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Posts Tagged ‘narcissistic personality disorder’

What Can We Learn From Narcissist Sam Vaknin?

October 8th, 2012 1 comment

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.
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Summers And Holidays Are Seasons of Elevated Child Custody Conflict With A Psycho Ex

June 29th, 2012 No comments

Pop culture would have you believe that summer is a carefree time for kids and the holidays are a wonderful time of the year for family. But many parents suffering from the psychological warfare campaign of a psycho ex dread the summers and holidays because it is often at these times of the year that the psycho ex creates even more conflict than usual. Whether the dreaded ex best fits the label of a psycho, an alienator, a Borderline, a Narcissist, or a sociopath, the behaviors regarding summers and holidays are usually highly disruptive and destructive to both the quality and quantity of time you have with the kids.

School Schedules Help Ensure Child Time Share Consistency

When the kids are in school, there is often consistent structure and predictability to the time you can see your kids. Picking up kids from school and dropping them off there often works very well for several reasons. First and foremost, the other parent has no business being there at those times so the loyalty conflicts and emotional and verbal abuse that go hand-in-hand with the presence of the psycho are often not so severe at school. Secondly, the kids see that school pickups and dropoffs are exactly what all their other classmates are doing, too, even the ones whose families haven’t been destroyed by divorce and child custody battles. This generally means they don’t feel as stigmatized or traumatized about exchanges done at school. Finally, the school schedule tends to be rather consistent. This means the kids know what the expect. The reduced uncertainty takes a bit of their worries away and you don’t have to renegotiate your time with the kids every week.

But when school is out, you are stuck with having to find alternate pickup and dropoff locations. With a psycho ex, you may be best off hiring a professional custody exchange service or using a police station that has extensive video surveillance to help reduce the chances of being falsely accused or stalked.

Childcare Centers and Camps

Childcare centers can be convenient pickup and dropoff locations as they share some features with school exchanges. A childcare center is more likely to be neutral and safe than a private residence. Also only one parent needs to be there at a time regarding child pickups and drop-offs.

Sometimes the summers and holidays result in the whole schedule going up for grabs, even if the court orders are not written that way. Some psycho parents put their kids in childcare virtually all the time, even when the other parent volunteers to provide free childcare for the kids during weekdays and let the psycho ex have the weekends. Then the psycho ex sends the other parent the bill for the needless childcare, demanding the abused parent pay half or all of the childcare expenses. Some of these psycho parents are so mentally ill that they would prefer to have little time with the kids so they can stick it to the ex for childcare expenses.

But sometimes instead of a basic childcare center, the psycho parent instead seeks out camps that have schedules that will interfere with the other parent’s time with the kids. Psycho dumps the kids in all-day camps or even overnight away camps that make it more difficult for you to retrieve the kids. For instance, she or he may sign them up for a camp that buses the kids to some location an hour away or has them on the water or at an amusement park on rides where they cannot be readily retrieved when your time with them is supposed to start. So your regular midweek visit with the kids suddenly gets cut short an hour, two, or more because of this active interference.

Court Order Violations

Dumping the kids into camps that curtail your time with them is often a direct violation of court orders that state that parents are not to schedule activities for the kids during the other parent’s time without prior written agreement. But if you have a psycho ex, you know that these mentally damaged people interpret court orders to constrain your actions while believing court orders have no effect whatsoever on them.
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Sociopaths In Our Midst Hate the Truth and Its Advocates

November 12th, 2010 62 comments

What is the one thing a sociopath does not want other people to know? The truth. More specifically, sociopaths do not want the truth about them to be known as they are insecure, malicious, and devious people. Beyond being embarrassed by the truth of their behaviors and thoughts, they have a deathly fear of being exposed and rejected. That’s in large part because they use lies, manipulations, and distortions to control other people and get what they want. If others were to know about their true nature, they realize that most would want nothing to do with them. They would lose the support networks of malicious minions they control and incite to abuse other people. Therefore sociopaths have a strong motivation to attack, discredit, harass, and ruin anybody who presents arguments and facts that might tend to raise questions and doubts about their behaviors and their false statements.

Many sociopaths are so insecure and malicious that they feel similarly motivated to go on the offensive, perhaps with lesser severity, in reaction to people who might embarrass them with obviously nasty (to them) comments like “Is that lettuce stuck between your teeth?” or “Your car is filthy! There’s a $3 carwash special across the street.” If that gets them unhinged, just imagine what being exposed as a child abuser, false accuser, liar, or thief will do.

Sociopaths Experts At Blaming Others, Greatly Fear Being Blamed

Nobody likes to be blamed, but a responsible person will accept blame for something appropriate. Sociopaths don’t like to accept blame for anything, even if it is well-earned. While part of this is likely from their typically narcissistic “I’m better than you” and “rules don’t apply to me” attitudes, there’s more to it than that. They may realize that blaming is how they control others to harm the targets they viciously attack, often family members or former love interests. They understand both the destructive and defensive powers of blaming and make regular use of both.

Sociopaths may be especially cognizant of the risk that people whom they have used to abuse others might even turn against them, especially those who might be greatly angered by how they were manipulated into participating in destructive and harmful activities against others. People like to blame others. While sociopaths do it with extraordinary intensity and dishonesty, the people they manipulate are likely to do it, too. After all, a sociopath was able to manipulate them into unjustly attacking a former partner, a child’s other parent, teacher, doctor, counselor, therapist, or some other party the sociopath doesn’t like and that clearly demonstrates they are the sort of people who are into blaming others. Who is to say they won’t turn and attack the sociopath when they realize how they were used?
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Telling Your Nasty Ex About BPD or NPD May Hurt You

September 25th, 2010 9 comments

Personality disorders are a growing problem in the United States. Recent NIH studies indicate that 20% or more of Americans suffer from one or more personality disorders. Author Bill Eddy points out that in his experience about half of “High Conflict Personalities” (or HCPs) involved in destructive divorce and child custody battles probably do have one or more full-blown personality disorders. The other half may not meet all the criteria for a full-blown personality disorder yet still show many traits consistent with troublesome personality disorders such as BPD and NPD.

(from Don’t Alienate the Kids! Raising Resilient Children While Avoiding High Conflict Divorce)

I believe that about half of HCPs have a personality disorder and about half have some of these traits, but not a full personality disorder. This means that they are still difficult, but may respond more easily to approaches designed for people with personality disorders.

It helps to understand some of these traits, but it is important to not tell someone you think they have a personality disorder. They may become very defensive and angry with you, as defensiveness is a common characteristic of those with personality disorders and those just with traits.

I fully agree with Eddy’s advice about not telling a person they may have a personality disorder. To be clear, this is not because it is better for them but primarily because hearing this news seems to turn them into even more destructive abusers than they were in the first place. Even if you are only trying to help, they will probably interpret your words as dire threats and redouble their efforts to destroy you. There is also a substantial risk that you will be ridiculed for your reasonable beliefs by divorce industry “professionals” who have an agenda that does not make room for unpleasant truths unless they are stated by an expensive paid expert.
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How Sociopathic Parents Use Police Reports for Defamation

September 15th, 2010 13 comments

A common problem that many parents in child custody battles experience is the malicious false police reports generated by the nasty ex exhibiting sociopathic behaviors. Such people may suffer from a personality disorder associated with pathological lying such as BPD or NPD, but not all people with BPD or NPD will resort to filing false police reports.

You might think that when the police investigate and find that the ex lied or can’t keep her or his story straight, that will be the end of it. But for many target parents, that is not the case at all. Instead, the nasty ex takes those reports and uses them as the basis for spreading defamation that looks very official and credible looking to the average naive person on the street. With a little effort, she or he can have dozens or more people believing the lies by using the police reports to deceive and manipulate them.

Sometimes, false police reports even get people arrested wrongly. Look at what happened to the father in the article Ben Vonderheide Exposes Pennsylvania’s Abusive Child Profiteering Racket. He was falsely arrested and his son taken from him. Later, his falsely accusing ex and her new boyfriend were convicted of filing false police reports in a criminal court with its far higher evidentiary standards than family court. But he is still suffering from the damage caused by the false police reports even years later.

More often, false police reports and the resulting “official looking” papers generated are used to defame and harass the target parent. This is a common element in the distortion campaigns practiced by Borderlines, Narcissists, and other abusively dishonest personalities.
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Escaping Sociopathic Abuse Almost Impossible When Children Are Involved

August 20th, 2010 14 comments

In my previous article Extreme BPD / NPD Behaviors Are Internally Triggered, I discussed the puzzling ways in which normal circumstances seem to trigger abusive behaviors from Borderlines, Narcissists, and other personality disordered abusers. My advice to those who can do so is to get away and stay away from these people as they are a serious danger to your own mental health, even your freedom and your life, if you continue to have anything to do with them.

Unfortunately, not everybody can easily extricate themselves from the abuse without severe consequences. This is particularly true for parents of children whose other parent is a Borderline or Narcissist. Staying in the children’s lives means staying in the line of fire of the abuser. Leaving is likely to subject the children to even more abuse. Often the abuser has focused most of her or his rage against their former partner or spouse. But if that parent leaves, the rages, abuses, and emotional manipulations are not going to stop. They will probably be redirected at somebody else close to the abuser as loved-ones are the tops targets for these sick people. The children are a likely target for even more abuse than they have already received. This chronic abuse with no escape (as the healthy parent has disappeared) is likely to create severe psychological damage, even personality disorders, in these children as they have even less means to defend themselves against one of these sociopaths than an adult does.
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Extreme BPD / NPD Behaviors Are Internally Triggered

August 20th, 2010 6 comments

Recently a reader of our site wrote a comment about our article Talking With A Borderline citing how it didn’t show how non-Borderlines trigger the negative behaviors associated with Borderline Personality Disorder. The comment seemed to be intended to place some of the blame for Borderline behaviors on the people around them, particularly people who are essentially the targets of Borderlines who do not suffer from a personality disorder or engage in abusive behaviors themselves. This is mostly a mistake in my view. It also makes me wonder if the comment came from somebody with a Borderline son or daughter or who is personally suffering from BPD and therefore may be prone to blame-shifting as a means of coping with his or her own guilt or shame.

Most of the people around a Borderline are not abusive, yet they may trigger reactions in Borderline akin to an actual abuser even when they aren’t displaying an iota of aggression or hostility. In most of these situations, the Borderline perceives aggression or abuse in their own minds, even when a neutral disinterested person would say none is present, and then launches into a reaction that is similar to what they might do if there actually was an abuser trying to harm them. The trigger is much more internal, in the mind of the Borderline, than external. This is what makes is so difficult for others to understand why the sociopathically inclined individuals, be they Borderlines, Narcissists, or something else, behave as they do.

Extreme Reactions Product of Child Abuse

Borderlines are sometimes said to suffer from “emotional dysregulation” because they react in extreme ways to normal stimuli. This extreme reaction in many cases developed from their experience as child abuse victims, an experience most of them share, and trying to find ways to avoid being abused again. Many of them have found that extreme reactions including false blaming, projection, lying, and other behaviors associated with Borderlines and Narcissists alike are reasonably effective at either drawing fire away from them and making somebody else the target of their abuser. Other times, their extreme behaviors may somehow justify in their own minds why they are deserving of abuse, perhaps giving them some delusional feeling of control over the abuse. Over time, many of them may generalize these maladaptive behaviors by applying them to people who are not abusing them but by whom they are reminded of what it feels like to be abused.
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PDA Spam Attack on Shrink4Men Hints at Cyberwarfare Style Distortion Campaigns

August 6th, 2010 No comments

Dr. Tara Palmatier’s Shrink4Men website has recently been bombarded with abusive comments from somebody who sounds like she has BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) with malicious acting out behaviors, or as I’d call her, a personality disordered abuser (PDA). The good psychologist is hoping to help identify the attacker and perhaps help her victimized ex in the process.

(from Lost and Found: Does Anyone Have an Ex-Borderline Girlfriend or Wife in the West Hempstead-East Northport-NYC Vicinity Whom You Told about Shrink4Men During the Break-Up?)

Perhaps this is not the best way to go about doing this, but I’m a big believer in implementing consequences for crazy and malicious BPD behavior, so here we are. Beginning late last week, a woman, whom I assume is the former spouse or girlfriend of a man who frequents this site, began spamming my site with puerile comments in which she engages in name calling and other typical BPD verbal attacks against Shrink4Men readers/commenters and me.

None of these comments have been approved nor will they be approved because they’re nothing more than lame attempts to hurt my readers feelings and my feelings and they would only distract from the meaningful dialogue, sharing and support that takes place here. The irony is that her attacks don’t hurt my feelings. In fact, my thoughts are, “Gee, I can see why her ex broke up with her” and “I wonder how many texts and voicemails the poor bastard who was dating/married to her is getting everyday?” If anything, her spams only reinforce my beliefs about BPD and the information presented on this site.

Now, the reason I am posting this rather than something more productive: Gentlemen, if you believe this is your ex/gf/wife, please contact me and I will send you all of her spam comments with the date, time stamp and multiple IP addresses, so that you can include them as evidence of her unstable/stalker/harassment behavior in any pending divorce/restraining order cases. If need be, I have access to an Internet security expert who can trace pretty much anything directly to the source.

Information warfare by a nasty PDA, often one who suffers BPD or NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), is a frequent feature of the ending of a relationship involving such a person. But the comment spamming mentioned above is really among the less serious of attacks.

Distortion campaigns can become ruinous and virtually unfixable, especially if there are children involved. Some might call it a catch-22 situation in which anything you do to try to fix the disaster only makes it worse. When the Internet becomes involved, the risks of this may be even higher as I’ll discuss below.
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Relationships and Divorces with Someone Who Suffers Borderline Personality Disorder

July 17th, 2010 46 comments

Some of the most emotionally abusive relationships and traumatic divorces involve the mentally ill. One of the most difficult of these mental illnesses is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) because it is not easily diagnosed. Behaviors can range from extreme violence to subtle patterns of emotional blackmail and projection. On top of that, many Borderlines tend to live in denial, constantly avoiding their own feelings of emptiness, insecurity, anger, disappointment and fear that more often than not stems from an abusive childhood. It is hard to treat and help someone if they don’t want to face their own abuse — abuse that they themselves suffered or the abuse that they themselves do.
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San Diego Lawyer Jeffrey Fritz Increases Conflict and Costs

April 16th, 2010 16 comments

CCFC co-founder Cole Stuart was recently wrongfully arrested due to what appears to be manipulation of the police by his ex-wife Lynn Stuart and possibly various elements of the San Diego family law system. While malicious alienating parents using courts and police to abuse their children’s other parent is commonplace particularly in a broken family court system such as that in San Diego, she has been aided at this by a particularly dirty San Diego lawyer. Lynn Stuart hired Jeffrey Fritz. He has earned a reputation as an attorney who is a “shark” who will resort to all manners of abusive and unethical tactics to “win” cases for his clients while driving up huge billings that severely damage the finances of all but the very wealthiest. He typically attracts high-conflict clients such as Lynn Stuart.
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