alive. And I can take that hammer or screwdriver and do whatever I want to with it. I can throw it away, set it on fire, throw it in a river, or smash it to pieces. Which is about how a sociopath sees you – as a handy tool that is about as alive as a rock which can be destroyed or tossed aside if he desires to without any more of a thought as you would give to tossing away any nonliving thing.

Here is a good schematic on the Narcissistic continuum:

Low Narcissism (Low Self Esteem) -> Healthy Narcissism -> High Narcissism (High Self Esteem) -> Mild Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) – Moderate NPD – Serious NPD -> Malignant Narcissism -> Various degrees of sociopathy and psychopathy ranging from 20-40 on Hare’s Psychopathy Scale

They kept saying Trump had NPD, but I always wondered about that. I have met a few NPD’s in my life, and I have known at least one quite well. Sure, they are insufferable, and they can be serious jerks, but they didn’t seem to have the same level of crazy as Trump. I kept thinking, “Well, severe NPD is a pretty nasty illness,and they can seem pretty nuts,” but I was unsure about that statement.

And now it all makes sense. The reason he seemed so extreme for an NPD is because he is not an NPD at all.

Instead, he is something considerably worse, a Malignant Narcissist. It is separate disorder from NPD, past NPD on the road to sociopathy. But I do not understand this illness well, and it has never been in the DSM, though it ought to be.

NPD’s can definitely be dangerous, but in general they are too obsessed with their wonderful greatness and their superb lives to commit serious violence and risk imprisonment. They also might not want to hurt their glorious public image.

The one thing you need to know about Malignant Narcissists is that they are dangerous. Now that doesn’t mean that they are ever going to do anything truly bad, and they may go through their whole lives without spending an hour in jail. But the potential for some serious bad behavior all the way up to serial murder is there.

To give you an example of how dangerous a Malignant Narcissist can be, Ted Bundy was a malignant narcissist.

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Filed under Mental Illness, Narcissism, Narcissistic, Personality, Personality Disorders, Politics, Psychology, Psychopathology, Republicans, Serial Killers, Sociopathy, US Politics

Is Psychiatry a Pseudoscience?

Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!: I think Mr Lindsay would do well to read Crazy Like Us if he hasn’t already.

Is psychiatry a pseudoscience?

Yes and no. That is, the phenomena of mental illness are genuine, but their investigation is sorely lacking in rigor. This added to the fact that psychiatry is a business in the US and the Anglosphere more generally results in huge over-diagnosis, pathologizing difference, etc., and children are the easiest marks for this con.

As someone who works with people who have actual diagnosed DSM disorders on a regular basis, I definitely think that a lot of these things are real, and they are indeed disorders. We actually try very hard not to pathologize anything that could remotely be seen as normal conduct, and we cast a wide net for that phrase.

The people I deal with have Axis 1 disorders, and they are suffering from the most incredible pain and misery. Many of them are almost literally living in Hell. I lost one client to suicide. Further, the disorder often makes it very hard for them to function well in society. It’s not uncommon that I have clients who have been hospitalized, sometimes on multiple occasions.

Axis 2 is real too. Those are real disorders. I have known some people on Axis 2 (personality disorders), and trust me, they are not normal in any way, shape or form. Mostly they are making other people miserable, but the disorder is usually screwing up their own life in a big way too.

As far as psychiatry being a pseudoscience, well, I get people who are misdiagnosed all the time. I’m not allowed to give legal DSM diagnoses, but I tell them my opinion on what they have and how they are misdiagnosed. Often I get people diagnosed psychotic who are not psychotic at all.

Some of them are pretty crazy, but just because you feel really nuts does not mean you are psychotic. Psychosis is a loss of touch with reality. If you are not out of touch with reality, you are not psychotic. Psychosis is grossly misdiagnosed in the US. If you feel really crazy, you get diagnosed “psychotic.” It is just the field’s way of saying “this person is seriously crazy.” But seriously crazy is not the same thing as psychotic. You would not believe how nuts people can feel without being psychotic. Your world can get seriously weirded out when you are not even psychotic at all.

I also get people who are mis-prescribed all the time. Psychiatrists hand this stuff out like candy and they severely play down the side effects.

In short, yes it’s a real science, but we don’t have formal tests like lab tests or X-rays to actually make a perfect diagnosis. So we have to go on symptoms, and it can be quite hard to diagnose a mentally ill person correctly. I have dealt with people who had been diagnosed with 10-15 different disorders. There was no way that they currently had all of those conditions when I spoke to them. This person was extremely ill though, I would agree with that. Unbelievably ill.

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Filed under Health, Medicine, Mental Illness, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotherapy, Psychotic Disorders, Science

Case Study: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

One of my best friends has been dealing with an NPD sibling for most of his life. The family used to live near me but have not for a while. But my friend calls me up once in a while to update me on the latest shenanigans.

This NPD has designated my friend Rival #1 for a very long time. This is mixed with extreme envy, which I think is pitiful. Anyone who is wildly envious of my friend must be absolutely pitiful because my friend has had little going for him forever now.

But he still feels very challenged and gets upset if my friend has any sort of serious success. Usually he gets very uncomfortable when he hears about it and then a few months later, he is going around telling everyone that he has achieved a similar success that has equaled or surpassed my friend’s success. For instance,  a couple decades ago, my friend managed to get a Masters Degree. This was a serious threat to the NPD and he was silent about this for a while. A few months later, the NPD was telling everyone that he had a Masters Degree. He cannot allow my friend to have one up on him in any way, shape or form. He’s that crazy insecure.

The NPD can be generous, especially to his family. However, part of this may be that he has some money and he sees the whole rest of his family as “the pitiful losers who brought it on themselves.” He does give them money, but I suspect that part of it may be he can feel superior to them and to play the role of “successful winner helping out the poor pitiful losers.”

The NPD has a child who he cherishes with all the love in the world. Other than that, he has not much concern for anyone else. He asks my friend how he is doing, and 30 seconds later he is looking around the room in utter boredom. It is unbelievably rude, and it is quite a sight to behold. Then he starts talking rapidly, saying something like, “OK, thanks for telling us what is going on with you. Let’s move on now,” usually not in a very nice way.

He has a blustering air about him. He can very nice, and then he can turn cold as ice on a dime. He has been this way for decades. As he has aged, the condition has worsened. He used to care somewhat about my friend’s life and what he was doing at least to some extent.

I saw this person turn on his own mother, the mother of my friend. She is the nicest lady you have ever met, and I have known her forever. But at one point, I believe because he was trying to get money out of her and she would not cooperate, he turned into a complete Iceman, read her the riot act and told her he was writing her out of his life. He acted like he did not care at all that he would ever see his mother again. The coldness and brutal callousness of it was almost breathtaking to behold. His mother was utterly devastated and blamed herself for this episode, which is how he phrased things of course.

He is a master manipulator and has superb social skills except for the NPD stuff which is social retardation, yet of course he has no awareness of the NPD stuff and how retarded it is, so I assume he does his NPD stuff everywhere. He can’t see how it is pathological, so why shut it off?

He can be exceptionally devious and has cheated on his taxes before. He can lie with a straight face and maintain that lie for decades in the face of all evidence. He has no problem with near-pathological lying if that is required. He has no insight, and he’s never done much of anything wrong. It’s all the fault of other people.

He got into a serious brawl at his armed security guard job at a naval base. This ended in a first fight which got him written up. He went so far as the fake his lab work by adding blood to his body fluids in order to claim that the man he fought with had severely injured him.

As far as manipulation goes, he is a master par excellence. His manipulations are so sophisticated and convoluted that it seems he is playing 9th Dimensional Chess. The manipulated persons are often at a loss to what the NPD is doing when he is manipulating them. They simply think he is utterly baffling. I have to think about a bit, but after a while, I can take apart the Rube Goldbergian manipulation contraption and figure out exactly what he is trying to do with whatever game he is playing. I tell the manipulated person what I think the NPD is trying to do with them via the this mystifyingly confusing manipulation. It is not easy to figure out his brilliant manipulations though, and it seems like you almost have to run them through a supercomputer to figure them out. But I have him pretty well figured out.

In the family, he was the middle child, and he spent much of his childhood bitching about how the middle child is screwed because the oldest child is the leader who gets all the glory, the youngest one is the baby who gets out of all work, and the middle child never gets any recognition for anything. He developed extreme envy of my friend to the point of taking the opposite position to his on everything. If my friend liked the home baseball team, he would suddenly become a fan of the hometeam’s worst rival for no reason other than spiting the sibling.

He spent his whole life in exaggerated hypermasculinity developed in part as opposition to my friend who he felt was effeminate. My friend is simply a “soft” man who has a feminine side but is not even 1% effeminate. The NPD is a serious homophobe who baited my friend for being gay for many years. My friend is not even 1% gay. He also accused all of my friend’s friends of being gay and said my friend was having gay sex with all of his friends. Instead of being gay, my friend is actually the opposite, one of the more notorious womanizers that I have known. As a young man he was very good-looking. Furthermore the NPD has some mild homosexual leanings of his own which may be related to the homophobia.

He stole many of my friend’s friends away. My friend seemed to make friends a lot easier than the NPD did and was rather more popular. So he poached my friend’s friends and took a number of the rival’s friends away like this. This was insulting to my friend because the implication was that my friend’s friends abandoned my friend for the NPD on the notion that my friend was inferior and the NPD was superior.

The NPD can definitely be violent. As a child, he was a bully who loved to torment and beat up his siblings, especially a younger one. He blamed the sibling he beat up for all of these assaults. In adolescence and adulthood, he displayed violence in some cases, mostly within the family. He is very strong and can hurt with one swing. He seemed to delight in hitting people, and every time he did it you got the impression that he had been saving up months waiting for this cherished moment.

As a security guard, the NPD got to roust people a lot, and he beat people up once in a while, something he very much enjoyed. Bottom line he likes to beat people up. For a while he worked as a prison guard, and I suppose he got to beat people up there too. He derives so much pleasure from beating people up you get the impression that it is one of the peak experiences of his life when he gets to do this. Of course he tried to be a police officer but failed the exams, possibly due to failing lie detector tests about drug use and especially dealing.

I heard that one time the NPD actually beat a man in the head with a baseball bat. This is a charge that he denies to this day, and he will deny it on his deathbed. In fact, he blames the man he assaulted with the bat for the attack, stating that the victim “attacked” the NPD, and the NPD was forced to “fight back.” That is not what happened. It was a straight-up assault.

Around college time, he spent most of his time complaining that his friends’ parents paid them to go to fancy colleges while his parents could only afford to send him to the local college, where he had to live at home.

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Filed under Mental Illness, Narcissistic, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology

The Definition of “Insufferable”

Insufferable: having or showing unbearable arrogance or conceit.

“An insufferable bully.”

“His win made him insufferable.”

Synonyms: conceited, arrogant, boastful, cocky, cocksure, full of oneself, self-important, swaggering; vain, puffed up, self-satisfied, self-congratulatory, smug.

Informal: big-headed, too big for one’s britches, too big for one’s boots.

Literary: vainglorious

Being insufferable is a bad thing. It’s generally indicative of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Yes, some people will like you, but so many more will hate you and anyway, there is no good reason to act this way in the first place. It is absolutely pathological behavior. The insufferable person/narcissist is completely selfish. It’s all about them, all the time. The Me Show is on all day, every day and that’s the only channel. Some of them can be giving, especially to their families, but more often than not you will find that these people cannot be called giving in any way. You’re either giving or taking in life, as life is reciprocal. The insufferable person/narcissist is a taker, not a giver. He takes from most people and gives little if anything in return. Somehow he thinks this is a perfectly fine way to walk through life.

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No, Pathological Narcissism Is Not OK

Even water can kill you if you drink too much of it, and at some point, the normal narcissism continuum that most of if not all humans are on gets to be too much of a good thing, and you are going into pathological narcissism. Usually this is heading towards Narcissistic Personality Disorder or something close to that.

Pathological narcissists are not acceptable. They are not ok. They are not all right. They don’t live longer than others. They’re not happier or healthier than others.

Instead of being ok, the truth is that they are simply ill. It’s not normal for a human being to be that way, as it clashes badly with smooth social and occupational functions. It’s a maladaptive disorder because it turns you into the biggest asshole on the planet, and understandably causes a lot of people to dislike you just about everywhere you go.

People with NPD are generally quite damaging. They tend to damage or harm most of the people they are in relationships with. Why? Because that’s just what they do. They can’t really do anything else. Of course they have no insight, and most are utterly incurable. The longer it goes on, the worse they get, and by the time they are in their 40’s or 50’s, almost all of them are completely hopeless and often profoundly ill cases.

As you might expect, therapy with NPD’s is typically a monumental waste of time and often quite unpleasant for the therapist to boot.

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Narcissistic Personality Disorder In Therapy: A Pointless and Unpleasant Endeavor

Like everyone on Axis 2, the person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder thinks they are fine. Obviously the problem is everybody else. They will just go through their whole life blaming other people. That’s how they ride.

They rarely if ever show up for therapy, and when they do, it is often at the behest of others who are forcing them into therapy because the narcissists is driving these people insane and ruining their lives. Once in therapy, the narcissist plays games, engages in a boatload of manipulation, does no work on themselves because after all there is nothing to be done, and often engages in a lot of ego and narcissistic games with the therapist, including insulting the therapist, thinking he is better than the therapist and telling him so, deciding that the therapist is a lousy therapist, etc.

If you tell them they are narcissists, will generally either reject the diagnosis, ignore it, blow it off with some humorous blustery remark, decide that psychiatry is a pseudoscience, or say, “So what? I like being this way.”

They might take it as an insult, but they usually will not react aggressively. Instead you will see a spark of recognition and alarm in their eyes. The narcissist is not an idiot. Many are highly intelligent and in fact, sadly it goes with the territory. At some level, most if not all narcissists now what is going on. The problems is they don’t care, or they like to be this way.

If you keep reminding the narcissist of what he is, he will stop being flippant about it and start getting aggressive. Expect dirty fighting, devious and crafty manipulation, nasty insults, or walking out of the room. Keep it up, and the narcissist will just end the relationship. The narcissist is not going to sit there and let you call him a narcissist all day. He’s too good for such degrading treatment. If he cannot do that, at some point, he will probably create a nuclear explosion of a fight and try to terrorize you into not bringing up the subject again.

Generally speaking, they are a complete waste of time in the office, therapy with them is often quite unpleasant, and nothing gets done anyway. It’s not uncommon for the therapist to simply fire the narcissist as client, informing him that nothing is getting done. This a relief to the narcissist, as now he has an excuse to quit the degrading therapy. Technically this is client abandonment and an ethics violation, but the decision is always mutual, and nothing was getting done anyway, so why prolong the pointless endeavor?

Theoretically, the narcissist can be cured. Since lions cannot change into tigers, all we can do with personality disorders is turn the bad side of a basic personality type into the good side of that type. The good side of Narcissistic Personality is Confident Personality. These people can be a bit much too, but they are healthy enough that they can function quite well especially in a hyper-competitive capitalist society like ours. The goal of therapy with an NPD is to turn them into a Confident Personality. But good luck with that.

There is so much more to talk about with narcissism and NPD, but let’s leave that for another day.

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Donald Trump: DSM Diagnosis – Axis 2: Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Severe), Prognosis – Grave

Whitedawg: I was kind of wondering, commenting about the personality traits/qualities of regular everyday people or elected officials, more so than Teddy. There is little doubt Ted crossed a lot of lines.

But it’s not so evident to most that President-elect Trump may have some serious problems that can influence his decision making and tweeting. Many people know non-serial killing psychopaths, sociopaths, and malignant narcissists. And some of those traits are looked at as positive.

Whitedawg, I am not sure if Trump is a Malignant Narcissist. However, a lot of people think Trump seems crazy. He seems very nuts or off to me too. The answer to the question is that Trump is indeed seriously nuts. He has a personality disorder. He has a serious or severe case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Some say it has gone over to Narcissistic Sociopath (not sure what that is) or Malignant Narcissism. I am not sure myself. Narcissistic Sociopath would not be a bad description of Mr. Trump.

If any of you ever wanted to know what a serious case of NPD looks like, study Mr. Trump good and hard. He’s a textbook case X 10.

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Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Malignant Narcissism, and Sociopathy/Psychopathy

Whitedawg: I was kind of wondering, commenting about the personality traits/qualities of regular everyday people or elected officials, more so than Teddy. There is little doubt Ted crossed a lot of lines.

But it’s not so evident to most that President-elect Trump may have some serious problems that can influence his decision making and tweeting. Many people know non-serial killing psychopaths, sociopaths, and malignant narcissists. And some of those traits are looked at as positive.

I am not sure how many non-pathological Malignant Narcissists there are out there.

George W. Bush was said to be sociopathic and the same was said about LBJ. Hitler was clearly a psychopath, and he also had Paranoid Personality Disorder.

I have known a number of people who had what I would diagnose as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. At first they may seem likable, but there is something pretty awful about them somehow even when they are being good. The one I knew best caused massive damage to me in my life until I severely restricted contact with them. Another person close to me got to know two NPD’s very well and has recently fallen out with one of them.

NPD’s are harmful! If you get involved with an NPD, you are probably going to get harmed or damaged. It’s just what they do. They harm people. That’s their nature. I would advise any of you if you have any NPD’s in your life to think seriously about whether you want this person in your life or not. It’s possible to have them in your life while causing little or no damage, but more often than that, there’s something toxic about them. If they haven’t hurt you yet, they probably will at some point in the future. I don’t cotton to assholes much, and I’ve suffered far too many of them for one lifetime. I don’t have any NPD’s in my life, and that’s the way I like it.

It’s generally a good idea to get all of the Cluster B Personality Disorder types out of your life. Cluster B is Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

I have dealt with a few people who seemed pretty sociopathic in my life. They all harmed from me. Some of them stole from me. There is one I know to this day, and he is one of the most frightening people I know. The worst is you think he is nice because he has this sort of awful charm about him, so you go make friends with him again, and that’s always a big mistake. He came into my house, stole a $275 Guatemalan knife hanging on my wall when he had my back turned to him and was out the door. I was told he sold it for $10 to buy weed. He is a Bulldogs gang member, has scars from bullet wounds, and I believe he has a criminal record.

I knew his brother, and he came to my house one day carrying a small gun under his jacket. It was larger than a pistol but smaller than a rifle. I guess it was a semiautomatic. Not knowing guns, to me, it looked like a sawed off shotgun. He was bringing it to the local school where he attended in case he might have to fight his gang enemies. He told me he didn’t care if he lived or died anymore. He was only 19 years old when he told me that, a mere boy.

Last time he came over, I let him in and we sat down and watched some videos. He took out a very large knife and put it on the table. He said he did it to put me at ease. I actually did not mind that he did that. I prefer that if people are armed when they see me that they remove their weapons and place them on some furniture near us. That sort of evens the score a bit and shows a lot of trust. I suppose either of us could grab the weapon and murder the other person but it never happens. Plus I sort of like to live dangerously like an outlaw, and this is in line with that image.

A destructive sociopath comes into your life like a whirlwind. All sorts of wild and crazy things happen to you for a while, and it is like you are caught up in an exciting tornado thunderstorm. It’s all pretty wild and crazy, and nothing makes much sense, but you just go along because they seem so fun and charming, and these folks have a sort of a “pull” or attraction to them. I know of no other way to describe it but you might call it a forcefield. There is something about them, possibly in the very look in their eyes, that sort of hypnotizes you and sucks you into them and their world.

At some point, the sociopath vanishes from your life, whirling away in the distance like a funnel cloud. You look around at your life, and everything seems to be in ruins. It’s like someone came into your house and turned everything upside down, threw a lot of stuff on the floor, and now everything is a mixed up mess. You and your life have been seriously damaged by some unknown entity. You don’t even know what hit you. You look around at the human wreckage and think of the times when the sociopath was whirling around in your life and you think, “What in the Hell was that, anyway?”

These people don’t make sense. I have been studying sociopaths forever, and I have even done some psychological counseling with sociopaths. If they are young enough, you can still work with them to some extent and maybe prevent serious damage in the future. After decades of studying sociopaths, they still don’t make sense to me. I think the only way to understand sociopaths is to be one.

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