A first reconnoitering
Narcissism is a
for people with pedophilic emotions. I knew this was the case. The newspapers
have mentioned this many times and I had a pretty good idea what they meant by
However, it became another
matter when I had to read a diagnostic report about myself. The report said that I
had a narcissistic
personality disorder. No attempt was made to explain or elaborate.
My first reaction was, of course,
resistance and protest. But then, instead of directly accepting the conclusion,
I started to ask myself: What is this exactly and is it true?
I began to investigate this question. To begin, I wrote down what
I already knew and then I went on to investigate it further.
Later on, I put the question to my
therapist. He reacted: "Why do you worry about a narcissistic
personality disorder? Many people have it! Supposedly, it is so anchored in your
personality that you cannot change it anyway." Indeed, according to Lash's
book The Culture of Narcissism, our society as a
whole is narcissistic.
I worry about it because it's laid
at my door and because it's laid at the doors of many other, but nobody knows
exactly what it is.
A first reconnoitering
To begin, I have
noted what I already knew and what my view was at the start of the quest.
narcissism is a standard diagnosis, routinely given to people with
concept's origin is in psycho-analysis, thus, a way of healing people; it was
never meant for the courtroom.
a complex concept with a lot of theory around it. It concerns the ego and the
Narcissus looks at his mirror image in the water, he catches sight of himself,
his self. However, he does not realize that he sees himself. He thinks
he is seeing a beautiful young male nymph and falls in love with him.
His ego and his self are split, but he is still not conscious of
this split, of the mirroring.
Having fallen in love with the nymph, which is in fact himself, he tries to embrace the
nymph and he drowns in the water.
narcissist falls in love with his mirrored self - either literally or in a psychological sense. In my view, two interpretations are possible: one
falls in love with the conscious self, or with the unconscious, the
repressed self - usually a contrasting self. So, a 'silent mouse' as I was,
a silent and quiet adolescent, can fall
in love with active street children...
question becomes: have all those jurists and forensic psychologists
read these theories, do they know and understand them? Or are they making a diagnosis
which no one understands?
It is a wicked
diagnosis because there is no defence possible. If one protests, the
psychologist will say: "Typically narcissistic!". This diagnoses
locks people in a paradox.
Our society and
culture as a whole is narcissistic (Lash). How much pride does a real man
need? How much time does a woman spend in front of the mirror?
takes a look at himself or herself from time to time. Sometimes, hurt pride requires
redress. Every now and then, one should be ego-centered. We all need to understand the conscious self and the