Narcissism (aka Narcissistic Personality Disorder): A Case Study from a Recent ‘Text-Session’

Let me begin this by stating that I am always fascinated by the ways in which my two lives intersect: clinician and “erotician” (my word, not real).

I understand that as an event hostess I allow myself to be contacted by individuals who may or may not actually know me, and I willingly take on that responsibility…in the same way that when a patient enters my office I agree to evaluate them…at least initially.

That said, there are people, both patients and patrons, who test both the fortitude of my patience and clinical skill. These individuals represent that portion of our society that most of us would call, “crazy,” and no I am NOT referring to psychotic individuals…here I reference those that seem to gravitate to others willing to indulge them (me), with the primary task of: making our moment/day/job/life difficult…I mean, REALLY difficult… Those that cannot seem to be reasoned with, and are carried away but their own agenda willing to destroy, hurt, maim (emotionally) anyone who gets in their way…and do so with a rather dramatic flare.

Often we label these caustic individuals: HATERS (most commonly), entitled, control-freaks, self-absorbed, stalker, power mad, egocentric, rage-freak, world-revolves-around-you, spoiled, creeper, envious, unempathic, infamous, gold-digger, drama-queen, nemesis, princess, star-fucker, fake, bastard or simply…crazy-bitch (and that is NOT a gender specific term!).

Be cautioned, narcissistic individuals possess these qualities to the nth degree, and these conflicts permeate every aspect of their daily functioning. These are not simply interpersonally challenged individuals, no these are those people that make you wish you NEVER crossed their path!

From a psychological perspective these people struggle greatly in life enduring an inner struggle/conflict that triggers much of their interpersonal difficulties. To give you a more concrete idea, the DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, the Psychologist’s bible) defines a personality disorder as:

An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectation of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment.

To go further…one suffering from the above described maladies: Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)demonstrates a (paraphrased):

pattern of self-centered or egotistical behavior that manifests in thinking and behavior in various situations and activities. People with NPD won’t (or can’t) change their behavior even when it causes problems at work, when other people complain about the way they behave, or when their behavior causes a high level of emotional distress to others (or themselves? Note: none of my narcissistic patients ever admit to being distressed by their own behavior — they always blame other people for any problems).

This pattern of self-centered or egotistical behavior is not caused by current drug or alcohol use, head injury, acute psychotic episodes, or any other illness, but has increased in intensity and frequency, steadily since adolescence or early adulthood.

As outlined in the DSM:

“Pathological narcissism occurs in a spectrum of severity. In its more extreme forms, it is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). NPD is considered to result from a person’s belief that they are flawed in a way that makes them fundamentally unacceptable to others. This belief is held below the person’s conscious awareness; such a person would typically deny thinking such a thing, if questioned. In order to protect themselves against the intolerably painful rejection and isolation that (they imagine) would follow if others recognized their supposedly defective nature, such people make strong attempts to control others’ view of them and behavior towards them.”

The origin of this behavior began with their parents who often treated them as objects and/or were neglectful and abusive, creating feelings of low self-worth and a feeling of being unwanted. Thus engendering the reactive feelings described above.

Simply put, these individuals create a reactive and destructive defensive style towards others, often desiring to stimulate fear whereby:

“People who are overly narcissistic commonly feel rejected, humiliated and threatened when criticised. To protect themselves from these dangers, they often react with disdain, rage, and/or defiance to any slight criticism, real or imagined. To avoid such situations, some narcissistic people withdraw socially and may feign modesty or humility. In the case of feeling the lack of admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation the person can also manifest wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).”

Now you may be thinking that this sounds like many people in the entertainment industry and you would be right, the difference being when…charisma, turns to vehement and unprovoked hatred.

That said, treatment is difficult, long and intensive. From a therapists perspective, narcissists are arguably some of the most challenging patients; resistant to change, acting very much like the mythical banshee, pulling emotion from their treaters to fuel their rage and persistent emotional attacks on others.

But, I digress…Back to our current “patient,” I received the following text-rant…the other day and it gave me pause, understanding that psychology is in fact everywhere and navigating it is all of our tasks, at every point in our lives…whether I am in the therapy room or in the club…I imagine…I am always on-call:

Final Note: I transcribed this text verbatim, and must qualify that I was not “on the clock” nor acting as a therapist, rather as a person…after providing the background…watch how I am pulled into a this woman’s cyclone, indeed almost fueling her rage…as a defense (on my part), and also as a means to soothe, ultimately I fail in both capacities…illustrating the difficulty in dealing with these manipulative individuals. Further, please note the very little personal information I provide her and yet the plethora of characteristics that she projects (onto me), as well as her multiple contradictions that in fact belay her unstable self-concept:

A TEXT FROM AN UNKNOW NUMBER: Who the hell is this?

Me (I get many of these): I don’t have you in my phone either, feel free to delete me.

OTHER: WTF is this?

Me: conchita.

OTHER: WHO IS THAT?

Me: if you don’t know me, cool, just go ahead and delete (I always try to end unidentified convos early incase it is a patient).

OTHER: This is Tina, and I know who the fuck you are you rude asshole!

Me: Ummm I don’t know who you are, so as I indicated just let it go delete me please no need to be rude.

Tina: fuck you, u r rude!

Me: Ok…please delete me as you are now showing yourself as rude possibly psychologically disturbed.

Tina: HaHa whoever ths is that’s funny Im married to a wonderful millionaire stock broker in nyc my life is amazing…I have everything I could ever WANT…I am gorgeous and I am an important person who people want to know…this must be Michael…fuck off and die!

Me: Okay I am not Michael, I am a clinical psych who throws erotic events…ring a bell?

Tina: Fuck you…you are a liar you are not a doctor or anyone important, you are an no one and an asshole!!!

Me: You know, the fact that not only r u continuing to berate someone you don’t even know but also throwing your “status” my way makes me sad because when one has to qualify their happiness with THINGS, they lack where it really counts…heart and soul. I would never tell you what I have or who I am married to…not only is that classless and tasteless but it’s straight up tacky! Hint: don’t espouse personal info to people you do not know…it’s not safe. Now best to you, dr.(yes) c.

Oh and delete my fucking number! I haven’t a clue who you are except, disturbed…spoiled and more than a little crazy, again regards.

(clearly at this point she has pulled me in and I am reacting to her unprovoked rage)

And I suggest you seek immediate psychiatric help, your life seems a bit chaotic.

Tina: Fuck you, I know who this is Greg and your opinion of me has no value what so ever you are an asshole…my husband and my life is amazing don’t txt me again.

(Analytic Note: She is happy and “cared for” monetarily but struggling for an individual self-concept and has a history of confliction relationships)

Spoiled plz u don’t know me or just an asshole that is rude to people you are far from being a doctor and obviously need to seek therapy yourself.

Me: Stop texting me you insane person! And yes that is my clinical diagnosis! My name is: Charly Conchita Carlyle (PhD)…feel free to google it, you will find I am a therapist and throw erotic events throughout NYC and that is ALL. As I said I wish you peace and to stop torturing people you do not know…though I would love to meet you and smack you across that snobbish face of yours! Now no more texts or I am admitting you into the ER STAT!

(Yep, her rage has gotten me heated at this point and I am actually playing into and fueling her attack.)

God I cannot wait to post this on the internet.

(she then calls and leaves a message, where she basically repeats all of this is a squeaky slightly valley-girlish accent, ending in: “FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING BITCH WHORE CUNT!” And then the text continues)

Tina: U r no doctor u r a patient of a nut ward I am posting your name and number on the internet.

Me: yes please do!

Tina: I will Post it! I’ll send you a pic u probably have a no dick and fat and ugly and cant get a date so you hate women lmao

Me: Thank you for the message, I will transcribe and post it 2moro.

Tina: You are a loser and fat and ugly and fat obviously.

Me: yes that’s me, I am fat and ugly and uneducated…and I have never seen such narcissistic rage.

Tina: thank you!

Oh now I GET IT, you are gay!!!

AND you are on Sugardaddy.com (this is a website for women searching for millionaires, as she did apparently, I checked it, FYI I am NOT on it…I am happy with my Fireman.)

(Note here: Provided with only the sparsest amount of personal data, she has actually labeled me with qualities she would have no way of knowing about, and yet has actually “pulled” from her own insecurities and projected them onto me–projection is the unconscious process of imbuing others with characteristics in the self that are deemed “bad” and thus cannot be “owned”, thereby they are unconsciously “placed”/projected onto another; thus creating a “vessel” to hold all those hated qualities and spurring criticism and hatred directed at the other out of fear in an attempt to ultimately defend against these “bad” qualities in the self. This is how we might understand her seemingly unfounded name calling.)

Me: Yes, I am fat and ugly and gay…and uneducated…and a gold-digger…everything that you fear in yourself so you work hard to buy what you didn’t earn yourself. And still you are empty and sad clinging to your money and your rich hubby praying that it stays that way and that this random number you found in his phone isn’t some woman he’s been cheating on you with…I must scare you so much! I am so sorry for you!

It’s funny how sometimes it’s the ugliness inside that tortures beautiful people the most…anyway go to Louie V and charge a bag on hubby’s card…push all that ugliness away and know that this person, you didn’t even know has suffered your abuse…yet still wishes you well…because I don’t need to hurt others to feel whole.

Tina: I am not ugly! I am gorgeous and built like a brick house! I was in two calendars and model in nyc. I am gorgeous and you are ugly and fat! You are a disgusting person!!!!!

Me: whatever makes you feel better…hate people u don’t know…all I have is pity for you.

Tina: I am not ugly you are! And fat you are!

Me: yes yes, I know, it’s gonna be ok! Hush crazy…I have patients who WANT help to attend to…have a good night.

Tina: Muah…it’s been great!

THE END.

Wow, right? I mean…it is the pinnacle of narcissism almost totally encapsulated into a text message! Who would have though that the 2 hours interview I usually undertake could be circumvented into 20 min of TEXT MESSAGES!

But the real point here is that people like this penetrate all of our lives, often then attack needlessly and “push” every single button we have! Right? We REACT, as I did, needlessly though…You know, for awhile she had me all heated, defending my…imagined-self?…which is impossible and mostly self-defeating in nature…but I show it (here) because WE ALL DO IT…we all get pulled in…and it is only through training as a therapist that I learned how not to immediately “bite’ when someone such as this casts their hurt-and-needy line…to refrain and sit with their pain…but YOU don’t have to do that and neither did I when I was just sitting in my house relazing…none of us should…so, “here’s to” sometimes just letting it go…for our own peace of mind…sanity…and yes a little bit of satisfaction…because YOU know you can walk away…without all that hate (and projection)…yes it’s sad and these are people who struggle, but hey they should call me in the office and NOT text my personal phone!

Life…it’s so much easier than we think or act…or, at least it should be, in theory…love, c.

14 thoughts on “Narcissism (aka Narcissistic Personality Disorder): A Case Study from a Recent ‘Text-Session’

  1. Antique Psyche says:

    You know, it’s sad to say but, this is not very shocking. I have come across one too many folks like this mystery Tina. They seem to possess a hairline trigger that sends them into a irrational rage. I never entertain them, I’ve learned my lesson, for, the world they live in is solely in their twisted and distorted mind. There is no way to penetrate the crazy!!!! What is clear to you is mumbo jumbo to them. So frustrating, so sad.

    • Charly CONCHITA Carlyle says:

      RUN! LOL…no I tease…remember where the bravado/a comes from, the profound belief that thy are nothing, and to then be mindful of that…step away rather than confront…and understand that they may be “giving” ALL that they can…it’s funny I feel like love can heal most wounds…one of the few things freud got right….xxx c

  2. teo says:

    wow, I just can’t believe that… but you’re right, we don’t have to do that.

    It’s kind of about other kind of narcissism, but if you want, take a look at this article: Back, M. D., Schmukle, S. C. & Egloff, B. (2010). Why are narcissists so charming at first sight? Decoding the narcissism-popularity link at zero acquaintance. Journal of personality and social psychology, 98, 132-145. (couldn’t find a link, I guess your will have access to it).

    • Charly CONCHITA Carlyle says:

      Yeah you know it’s funny you are actually referring to the “nice” versus “nasty” narcissist…but in truth because of society the “nice” narcissist would integrate fine an only be charming…it’s a commonly accepted concept…but I am so glad you brought it up…the dialectic of narcissism, how something so attractive can be also be so destructive! thank you…for you insight, always! xxx c

      • teo says:

        I’m always more than happy to respond to you.
        In the case of narcissism I really think that there’s not the “nice” vs. “nasty”, but it really depends on the situation. If someone is narcissistic, in a charming way, he has the potential to be also that kind of crazy person you had an interaction with… and the crazy persons can be charming as well 🙂 The dialectic is within every person too, you know 😉

        (crazy person means the kind of people you described above)

      • Meredith says:

        Having spent my childhood around this, I can tell you from experience it can go from “nice” to “nasty” and right back again on a friggin’ dime. It’s part of what makes them so difficult to deal with – especially if you’re a child or a spouse, you’re constantly walking on eggshells because they make you feel like whether they’re showering you with gifts or screaming at you depends on what YOU do to keep them happy. (Oh, DSM-IV, you have cleared so much up for me.)

      • Charly CONCHITA Carlyle says:

        Well you certainly have my sympathies…certianly I grew up in a similar environment…which is I suppose why I focused on personality disorders in my training…I actually have a great book for you: “THE DRAMA OF THE GIFTED CHILD” by Alice Walker…it is written for adult chidren of narcissistic parents…PLEASE READ IT! It will soothe you so much more than the DSM-IV-TR! Thank you so very much for your response BTW…italways means a lot to me…xxx c

  3. Meredith says:

    Holy crap, all that over some initial confused text messages??? That is some cray-cray right there (and I use that diagnostic term as the official girlfriend of a psychiatrist). I grew up in a household with someone who in retrospect could easily have been diagnosed with NPD, and it is seriously NOT FUN.

  4. prettyamphetamine says:

    Hysterical really. From the sound of it she is very mentally disturbed and insecure on many levels. Such a shame that she would have to get obliterated (she is most definitely not sober) to release her anger onto someone else who wasn’t deserving.

    • Charly CONCHITA Carlyle says:

      you know it’s funny I never understood it like that…she was just reacting as if the world revolved around her…and to be honest I see that behavior more often than not…if we consider, REALLY HONESTLY our own reactions we see that same narcissism “leaking” though here and there…this was of course just an extreme example…but the point wasn’t to expose illness, rather to trigger SELF-reflection!

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