Can we learn something from a narcissist? The answer is a resounding yes. Massive destruction on the level created by narcissists such as Stalin, Hitler, and Mao shows us that narcissists can gain power and that some of them do horrible things with that power. By studying these people, we can see how they used charm, manipulations, and development of cults of personality to gain the power they used to do great evil.
Fortunately the lessons we can learn from narcissists do not always involve evaluating widespread societal destruction caused by them. Author Sam Vaknin is a self-identified narcissist. He was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in 1996 during the course of parole actions related to a conviction for stock fraud in Israel. Since then, he has written extensively about narcissism. His view is that many leaders in politics, finance, and religion are narcissists and that many of these narcissists are also psychopaths. His writings are intended to help others understand and protect themselves from narcissists.
Sam Vaknin is most unusual that he is willing to admit to his behavioral traits, unlike most psychopaths and sociopaths who deny there is anything wrong with them and work hard to hide proof of their behaviors. Indeed many of them project their own behaviors onto others, particularly their victims, and blame everybody but themselves for their problems.
Psychological Terminology Is Confusing
“Psychopath” is not a precise diagnostic term, at least not from the perspective of DSM-IV which is the current version of what is widely regarding as the standard for practice of mental health in the US. DSM-IV does not use “psychopath” as a label for any particular disorder.
Prior to DSM-III was was published in 1980, there was an APA (American Psychological Association) diagnostic label of “psychopath”. DSM-III changed that to Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). The current DSM-IV has continued the use of ASPD as the closest diagnostic label to what was formerly known as psychopathy. DSM-V, due out in the near future, continues to use ASPD.
(Note: This article was published together with Personality Disordered Abusers in Family Law Courts. That article focuses on the more general problems encountered in family law disputes involving personality disordered abusers.)
A common opinion of many people suffering harm due to a current or former partner who is a personality disordered abuser is that a psychological evaluation performed for a family law case will describe and label the personality disorder and help protect the victims, including the children and spouse, from the abuser. Disturbingly, this seldom occurs. Instead, what often happens is that the evaluation leads to more conflict and poor outcomes in family law courts that put children and the target parent and their extended family at increased risk of continuing abuse at the hands of the personality disordered abuser and her or his associates.
|BPD, Child Abuse, Child Custody, Children, Courts, CPS, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Family, Government Abuse, Marriage, NPD, Parental Alienation, Partner Violence, Psychology|
Are you concerned you may have a personality disorder? Or do you think that a friend, family member, or ex-spouse may?
There are many comprehensive tests that have been designed for detecting personality disorders. Unfortunately, few are available for online use by the general public.
A couple of weeks ago, I found an online personality disorder test and spent some time examining and experimenting with it. Knowing what I’ve learned about personality disorders, I can see the point of a lot of the questions on the test. So at first glance, it seems like a genuine effort and not a joke or half-brained effort.
The first step in helping somebody with BPD is figuring out that they suffer from it. In the article Could it be Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?, author Tami Green lists 43 questions to examine your personality or that of somebody close to you to see if you may have Borderline Personality Disorder. The more questions answered “yes”, the more likely a person is to suffer from BPD or a similar mental health problem.
Emily McDonald of Austin, Texas has been arrested for repeatedly putting feces into the feeding tube for her hospitalized 3 year old daughter. Her actions were reportedly captured on hospital surveillance cameras after hospital staff became suspicious that the only way the girl could have fecal matter in her bloodstream would be from fecal contamination from feeding tubes.
Such contamination could produce sepsis which is often fatal. The mother reportedly confessed to police that she knew she was making her daughter sick and was doing so to gain attention. Police claim she admits to putting fecal matter in the feeding tube five times since her daughter was admitted to the hospital on April 15. Given the girl’s medical history, it seems very plausible that medical abuse was what put her into the hospital in the first place.
(Click here for more coverage of Borderline Personality Disorder.)
If you are in the unenviable position of being forced into the abomination that is the US “legal” or “justice” system by a hostile divorce, baseless or harassing lawsuit, or false criminal allegations, perhaps you might wonder why a lawyer would take such a case in the first place. Some people may be first inclined to believe that only money-grubbing scum lawyers would take such cases.
However, just because a lawyer took a case for a legally abusive client doesn’t mean the lawyer is unethical or is simply willing to work as a hired mercenary, attacking whomever the client pays to attack. It could be the lawyer believes the client. Some clients are liars and manipulators and are so very good at it that they can confuse a even a well-intentioned competent lawyer who really does want to do good.