Rosemary is author of six books on mental health and inspirational poetry. She is a motivational speaker and a volunteer peer advocate.
Sociopaths Vs. Narcissists
Narcissistic Personality disorder affects .5% of people in the United States, and 2-16%of those who seek professional help from a mental health professional.
Hmmm, that doesn't seem like a huge percentage, does it? With all the videos on self help on you tube, it would seem that it's more common.
I've heard that sociopaths are similar but they are not exactly the same. Sociopaths, according to health.com, have antisocial personalities, A sociopath gets "off" on hurting others, whereas a narcissist can't seem to help being so self involved, that they neglect others, hurt them without realizing it, and are very self absorbed and can come across as very charismatic and charming.
Narcissistic VS. Narcissistic personality disorder
The two are VERY different. Being narcissistic, means you are very vain, and think the world revolves around you. It doesn't mean you are intentionally mean. You can be the most empathic person and think the world revolves around you. Another reason for thinking the world revolves around you, can be paranoia, or it can be a result of PTSD. You may have had too much attention growing up or not enough. Either way, being narcissistic does not make you bad.
Now, on the other hand, the Narcissistic personality disorder, according to a manual I read put out by McLean Hospital in Belmont, Ma, is a whole different thing. I've also watched many videos on it and I have come across many people who display the characteristics.
The personality disorder is often a result from trauma occurring before age 3. Age 3 is the typical age one develops the character of EMPATHY for others. When a person has been severely abused before that age, they don't develop empathy.
Another reason a person can have the personality disorder, is being spoiled severely, and not disciplined, or having a parent that is one, or a combination of the two.
It's not something for just myself or any one person to decide or diagnose. It's left for the professionals. But- if you are suffering from toxic people in your life, you may want to get educated to try to protect yourself!
More about NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)
I will refer to the personality disorder from now on as NPD, for short.
Some people are actually diagnosed with it, when they seek professional help. There really is not a cure. But one can try to change, and it's great if they are willing to try. One thing that often helps is not only professional therapy, but also 12 step groups.
There is a famous person with NPD, who gives seminars on it to help people. His perspective is expert, since he can speak on how a person with NPD THINKS, not just how one is affected by those who have it. His name is Sam Vankin. You can look up his videos on YouTube.
I found his perspective VERY interesting. He says the mind of a person with npd is like hell. It's like a dark place. A place of loneliness, a dark place. That's part of the impression I got.
But as far a dealing with people that have it. It is VERY difficult.
Sam Vaknin - expert on NPD. He has it.
Dealing with a person who has NPD
This is difficult for me to write about. But it's important.
I seem to have at least one family member with NPD.
My mother was traumatized at a very young age. Before the age of 3. She told me about it. It may have resulted in Borderline personality disorder. (She always hates to be alone. It terrifies her. So much, that she went out in the storm about 5 months ago, at age 87 and was badly injured. She hates being alone, for any amount of time.)
She seems to change quickly sometimes. She can be very sweet. But very difficult behind closed doors. She plays mind games of manipulation, guilt trips, and controlling others with fear and other things. She is also paranoid sometimes. She thought someone stole her false teeth once. I really don't know why anyone would do that. Some of her thoughts are bizarre. She has always tried to predict the end of the world and is very religious as well.
I'm am not here to diagnose, but I have to protect myself from negativity. I have studied this subject, since I first heard about it about 3 years ago. I have watched many many videos about it. I experienced extreme control from my ex-boyfriend as well.
I think what first led to me discovering NPD was that I was codependent. Yes, my mother sheltered me so much that I depended on her. It took about 8 years of weekly meetings to break free of codependency.
I have gone to Al anon as well. I still do. It's very helpful.
Often times, people that have codependency are attracted to controlling partners.
And so, Codependents can be attracted to people with NPD. It can be such an intoxicating attraction, and you can read about that in books like "The Human Magnet Syndrome."
Yes, I've read a lot of books about these subjects as well. I have had to.
I found out I was an empath about 4 years ago. I met someone at a place of therapy who told me he was and he felt I was as well.
What is an Empath?
It's important to know this as well, because in many cases, those hurt by people with NPD are empaths. In fact, those are the very people that Narcissistic people, people with NPD rather, are attracted to the MOST.
People with NPD NEED empathy, or empaths. They want a person who is giving, and generous. They (know) they can easily manipulate them!
And empath is a person who is extremely empathetic, sometimes to the point of feeling other's pain. They are sometimes almost psychic. They feel more than the average person. But that extreme sensitivity can be lessened with hard work. It is a strength as well, as Empaths make excellent therapists or mental health workers!
This will help you relax while reading. So Enjoy!!
NPD Abuse causes harm
Yes, being abused mentally and verbally and even physically by a person with NPD leaves scars. Emotional scars. It can cause complex PTSD as well. It depends (how long) you were abused and if you have learned how to recover!
Empaths know how to help others expertly.
That's probably (why) you'll notice that they instinctually are helpful. They are sought after by people with NPD.
Those who grow up in a home with NPD abuse by one or both parents; the children can become NPD as well, or Empaths, or somewhere in between.
I have noticed that about half of my siblings are empathic. I noticed some are not very, only once in awhile. It's very complex and many places in between.
I think, it's very likely that NPD abuse could have caused me to get bipolar. Or the bipolar may be genetic or both. But I do know, that I have some PTSD from it, and I know that I have helped heal myself.
I also know that having a higher power, kept me alive. When I felt unloved. Discarded. Unvalued. Insulted. Etc.
How Do you Know if you are being abused? And what can you do?
Some examples of NPD abuse are:
- Domestic violence
- Controlling partners/people
- Gaslighting (making you feel you are crazy when you know you're not...saying that black is white and white is black...)
- Verbal abuse
- Emotional or Psychological abuse
There are many ways that could mean you are being abused. It could be a parent/sibling/co-worker/teacher/doctor/therapist/priest/anyone.
You would know, I think if you're being abused. You will have lower self esteem, and it can be so damaging it can make you feel suicidal, or very angry. You may feel like you are going CRAZY, but you are not!
It's human to feel stressed out by abuse. It's not healthy to be abused. So, if you are being abused, you need to know RIGHT NOW, you can leave....you can stop it, you can get away...at least you should try to. Do your best to get away. A human can never be totally healthy IF they are around toxic people all the time.
Vibes spread. Positive as well as Negative. It's your own responsibility to get help. You (can) do it. I did it. I got out of an abusive controlling romantic relationship.
You can get out of abusive relationships in the family as well, if you go "No contact" or find other ways of coping. There are many ways, if you look up on you tube. Countless videos. I wish you the very best.
I have learned how to deal with family that have NPD better. Sometimes no contact is almost impossible for some. It's up to you to decide what suits you best.
You will continue to learn more and more, the more you read and watch videos. There's endless information out there and very kind people who want to help!
In Closing, as not to make this article too long, I hope I have been helpful to you today, and if you have any comments/questions, please do!!!!
~Schoolgirlforreal a.k.a. Blondey (Hugpages.com)
Thanks for reading! Please comment below!
Take a LEAP of FAITH!!!!! Cheers!!!
schoolgirlforreal (author) on February 11, 2021:
Thank you very much, I appreciate your comment, and I'm happy you found it helpful.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on February 10, 2021:
This is the first time I read about narcissism vs. narcissistic personality disorder. It is very interesting and revealing. I also was surprised that people with NPD get traumatized at age 3 or younger. This is a very informative and helpful article. Thank you for this.