Identity Struggles in Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Identity Struggles in Narcissistic Personality Disorder
13 Dec 2023

Identity Struggles in Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Healing and Embracing Authenticity

A pattern of grandiosity, a desire for reverence, and a lack of empathy are among the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), a mental health illness that is on the continuum because many narcissists do have some degree of empathy. It's paramount to remember that narcissism, a personality trait that makes a person appear narcissistic or self-absorbed, is not equipollent to NPD.

But for someone with NPD, their whole identity is predicated on a rigid, warped self that is heavily reliant on the opinions of others. The disordered self-perception along with adscititious symptoms of NPD can make it arduous to sustain relationships, perform well at work, and have a jubilant life.

Because of their fragmented sense of self, narcissists are incapable of having a cohesive and well-rounded identity. Their fractured identity makes it arduous for them to live as a consummate and authentic person. They exhibit erratic and inconsistently erratic deportment as a result of their inability to reconcile different aspects of themselves.

Lack of Authenticity

The lack of authenticity is one of the primary traits of narcissistic identity disorders. Narcissists' distorted self-image makes it challenging for them to know themselves plenarily. In additament to other problematic childhood experiences, abuse and neglect withal deepen the fissures in their pristine, or Core, personality. Their energy focus and urge to keep oneself safe obstruct emotional development and the formation of a veridical identity.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Identity's Role and Susceptibility to Reprehension Because criticsim or perceived slights jeopardize their already precarious self-esteem, people with NPD are astronomically sensitive to them. Any reprehension is frequently optically discerned as an assault on their inflated sense of self, which causes them to react defensively by becoming manipulative, irate, or withdrawing. Their underlying worries about their identity and worth are the cause of their hypersensitivity to reprehension.

External Validation: One of the main characteristics of NPD is the unrelenting search for approbation and validation from other people. This illness causes people to perpetually look for outside validation to fortify their brittle sense of self. But this outside approbation is ephemeral and never adequate to bridge the gap left by their unresolved identity conflicts.

Idealized Self vs. Real Self: NPD sufferers present an idealized self-image that is much at odds with their genuine inner self. This discrepancy is obnubilated beneath the exterior of grandiosity. Their identity quandaries are made worse by this discrepancy between their idealized image and their veritable selves, which leaves them feeling deeply empty inside and unsatisfied.

Lack of Empathy: A lack in empathy for other people is another trait of NPD. Their underlying identity troubles are further reflected in their diminished ability to empathize with and comprehend others. People with NPD avoid facing their own emotional weaknesses and preserve their sense of superiority by discounting the experiences and feelings of others.It's important to remember that not every narcissist is wholly empathetic. Since trauma has prevented them from using their empathy as a method of self-defense, many NPD sufferers do, in fact, possess empathy.

Reasons for Problems with Narcissistic Identity

Abuse and Trauma in Childhood

Childhood trauma is a common cause of narcissistic identity disorders. Many narcissists have a damaged sense of self because they were abused and neglected as children. Their initial personality is ravaged by the event or sequence of traumas they experienced, much like when dissociative identity disorder causes several personalities to emerge. When they are puerile, self-bulwark takes precedence over emotional development and the engenderment of a cohesive personality.

Suppression of Emotions and Egos

Children of narcissistic parents frequently experience manipulation and emotional repression. The emotions and desires of their narcissistic caretakers take precedence over their own sentiments. These kids find it arduous to comprehend, trust, and grow into their own feelings as a result. They never had the chance to develop a sense of self, so they learn to imitate others or make up an identity.

Having Trouble Setting Oneself Apart from Others

Differentiating oneself from others is a basic component of identity. Narcissists' distorted identity construction makes it difficult for them to distinguish between the two. They see everyone and everything as an extension of themselves, making it harder to distinguish between oneself and other people.Since they are the only external characteristics that even somewhat resemble their identities, criticism aimed at their preferences or opinions is taken personally.

Fear of Embracement and Rejection

Narcissists have both a dread of engulfment and a fear of rejection. Their desire to detach themselves from their surroundings and other people, along with their warped concept of self, are the root of this phobia. But because they don't have a strong sense of self, they get hurt and angry when other people's personalities take precedence over their own. The idealization-devaluation cycle, a push-pull dynamic in relationships, is brought on by this dread of engulfment.

Narcissists, to put it succinctly, fear rejection because it challenges their sense of superiority and reveals their hidden fears. Therefore, keep in mind that a narcissist's behavior stems from their desire for approval and adoration the next time you encounter someone who appears to be overcompensating for their low self-esteem.Since their sense of value and self-esteem depend on approval and validation from others, narcissists take rejection very personally and react violently to it. Rejection can cause feelings of vulnerability, shame, and abandonment in addition to endangering their sense of dominance. In an effort to keep control over the circumstance and the person who rejected them, they could get angry, defensive, or contemptuous. Furthermore, narcissists frequently have weak egos and an inability to control their emotions, which makes them react violently to rejection or criticism.

How Can Samarpan Help?

We at Samarpan support clients in engaging in sincere self-reflection and introspection as well as addressing underlying identity issues in order to effectively treat NPD. People with NPD can benefit from psychotherapy, especially modalities like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and psychodynamic therapy, which allow them to address their identity difficulties in a secure setting. Our clients can address their underlying fears, obtain understanding of the causes of their grandiosity, and create more constructive coping strategies through therapy. A journey towards increased self-awareness, authenticity, and emotional well-being can be taken by clients with NPD through focused interventions that address both the grandiose facade and the underlying identity difficulties.

Samarpan is a leading international standard counselling centre, which is staffed by experienced and qualified professionals from India and overseas. The counselling centre offers One to One Counselling, Intensive Outpatient Programs, Peer Support Groups, Family Support Groups, Psychological Assessments, Psychiatric Assessments and Psychiatric consultations.

Located in Churchgate, Mumbai – Samarpan caters to clients in a modern, confidential and well equipped centre – which is easily accessible. On-Line sessions can also be offered.

For information and how to book an appointment we contactable on Phone or WhatsApp on +91 81809 19090.

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