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Discussion Starter #1
We talk a lot on PerC about the differences between our personalities, what it's like when one of the 16 types is unhealthy, tertiary loops and etc. But what about people who just completely lack something inside them?

I recently got involved with, and uninvolved from, someone who I believe has a combination of anti-social and narcissistic personality disorder. He shows traits from both, but doesn't completely fit either, although it's hard to truly know how much someone is feeling when so much of what they display to the outside world is fake. I think he's aware of what he lacks, and he tries to make up for it, which is why narcissists in therapy are so dangerous: they learn from therapy only how to pretend to be like us, not how to genuinely care about other people.

I wrote about it in depth in my blog, particularly here.

What I'm curious is what other people have to say about those they've interacted with who may have a personality disorder. I know a girl who I believe has histrionic personality disorder, although so far no one she values has ever rejected her enough to cause her to attempt to commit suicide or threaten it. She's been obsessed with/involved with a narcissistic man for a few years now, and despite the fact that they have never been in an exclusive, committed, or healthy relationship, she genuinely believes she will bear his children one day and has threatened violence to people who she thinks are getting in between them. He's got his own issues but is mostly mentally healthy, at least insofar as he doesn't have a disorder but is willing to keep someone around who does even when it gets in the way of other healthy relationships.

One of the things I've noticed about both these characters is that they can't tell stories. They can in that they can repeat something that happened to them, or a story someone else told them, but they can't make you feel something they once felt. They tell you a story to get a reaction, good or bad, so they can feel better about themselves - but they can't communicate to your empathetic side, as they're too involved with themselves to understand it. It's a difficult distinction to make, but once you notice it you always will. Even people with simple language skills, who don't think of themselves as intelligent or poetic, can recognize when a story they're telling is eliciting the same emotions in another person as it elicits in them.

I've also noticed they can't come up with ideas, especially complex ones. While they can express whether someone else's idea has value to them, when creating work (these were both art school students) they synthesize ideas that are valuable to them. The narcissist would them call himself brilliant, and anyone who didn't value his ideas just couldn't comprehend them, even though they were monumentally stupid.

Does anyone else have any experiences with personality disorders, or people who were so unhealthy they may have had one?
 

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Oh, believe me, I suspect a lot of people I know of having a personality disorder, LOL. But it's so hard to tell the difference between a severe case of emotional immaturity and some chemical imbalance - sometimes the symptoms are very similar. If the person does not seek treatment, how do you tell? people who are emotionally immature and have little to no self-awareness can twist their heads into all kinds of knots. Either you are the master of your emotions - or they are the master of you.
 
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Yeah, self-awareness seems to be the thing he lacks the most. I am not 100% certain he lacks empathy, but he definitely doesn't have it enough to be a good person. He seems to know this, though, which confuses me. Why wouldn't you want to get better? And how could you enjoy seriously upsetting people, to the point where they even cry and no one who has seen what you've done likes you at all?
 

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Yeah, self-awareness seems to be the thing he lacks the most. I am not 100% certain he lacks empathy, but he definitely doesn't have it enough to be a good person. He seems to know this, though, which confuses me. Why wouldn't you want to get better? And how could you enjoy seriously upsetting people, to the point where they even cry and no one who has seen what you done likes you at all?
Insecurities and deep resentments do strange things to people. They will justify all kinds of cruel behaviour. Sometimes they enjoy upsetting people because it's their way of getting attention, or getting noticed. They would rather be hated than ignored. They need to feel they have some power over others to make up for a feeling of powerlessness in their own lives. Maybe they want others to feel pain because they feel pain. Or sometimes, they just aren't in touch enough to even care. I've known some (at a great distance, mind you) who revel in pulling people's strings - they get a kick out of it and look down at the "stupid" people who have feelings. I have searched for answers, but really the only thing you can do is avoid people like that - don't try to fix them.
 

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I recently got involved with, and uninvolved from, someone who I believe has a combination of anti-social and narcissistic personality disorder. He shows traits from both, but doesn't completely fit either, although it's hard to truly know how much someone is feeling when so much of what they display to the outside world is fake. I think he's aware of what he lacks, and he tries to make up for it, which is why narcissists in therapy are so dangerous: they learn from therapy only how to pretend to be like us, not how to genuinely care about other people.
I always thought this was more of a psychopath/sociopath trait than a narcissistic trait, but I guess it's probably both. From a quick read of your blog he sounds quite psychopathic. I don't know if you've seen this article but it's quite useful in determining whether you were dealing with a psychopath or not, especially if you were in a romantic relationship with him.

I was actually friends with a psychopath for a while, and the thing that first made us realise he had a problem was his constant lying, even about tiny things that were of no importance. He was quite like the guy you described in your blog. The main difference I see between narcissists and psychopaths is that narcissists actually experience emotions, whereas psychopaths only really experience anger.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@napoleon227 Oh yeah, I know that. I ended things with him, not the other way around, although it was difficult because he definitely knows how to show someone a side of himself in private that will make girls care about him. Problem was, as soon as he thought I cared about him enough to give him what he wanted, he would drop the caring private side... and then have to bring back up again as soon as he'd upset me enough for me to withdraw. "Are you okay?" "I hope you feel better." etc. etc. so that I'd trust him again. But something was off... and I realized, it was the same words every time, like he was imitating something he'd seen someone do once.

Supposedly Personality Disorders are the most commonly treated mental disorder.

@Pillow yeah, anti-social personality disorder is sort of like Sociopathy Lite. Same thing with Narcissism.

My mother actual works with a psychiatrist who deals with nothing but sociopaths, so I'm thinking I may talk to her about this some tonight. No doubt she'll be horrified.
 

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My girlfriends father is a narcissist. He will openly state that he thinks he is more important than everyone else. Recently he got separated from a 20 year marriage - and that can be devastating to the narcissist individual. He had a very peculiar way of dealing with it: he created dating profiles on the same sites that his ex-wife was on. He got the password to her e-mail account, and stalked her online. Then he attempted to seduce her on the dating site by pretending to be someone else. When she found out and finally cut away all contact with him completely, he broke into her house and installed cameras. He has threatened with suicide multiple times, but stopped once he found that it didn't work. My SO doesn't want to talk with her father anymore, and I can see why. I can't imagine how it must have been to grow up with him. He has no friends, because he acts like an arrogant bastard around everyone.

I've also met someone with borderline personality disorder. She fell in love with me for whatever reason (They tend to think some random individual is the solution to all their problems for whatever reason). She came on to me incredibly strong, I would almost characterize it as a rape attempt. But it was obvious something was wrong. I never really get ups and downs, but she got them constantly and she could shift from a highly elated ecstatic state, to a completely brooding and depressive state during the course of a sentence. Being around her was extremely intense, but also oddly addictive. I found that I couldn't stop thinking about her, because even though she was completely 'mad', she was also highly intelligent. I never initiated contact with her though, but she wrote me many times a day (I even suspect she may have stalked me in real life). She wanted constant reassurance, she wanted to know that I loved her all the time. I have always been interested in psychology as it relates to individual identity, and discussing this topic with her was extremely insightful. But when I found my current gf, I told her to leave me alone because my gf was very uneasy with her around. She accepted and doesn't contact me anymore.
 

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@Pillow yeah, anti-social personality disorder is sort of like Sociopathy Lite. Same thing with Narcissism.

My mother actual works with a psychiatrist who deals with nothing but sociopaths, so I'm thinking I may talk to her about this some tonight. No doubt she'll be horrified.
I was surprised by how well the psychopath I knew could fake emotions. Usually I'm pretty good at telling when there's something not quite right about people, but with him my radar was way off. I only started reading up on psychopathy because of him, and it's a fascinating subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Pillow yeah, the scariest thing about them is how good they are at faking what they don't have. He is very good at stopping behaviors that make him seem unsympathetic when people point them out - assuming, of course, that he cares about the consequences of not stopping. And I'm so incredibly empathetic that it's hard not to empathize with the feelings he may or may not be faking, and if I feel something for him I assume it's because he feels it too. But the more time I spent in contact with him, the more self-doubt, conflict, moodiness, etc. I felt. Something always felt... wrong. Then I spent a few days away with him, and with my friends who are almost all NF or SF, and I immediately felt happy, at peace, like I was in the right place.

Personality disorders involve a no-empathy aspect as well - either it's missing, partial, used only at their convenience, etc.

The advantage I had with this guy is I'm the only girl he's spent close company with (he got kicked out of his place for a few days), seen with his friends, and seen in class. So I know the different aspects of him, and I have literally witnessed him lie in class without it even seeming like a lie, as if he was unaware of his own distorted reality. Facebook helps, too - he's extremely social, sympathetic, and likely to update on his emotional status on Facebook. None of the people I saw were the same, included the vulnerable, messy, man who was in pain when we were alone.

I also noticed that he used lots of Fe and Te, and synthesized ideas with Ne, but didn't seem to have any introverted cognitions. He literally never wanted to be alone, even if it meant Facebook, forums, and Skype were all open at the same time. It was like if there was no one around him, there was literally no one in a space... no self-reflection or introversion. He depended completely on outside feelings, thoughts, and ideas for his personality. And the way he decided what was and wasn't worth something was always absurd and nonsensical - labradors weren't real dogs, and this was obvious to him and should be obvious to everyone else. He had strong opinions, but ask him to explain them and he couldn't, although it would always be your fault for misunderstanding.

He does have a sense of humor, though, and I teased him a lot without retribution. He also would try to cheer me up if he saw that I was down, although he would never be able to understand why, even if it was something he'd said/done. He wasn't unkind. That's why I think he isn't a sociopath - he always seemed to be trying desperately to be better.

Edit: That said, he's out of my life forever now - he Facebook unfriended me, we only have three more classes together, and he'll be in a foreign country for ~two years. I ended things with him and I'm glad. Analyzing him makes me feel better, though, even if I do feel a little... stupid for falling for him. At least I never let him make me cry.
 

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The main characteristic to NPD is thinking you are better than everyone. If he does in fact think he is better than everyone else then therapy might be a good idea. If he doesn't view himself as better than everyone else then judging by your blog post, he may just be very immature (which may very well be the case, especially depending on his age.) Although having multiple disorders is common for those with a disorder, I personally do not see any signs from what you have posted of Anti-social PD.

I think you mentioned compulsive lying, which isn't exactly a symptom of just a personality disorder. I personally have been in a relationship with someone who was a compulsive liar, but this most likely was a result of her having ADHD. She was also quite immature, and it wouldn't surprise me if she fit many of the symptoms of NPD.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
He does have ADHD, but he also thinks he's better than everyone around him. He did say one or two things to me that were somewhat modest/insecure, but those moments were maybe 0.5% of our time together.

I think he already goes to therapy. I know that when he was suspended for a few days, he had to go to a court-appointed psychologist to be let back into school, but he wasn't worried about it at all. I was worried, because I thought he would fight it, but he seemed sure it was no problem for him. Once, when I was extremely stressed and he was staying with me, I revealed that I take medication for panic attacks sometimes and that I knew I was being moody, that I was messy, etc. He said there was no way I could be as messy as him. And he's always going to our academic building for "meetings," but it's also where the counseling office is.

Who knows in the end, though. I'm not willing to give him anything more of myself (while he screws around/lies) just to try to find out what exactly it is that makes him tick. A month was more than enough.
 

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He does have ADHD, but he also thinks he's better than everyone around him. He did say one or two things to me that were somewhat modest/insecure, but those moments were maybe 0.5% of our time together.

I think he already goes to therapy. I know that when he was suspended for a few days, he had to go to a court-appointed psychologist to be let back into school, but he wasn't worried about it at all. I was worried, because I thought he would fight it, but he seemed sure it was no problem for him. Once, when I was extremely stressed and he was staying with me, I revealed that I take medication for panic attacks sometimes and that I knew I was being moody, that I was messy, etc. He said there was no way I could be as messy as him. And he's always going to our academic building for "meetings," but it's also where the counseling office is.

Who knows in the end, though. I'm not willing to give him anything more of myself (while he screws around/lies) just to try to find out what exactly it is that makes him tick. A month was more than enough.
Well there is no way for me to tell really if you aren't just misjudging him. He may possibly just have a high self-esteem, and you may be just over-anylizing this as being narcissism. Has he personally said that he feels that he is better than everyone (including you) and has he done anything besides lying? Generally, I would think someone with this disorder would only be in a relationship because he is gaining something from it, most likely sex. Many people with such a disorder may do various self centered acts in a relationship, such as cheating on the SO or having various sexual affairs. Also those with this NPD tend to fairly intelligent and generally are seen as "smooth talkers."

Only a doctor can say whether he has this disorder. I certainly can't diagnose him by the small amount of information provided online.
 

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Yeah, self-awareness seems to be the thing he lacks the most. I am not 100% certain he lacks empathy, but he definitely doesn't have it enough to be a good person. He seems to know this, though, which confuses me. Why wouldn't you want to get better? And how could you enjoy seriously upsetting people, to the point where they even cry and no one who has seen what you've done likes you at all?
It's attention. It's being noticed. Recently, I was reading an article about child abuse, and the study concluded children who were physically abused actually functioned better, as adults, than those who were neglected/psychologically abused. The theory being, that a parent who hit their child, was at least around and taking notice of the child. Narcissism stems from extremely low self-esteem, which seems to typically stem from rejection and/or psychological abuse. From personal experience, it's not hard to reach a point, where you can rationalize and justify anything you do to anyone. "It's a hard knock life. Society is dog eat dog. No one is going to look out for me, so I gotta look out for myself. Do unto others, before they do unto me." You become incredibly self-absorbed, manipulative, conniving, deceitful, and can justify it to yourself, especially where abuse occurred. "Well, so and so did it to me, so what damn good reason do I have not to do it to person x?"

I think what's missing is the emotional connection most people make to not repeating events they found personally painful onto others. I know how bad rejection hurts, how bad it hurts to be cheated on, lied to, and betrayed. However, instead of saying I'm never going to do those things to others, because I know how bad it hurt me, I go out and do it to others to get revenge, to drag others to my level. Misery loves company. Eventually, it becomes easy to commit acts of betrayal, acts of violence, and random criminal acts, because you're apathetic to the right of everyone else to exist. Relationships are warfare, and no one gets close enough for you to truly care for them or about what you do to them. It gets hard to even appreciate exactly how bad other people think you are. The words attempted murderer don't even drive home as deeply as they should. When put in a position to cheat on a lover, why not? They'd do the same, in your place. They might be doing it now, how would you really know? These thoughts tend to take over, replacing empathy. "This is wrong. This will hurt my lover." Thoughts like this cease to exist.
 

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@ifyouwishto, the more you describe this guy the more he sounds like the psychopath I knew. It's a good job he's out of your life!
Although he could be seen as having some symptoms of ASPD, I think this would mostly be due to the similarities to many of the symptoms of NPD. I personally don't see any symptoms that correlate specifically with ASPD, unless I have somehow over looked them while reading her posts.
 

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Although he could be seen as having some symptoms of ASPD, I think this would mostly be due to the similarities to many of the symptoms of NPD. I personally don't see any symptoms that correlate specifically with ASPD, unless I have somehow over looked them while reading her posts.
To be honest, I don't know too much about ASPD, only the old category of psychopathy. I'm certainly not an authority on the subject, I'm just offering my opinion. The guy she is describing just really seems like the psychopath I knew, and I agree there is a fairly large crossover between psychopathy and NPD. I'm not saying he definitely is one or the other, just that everything she is saying reminds me of my ex-friend.
 

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To be honest, I don't know too much about ASPD, only the old category of psychopathy. I'm certainly not an authority on the subject, I'm just offering my opinion. The guy she is describing just really seems like the psychopath I knew, and I agree there is a fairly large crossover between psychopathy and NPD. I'm not saying he definitely is one or the other, just that everything she is saying reminds me of my ex-friend.
ASPD and Psychopathy are basically the same. There are a few differences but for the most part they are the same. ASPD was made so as to give a diagnostic to psychopathy and psychopathy is not in the DSM-IV. ASPD is the more common term to be used.

The symptoms of ASPD are -

Disregard for right and wrong
Persistent lying or deceit
Using charm or wit to manipulate others
Recurring difficulties with the law
Repeatedly violating the rights of others
Child abuse or neglect
Intimidation of others
Aggressive or violent behavior
Lack of remorse about harming others
Impulsive behavior
Agitation
Poor or abusive relationships
Irresponsible work behavior

Also you can look to see what Wiki has to say. From what I can tell it seems to be accurate and explains it fairly well.

Psychopathy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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ASPD and Psychopathy are basically the same. There are a few differences but for the most part they are the same. ASPD was made so as to give a diagnostic to psychopathy and psychopathy is not in the DSM-IV. ASPD is the more common term to be used.

The symptoms of ASPD are -

Disregard for right and wrong
Persistent lying or deceit
Using charm or wit to manipulate others
Recurring difficulties with the law
Repeatedly violating the rights of others
Child abuse or neglect
Intimidation of others
Aggressive or violent behavior
Lack of remorse about harming others
Impulsive behavior
Agitation
Poor or abusive relationships
Irresponsible work behavior

Also you can look to see what Wiki has to say. From what I can tell it seems to be accurate and explains it fairly well.

Psychopathy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So the symptoms are similar to Hare's PCL-R checklist, but with some differences from what I see. Is the ASPD classification the one that is based more on 'actions' rather than 'personality' or am I thinking of something else?
 

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So the symptoms are similar to Hare's PCL-R checklist, but with some differences from what I see. Is the ASPD classification the one that is based more on 'actions' rather than 'personality' or am I thinking of something else?
Like the other personality disorders it is based mostly on behavior. This is of course because something can't really be seen as a disorder unless it is either harming the individual or other people.
 

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Like the other personality disorders it is based mostly on behavior. This is of course because something can't really be seen as a disorder unless it is either harming the individual or other people.
I understand. I have only looked into psychopathy as in the PCL-R version, not the ASPD version, though they seem quite similar.
 
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