Covert narcissism

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89abc123

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Covert narcissism
« on: September 19, 2016, 01:11:29 PM »
So I've been trying for the last 10 or so years to get a proper diagnosis and have only ever been diagnosed with depression and social anxiety.

After all the detective work I've done trying to find out what is wrong with me I thought I struck gold with complex ptsd.

I tick all the boxes for covert narcissism though and I'm terrified i actually could be an npd. I thought I hated these people but i really think I could be one.

I've been told that if you worry you could be a narcissist it probably means you're not. I'm not sure I agree though becauase there are plenty of forums where people admit they have npd.

I don't know what is real anymore. I'm at the point now where I even second guess my own feelings. Every time I talk to my t about my family I think 'am I playing the victim, am I making this up, am I doing this for sympathy'. I push potential relationships away because i feel like I'm not good enough and I feel sorry for them that they are with me. Even writing this I'm second guessing, thinking am I just writing this so people tell me I'm not a narc and I can go on living in this denial.

I feel this sense of guilt and shame right now that I am a horrible person. I don't feel myself right now. I feel like a stranger in myself.

i don't know if I'm the problem or my family of origin is the problem. 

I think I'm just venting. I'm scared and lonely and feel very unstable and panicked right now.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Covert narcissism
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2016, 01:30:59 PM »
You can get a psychologist to test you for a Personality Disorder. I had one done. (the result was I haven't got a PD)
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 01:32:34 PM by Dutch Uncle »

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89abc123

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Re: Covert narcissism
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2016, 02:14:28 PM »
i think I should.

Did you do the test because you felt like you had narc traits?

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Covert narcissism
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 02:20:43 PM »
No. I went in for a possible anxiety disorder.
When at some point I mentioned for the first time in my life I thought it was my TherapistMom who had installed in me the idea I was a total misfit, they offered a PD-test to me. Which I then took. After some hesitation, as the idea of having a PD did make me anxious for sure! But then I thought: what the heck, better know I have a PD than keep walking around knowing nothing.

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89abc123

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Re: Covert narcissism
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2016, 02:48:28 PM »
i don't know how to ask my therapist for one without feeling silly.

How do they test you?

Were you relieved when you didn't fit the criteria for personality disorder?

It's so hard when you self diagnose. It's like trying to feel your way through the dark. I tick every box for covert narcissism (apart from I didn't think I was purposely trying to manipulate people...but maybe I am), but a few months ago I ticked all the boxes for kidney disease and I didn't have that hahaha.

I don't know if doctor Google is a blessing or a curse

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Covert narcissism
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2016, 03:27:12 PM »
i don't know how to ask my therapist for one without feeling silly.
Never feel silly in front of a health-care professional. Be it physical health or mental health. (They already have encountered far more 'silly' than one can imagine.) Easier said than done though. But quite often underreporting by a patient is more detrimental to an accurate diagnosis and treatment than overreporting.

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How do they test you?
I wanted to know this too, beforehand, but managed to keep my curiosity at bay. If you want to take the test, it's better, IMHO, not to know what you're up to. This is not a test one must 'pass'. You want to know whether you have/are NPD, right? Not on how to pass the test to make 'sure' you haven't, right?
There is no 'right' or 'wrong' in and after this test, there just is. And whatever there is, that's 'right'.

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Were you relieved when you didn't fit the criteria for personality disorder?
On the one hand, yes. Having a PD didn't feel like 'fun'. (Although I had no idea of PD's at the time.)
On the other hand it was disappointing as I still didn't have a diagnosis (and therefor no viable treatment) for my not-so-functional behavior that got me there in the first place.
Overal it was a relief though.

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It's so hard when you self diagnose. It's like trying to feel your way through the dark. I tick every box for covert narcissism (apart from I didn't think I was purposely trying to manipulate people...but maybe I am), but a few months ago I ticked all the boxes for kidney disease and I didn't have that hahaha.
It's practically impossible to self-diagnose. And that's probably extra-true for mental-health issues.
Mind you, for many symptoms there are usually many other possible causes as well. As with your kidney problems: those symptoms you 'ticked' may be related to all kind of other stuff.
Part of any diagnosis is ruling out other options.

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I don't know if doctor Google is a blessing or a curse
Google is informative, which is a blessing. It's not "Universal Truth", though lots of stuff is presented that way. The latter is a curse.

I'm glad you have a therapist to talk this over with. Don't let her (or yourself) off the hook until you have an answer to your question "Am I a covert Narcissist?". Either way. Bring it up, if necessary, several times, and every time you get the idea again. Until you are convinced, either way.

 :hug:

PS: even after the test at some times my Inner Critic tells me: "What if they're wrong? What if you cheated? You say your mom and sis are narcs right? It's known narcs breed narcs! [evil laugh]"
The fact I did take the test blind (i.e. no googling what I would encounter) always puts my mind at rest I didn't cheat. How could I have cheated? I've never known what the 'right' answers were.
I want to encourage you to do the same.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 03:31:11 PM by Dutch Uncle »

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Hazy111

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Re: Covert narcissism
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 02:29:31 PM »
89abc123, i can totally relate to your post. I could have written it.

Ive read so much over the years and definitely have Narc traits. I am not the classic grandiose Narc, so maybe the covert type. I do know those.  I am so confused. I feel this is because ive run out of narcisstic supply?? that fuels narcs, without it they shrink and die??

My T says i m not borderline as im self aware. But as you say you can be a narc and be self aware.  He calls me grandiose, but is unwilling to say i am a narcissist, maybe protecting me?? Im male btw.

The origins of all this is my FOO. My father is a narc , or has strong narc traits, the more cerebral type. I suspect my mother was UBPD

So CPSTD is a definite consequence of such an upbringing  and so is i would thought logically  would be a  disordered personality.

Ive mentioned this before, surely people with CPSTD must be personality disorder, or has CPSTD replaced personality disorder diagnosis.

Im steering clear of relationships now , which makes me isolated and worse, but i dont want another dysfunctional codependent one. Me being selfish and in control. But is that the best i can hope for.. Im definitely a narc of sorts. So no woman should come near, only the damaged ones have, i realise.

Does all this diagnosis help or hinder. The online tests i find tend to diagnose the more obvious grandiose narcs.

Do you always monitor others reactions to you, seeing either positive /negative, over analysing??

The fight type in CPSTD is also known as the Narcisstic defense under Peter Walkers definition

The Fight Type and the Narcissistic Defense
Fight types are unconsciously driven by the belief that power and control can create safety, assuage abandonment and secure love. Children who are spoiled and given insufficient limits (a uniquely painful type of abandonment) and children who are allowed to imitate the bullying of a narcissistic parent may develop a fixated fight response to being triggered. These types learn to respond to their feelings of abandonment with anger and subsequently use contempt, a toxic amalgam of narcissistic rage and disgust, to intimidate and shame others into mirroring them and into acting as extensions of themselves. The entitled fight type commonly uses others as an audience for his incessant monologizing, and may treat a "captured" freeze or fawn type as a slave or prisoner in a dominance-submission relationship. Especially devolved fight types may become sociopathic, ranging along a continuum that stretches between corrupt politician and vicious criminal.

I cant really  relate to this, but some bits ring true. I am still confused
 
   



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89abc123

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Re: Covert narcissism
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2016, 02:42:50 PM »
Hi Dutch uncle.

I wasn't asking how do I pass the test

I asked how do they test you

As in, is it a quenstionnaire you fill out? Or more of an interview with a psychiatrist? Do they make you stand on your head and count to 50? I don't know the process, so I was simply asking the question...not trying to cheat

I appreciate your input anyway.

I've settled down on this subject now. I think my panicked states are anxiety disorder related.

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FutureForward

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Re: Covert narcissism
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2016, 02:19:39 PM »
I think it's common after a traumatic relationship with a PD to ask ourselves "was it me?".   Women, in particular, are not infrequently mis-diagnosed with BPD when, in fact, they're suffering from the effects of trauma. 

 I asked my T if I might be PD and he just laughed - apparently, I have too much empathy.  I did score highly on the effects of trauma.

Pretty much everyone with a normal ego has narcissistic behaviors, but the difference between 'healthy' narcissism and pathological narcissism is vast.  Often, we also leave disordered relationships with 'fleas', having absorbed behavioral traits from the PD partner/friend/parent/sibling.  These experiences also usually leave us with our attention focused inwards.

If it would help to reassure you, one way or the other, perhaps you could assess your own behaviors using the narcissistic personality disorder checklist developed for the DSM V? 

http://www.psi.uba.ar/academica/carrerasdegrado/psicologia/sitios_catedras/practicas_profesionales/820_clinica_tr_personalidad_psicosis/material/dsm.pdf
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 02:31:36 PM by FutureForward »