Monday, September 7, 2015

Dear Narcissist Problems: "Suddenly Slapped"


Dear Narcissist Problems,

Hello, I'm needing some advice concerning my wife. After much reading and honest thought, I believe she may be somewhere on the spectrum of NPD. I've been hit in the face multiple times, hard (to which she says, "it was a slap, my hand was opened")....well, I'm a 200# man, and my ears were ringing. She changes into someone else when she's mad. After following her around the country for her PhD (in psychology no less), supporting her all the way, only to have her abandon her dissertation at the last minute, and blame me for her quitting. Recently I believe that we've entered into the devaluation/discard phases. Over the past two years, I've been working on being my best, and feel I've made big improvements. 5 weeks ago, shortly after her getting a big raise, I noticed her not needing me emotionally anymore. She's always been very attention needy, so I knew something was wrong. I checked the phone records and discovered an hour/day phone relationship with a lawyer "friend". It quickly became her primary emotional relationship, and when confronted, she yelled at me for things in the past, and showed anger, not remorse. She's stated repeatedly that she "doesn't have much empathy", and that she "wants a man who would go to the ends of the Earth for her"- which I do. After asking the lawyer to stop talking with her, twice, with no reply, I threatened him with a lawsuit and he cut it off. Now she's angry at me, stringing me along with enough charm to get what she wants, and distant coldness, especially after intimacy. I could go on....but I'm trying to figure out if she is indeed on the spectrum of NPD or something else.

 Thanks much,

Suddenly Slapped


Dear Slapped,

    I would first like to say I do not hold a degree in psychiatry the only thing I can do is give advice from experience and help dig up some research.  Before I get into the research I would like to ask: “What in the hell are you doing with this woman”?  I see so many men stay in abusive relationships and I really need to understand this more.  I already understand why but are you seriously thinking of sticking around to salvage this train wreck?  It sounds to me like it doesn’t really matter how far on the spectrum she is with any disorder she is abusing you physically and financially. I was just participating in a conversation earlier in a group for people who support men who are abused.  This man posted a picture of what his girlfriend did to him.  I’m sure it started out with slaps but over time this escalated to being stabbed with a fork and onto a butcher knife.  He almost died!  This woman has also confessed to you that she has very little empathy, thank god she didn’t finish her dissertation in psychology.  My point is that this woman is toxic and I have seen from experience what an aggressive woman with no empathy is capable of.  They are capable of stabbing you, running you over with a car, and trying to smother you with a pillow in your sleep.  They will make your life a living hell and then tell the police and the courts that YOU were the aggressor.  You stated that you are a 200 pound man and I’m sure as soon as she turns on the water works the authorities will buy her story of self-defense.  Get away from her and make sure you document the crazy!

    As for how far on the spectrum she is According to the DSM-5 there are two criteria that must be filled to diagnose a person with a personality disorder.  Criterion A is used to test an individual’s level of personality functioning.  This is further diagnosed by assessing an individual’s pathological personality traits, Criterion B.  So if you are looking for how far down the spectrum your wife is you would want to ask how extreme her personality traits are.  It can be noted even by experts in the field of psychiatry that “numerous potential inconsistencies in the conceptualization of narcissism, including variants in describing its nature (normal, pathological), phenotype (grandiosity, vulnerability), expression (overt, covert), and structure (category, dimension, prototype). In all four of these areas of conceptualization, DSM descriptions of the concept have been limited.” (Skodol, Bender, & Morey 2014).  It is also noted in this article that there is very little research on narcissistic personality disorder, its manifestations, and treatment available.  As far as psychiatry is concerned the study of this personality disorder is lacking.  This is why you will find so many of these support groups and pages popping up all over the internet.  Victims of Narcissistic Abuse usually have no idea that they were abused or they blame themselves for the abuse and rationalize it away.  Moreover, the topic has such little research into it that when we do go to therapy we are further invalidated in our experiences. 

So what does it take to be diagnosed with NPD?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) - The DSM Criteria

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) as an Axis II, Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic) Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

Requires excessive admiration

Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes


I suggest visiting the above link.

There has been research springing up here and there that recognizes the need to further explore this personality disorder and the conclusion to a recent study was that “Conclusions: These findings suggest that DSM-IV criteria for narcissistic personality disorder are too narrow, underemphasizing aspects of personality and inner experience that are empirically central to the disorder. The richer and more differentiated view of narcissistic personality disorder suggested by this study may have treatment implications and may help bridge the gap between empirically and clinically derived concepts of the disorder.”(2008). This article goes on to say that “Despite its severity and stability (1 , 2) , narcissistic personality disorder is one of the least studied personality disorders.”

Attached is a useful study into the subject that will help you further explore what could be going on.

Regards,

Narcissist Problems

 By: Elsa Ronningstam
Harvard Medical School;

Pathological narcissism is characterized by fragility in self-regulation, self-esteem and sense of agency, accompanied by strong self-protective reactivity, emotion dysregulation, and a range of self-enhancing and self-serving behaviors and attitudes. Areas or periods of proactive and healthy narcissism coexist with pathological narcissism. Self-regulatory fluctuations and accompanying shifts in self-esteem are context dependent and affected by situational, that is, interpersonal or event triggered reactivity. The phenotypic presentations of pathological narcissism and NPD range from interpersonal pretentiousness, arrogance, and assertiveness, to insecurity, shyness, and hypersensitivity (Cooper, 1998; Russ et al., 2008). Notable is also that narcissistic individuals’ internal experiences may differ significantly from their overt behavior and descriptive accounts. From an attachment perspective narcissistic personality style and pathological narcissism are suggested to be anchored in a detached-dismissing pattern (disliking attachment to others and preferring investment in interpersonal space and own agency), or in an avoidant pattern (defensive self-sufficiency). In addition, sensitive, vulnerable narcissism has been associated with anxious or fearful preoccupied attachment style (aspiring attachment but anticipating disappointment or rejection; Fonagy, 2001; Dickinson & Pincus, 2003).


Grandiosity and accompanying self-enhancing and self-serving incentives and behavior are part of a self-regulatory spectrum of narcissistic personality functioning. Overt as well as covert signs of both grandiosity and vulnerability coexist and affect narcissistic personality functioning in each situation (Pincus & Lukowitsky, 2010). Sense of competence, control, standards, and achievements are crucial for self-evaluation and self-esteem (Zeigler-Hill, Myers, & Clark, 2010).

Self-agency conceptualizes the subjective awareness and ownership of goal setting, and planning, initiating, executing, and controlling one’s own thoughts, intentions, actions, and accomplishments (Fonagy, Gergely, Jurist, & Target, 2002; Gallagher, 2006; Knox, 2011). It signifies implicit as well as explicit initiation, mastery, and self-direction, and it is a fundamental part of self-regulation and self-esteem. As such self-agency is a potential base for evaluating self-esteem regulation including grandiosity and inferiority. In social-psychological studies of narcissism, self-agency has been introduced to conceptualize narcissistic interpersonal and self-regulatory strategies, such as attention seeking, competitiveness, and self-esteem-enhancing relationships (Foster & Brennan, 2011).

Psychoanalytic studies noted that the subjective experiences of fluctuating or loss of self-agency are especially consequential for people whose sense of self-worth is fragile and whose ability for interpersonal relatedness is compromised (Knox, 2011). Disturbance in self-agency is an essential part of psychopathology (Spengler, von Cramon, & Brass, 2009; Fonagy et al., 2010). For example, schizotypal traits correlate with deficits in prediction which lead to weaker sense of self-agency (Asai & Tanno, 2008; Asai, Sugimori, & Tanno, 2008). Discrepancies between predicted and actual action–effect connection contributed to decreased sense of agency (Sato & Yasuda, 2005; Spengler, von Cramon, & Brass, 2009), and perceived reduced control of events was associated with decreased experience of authorship/instigation (Aarts, Wegner, & Dijksterjuis, 2006).


A young man, Bob 21 years old, dropped out of college and was hospitalized with a range of problems: At the initial evaluation the clinician noticed general anxiety, obsessive–compulsive preoccupation, racing thoughts, social anxiety, avoidance, and suicidality. Family members and friends portrayed Bob to the case-manager as inconsiderate, demanding, and demeaning, with threatening and verbally aggressive behavior, and involved in poly substance abuse. Bob described himself as struggling with internal agony caused by his inconsistent cognitive intellectual functioning, and feeling overwhelmed by insecurity and internal self-criticism. He often felt frustrated with other people; he found them stupid, unpredictable, and difficult to understand. In addition, he had been isolating and engaged in Internet sex-dating where he felt safer and more in control compared with if he tried to meet somebody at bars and parties.

Bob also described the week before being hospitalized; on Friday he met with his professor and began outlining a project for a paper. He thought the meeting went well as he perceived that his ideas were well understood and appreciated by his professor, and he left feeling motivated and competent. On Sunday he spoke in front of 10,000 people at a big sports event at his college. Apparently he did a good job, both according to his own assessment and based on the others’ enthusiastic feedback. With a smile he admitted that he felt he could become a future president of the United States. On Tuesday he found himself unable to speak in front of his class of 8 peer students. It was his turn to present the outline of his project, and just before the class began he experienced sudden anxiety with difficulties holding on to logical thinking and reasoning. When he was about to begin he experienced a total cognitive blockage and had to leave the room. A day later he saw no future for himself and struggled with excruciating self-reproach and intense suicidal ideations and impulses. He admitted that he anticipated critical and “stupid” comments from his peers and feared the anticipation of exposing himself to something he could not control. Most of all, he felt unable to rely upon his own competence and dreaded a sudden loss of his ability to think and speak.

Bob was highly intelligent, with an IQ in the range between 140 and 150. Some even considered him to be a genius, although he himself did not believe that, but he appreciated the admiration and acknowledgment. He was a competitive swimmer and leader of his swim team, and had encountered no problems with either swimming or team leadership. He had overall done well in college, especially on exams, and received high grades despite some inconsistencies. His professional aspirations and plan was to become a lawyer like his grand-father. He met 8 of the 9 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM–IV) and fifth edition (DSM-5) criteria for NPD (not #6, interpersonal exploitive) according to the Diagnostic Interview for DSM–IV Personality Disorders, DIPD-IV (Zanarini, Frankenburg, Sickel, & Young, 1996).

After having presented this rather diverse set of experiences Bob said to the therapist: “I cannot trust my faculties, I do not know from one day to another whether I can rely on my thinking and reasoning, access my knowledge, communicate, and perform. I struggle inside myself with dreadful self-scolding, constantly comparing and criticizing myself. I am a perfectionist, and I know that I can be very good, even exceptional. I have been considered a genius, but it does not hold up. I can’t tolerate closer contact with people. I get so angry and frustrated at them. I can see that I may be unfair, at times . . . , but I just can’t stand it. It works much better when I am in charge or if there is a distance to other people, like if I have a large audience. I feel extremely afraid of the future and ashamed of having to be in treatment. Some days I really doubt that anything can change or that I can get help, other days I can feel more optimistic”.


Bob presented with areas and moments of real potentials, consistent competence, and proactive interpersonal functioning, that is, as a swimmer and team leader, and in individual academic performance and interactions with his supervisors. On the exceptional side was his ability to speak in front of large audiences. He had both unrealistic grandiose fantasies as well as real age-appropriate professional aspirations. He came across as confident and self-promoting, alternating between bragging and a disdainful attitude. However, internally he struggled with extreme self-criticism, self-doubt (the reverse side of perfectionism), and interpersonal insecurity when facing close and intimate or collaborative interactions with peers, as if they tend to become critical enemies. However, this most consequential vulnerability was not triggered in his physical sport activities, only in his intellectual academic activities. In terms of self-agency, Bob was unable to integrate and regulate perceptions of challenges, failures, and interpersonal limitations with his actual competence and real abilities. From a self-regulatory perspective he used perfectionism and avoidance as well as substances to enhance self-esteem, and sense of control and to modulate self-criticism, fear, and anxiety. Apparently he had reached a point where he faced a rapid and extreme downhill spiral. High ambitions, perfectionism, and intermittent experiences of competence and even exceptional abilities under certain circumstances, turned into escalating interpersonal intolerance and fear, insecurity, distancing and avoidance, self-criticism and self-scolding, with substance usage and suicidality.


Although grandiosity is a diagnostic hallmark for NPD, and an indication of the pathological grandiose self (Kernberg, 1975), its complexity and changeability suggest that the diagnosis of NPD should not depend heavily on overt indications of grandiosity (Ronningstam, Gunderson, & Lyons, 1995). State-dependent signs or temporary reactive increase of grandiosity can alter or coexist with more persistent overt or covert grandiose self-experience, as well as with more proactive or authentic functioning. Given narcissistic patients’ identity diffusion and difficulties knowing who they are, identifying and differentiating their real competence, assets, and accomplishments from exaggerated or non-existing achievement and wished for talents are important. Equally important is the differentiation of their age appropriate ambitions and proactive aspiration from high-flying or unrealistic fantasies. It is not uncommon that patients with NPD struggle with uncertainty, shame, excessive self-criticism, and insecurity related to their actual talents, value and competence, parallel with an enhanced self-presentation, especially if they are young. Like in the case of Bob, it is also important to acknowledge areas of actual individual uniqueness and special talents or potentials as part of the overall self-regulatory functioning. In addition, encouraging patients’ own narrative, especially describing moments when they experience incompetence, inferiority, and fragility, is also a most essential part of the diagnostic process. The shifts in self-esteem from grandeur to inferior or vice versa with accompanying self-regulatory change in self-enhancement and self-devaluation are most informative. The subjective experiences of those interpersonal or situational conditions that cause such shifts are diagnostic hallmark for pathological narcissism and NPD (Ronningstam, 2012a, 2013).

Diagnostic evaluation and treatment tend to mobilize self-protection and control in people with narcissistic personality functioning. Some can be extremely and effectively defensive, focusing on details or seemingly relevant issues while avoiding more urgent or deeper and challenging problems. Others can mobilize plasticity and adjustment, agreeing and following along, and still others can get argumentative, aggressive, and critical. Although on the surface intelligent and articulated, even with moments of perspective-taking and reflection, these people also present with a significant resistance or inability to deeply connect, attach, and change. Doubts, shame and insecurity, confused self-identity, and self-criticism, combined with a range of self-enhancing strategies, contribute to their sometimes drastic self-regulatory interpersonal stands.

A conditional and limited alliance is unfolding, that can seem collaborative and interactive with common language, and even with processing of challenging inquiries and complex interpretations. However, the patients’ motive for seeking help and experience of facing treatment may be totally separated from acknowledging their problems and work toward changes or modifications of problematic areas functioning. Their reputation of being difficult to treat, or even untreatable, stems from a particularly complex and constricting mental functioning. Clinical observation and empirical findings indicate compromised functioning and impaired abilities behind the NPD diagnostic traits that indeed underpin pathological narcissism and contribute to the specific internal and interpersonal regulatory patterns. Awareness and integration of these factors in the diagnostic process is crucial for gaining a meaningful identification of the narcissistic patient.


The first set of such factors concerns the ability to access, process, and identify emotions. Studies have shown that both defensive and compromised emotional functioning influence self-regulation in people with pathological narcissism or NPD (Model, 1975; Krystal, 1998). Avoidance of emotions, especially fear of failure and humiliation, is considered a motivating, self-regulatory strategy (Bélanger et al., 2012). Vigilance, sensitivity, and reactivity to negative events and anticipation of humiliation (Besser & Zeigler-Hill, 2010) can coexist with emotion intolerance and difficulties processing feelings, in particular fear and shame. Fear, recognized in both psychoanalytic and empirical studies as essential in pathological narcissism, is also underlying several management and avoidance strategies typical for narcissistic personality functioning, such as competitiveness, perfectionism, risk-taking, and procrastination (Ronningstam & Baskin-Sommers, 2013). Shame also plays a significant role, especially in narcissistic interpersonal relating, and can motivate avoidance as well as defensive, retaliatory anger to regain agency and control (Tangney, 1995; Trumbull, 2003).

Compromised emotion recognition, that is, impaired accuracy in recognizing facial emotional expressions in others, especially fear and disgust (Marissen, Deen, & Franken, 2012), weaken the narcissistic patient’s ability for interpersonal guidance and information processing. Similarly, alexithymia, that is, the inability to feel and identify own feelings, either because of unawareness or incapacity to distinguish physical and affect states or because of lacking words for emotions (Krystal, 1998) can also impede on the ability to recognize emotions in others (Fan et al., 2011).

Studies of empathic deficits, another outstanding feature of NPD, have raised the question whether motivation/self-regulation or actual deficits, or both, contribute to compromised empathic ability. Impairment in emotional empathic ability was found in patients diagnosed with NPD (Ritter et al., 2011). Although their cognitive emphatic ability was intact and influenced by motivation, their emotional empathic functioning was affected by compromised ability for mirroring and responsiveness to the emotional states of others. On the other hand, NPD patients’ failure to accurately recognize emotions in others combined with overestimation of their own empathic ability indicates a more general empathic deficit (Marissen, Deen, & Franken, 2012). Emotion intolerance may also play a role in empathic ability as the person may be able to notice feelings in others, as mentioned above, but the perception of others’ feeling states can evoke overwhelming powerlessness, disgust, shame or loss of internal control, and hence trigger strong aggressive reactions or emotional or physical withdrawal (Ronningstam, 2009). In addition, noticeable fluctuations in narcissistic patients’ empathic ability may be influenced by self-regulation, with increased ability to empathize when feeling confident and in control, and decreased ability when feeling exposed, inferior or threatened.


The specific attachment pattern associated with pathological narcissism and NPD, as mentioned above, contributes to a second set of factors involving significant difficulties relating and connecting, especially in ways that can promote change (Kernberg, 2007). NPD patients often do not know who they are on a deeper level, and their identity is influenced by more profound and persistent self-enhancing efforts. Difficulties with dependency and mutuality and strong tendencies for avoidance and control are also, like in the case of Bob’s choice of intimacy via Internet, typical indicators of compromised interpersonal functioning (Kernberg, 1998). Perfectionism is such an effort because it involves both exceptionally high or inflexible (although inconsistent) ideals and standards of self or others, with strong reactions, including aggression, harsh self-criticism, shame, fear, or deceitfulness when self or others fail to measure up (Hewitt et al., 2008; Ronningstam, 2010). In interpersonal and social situations perfectionism can be self-promoting to enhance certain qualities, but it can also be self-protective and serve to hide something non-perfect. On the other hand, self-prescribed perfectionism can contribute to extremely unyielding self-criticism, like in the case of Bob, with hypervigilance and automatic cognitive appraisal of interpersonal situations as overly provocative or threatening. Especially, it contributes to reluctance to acknowledge and being seen as imperfect, and hence, to seek help for own distress and to integrate and benefit from treatment interventions.

Impaired ability for self-disclosure, self-silencing, selective or noncommunicativeness, and inability to share feelings and thoughts (Model, 1980; Besser, Flett, & Davis, 2003) are all aspects of narcissistic pathology that contribute to diagnostic challenges. Similarly, reversible perspective taking (Etchegoyen, 1999), the tendency to smoothly adopt the therapist’s comments and interpretations and seemingly internalize those given perspective without changing one’s own, and without incorporating the therapeutic process to generate change in own personality functioning, is yet another complicating defensive feature.


A third set of factors relates to the specific psychological aspects of trauma that can reinforce pathological narcissistic functioning. A narcissistic trauma is caused by a subjective experience of loss of supportive or sustaining external life conditions, such as changes in marriage/family, work and career, or financial situation, or loss of connection to a good, supportive idealized other person, leading to a loss or distortion of internal ideals and meaning. Sudden loss of a sense of control and competence, like in the case of Bob, can also be traumatizing for people whose self-esteem is strongly connected with performance and achievement. Such losses cause an acute internal state that threatens the continuity, coherence, stability, and wellbeing of the self (Maldonado, 2006). Narcissistic self-protection aimed at organizing and understanding the traumatic experience fail, and the sense of loss, rejection, and abandonment, along with feelings of shame, fear, and worthlessness become overwhelming (Gerzi, 2005). A narcissistic trauma is more subjective and self-esteem related, and involving exposure and humiliation. Sometimes such trauma can even be entirely emotional and internal, accompanied by compromised hope, sense of value, control, meaning, and affiliation. This contrasts to more external obvious traumatic experiences, such as physical attacks, abuse, accidents, and so forth. Narcissistic trauma, like in Trauma Associated Narcissistic Symptoms, TANS (Simon, 2002) can be intrinsic to the characterological vulnerability to disruption of self-regulation, and loss of agency and self-esteem in NPD. On the other hand, narcissistic traumas, experienced in young age, can also be deeply internalized and subjectively organized in a narcissistic patient’s mind, contributing to an armor-like, seemingly impenetrable narcissistic character functioning, with denial, omnipotence, and organizing and protecting narcissistic fantasies, covering split off shame and fear. These types of traumatic experiences may easily be either misdiagnosed or bypassed in a diagnostic evaluation as they often differ from standard psychiatric definitions of trauma involving abuse, neglect, catastrophes, and so forth (Ronningstam, 2012b; Simon, 2002; Krystal, 1998) and can remain effectively shielded. Facing the impact of external life events might actually help some patients to begin to access and process such subjectively internalized experiences.


This study has focused on identifying underpinnings and self-regulatory patterns behind the diagnostic traits for NPD. A flexible, exploratory, and collaborative diagnostic process is recommended that attends to the patients’ internal experiences and motivations as well as to their external and interpersonal functioning. The patients’ limitations and compromised abilities, as well as their interpersonally provocative, although sometimes quite elaborative self-regulatory and enhancing strategies should be attended to in ways that are informative and meaningful for both the patient and clinician. Identifying and differentiating healthy or protective aspects of narcissistic patterns from those that are pathological and perpetuating is important. Clarifying the threatening, injuring, or traumatic experiences and situations that escalate narcissistic reactivity is equally essential. Clinicians’ observations of the narcissistic patients’ functioning often do not concur with the patients’ own experiences of themselves or formulations of their problems. More detailed exploration of a recent event that caused fluctuations in the patient’s self-esteem and agency can be a useful start. Such exploration can provide the opportunity to clarify the patient’s internal subjective perspective, needs, and motives for self-enhancement, experiences of vulnerability and deflation, and the organizing and protective role of narcissistic functioning, both internally in relation to self and in relationship to others. A focus on these areas of functioning is in line with the Workgroups proposal for personality functioning in DSM-5 Section III, which includes identity (regulation of self and emotions), self-direction (self-agency), empathy and intimacy (interpersonal relatedness). With regard to the diagnosis of NPD, these changes represent significant improvement compared with the entirely trait-based diagnosis. Encouraging self-assessment and the patients’ own narratives of their performance, anticipations, aspirations, and shifts in states, self-esteem, and emotions can begin to bridge the different perspectives of the patient and the clinician, and help reaching a diagnostic agreement and understanding of the patient’s functioning.


Aarts, H., Wegner, D. M., & Dijksterhuis, A. (2006). On the feeling of doing: Dysphoria and the implicit modulation of authorship ascription. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 1621–1627. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2005.12.004

Asai, T., Sugimori, E., & Tanno, Y. (2008). Schizotypal personality traits and prediction of one’s own movements in motor control: What causes an abnormal sense of agency?Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal, 17, 1131–1142. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2008.04.004

Asai, T., & Tanno, Y. (2008). Highly schizotypal students have a weaker sense of self-agency. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 62, 115–119. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1819.2007.01768.x

Bélanger, J. J., Lafreniere, M.-A. K., Vallerand, R. J., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2013). Driven by fear: The effect of success and failure information on passionate individuals performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104, 180–195. doi:10.1037/a0029585

Besser, A., Flett, G. L., & Davis, A. (2003). Self-criticism, dependency, silencing the self, and loneliness: A test of a mediational model. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 1735–1752. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(02)00403-8

Besser, A., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2010). The influence of pathological narcissism on emotional and motivational responses to negative events: The roles of visibility and concern about humiliation. Journal of Research in Personality, 44, 520–534. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2010.06.006

Cooper, A. M. (1998). Further developments of the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. In E.Ronningstam (Ed.), Disorders of narcissism: Diagnostic, clinical, and empirical implications (pp. 53–74). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Dickinson, K. A., & Pincus, A. L. (2003). Interpersonal analysis of grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. Journal of Personality Disorders, 17, 188–207. doi:10.1521/pedi.17.3.188.22146

Etchegoyen, H. R. (1999). Fundamentals of psychoanalytic technique. London, UK: Karnac Books.

Fan, Y., Wonneberger, C., Enzi, B., de Greek, M., Ulrich, C., Tempelmann, C., . . .Northoff, G. (2011). The narcissistic self and its psychological and neural correlates: An exploratory fMRI study. Psychological Medicine, 41, 1641–1650.

Fonagy, P. (2001). Attachment theory and psychoanalysis. New York, NY: Other Press.

Fonagy, P., Gergely, G., Jurist, E., & Target, M. (2002). Affect regulation, mentalization and the development of the self. New York, NY: Other Press.

Fonagy, P., Luyten, P., Bateman, A., Gergely, G., Strathearn, L., Target, M., & Allison, D. E. (2010). Attachment and personality pathology. In J. F.Clarkin, P.Fonagy, & G. O.Gabbard (Eds.), Psychodynamic psychotherapy for personality disorders: A clinical handbook (pp. 37–87). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Foster, J. D., & Brennan, J. C. (2011). Narcissism, the agency model, and approach-avoidance motivation. In W. K.Campbell and J. D.Miller (Eds.), The handbook of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical approaches, empirical findings, and treatments (pp. 89–100). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Gallagher, S.Self-agency and mental causality. Paper presented at Philosophical issues in psychiatry: Natural kinds, mental taxonomy and the nature of reality. University of Copenhagen, Denmark, May 25–26, 2006.

Gerzi, S. (2005). Trauma, narcissism and the two attractors in trauma. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 86, 1033–1050. doi:10.1516/2TTK-G0TL-9DWL-UHWY

Hewitt, P. L., Habke, A. M., Lee-Baggley, D. L., Sherry, S. B., & Flett, G. L. (2008). The impact of perfectionist self-presentation on the cognitive, affective and physiological experience of a clinical interview. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 71, 93–122.

Kernberg, O. F. (1975). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism. New York, NY: Jason Aronson, Inc.

Kernberg, O. F. (1998). Pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical background and diagnostic classification. In E.Ronningstam (Ed.), Disorders of narcissism - Diagnostic, clinical, and empirical implications (pp. 29–51). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Kernberg, O. F. (2007). The almost untreatable narcissistic patient. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 55, 503–539. doi:10.1177/00030651070550020701

Knox, J. (2011). Self-agency in psychotherapy. New York, NY: Norton.

Krystal, H. (1998). Affect regulation and narcissism: Trauma, alexithymia and psychosomatic illness in narcissistic patients. In E.Ronningstam (Ed.), Disorders of narcissism - Diagnostic, clinical and empirical implications (pp. 299–325). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Maldonado, J. L. (2006). Vicissitudes in adult life resulting from traumatic experiences in adolescence. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 87, 1239–1257. doi:10.1516/4VUN-32CV-BPW9-8QBF

Marissen, M. A. E., Deen, M. L., & Franken, A. (2012). Disturbed emotion recognition in patients with narcissistic personality disorder. Psychiatry Research, 198, 269–273. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2011.12.042

Modell, A. H. (1975). A narcissistic defence against affects and the illusion of self-sufficiency. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 56, 275–282.

Modell, A. H. (1980). Affects and their non-communication. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 61, 259–267.

Pincus, A. L., & Lukowitsky, M. R. (2010). Pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 6, 421–446. doi:10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.121208.131215

Ritter, K., Dziobek, I., Preiβler, S., Rüter, A., Vaer, A., Fydrich, T., . . .Roepke, S. (2011). Lack of empathy in patients with narcissistic personality disorder. Psychiatry Research, 187, 241–247. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2010.09.013

Ronningstam, E. (2009). Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Facing DSM-V. Psychiatric Annals, 39: 111–121. doi:10.3928/00485713-20090301-09

Ronningstam, E. (2010). Narcissistic Personality Disorder – A current review. Current Psychiatry Report, 12, 68–75. doi:10.1007/s11920-009-0084-z

Ronningstam, E. (2012a). Alliance building and the diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68, 943–953. doi:10.1002/jclp.21898

Ronningstam, E. (2012b). Narcissistic trauma and sudden suicide. Paper presented at American Psychoanalytic Association Winter Meeting. New York, January 2012.

Ronningstam, E. (2013). Narcissistic Personality Disorder - The diagnostic process. In T.Widiger (Ed.), Handbook of personality disorders (pp. 527–548). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Ronningstam, E., & Baskin-Sommers, A. (2013). Fear and decision-making in narcissistic personality disorder - a link between psychoanalysis and neuroscience. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 15, 191–201.

Ronningstam, E., Gunderson, J., & Lyons, M. (1995). Changes in pathological narcissism. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 253–257.

Russ, E., Shedler, J., Bradley, R., & Westen, D. (2008). Refining the construct of narcissistic personality disorder: Diagnostic criteria and subtypes. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 165, 1473–1481. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.07030376

Sato, A., & Yasuda, A. (2005). Illusion of sense of self-agency: Discrepancy between the predicted and actual sensory consequences of actions modulates the sense of self-agency, but not the sense of self-ownership. Cognition, 94, 241–255. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2004.04.003

Simon, R. I. (2002). Distinguishing trauma-associated narcissistic symptoms from posttraumatic stress disorder: A diagnostic challenge. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 10, 28–36. doi:10.1080/10673220216206

Spengler, S., von Cramon, D. Y., & Brass, M. (2009). Was it me or was it you? How the sense of agency originates from ideomotor learning revealed by fMRI. NeuroImage, 46, 290–298. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.01.047

Tangney, J. P. (1995). Shame and guilt in interpersonal relations. In J. P.Tangney & K. W.Fischer (Eds.), Self-conscious emotions: The psychology of shame, guilt, embarrassment and pride (pp. 114–139). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Trumbull, D. (2003). Shame: An acute stress response to interpersonal traumatization. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 66, 53–64.

Zanarini, M. C., Frankenburg, F. R., Sickel, A. E., & Yong, L. (1996). Diagnostic Interview for DSM–IV Personality Disorders (DIP-IV). Boston, MA: Laboratory for the Study of Adult Development, McLean Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

Zeigler-Hill, V., Myers, E. M., & Clark, B. (2010). Narcissism and self-esteem reactivity: The role of negative achievement events. Journal of Research in Personality, 44, 285–292. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2010.02.005




This publication is protected by US and international copyright laws and its content may not be copied without the copyright holders express written permission except for the print or download capabilities of the retrieval software used for access. This content is intended solely for the use of the individual user.

Source: Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Vol. 5. (4), Oct, 2014 pp. 434-438)
Accession Number: 2014-42878-005
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1037/per0000034


Russ, E., Shedler, J., Bradley, R., & Westen, D. (2008). Refining the Construct of Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Diagnostic Criteria and Subtypes. American Journal of Psychiatry AJP, 165(11), 1473-1481. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.07030376

Skodol, A. E., Bender, D. S., & Morey, L. C. (2014). Narcissistic personality disorder in DSM-5. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, And Treatment, 5(4), 422-427. doi:10.1037/per0000023

Facebook