How does a narcissist deal with death

narcissism : The concern for (s) me

Mr. RöpkeThere are various stories about the end of the beautiful young man, after whom the narcissistic personality disorder is named: The self-enamored person finds himself so great that he longs for his reflection in the mirror; in another version he dies because of the shock, because the waves distort the reflection ugly; or he drowns trying to unite with his own reflection. Which variant do you find the most appropriate?

What I see as a picture in front of me is the version: how behind him the lovesick nymph, whom he rejects, dies, and he himself becomes a narcissus. That is actually unfair, because the nymph can hardly articulate herself - but he is punished for spurning her, for which he can not help.

So are you on your patient's side?


Did the attention to the phenomenon of narcissism after the German Wings disaster benefit your work?

In the clinic, we actually don't notice anything of this media coverage. Narcissism was probably the best explanatory model if you look at the entire process. Depression is not enough in this case: Anyone who wants to commit suicide for this reason does not have the goal of dragging innocent people with them to their death. And if he had been so deeply depressed, it would have been noticed too. A severe personality disorder, on the other hand, is not noticeable. The only thing that would fit, because it would also be associated with a vengeance and punctuation to the world to show how bad I am, is someone who feels offended by the world and felt at ease. Here: Because he can no longer do his job. That would be the narcissistic aspect that someone shows this hurt massively to the outside world and has little empathy.

Colloquially, narcissism is a character problem - when does it become a case for health insurance? Where is the line between selfies, fitness mania and mass murder?

Medicine makes things easy for itself, it defines: Those who are suffering or impaired are sick; those who do not come because nothing is wrong with them are not sick.

Who comes to you doesn't have to call it narcissism?

At Personality disorders usually do not perceive their symptoms as such, but as normal. You just notice the consequences. The disorder shows itself in the interaction that shapes relationships, something like this is difficult to imagine on its own.

Everything would be ok on the lonely island?

You can't be narcissistic about that. A depressed person on the island does not get up in the morning, but the narcissist has no counterpart. One of his criteria is to be motivated to appear where you have the highest possible visibility. The narcissist is never the good collaborator who provides the other person with the data in the background. He relies on the least possible effort with the greatest possible effectiveness. Or he refuses to avoid failure and declares everyone to be idiots who work so hard, devalues ​​everything and then a lot only runs in the imagination: If I wanted, I could. It can be someone who has reached the top of the social ladder, or someone who has few contacts and lives in the world of thought, he is extremely brilliant and actually has all the skills.

Kitchen psychology says everyone needs a dose of narcissism.

Having a healthy, high level of self-esteem is positive. That way you get less sick, you can resolve professional conflicts better, and you have more stable partnerships. And what is narcissism? There are very different definitions. First this myth-telling by Ovid, then the concept of auto-erotic disorder by Havelock Ellis. Then Freud, who calls it a normal stage of development, while the late Freud revises that and calls narcissism a problem of adulthood. Heinz Kohut says that you are slipping back to a child's level of development. Otto F. Kernberg speaks of cold, indifferent or aggressive parents. Millon, on the other hand, argues in learning theory that the children who have done a little modeling clay are confirmed by their parents as highly gifted and are later confronted with reality when everyone no longer says how great you are. There is no single definition of healthy narcissism.

As a narcissist, could I turn on my "ego marketing" and then turn it off again and be a nice, empathic person?

No, yes it is defined as a stable personality trait. The narcissist will have the same problems in every partnership, in every professional environment. There are people who are not clinically ill, but noticeable. You cannot have stable relationships. Separate again and again, the partner then says: I have the feeling that you are a totally cold guy, not empathetic, you only see yourself, I'm just a number for you. And he says: You should see how great I am and what I can offer you. Scientific studies, even in healthy people, almost always use the “narcissism personality inventory”. You answer questions like: Am I a good leader in terms of my temperament - or the one who is in the second row? Ticking “leader” would be a characteristic of narcissism. This conclusion is increasingly questioned, however, such a narcissism term then correlates very much with "self-worth".

This is how this everyday cliché of narcissism comes about.

Yes, these studies are only part of the picture. There are also normal people who have a high self-esteem, take responsibility, want to achieve something in life. We're all somewhere on that scale. Each of us has parts of it, more or less pronounced, controllable, so you can go through life well. But now you notice that the corresponding poll numbers of the people are racing faster and faster on these questionnaires, society promotes this: I have to present myself everywhere. In this respect, there is an overlap with self-confident, healthy people based on the questionnaires. But research also shows that people with personality disorders often recognize that they have these characteristics and that they may not call them narcissistic. But they think they can break rules, that doesn't apply to others, they consider themselves to be something better. They first upgrade people who are important to them, and when they no longer need them, they do the opposite. The partner is a kind of trophy; as soon as he feels bad, you keep your distance. These are characteristics that run through, people do not get out of the circle.

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