Rethinking a Self-Diagnosis of Narcissism

I just read a post on Lucky Otter’s Haven, that got past me last year…well August 2015. You can find it HERE.

As I read, some thing occurred to me. And I think it’s something I’ve been having trouble with for the last week or so.

A while back…on December 20 to be exact, I put up this post basically confessing to being a covert narcissist and borderline.

Now, I’ve been diagnosed by one therapist as a borderline. I self-diagnosed the narcissism. I can’t bring myself to refer to myself as someone having NPD.

Since I’ve written that post…and I felt pretty strongly about what I wrote because of my behaviors…I now think that I was wrong.

Let me make clear that I am interested in the truth and have no problem with admitting to these things if they are true. Not that I like it or want to be that way…and that is kind of the direction I’m headed here and leads to the point I’m trying to make.

So before I go on with my point as to why I think I’m mistaken about my self-diagnosis of narcissism (as far as it is a disorder for me) and in addition why I think the BPD diagnosis is wrong as well, please read the paragraph below in blue and in quotes.

It’s from Lucky Otter’s post that I linked above. But please go read the whole post/article to put it more into context.

“So what is evil? Evil to me means a person who wants to bring harm to others and has no remorse over what they do and doesn’t care about the suffering they cause–and even enjoys it. It’s a person who goes out of their way to hurt others. It’s a person who tries to destroy the reality or the soul of another human being. It’s a person who never feels guilt or shame over their actions and has no empathy for the pain they cause. All evil people (as far as I know) are of the Cluster B persuasion and most are narcissists (or ASPDs), but not every narcissist or borderline is evil.”

In the article, Otter made the point that narcissism (and BPD) run on a spectrum so there are degrees of each personality disorder.

For the most part I’ve agreed with this and in a way I still do agree that there are degrees of narcissism in people. In fact, there is narcissism in everyone. We need it to survive. We need to care about ourselves so we can stay alive, so we are driven to eat. So we are driven to care about ourselves enough to keep a roof over our heads, have friends to keep us company and to even care about anyone else.

People with BPD are also known to be narcissistic and also fall on a continuum. So although it’s not the same disorder, you’ll find that there are many things in common, which is probably why aware borderlines may feel they have NPD as well.

I was beginning to sway to think that maybe some people with NPD are truly aware of their behavior and they want to get better.

But I don’t know. I think it’s more likely that the people who think they have NPD, who even have behaviors that point to such a disorder, actually have complex PTSD.

There are those with complex PTSD have been misdiagnosed with a cluster b and that’s where I have a problem.

It seems that if evil is defined by having no remorse for the pain one causes, then could it really be that someone displays a behavior that is normally identified with someone with a cluster b, but the person is remorseful, how is that person a cluster b?

Seems to me the person is likely not. And certainly not evil.