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Narcissism and Self Harm: Do they mix?
Hi, a question has been itching at me for a while, and I'd appreciate help. Do narcissism and self harm (doesn't necessarily have to be physical) ever mix?

Do you have any examples? If so, please share, thanks.
 

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King of Swing
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Narcissism and Self Harm: Do they mix?
Hi, a question has been itching at me for a while, and I'd appreciate help. Do narcissism and self harm (doesn't necessarily have to be physical) ever mix?

Do you have any examples? If so, please share, thanks.
Are you asking if a narcissist would harm themselves?
 

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Narcissistic personality disorder is certainly associated with self harm & depression in general. IIRC it's more common in the 'covert' type of NPD?

I have histrionic personality disorder with narcissistic traits, so I'm not the best example, but personally I do struggle with self-harm. I'm very hard on myself when I don't live up to my own ridiculously high standards, & I'm sure this is common in other Cluster Bs. Also, narcissists are prone to falling into total despair and self-loathing when faced with criticism or lack of appreciation, so that could be associated with self-harm as well.
 

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I'll share experience. I've got a female relative--let's say it's a niece; I've known her all my life as I am much older, and she showed signs of narcissism before the self-harm.

She has been given various diagnoses, starting with bipolar (inaccurate), then borderline (accurate but not much help) and finally Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Her kind of "self-harm" is a bit different than someone cutting themselves, which to my knowledge she's never done. Rather, she eats to extreme, then starves herself and weight trains, back up with weight, back down... That, though, is more in the past.

Next, she would bait boyfriends, first choosing those likely to be easily pushed, and do things like break into one's apartment at 2:00 am and be waiting in the dark--almost got her shot as a burglar.

She would incite men to mistreat her, then play victim, i.e. go as an exclusive boyfriend's date to a party of his friends, all his friends, and then dance on all fours, on the floor, like a dog--dressed provocatively, then complain that he didn't return the money she had lent him.

There are so many stories like this. It's as though usually she cannot come right out and cut herself, though she did spend time in a crisis house for a suicide attempt she wasn't fully committed to, i.e. she needs attention badly--and if acting "bad" will get that, she'll take the beatings, literally or figuratively.

I know her history enough to say she was deprived of affection, slapped in the face for saying words she didn't understand like "sucker bite" and otherwise treated as just a pretty thing, i.e. nothing else to offer; not allowed or encouraged to be the best, more than a body and face.

Yes is the answer, yet underlying the question is something more profound, and to me, important:

How to help; who will see someone like this deep enough to find the little girl who needed to be respected, protected and loved... rather than treated as a thing to be valued for surface attractiveness.

She harbors, clearly, a lot of self-hatred, which she takes out on others at least as much as she takes out on herself.

I think of the Loving Friendliness Exercise: "May she be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm come to her. May she meet with spiritual success..."

That quote is from the book, Mindfulness in Plain English.

She has no true interest in therapy; in meditation; in any kind of help. Deep inside she doesn't feel worthy of it. I hope one day she can reach inside and come up with enough true self-love to begin untangling the twisted messages she received and internalized.
 

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Narcissism and Self Harm: Do they mix?
Since "narcissism" is self-defeatist (disorder or not) (&) almost always harms the patient; it is safe to say (rejecting / denying treatment) is more "self-defeatist", or harmful in itself than the agent deliberately self-harming itself. Although, narcissists can deplete to low-functioning degrees psychological-self defeatism via side-effect(s) of the disorder, to which they can self-harm at will, as any other.
 

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I'll share experience. I've got a female relative--let's say it's a niece; I've known her all my life as I am much older, and she showed signs of narcissism before the self-harm.

She has been given various diagnoses, starting with bipolar (inaccurate), then borderline (accurate but not much help) and finally Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Her kind of "self-harm" is a bit different than someone cutting themselves, which to my knowledge she's never done. Rather, she eats to extreme, then starves herself and weight trains, back up with weight, back down... That, though, is more in the past.

Next, she would bait boyfriends, first choosing those likely to be easily pushed, and do things like break into one's apartment at 2:00 am and be waiting in the dark--almost got her shot as a burglar.

She would incite men to mistreat her, then play victim, i.e. go as an exclusive boyfriend's date to a party of his friends, all his friends, and then dance on all fours, on the floor, like a dog--dressed provocatively, then complain that he didn't return the money she had lent him.

There are so many stories like this. It's as though usually she cannot come right out and cut herself, though she did spend time in a crisis house for a suicide attempt she wasn't fully committed to, i.e. she needs attention badly--and if acting "bad" will get that, she'll take the beatings, literally or figuratively.

I know her history enough to say she was deprived of affection, slapped in the face for saying words she didn't understand like "sucker bite" and otherwise treated as just a pretty thing, i.e. nothing else to offer; not allowed or encouraged to be the best, more than a body and face.

Yes is the answer, yet underlying the question is something more profound, and to me, important:

How to help; who will see someone like this deep enough to find the little girl who needed to be respected, protected and loved... rather than treated as a thing to be valued for surface attractiveness.

She harbors, clearly, a lot of self-hatred, which she takes out on others at least as much as she takes out on herself.

I think of the Loving Friendliness Exercise: "May she be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm come to her. May she meet with spiritual success..."

That quote is from the book, Mindfulness in Plain English.

She has no true interest in therapy; in meditation; in any kind of help. Deep inside she doesn't feel worthy of it. I hope one day she can reach inside and come up with enough true self-love to begin untangling the twisted messages she received and internalized.
I missed what you said, my bad. Nice description.
 

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Yes. Though I do not have NPD, my therapist and I agree to the fact that I do have strong traits of NPD. I self-harm when I haven't executed a task perfectly. I will do anything from hitting myself, to name-calling and everything MUST be perfect. No mistakes must ever be made, and if they are, then may all hell break loose. At the core of me is extreme self-loathing. I hate the way I look, I hate the way I sound, I hate the way I move, and I do not trust that people are not constantly criticising my character. I am so terribly self-absorbed that I will never give myself a good chance at my goals and I will try to escape hard work, responsibility and delayed gratification when I can. That, in itself, is also a form of self harm because you never allow yourself to fully flourish since you are so self-centred. I am 30 years old, and in school I was a very high achiever. But because my self-loathing and harm has got in the way, I have not achieved anything for myself. I am half-convinced that it is the fault of society, but I know it really isn't, and this is another self-harm tactic - fantasies, idealisations and grandiose gestures where you are the ruler. For most of my years I dreamt of being a famous artist, thankfully that fantasy is almost out of my mind, but in place of it is, well, nothingness. I must start over, and I must do it without anxious hesitation. God knows how.
 

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My Narcissism doesn't make me want to self-harm, it makes me think I'm fucking awesome! :crazy:
 
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