Is Having Children Narcissistic?

For me, I always knew that I would one day have a family. I have been extremely blessed to be the mother to two, almost three children. I sometimes look at them and marvel at the fact that I am the mother of these little beings that walk and talk, and have very different personalities. As a psychology major, I often think about family dynamics. I think about my own family and how I was raised, and I also think about my children and how they are being raised. I am also fascinated by birth order, and how that affects … Continue reading

Social Networking and Mental Health

During a recent session at the American Psychological Associations’ annual convention a presentation focused on the impact of social networking on kids and had some interesting results. Not long ago I wrote about some research regarding depression and Facebook among teens. This presentation focused on broader psychological issues such as antisocial behaviors and empathy, along with depression and anxiety. The presenter, Dr. Larry Rosen, presented his research findings and gave advice to parents. Some of the concerning data he presented in regards to teens who were regular Facebook users was: that teens who use Facebook often showed more narcissistic tendencies, … Continue reading

Sadistic Narcissism: Margo’s Story (2)

In the first instalment of this series on narcissistic personality disorder with sadistic tendencies, Margo was 15. We looked at her behavioral problems which involved both her peers at school who she bullied, and her three-year old sister who she physically abused for pleasure. As time went on, the relationship between Margo and the world did not improve. By 16, she was laughing at girls who became pregnant and delighted in theirs and their family’s despair. Her now four-year-old sister because the target of her verbal taunts, since she had learned that continuing with physical punishment was counterproductive to Margo … Continue reading

The Importance of Boundaries for Good Mental Health (4)

In our last article in this series, we looked at how Marcus could have better solved his boundary problems he was experiencing with his overbearing father. But what of Jane? What could she have done in her situation with her mother? Remember that Jane spent months verbally telling her mother firmly that she did not want her baby to have a pacifier. Jane’s mother Noreen would not give up, to the point where she secretly went off and purchased a pacifier and waited till Jane was out of the room before placing it in her granddaughter’s mouth. As we read … Continue reading

The Importance of Boundaries for Good Mental Health (3)

We have recently looked at how Marcus was forced by his father to do a dentistry degree that he wasn’t interested in and also how Jane fought a several month battle against her mother to not use a pacifier for her baby daughter. These are two widely varying but similar situations in which a person, in both cases, an overbearing, disrespectful adult, wanted to impose their will upon that of their adult child. You can read about these two cases by clicking on the links below. They are both typical examples of how one person does not “see” or respect … Continue reading

The Importance of Boundaries for Good Mental Health (2)

We touched on this issue in a previous article on this subject (see link below) where we looked at how much damage a person with no respect for personal boundaries can inflict intense psychological damage on those around them. Today we will look at the case of Noreen. Noreen’s daughter Jane had just had a baby girl and Noreen had never respected Jane as a person but considered Jane a mere extension of herself. She made unreasonable demands of Jane and Jane, for the most part, complied. Noreen suffered from Narcissistic personality Disorder (see links below) but Jane did not … Continue reading

Aging Narcissistic Mothers: Elinor’s Last Stand

We have looked at Elinor’s story in two separate articles as she fought to regain control of her life against her narcissistic mother. Today’s article is about what happened when Elinor gave her mother the greatest gift of all and was rejected in a cruel and vindictive way. As we read earlier (see articles below) Elinor spent decades of her life devoting herself to trying to please her mother. She didn’t realize her mother suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and so kept trying to win her love and approval, hoping that one day her mother would literally “wake up to … Continue reading

The Aging Narcissist: What Happened to Elinor?

Some time ago I wrote an article of what life was like for Elinor, the middle aged daughter of an elderly narcissistic mother. This article has spawned countless comments and private correspondences, as well as an introductory to therapy for many people. The story has never been concluded formally but I have had many requests for what happened to Elinor. How did she fair with her mother who had berated her as a child and made increasing demands on her as an adult? Well, Elinor went into counseling and slowly learned the mechanics of how a narcissist thinks and operates. … Continue reading

Having a Sibling with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Although nowhere near as emotionally harmful as having a parent with this disorder, growing up with a sibling with narcissistic personality disorder can be an extremely painful experience, particularly if that sibling is older than you are. Let’s look at the case of Lisa and Margo. Margo was 12 years Lisa’s senior and therefore was in a position to almost be a second mother to her baby sister. But Margo was so overcome by jealousy at the birth of the cute new interloper that she never really recovered from that trauma. Any motherly attributes that Margo may have possessed were … Continue reading

The Relative Effects of Family Members with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In addition to looking at what is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and the diagnostic criteria required for a diagnosis of the condition (see links below), today we are going to look at the damage caused by different family members who suffer from the disorder and the relative effects on the rest of the family. The most devastating situation exists when the mother suffers from NPD. This makes sense because, despite changes in our society over recent decades, it is still the mother who is, and is expected to be, the primary source of love, caring and attention. This situation in … Continue reading