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Malignant Narcism in the Alcoholic?

Old 12-18-2006, 04:49 PM
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Malignant Narcism in the Alcoholic?

I was wondering who else's Alcoholic parent also suffers from Narsistic Personality Disorder. My father has all 9 of the clinical markers used by professionals to diagnosed clinical Malignant Narcism aka NPD. This fits him to a TEE. I have noticed that alot of the behaviors(of the alcoholic) and the emotional "issues"(of the adult child) are the same in both disorders. It lead me to wonder if there is a connection between the two. If anyone would like to read links on NPD I have attached some below. I was wondering if anyone else's parent/SO has both disorders? Sence reading about NPD I have acheaved a new frame of mind. I still have alot of anger and resentment and confusion.....but learning about NPD has allowed me a certian degree of "emotional detachment". Now everytime I see him rage about something I can detach....realize it isin't about ME.....and just think about what a miserable person he is...and try to prevent myself from becoming miserable. He will ALWAYS be miserable....and will ALWAYS need and crave something to complaign about....he feeds off of drama and I DON'T have to be involved in that drama.

h t t p : / /en(dot)wikipedia(dot)org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder
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Old 12-18-2006, 05:07 PM
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"Diagnostic criteria
At least five of the following are necessary for a diagnosis:

has a grandiose sense of self-importance
is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by other special people
requires excessive admiration
strong sense of entitlement
takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
lacks empathy
is often envious or believes others are envious of him or her
arrogant affect"




"To the extent that people are narcissistic, they can be controlling, blaming, self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ views, unaware of other’s needs and of the effects of their behavior on others, and require that others see them as they wish to be seen [3]. They may also demand certain behavior from their children because they see the children as extensions of themselves, and need the children to represent them in the world in ways that meet the parents’ emotional needs"

"These traits will lead narcissistic parents to be very intrusive in some ways, and entirely neglectful in others. The children are punished if they do not respond adequately to the parents’ needs. This punishment may take a variety of forms, including physical abuse, angry outbursts, blame, attempts to instill guilt, emotional withdrawal, and criticism. Whatever form it takes, the purpose of the punishment is to enforce compliance with the parents’ narcissistic needs."


"The interpersonal relationships of patients with NPD are typically impaired due to the individual's lack of empathy, disregard for others, exploitativeness, sense of entitlement, and constant need for attention. They frequently select as mates, and engender in their children, "co-narcissism," which is a term coined to refer to a co-dependent personality style similar to co-alcoholism and co-dependency [6]. Co-narcissists organize themselves around the needs of others. They feel responsible for others, accept blame readily, are eager to please, defer to other's opinions, and fear being considered selfish if they act assertively"

"It is unusual for people suffering from narcissism to seek treatment for their condition. The individual with narcissistic personality disorder has fears of inadequacy and consequently has great difficulty perceiving that there is any reason to seek treatment. Persons with NPD often fear a repetition of a critical and rejecting response, rather than a flattering mirroring, if they open up to a therapist. Essentially, they imagine that the therapist would relate to them as their parents did. They are very likely to be disdainful and disparaging towards the notion of psychotherapy"
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:01 PM
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Hi Mlynn!

This is good info. I try not to diagnose my dad, whose drinking affects me, but I've read similar studies and yes, he exhibits all 5 criteria. My mother used to tell me he was a narcisssist but I dont think I had begun recovery and any objectivity I could have had about it, was non-existent.

They may also demand certain behavior from their children because they see the children as extensions of themselves, and need the children to represent them in the world in ways that meet the parents’ emotional needs"
Yep, I can relate!
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:51 PM
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They may also demand certain behavior from their children because they see the children as extensions of themselves, and need the children to represent them in the world in ways that meet the parents’ emotional needs
Oh yeah, I'm still working on that. Got the double whammy from both of my parents on that one. I'm not sure if that's a cause of alcoholism (the increased pressure they put on themselves/those around them, then the expectation not being met driving to depression driving to drink as a way of numbing the depression) or if the alcohol comes first, then the alcohol generates the narcissism.

As for my parents, neither fit any of the criteria terribly well. I think, no I know because in a drunken crying binge my father once told me this, that the high expectations were placed on us because they wanted us to not end up like the losers they saw themselves as. So whatever definition of 'success' they had in their minds, they wanted us to be successful and pushed us hard to get us to be successful.

In my case, both of my parents are probably the opposite of that. They both feel like they're not successful, not admirable, not deserving of anything so no sense of entitlement. They each manifest their low self opinions in different ways (mom by being terrified into complete inaction, dad by attempting to control everything around him), but it's still very much the opposite of the traits you've listed.
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:51 PM
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Wow, I just joined this forum and this is my first post. I only recently realized that my father was a narcisssist. Nothing was ever his fault. If you tried to address something with him, it was either physically unsafe, or he would twist things around and make you sure that you had done something wrong. That makes you feel crazy.

It has only been recently, as I am going through a painful separation, that my relationship pattern is based on that. I married a woman with whom I was never able to talk about any concerns that I had, big or small. She would end up very angry that I was criticizing her, that I never said anything good. Not that I was perfect either, but in the process of dis-entagling myself from this very enmeshed relationship, I was very surprised to realize that I had married someone very like my father. I really thought I had dealt with him, let it go, years ago. Apparently, I have still been trying to get that validation, that I can make someone understand me, love me in a healthy way, despite all evidence to the contrary.

I am finding coda books helpful, and also some books and articles on attachment disorders. If anyone is interested I can look one or two of the titles up.

Letting go is hard, and a process with many levels as you learn new ways in which you have to let go, at least that is how it is for me. I do know that with these people, you can only resolve it within yourself. There will never ever be some wonderful moment where they finally hear you, and take ownership for something.

Anyway, glad I found this site. Need something like this right now.
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:33 PM
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pkavanagh welcome to the board. You will find alot of helpful information here. I am fairly new myself here and already the support that has come from this board is invaluable. I am sorry about your father....he sounds JUST like mine....sigh....I envy all the people with "normal" parents they just don't know how good they have it. I am going through a process of emotional detachment and then hopefully sometime soon when I can move(hopefully to FL) full physical/emotional seperation (no contact with my father)....I still feel alot of guilt and confliction about the decision to cut him out of my life....after all he isin't a bad guy all the time and can be quite a charming old ******* when the mood servres him right....but the bad far outweighs the good...and the harm he has caused my family is very real....yet I still feel guilt & the need to protect HIS feelings....even when he never gave a damn about mine. I'm sure lots of people can relate to that. Anyway sorry to go on a rant....welcome to the board.
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Old 12-19-2006, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Mlynn
"They may also demand certain behavior from their children because they see the children as extensions of themselves, and need the children to represent them in the world in ways that meet the parents’ emotional needs"
This was one I had to struggle with as my own child was growing up. I think it's first and foremost an issue of boundaries and not understanding where I (or my parents) stop and my child (or me) begins.

I also think it's the reason my parents have always treated me like c**p. That's really how the feel about themselves underneath all of the grandoise behavior and denial and they see me as being just like them. ::sigh::

I spent years trying to understand it all. In the end I have had to settle for protecting myself and trying not to avoid inflicting the same damage on the next generations.

Last edited by DesertEyes; 12-20-2006 at 07:14 PM. Reason: fixed broken quote
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:44 AM
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I envy all the people with "normal" parents they just don't know how good they have it
Valid point, but I have learned to try and not compare my insides with someone elses outside. Just because they look normal doesnt mean they are. The word normal is relative anyway.

My parents always looked very normal, in fact they still do. All american, suceesful business owner with pretty wife, and cute kids, beautiful homes and nice things.
Looks can be deceiving.
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