• Heather Swift

Can I self-diagnose [narcissism] or do I have to rely upon other narcissistic people to project this

I’m a mental, crazy bitch, a fruit loop, weirdo, lunatic, not right in the head alien space cadet with a fragmented schizoid, narcissistic, psychotic, masochist, rigid, oral personality disorder. Hence why it takes me so long to reply to some questions; I’m so easily distracted by everything around me due to hyper vigilance, I over think, I have some perfectionism issues mixed with low self-esteem and a little dyslexic, on top of fibromyalgia. An introverted extrovert 50 year old grandma trying to get well. There are more labels I have been given, some nice and sweet, some a badge of fun and then there are the dark ones that I don’t want to admit to personifying.

If you are still reading then thank you, I’m complicated and you must be a warrior to keep going this far. It’s a long one but here goes.

I question how the words we use and are exposed to have an effect on what is reflected onto us and how we treat others. I’m not an expert on anything but myself and my observations. I have different perception on ‘reality’, as so do you.

Our perceptions are warped by the things projected on to us by external sources, and the attachments we give meaning to. In a system where the narcissists and psychopaths appear to be in charge, we have to take control of ourselves.

Labelling others is useful in explaining to others why we share or block our connections to others. We give out labels so easily and don’t think of the impact they have on the receiver, only in why we do or do not like an aspect of their behaviour, never thinking there is an inner child hurt and alone not knowing how to make relationships work as we are so afraid of rejection and abandonment.

If we have an issue with anger and were given the childhood role of lost child, daddy’s girl, surrogate spouse, star, hero, rebel, tyrant or scape goat, then we probably have some narcissistic traits.

You can self-diagnose, you might be wrong, I don’t think it would do you any harm if you did but I might be wrong. I thought I had some kind of bi-polar disorder and a professional label helped me to figure out how they can help me and help myself. Psychiatrists do get things wrong and many people with bi-polar could be diagnosed as BPD. The psychiatrist did tell me that anti-depressants don’t work for PTSD, but many professionals give them out for so many of the symptoms I was suffering from. I know people with the anti-social disorder label, who aren’t anti-social at all, they just have a low tolerance for not been listened to, the bs people come out with, been told lies and don’t tolerate disrespect easily.

I wouldn’t rely on anyone person giving me a label or diagnosis, especially someone who I’m labelling narcissist. But if there are multiple people telling me I’m one, then I have to admit there might be something wrong with how I’m behaving and I might seek help. Unfortunately help isn’t easily available, whereas education and peer support is.

If we are questioning ourselves whether we are or are not a narcissist then we probably aren’t. Somebody who fits on to the high end of the narcissism scale would not even consider that they are one. However by exploring the traits, we can look at why we are emotional investing in a person, place or thing that doesn’t love, care or support us. We might be able to see ourselves from an observer’s perspective and see how our thoughts and behaviours impact our lives. With this we can become more authentic, caring, loving and non-judgemental of ourselves and others.

If someone is handing us a label perhaps we should question ourselves and them why. If we are giving it ourselves is it because we are wanting an excuse or support. So to answer the question, yes, if we are resilient enough to deal with the stigma. There are loads of books and sites which help us examine the pros and cons of psychological labels. I’ve been down some rabbit holes with that question, peeling the layers of the recovery onion, finding out where my beliefs and ideas have come from has helped me let go of the baggage I was unconsciously and consciously carrying and finding the love inside me. They were signs or symbols helping me to find the path of self-discovery of my strengths and weaknesses, the love and the fear. They help us identify who we are and can help us do the shadow/inner child work needed to heal.

We are a dysfunctional society with a dysfunctional system killing us more rapidly than ever before. We need change, and it’s the internal changes that will make the difference. Instead of working against ourselves, blaming our problems on external sources, let’s go internal and see how and why we are projecting the characters we have in our lives. It can be dark and painful but ultimately it lightens the unconscious baggage. We stop hurting ourselves and then others.

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