I remember damage. Then escape.

I hear and read the phrase narcissist thrown around a lot. Admittedly I’m afraid. What if that’s me? The intention is to do no harm, but what if I am? How do you find out if you’re what you fear the most. And what things can be done to mitigate.


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Here’s the key

Jan 3, 2023 at 7:00pm

If you’re genuinely concerned and willing to take an honest look at your own behaviour, it’s unlikely that you’re a narcissist. The thing about real narcissists is that they can’t even consider the concept that they might be the one in the wrong. It’s too terrifying for their fragile self concept. If you have voluntarily sought counselling, if you’ve read some self-help books to try to understand and change your own behaviour, then you’re not a narcissist. Most normal people have at least some elements of what could be described as narcissistic once in a while, but it’s a consistent pattern of behaviour and meeting several of the DM5 descriptors of narcissistic personality disorder that is the basis for being diagnosed with the disorder.

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For consideration

Jan 4, 2023 at 4:48pm

With regard to the first comment: narcissism itself is not a diagnosis. It's a personality style, similar to introversion or extroversion.

Someone can be described as narcissistic (a convenient shorthand for entitled, grandiose, superficial, lacking empathy, arrogant, rage-fuelled, and validation/admiration-seeking) without having been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

OP, if you have the self-awareness to speculate on these questions you've raised, you're probably not a narcissist. Your first sentence suggests a flight response. Have you looked into complex PTSD to see if that fits the bill better? I recommend looking up the description online in the ICD-11. This condition is not in the DSM, though hopefully it will be in time.

If anyone needs resources on CPTSD, Bessel Van Der Kolk's The Body Keeps the Score, Pete Walker's Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, and Stephanie Foo's What My Bones Know are three solid places to start.

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Jan 5, 2023 at 12:28am

I doubt you're a narcissist since you're even asking these questions of yourself. That's not to say you haven't made mistakes out of ego and pride but from what I can tell narcissists don't have the capacity to self reflect.

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Jan 5, 2023 at 6:16pm

The title is reference to something written in the book Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. When you mentioned CPTSD and how the body keeps the score I listened again to the I Remember Damage - Station Eleven poem on YouTube. I listened to it as if the body was writing to the mind and it seemed to make sense. The body attempting to reconnect after trauma.

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