The Stalker as Antisocial Bully

Written by Sam Vaknin


Stalkers have narcissistic traits. Many of them suffer from personality disorders. The vindictive stalker is usually a psychopath (has Antisocial Personality Disorder). They all conform torepparttar classic definition of a bully.

Before we proceed to delineate coping strategies, it is helpful to reviewrepparttar 126111 characteristics of each of these mental health problems and dysfunctional behaviours.

I. The Narcissistic Stalker

The dramatic and erotomaniac stalker is likely to show one or more of these narcissistic traits:

Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits torepparttar 126112 point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements); Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion; Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions); Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply); Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment; Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends; Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or acceptrepparttar 126113 feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others; Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroyrepparttar 126114 objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feelrepparttar 126115 same about him or her and are likely to act similarly; Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "aboverepparttar 126116 law", and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy. (Adapted from "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited")

II. The Antisocial (Psychopathic) Stalker

APD or AsPD was formerly called "psychopathy" or, more colloquially, "sociopathy". Some scholars, such as David Hare, still distinguish psychopathy from mere antisocial behaviour. The disorder appears in early adolescence but criminal behaviour and substance abuse often abate with age, usually byrepparttar 126117 fourth or fifth decade of life. It may have a genetic or hereditary determinant and afflicts mainly men. The diagnosis is controversial and regarded by some scholar as scientifically unfounded.

Psychopaths regard other people as objects to be manipulated and instruments of gratification and utility. They have no discernible conscience, are devoid of empathy and find it difficult to perceive other people's nonverbal cues, needs, emotions, and preferences. Consequently,repparttar 126118 psychopath rejects other people's rights and his commensurate obligations. He is impulsive, reckless, irresponsible and unable to postpone gratification. He often rationalises his behaviour showing an utter absence of remorse for hurting or defrauding others.

Misdiagnosing Narcissism - The Bipolar I Disorder

Written by Sam Vaknin


(The use of gender pronouns in this article reflectsrepparttar clinical facts: most narcissists are men.)

The manic phase of Bipolar I Disorder is often misdiagnosed as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Bipolar patients inrepparttar 126110 manic phase exhibit many ofrepparttar 126111 signs and symptoms of pathological narcissism - hyperactivity, self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and control freakery. During this recurring chapter ofrepparttar 126112 disease,repparttar 126113 patient is euphoric, has grandiose fantasies, spins unrealistic schemes, and has frequent rage attacks (is irritable) if her or his wishes and plans are (inevitably) frustrated.

The manic phases ofrepparttar 126114 bipolar disorder, however, are limited in time - NPD is not. Furthermore,repparttar 126115 mania is followed by - usually protracted - depressive episodes. The narcissist is also frequently dysphoric. But whereasrepparttar 126116 bipolar sinks into deep self-deprecation, self-devaluation, unbounded pessimism, all-pervasive guilt and anhedonia -repparttar 126117 narcissist, even when depressed, never forgoes his narcissism: his grandiosity, sense of entitlement, haughtiness, and lack of empathy.

Narcissistic dysphorias are much shorter and reactive - they constitute a response torepparttar 126118 Grandiosity Gap. In plain words,repparttar 126119 narcissist is dejected when confronted withrepparttar 126120 abyss between his inflated self-image and grandiose fantasies - andrepparttar 126121 drab reality of his life: his failures, lack of accomplishments, disintegrating interpersonal relationships, and low status. Yet, one dose of Narcissistic Supply is enough to elevaterepparttar 126122 narcissists fromrepparttar 126123 depth of misery torepparttar 126124 heights of manic euphoria.

Not so withrepparttar 126125 bipolar. The source of her or his mood swings is assumed to be brain biochemistry - notrepparttar 126126 availability of Narcissistic Supply. Whereasrepparttar 126127 narcissist is in full control of his faculties, even when maximally agitated,repparttar 126128 bipolar often feels that s/he has lost control of his/her brain ("flight of ideas"), his/her speech, his/her attention span (distractibility), and his/her motor functions.

The bipolar is prone to reckless behaviors and substance abuse only duringrepparttar 126129 manic phase. The narcissist does drugs, drinks, gambles, shops on credit, indulges in unsafe sex or in other compulsive behaviors both when elated and when deflated.

As a rule,repparttar 126130 bipolar's manic phase interferes with his/her social and occupational functioning. Many narcissists, in contrast, reachrepparttar 126131 highest rungs of their community, church, firm, or voluntary organization. Most ofrepparttar 126132 time, they function flawlessly - thoughrepparttar 126133 inevitable blowups andrepparttar 126134 grating extortion of Narcissistic Supply usually put an end torepparttar 126135 narcissist's career and social liaisons.

The manic phase of bipolar sometimes requires hospitalization and - more frequently than admitted - involves psychotic features. Narcissists are never hospitalized asrepparttar 126136 risk for self-harm is minute. Moreover, psychotic microepisodes in narcissism are decompensatory in nature and appear only under unendurable stress (e.g., in intensive therapy).

The bipolar's mania provokes discomfort in both strangers and inrepparttar 126137 patient's nearest and dearest. His/her constant cheer and compulsive insistence on interpersonal, sexual, and occupational, or professional interactions engenders unease and repulsion. Her/his lability of mood - rapid shifts between uncontrollable rage and unnatural good spirits - is downright intimidating. The narcissist's gregariousness, by comparison, is calculated, "cold", controlled, and goal-orientated (the extraction of Narcissistic Supply). His cycles of mood and affect are far less pronounced and less rapid.

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