Misdiagnosing Narcissism - The Bipolar I Disorder

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

The bipolar's swollen self-esteem, overstated self-confidence, obvious grandiosity, and delusional fantasies are akin torepparttar narcissist's and arerepparttar 126110 source ofrepparttar 126111 diagnostic confusion. Both types of patients purport to give advice, carry out an assignment, accomplish a mission, or embark on an enterprise for which they are uniquely unqualified and lackrepparttar 126112 talents, skills, knowledge, or experience required.

Butrepparttar 126113 bipolar's bombast is far more delusional thanrepparttar 126114 narcissist's. Ideas of reference and magical thinking are common and, in this sense,repparttar 126115 bipolar is closer torepparttar 126116 schizotypal than torepparttar 126117 narcissistic.

There are other differentiating symptoms:

Sleep disorders - notably acute insomnia - are common inrepparttar 126118 manic phase of bipolar and uncommon in narcissism. So is "manic speech" - pressured, uninterruptible, loud, rapid, dramatic (includes singing and humorous asides), sometimes incomprehensible, incoherent, chaotic, and lasts for hours. It reflectsrepparttar 126119 bipolar's inner turmoil and his/her inability to control his/her racing and kaleidoscopic thoughts.

As opposed to narcissists, bipolar inrepparttar 126120 manic phase are often distracted byrepparttar 126121 slightest stimuli, are unable to focus on relevant data, or to maintainrepparttar 126122 thread of conversation. They are "all overrepparttar 126123 place" - simultaneously initiating numerous business ventures, joining a myriad organization, writing umpteen letters, contacting hundreds of friends and perfect strangers, acting in a domineering, demanding, and intrusive manner, totally disregardingrepparttar 126124 needs and emotions ofrepparttar 126125 unfortunate recipients of their unwanted attentions. They rarely follow up on their projects.

The transformation is so marked thatrepparttar 126126 bipolar is often described by his/her closest as "not himself/herself". Indeed, some bipolars relocate, change name and appearance, and lose contact with their "former life". Antisocial or even criminal behavior is not uncommon and aggression is marked, directed at both others (assault) and oneself (suicide). Some biploars describe an acuteness ofrepparttar 126127 senses, akin to experiences recounted by drug users: smells, sounds, and sights are accentuated and attain an unearthly quality.

As opposed to narcissists, bipolars regret their misdeeds followingrepparttar 126128 manic phase and try to atone for their actions. They realize and accept that "something is wrong with them" and seek help. Duringrepparttar 126129 depressive phase they are ego-dystonic and their defenses are autoplastic (they blame themselves for their defeats, failures, and mishaps).

Finally, pathological narcissism is already discernible in early adolescence. The full-fledged bipolar disorder - including a manic phase - rarely occurs beforerepparttar 126130 age of 20. The narcissist is consistent in his pathology - not sorepparttar 126131 bipolar. The onset ofrepparttar 126132 manic episode is fast and furious and results in a conspicuous metamorphosis ofrepparttar 126133 patient.

More about this topic here:

Stormberg, D., Roningstam, E., Gunderson, J., & Tohen, M. (1998) Pathological Narcissism in Bipolar Disorder Patients. Journal of Personality Disorders, 12, 179-185

Roningstam, E. (1996), Pathological Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Axis I Disorders. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 3, 326-340

Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

That's Not How It's S'posed To Be

Written by Susan Dunn, MA, Personal Life & EQ Coach

Continued from page 1

Why? Because I could delineate hererepparttar logic and rationale that would lead you out ofrepparttar 126109 turmoil intellectually (if only that were possible). The cold, hard facts are that we don’t always get what we want, that tragedy occurs, that children die before their parents, thatrepparttar 126110 best of workers gets fired, that there are no guaranteesrepparttar 126111 one you love will love you back, that you can maintain a strict health regime and still need a bypass at 55, and that a cushy retirement is a phenomenon produced inrepparttar 126112 minds of a generation whose parents never expected such.

But does this help? No. In fact it sounds cruel. This is what happens to OTHER people, we will always think, and if one of these adversities occurs, we will struggle withrepparttar 126113 question, “Why me?”

Sadly,repparttar 126114 more appropriate question is “Why NOT me?” and how that hurts.

The acts of 911 brought this actuality torepparttar 126115 lives of many people who hadn’t experienced it before. “This could never happen” became a reality and it shook our foundations. This is what resilience is about. It’s about what do we do when we land on another planet, when we lose our moorings, when nothing makes sense, whenrepparttar 126116 sun we expect to rise every day one day does not, whenrepparttar 126117 things we believed in no longer hold true.

Resilience involves flexibility and forgiveness. Forgiveness of ourselves, of other people, ofrepparttar 126118 random universe, and for whatever spiritual expectations and beliefs we held, andrepparttar 126119 flexibility to cope with something entirely new. These assaulting events cause us to reorient, to think things through atrepparttar 126120 deepest level, and to learn new ways of not just adjusting, but of adapting. We may even be called upon to have a metamorphosis, likerepparttar 126121 tadpole. It can feel like you’re a creature with gills who lives in water who is suddenly required to grow lungs and breathe air.

While we continue to hope and believe that bad things won’t happen to good people (like us!), it’s wise to work on developing your emotional intelligence so some of these skills are available when you need them. Once you understandrepparttar 126122 fundamentals, you can begin applying them to small matters in your life. It’s like flexing your muscles. You’ll be glad you did!


You can begin by taking The EQ Map ( http://tinyurl.com/z94t ), an emotional intelligence assessment. Then take The EQ Foundation Course (see my website), read some EQ books ( http://www.webstrategies.cc/ebooklibrary.html ), and work with an EQ coach.

Many people who begin this journey say, “It’srepparttar 126123 missing piece.”

©Susan Dunn, MA, Personal Life coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Offering The EQ Foundation Course and other Internet courses, coaching and ebooks for your personal and professional development. mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for free ezine. I train and certify EQ coaches. I train and certify EQ coaches. Email for information.

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