Symptoms: Similarities And Differences
Not everyone with BPD has narcissistic traits. Most people with BPD or NPD dont have the other disorder. Research suggests 4.5% of people with BPD have NPD.
On the surface, BPD and NPD look quite different. When you dig deeper, though, you find some similarities.
In particular, the manic phase of bipolar disorder can make a person feel that theyre especially powerful, important, or talented. Thats a key trait of narcissism.
Other symptoms BPD and NPD have in common include:
- Setting high, often unachievable goals
- Impulsivity and risky behavior
- Relationship problems
- Appearing to be insensitive or dismiss the needs of others
The nature of BPD can help you distinguish between garden-variety narcissism and the pathological symptoms of NPD.
- In NPD, narcissistic personality traits are always present
- In BPD, narcissistic traits only tend to surface during manic episodes.
It also helps to look at other symptoms. That may help you rule out one of these disorders.
Preoccupation with fantasies of power, and intelligence
Unreasonable expectations of special treatment
Constant need for attention, admiration
Lack of empathy
In NPD, what appears as arrogance is an attempt to hide deep-seated fears and insecurities. This can lead to depression and other traits that may be similar to depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are common in both disorders.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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And your decision-making skills and ability to focus arent great, either.
12. Youre thinking about committing suicide or have already attempted it.
You may or may not be too fascinated with death and dying.
The signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder can be subtle, confusing and upsetting. Many people with this condition are overlooked or misdiagnosed, resulting in a lot of pain and unnecessary suffering.
The good news is that with proper treatment and support, you can lead a wonderful life.
In 1982, a psychiatrist diagnosed Patty Dukes bipolar disorder and prescribed her lithium to control her mood swings. It saved my life and it gave me life, Duke said in an interview in 1999.
If you recognize any of those signs/symptoms, please see a mental health professional. You deserve the best life possible, not one where your moods and emotions are so out of control that you feel like theyre beating you up.
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How To Deal With Your Narcissist
Narcissists typically dont perceive their behavior as a problem. Instead, they feel that theyre perfectly fine and others have problems, notes Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of counseling and higher education at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. That doesnt mean that theres no hope. Here some tips on wading the treacherous waters.
Being married to a narcissist isnt always a picnic. The very traits that attracted you to the person are often the ones that can make the relationship super-difficult. For more information about narcissism, read this.
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You Lose Your Outside Relationships
When you’re living with a narcissist husband, he will not want you to have any relationships. He will work to pull you away from your friends and family slowly. He won’t directly say this is his goal, so it may take a while to notice.
It could start by him making small comments about how he doesn’t like your friends. He might always need to spend time with you when you’re supposed to go out with your friends, so you’ll choose to stay with him instead of going out with them.
Watch Out For Excuses
It might be that he’s not feeling well when you’re supposed to go to your parents’ house for the holidays, so he asks you to stay home with him. It could be that he points out all the imperfections or things that he thinks are annoying about the people in your support network to persuade you to think the same thing.
How Bpd And Npd Are Treated
Some of the treatments for bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder are the same. These include psychotherapy and medication. There are no specific medications to treat NPD, but medications may be used to treat symptoms of the anxiety and depression that commonly accompany the disorder. Treatment involves:
- Psychotherapy: Traditional talk therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy
- Medication: Mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants
Other treatment approaches are different.
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Praise Looks Like This
Before you were married, theres a good chance your now-spouse heaped on the flattery. After the I Dos, however, that often shifts dramatically. Now, the compliments may only arrive when you are in the company of others. This allows the narcissist to look like a great husband in front of other people and contradicts any complaints you might share about him later, says Dorazio. Another flattery twist: While compliments directed to you might fizzle, a narcissist might instead lay it on thick to others in your orbit. They do this to feed your insecurity, says Dorazio.
The Link Between Narcissistic Personality And Bipolar Disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a publication by the American Psychiatric Association that outlines criteria for diagnosing different types of mental health disorders. The DSM does not list narcissism as a symptom of bipolar disorder. However, because symptoms overlap, the conditions can sometimes be confused.
For example, episodes of mania associated with bipolar disorder may involve narcissistic behaviors like increased elevated energy levels, confidence levels, grandiose self-perceptions, and feelings of self-importance. Additionally, during periods of depression, a person with bipolar disorder may also exhibit symptoms associated with narcissism such as avoiding social contact or appearing insensitive to others.
Although symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and bipolar disorder have some similarities, there are some significant differences.
Generally, people with narcissistic personality disorder typically exhibit at least five of the followingcharacteristic traits:
- Lack of empathy for others
- A sense of entitlement
- Extreme jealousy of others or believing that others are jealous of them
- The need for constant admiration
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Work With An Experienced Divorce Attorney Today
Since spouses with personality disorders can often seem impossible to deal with on a rational basis by yourself, the help of an experienced divorce attorney is absolutely essential. Your spouse will try to turn everything to their favor â or blame everything on you â no matter what you say or how sincerely you mean it. Thatâs why you need to prepare in advance for divorce with all the documents and any other evidence you can collect and assemble.
The family law and divorce attorneys at Heckert & Moreland Co., LPA, will advise and counsel you throughout your divorce proceedings. We will work closely with you to help expose the behaviors and deceits of your spouse that led to your decision to divorce, and which now make it difficult to resolve the divorce. Let us protect you and your rights throughout the divorce process.
If you live in Columbus, Ohio, or anywhere in Central Ohio and are considering or already in divorce proceedings, call us immediately at Heckert & Moreland Co, LPA, especially if your spouseâs personality traits or disorder is hindering your divorce case.
Open An Armageddon Fund Before Divorcing A Narcissist: Stash That Cash
Do what you must to stash away some mad money. Start years before if you can.
Open your secret account with a totally random bank, one neither of you have used before. You can set the account to have little communication, or set it up with a secret email address. Dont even get an ATM card or checks, too risky.
Put in a little here and there, slowly but consistently, every bit adds up.
Sell jewelry, gold and luxury gifts if you must. I particularly recommend this for those who are stay-at-home parents and are totally dependent on their spouse for all income.
Youre going to need this fund when your controlling narcissistic spouse goes ape-sh*t and tries to smoke you out via cutting off the money.
And dont worry, you cant be accused of stealing. Just inform your lawyer how much you have set aside, and it can be treated as community property when dividing assets. Think of it as borrowing.
Plus, youll need retainers for lawyers and other divorce professionals- like a Divorce Financial Analyst which I also highly recommend!
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You Don’t Feel Connected
Your partner talks with you when it is convenient. However, they have never actually asked what your plans are for the future or how you can work together to build the life you want.
They constantly brag about themselves and their accomplishments and rarely show interest or ask questions about anything going on in your life. Their happiness comes from external sources such as prestige at work and money. You wonder if they are even capable of feeling romantic love or emotional connection.
A Sense Of Entitlement
People with NPD can also thrive on the idea that they are out of your league, that you should not leave them, because they are the best youll ever get. Their sense of entitlement over the relationship will make you feel like you would be stupid to leave. They might even threaten to leave themselves, as a ploy to see you beg for them to stay. This is all steeped in the low self esteem that they have impressed upon you.
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They Ruin Special Occasions
Ever had a birthday or anniversary ruined by someone you love? If so, they are likely narcissistic, according to studies.
Special occasions and vacations are a narcissists playground of horrors.
The objective is to sabotage anything that might be important to you this also shifts the attention back to them, which is what they want.
In essence, a narcissist tends to become very uncomfortable when they see other people around them having fun, especially if they feel excluded in any way.
Experts call this seasonal problem to devalue and discard, where during special occasions, the narcissist focuses their abuse on close family members and spouses.
The reason behind this sabotage is that a narcissist doesnt know how to love and will do anything to destroy their relationships.
Traits Of A Narcissist
Were all familiar with how a person can be selfish just by the word itself, but a narcissist is something different.
Dont base your conclusions on just a few traits but rather as a whole because were talking about a personality disorder.
NPD stands for narcissistic personality disorder, not a trait that you can use to tag anyone you see exhibiting only a few signs.
NPD has much more than just the love of a great life and being self-absorbed.
To get a glimpse, here are some of the traits that you will find in your husband if he suffers from NPD.
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Sex And The Covert Narcissist Husband
Covert narcissist husbands are emotionally disengaged and passionless toward any perceived demand, including the demand to love. Sex can start out steamy. The wife will talk about being love bombed by a man she cant believe is so perfect for her and eager to please. Later making love will end up feeling like a favor hes doing to you and for you.
While initially, the covert narcissist husband will be an ardent lover who is responsive and eager to please, that soon fades once the relationship becomes established. Instead of a partner who is anxious to get away and have private sexual time together, he acts lackluster. You wont feel him in bed. He will become passive, but deeply resentful if you dont show him your admiration. Wives of covert narcissist husbands often end up feeling done to before these same wives gradually withdraw sexually.
Hell then resent you for your lack of sexual interest, despite showing no real interest himself. Your disinterest in pleasing him sexually is a constant insult he must endure. He wants you to get help for your lack of enthusiasm for being sexual with him but takes no responsibility for playing a role.
Signs Of A Narcissistic Husband
The following traits are good signs that your husband may be a narcissist:
1. He Acts Better Than Everyone Else
He probably goes around telling everyone about all of his great accomplishments. He wants people to think he is better than they are, and that includes you especially you.
2. He Doesnt Listen to Your Opinion
Whether its something simple like what you want to do on a Saturday night or something major like which house to buy, your narcissistic husband probably doesnt really listen to your opinion. He might pretend to, but then he does whatever he wants to anyway, regardless of what you think.
3. He Needs to Be Right Every Time
He thinks he knows everything. You could tell him that 2 + 2 = 4, but he would argue with you and say, No, 2 + 2 = 5. Meanwhile, youre scratching your head wondering how he thinks he could possibly be right. But he doesnt really care what the truth is he just needs to win and be right.
4. He Controls You
Maybe you put on some new jeans and he says, You cant go out of the house in those because they are too tight. Or if you want to go out with your friends, he tells you that you cant. He might limit you in main areas of your life or treat you like a child when youre at home.
5. He Gaslights You
6. He Needs Admiration
7. He Shows No Empathy
8. He Blames You
9. He Acts Like a Victim
10. He Doesnt Feel Guilt
11. He Lies
12. Hes Mean and/or Abusive
13. He Enjoys Your Pain
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Its Hard To Come To Terms With Having A Mental Illness
Even after a person learns they have bipolar disorder, it can be hard to accept the reality of it. Living with any mental illness can be really difficult and bipolar disorder has its own challenges. Sometimes people feel like if they reject the label of bipolar disorder, they can avoid some of those challenges. But bipolar disorder doesnt just go away if you ignore it.
The reality is that labels can actually set you free. Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder helps you understand what youre experiencing. It opens up treatment options that can help you feel better. And it puts you in good company with millions of other people around the world, many of whom have accomplished incredible things.
On the other hand, sometimes people who dont know any better use the word bipolar to describe someone who is actually just moody. Be careful pushing labels on people when youre not an expert yourself. If you think your friend has bipolar disorder, encourage them to see a mental health professional who can evaluate and diagnose them. You can also point them to our online bipolar test, which is an easier start than going straight to a professional.
Origins Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder In Greek Mythology
Anyone with even a smattering of interest in the science of psychology will tell you that the subject is alive with theories related to Greek mythology.
Sigmund Freuds controversial theory on the Oedipal Complex, for instance, was named after the Greek myth of Oedipus, a young boy who killed his father to marry his mother.
Freud based his Oedipus Complex theory on Oedipus, the Greek Theban King, and hypothesized that children become attracted to the opposite -sex parent and experience hatred and envy towards the same-sex parent.
The story of Narcissus centres on Greek mythology about the son of a River god named Cephissus his son was called Narcissus.
Narcissus, a young hunter, believed himself so beautiful that he would reject anyone that fell in love with him. Plenty of men and women took their own lives in the name of Narcissus, something that he eventually did himself.
Narcissus broke many a maidens hearts .
It wasnt until Narcissus saw his reflection in the water one day, that this arrogant boy, full of boasting found in his image someone to fall in love with himself.
The legend goes that Narcissus became so preoccupied with his beauty, that he refused to eat and drink, and eventually wasted away from the pain of unrequited love.
All this eventually led to his death.
Narcissus has since been the origin term for Narcissism, referencing a fixation with oneself, public perception and physical appearance.
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