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Narcissists, Inverted Narcissists and Schizoids

Uploaded by palma on Oct 09, 2000

Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites


Question: Are Narcissists also schizoids?

Answer: This is not a question about dual diagnosis or co-morbidity. The implications of a positive answer run much deeper than a mere listing of traits and behaviours.

This is the definition of the Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) in the DSM IV (1994):

A. A pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

(1) neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family
(2) almost always chooses solitary activities
(3) has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
(4) takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
(5) lacks close friends or confidants other than first degree relatives
(6) appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
(7) shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity
B. Does not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia, a mood disorder with psychotic features, another psychotic disorder, or a pervasive developmental disorder and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition.
In short, as the "Review of General Psychiatry (4th Edition), 1995" puts it:
"The person with schizoid personality disorder sustains a fragile emotional equilibrium by avoiding intimate personal contact and thereby minimizing conflict that is poorly tolerated."

Intuitively, a connection between SPD and NPD must exist. After all, NPDs are people who withdraw from others into themselves. They love themselves in lieu of loving others. Lacking empathy, they regard others as mere instruments, objectified "sources" of narcissistic supply. With the exception of criterion 6 above - the classic narcissist would tend to fit all other criteria.

The inverted narcissist is a narcissist (IN) who "projects" his narcissism unto another narcissist. Through the mechanism of projective identification, the IN experiences his own narcissism vicariously, through the agency of a classic narcissist. But the IN is no less a narcissist than the classical one. It is no less socially reticent.

A distinction must be made between social interactions and social relationships. The schizoid, the narcissist and the inverted narcissist - all interact socially. But they fail to form human and social relationships. The schizoid is disinterested and the narcissist is both disinterested and incapable due to his lack of...

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Uploaded by:   palma

Date:   10/09/2000

Category:   Psychology

Length:   14 pages (3,261 words)

Views:   2464

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