Thursday, October 18, 2012

More About 'Identity Disturbances'

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is not the same as BPD.  A person can have one condition but not the other.  However, the conditions are not mutually exclusive either; someone can simultaneously suffer from both self-destructive maladies.

NPD, by the way, is often misunderstood.  People assume that narcissism refers to extreme self-love.  Actually, clinical narcissists don't really love themselves as they really are; nor does their pathology assist them in rationally achieving long-term happiness.  Rather, narcissism refers to fixating on maintaining a certain image of one's character -- such as having a certain type of reputation -- and of prioritizing this mere image above the actual long-term well-being of the real self.  Recall that, far from doing what was necessary to achieve his long-term happiness -- what was in his actual self-interest -- Narcissus let himself perish as he gazed at a mere surface image of himself.

Anyhow, here is a man who makes many vlogs about NPD.  Having been diagnosed with the condition, he considers himself an expert on it.  Many of his vlogs are interesting, but this one caught my especial attention.  Although all of the traits discussed in this video are traits he attributes to NPD, it sounds to me like he is describing the phenomenon of "Identity Disturbance" -- one of the nine main diagnostic criteria for BPD.  If someone suffers from "identity disturbances," it means that she does not have a healthy, consistent sense of her own identity, and thus periodically goes through what she deems abrupt and dislocating "changes" of personality, though what is consistent is that one attempts to appear successful, in some cases bragging that one is some big-shot real-estate investor.  No matter how much this is called "change," however, what sadly remains consistent is the continued lack of an authentic, independent sense of identity.  Even though the term "Identity Disturbance" is not used in this video, I think the video is very accurate in describing this phenomenon.

When you go through the vlogger's videos, you can see that he has a pretty bleak outlook on this sort of condition. He believes that professional help can assist one in mitigating the symptoms, but that full recovery is impossible. :'-(

I want to contradict that particular assessment. I think that when one finally decides to commit to life and long-term happiness, one really can heal for the long term. A return to psychiatric care is worth it. You owe it to yourself -- to your long-term happiness -- to try. :'-)