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Narcissists and Mood Disorders

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  • Sam Vaknin author of "Malignant Self Lov
    The Depressive has pervasive and continuous depressive cognitions (thoughts) and behaviors. They manifest themselves in every area of life and never abate. The
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2007

      The Depressive has pervasive and continuous depressive cognitions (thoughts) and behaviors. They manifest themselves in every area of life and never abate. The patient is gloomy, dejected, pessimistic, overly serious, lacks a sense of humor, cheerless, joyless, and constantly unhappy. This dark mood is not influenced by changing circumstances.
       
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      Many scholars consider pathological narcissism to be a form of depressive illness. This is the position of the authoritative magazine "Psychology Today". The life of the typical narcissist is, indeed, punctuated with recurrent bouts of dysphoria (ubiquitous sadness and hopelessness), anhedonia (loss of the ability to feel pleasure), and clinical forms of depression (cyclothymic, dysthymic, or other). This picture is further obfuscated by the frequent presence of mood disorders, such as Bipolar I (co-morbidity).
       
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      Bipolar patients in the manic phase exhibit many of the signs and symptoms of pathological narcissism - hyperactivity, self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and control freakery. During this recurring chapter of the disease, the patient is euphoric, has grandiose fantasies, spins unrealistic schemes, and has frequent rage attacks (is irritable) if her or his wishes and plans are (inevitably) frustrated.
       
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      Question:
       
      My husband is a narcissist and is constantly depressed. Is there any connection between these two problems?
       
      Answer:
       
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      Question:
       
      I know a narcissist intimately. Sometimes he is hyperactive, full of ideas, optimism, plans. At other times, he is hypoactive, almost zombie-like.
       
      Answer:
       
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      Question:
       
      Doesn't the narcissist ever feel sorry for his "victims"?
       
      Answer:
       
      The narcissist always feels "bad". He experiences all manner of depressive episodes and lesser dysphoric moods. He goes through a full panoply of mood disorders and anxiety disorders. He experiences panic from time to time. It is not pleasant to be a narcissist.
       
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      The Bipolar Disorder got its name because the mania is followed by - usually protracted - depressive attacks. A similar pattern of mood shifts and dysphorias occurs in many personality disorders such as the Borderline, Narcissistic, Paranoid, and Masochistic.
       
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