Narcissistic Personality Disorder : Are They A Detrimental Effect On Their Children?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder : Are They A Detrimental Effect On Their Children?

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Narcissists could have a detrimental effect on their children unless they identify their problem, seek treatment, and learn coping skills. According to the Mayo Health Clinic, “Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence, lays a fragile self-esteem that 's vulnerable to the slightest criticism” (Mayo Clinic, 2014). The goal of this mindset is to inflate the self so great to build an impenetrable wall around them, protecting them from their greatest fear, external criticism; preventing them from ever finding their true identity. This “false self” (George J. Train, 1987) allows them to view themselves however they imagine, ignoring all outside influences and denying anyone else’s feelings. The number of people affected by this disorder is unknown. Origins of this disorder date back thousands of years, the earliest being in Greek mythology. Narcissus, a handsome young man, who upon seeing his reflection for the first time, fell so in love with his own image he laid there looking at himself until he died. Unlike the evil queen in Snow White, he didn’t need a magic mirror to tell him he was the fairest of all because he believed it to be true. In the early 1900’s, psychoanalysts started viewing narcissism as a healthy part of the human psyche, to a point. Austrian psychoanalyst Otto Rank was one of the earliest to publish a paper on narcissism in 1911, in which he connected it to self-admiration and vanity (Coombs, C.B., 2014). It wasn’t until about 50 years ago that it started being recognized as an illness with a treatment solution. This invisible wall, buil...


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...p them grow into their own unique, capable person. This shows the children how to be individuals instead of extensions” (D. Rockwell, 2016). Putting these coping skills to use can ensure there is a chance at life for the suffering children as well as the parent.
There is hope in raising healthy children, even as a parent with narcissism; with the proper diagnosis, effective treatment, and daily maintenance of one’s mental health. If one can learn to put others before themselves and forget about being the fairest in the land, healthy parenting can be achieved. It is through the process of truly loving yourself for who you are, not what you think you are, that makes love for another human being possible. The desire to unconditionally love while raising a child to become the best version of them is all that is needed to achieve healthy parenting. Love heals all wounds.

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