The Interrupted Self

Written by Sam Vaknin

Also read this - Psychophysics

The fundament of our mind isrepparttar mental map we create of our body ("Body Image", or "Body Map"). It is a detailed, psychic, rendition of our corporeal self, based on sensa (sensory input) and above all on proprioception and other kinaesthetic senses. It incorporates representations of other objects and results, at a higher level, in a "World Map" or "World Image". This World Map often does not react to actual changes inrepparttar 126332 body itself (such as amputation -repparttar 126333 "phantom" phenomenon). It is also exclusionary of facts that contradictrepparttar 126334 paradigm atrepparttar 126335 basis ofrepparttar 126336 World Map.

This detailed and ever-changing (dynamic) map constitutesrepparttar 126337 set of outer constraints and threshold conditions forrepparttar 126338 brain's operations. The triple processes of interaction (endogenous and exogenous), integration (assimilation) and accommodation (see here "Psychophysics") - reconcilerepparttar 126339 brain's "programmes" (sets of instructions) to these constraints and conditions. In other words, these are processes of solving dynamic, though always partial, equations. The set of allrepparttar 126340 solutions to all these equations constitutesrepparttar 126341 "Personal Narrative", or "Personality". Thus, "organic" and "mental" disorders (a dubious distinction at best) have many characteristics in common (confabulation, antisocial behaviour, emotional absence or flatness, indifference, psychotic episodes and so on).

The brain's "Functional Set" is hierarchical and consists of feedback loops. It aspires to equilibrium and homeostasis. The most basic level is mechanical - hardware (neurones, glia, etc.) and operating system software. This software consists of a group of sensory-motor applications. It is separated fromrepparttar 126342 next level by exegetic instructions (the feedback loops and their interpretation). This isrepparttar 126343 cerebral equivalent of a compiler. Each level of instructions is separated fromrepparttar 126344 next (and connected to it meaningfully and operationally) by such a compiler.

Taming the Beast: Pathological Narcissism and the Quality of Life

Written by Sam Vaknin


You seem to be very sceptical that someone with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be treated successfully.


The Narcissistic Personality Disorder has been recognised as a distinct mental health diagnosis a little more than two decades ago. There are few who can honestly claim expertise or even in-depth understanding of this complex condition.

No one knows whether therapy works. What is known is that therapists find narcissists repulsive, overbearing and unnerving. It is also known that narcissists try to co-opt, idolize, or humiliaterepparttar therapist.

But what ifrepparttar 126331 narcissist really wants to improve? Even if complete healing is out ofrepparttar 126332 question - behaviour modification is not.

To a narcissist, I would recommend a functional approach, alongrepparttar 126333 following lines:

Know and accept thyself. This is who you are. You have good traits and bad traits and you are a narcissist. These are facts. Narcissism is an adaptive mechanism. It is dysfunctional now, but, once, it saved you from a lot more dysfunction or even non-function. Make a list: what does it mean to be a narcissist in your specific case? What are your typical behaviour patterns? Which types of conduct do you find to be counterproductive, irritating, self-defeating or self-destructive? Which are productive, constructive and should be enhanced despite their pathological origin? Decide to suppressrepparttar 126334 first type of behaviours and to promoterepparttar 126335 second. Construct lists of self-punishments, negative feedback and negative reinforcements. Impose them upon yourself when you have behaved negatively. Make a list of prizes, little indulgences, positive feedbacks and positive reinforcements. Use them to reward yourself when you adopted a behaviour ofrepparttar 126336 second kind. Keep doing this withrepparttar 126337 express intent of conditioning yourself. Be objective, predictable and just inrepparttar 126338 administration of both punishments and awards, positive and negative reinforcements and feedback. Learn to trust your "inner court". Constrainrepparttar 126339 sadistic, immature and ideal parts of your personality by applying a uniform codex, a set of immutable and invariably applied rules. Once sufficiently conditioned, monitor yourself incessantly. Narcissism is sneaky and it possesses all your resources because it is you. Your disorder is intelligent because you are. Beware and never lose control. With time this onerous regime will become a second habit and supplantrepparttar 126340 narcissistic (pathological) superstructure. You might have noticed that allrepparttar 126341 above can be amply summed by suggesting to you to become your own parent. This is what parents do andrepparttar 126342 process is called "education" or "socialisation". Re-parent yourself. Be your own parent. If therapy is helpful or needed, go ahead.

The heart ofrepparttar 126343 beast isrepparttar 126344 inability ofrepparttar 126345 narcissist to distinguish true from false, appearances from reality, posing from being, Narcissistic Supply from genuine relationships, and compulsive drives from true interests and avocations. Narcissism is about deceit. It blursrepparttar 126346 distinction between authentic actions, true motives, real desires, and original emotions and their malignant forms.

Narcissists are no longer capable of knowing themselves. Terrified by their internal apparitions, paralysed by their lack of authenticity, suppressed byrepparttar 126347 weight of their repressed emotions they occupy a hall of mirrors. Edvard Munch-like, their elongated figures stare at them, onrepparttar 126348 verge ofrepparttar 126349 scream, yet somehow, soundless.

The narcissist's childlike, curious, vibrant, and optimistic True Self is dead. His False Self is, well, false. How can anyone on a permanent diet of echoes and reflections ever acquaint himself with reality? How canrepparttar 126350 narcissist ever love he, whose essence is to devour meaningful others?

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use