The diagnosis 'narcissism'
appeared surprisingly correct, at least as regards my case.
a. The context in which
this diagnosis is usually given, namely, the juridical one, remains dubious. The theory is developed for a medical, not
a juridical context. It is highly dubious the diagnosis is understood in
b. It is incorrect to give this diagnosis, if correct, without any clarification. Even within the medical field, there are several views, and it is not real to expect that jurists, who are not educated with this knowledge, should be able to explain this diagnosis correctly.
c. Research should make clear which knowledge jurists and predators' 'therapists' factually have about this diagnosis and how they go about. The training centers should accept the consequences.
It was a good intermediate step to change the positive
statement of the diagnostician into a question
and to forward this question to a real therapist who works
in-depth - thus, not a behavioral 'therapist' who only brushes up
superficially and who, consequently, would enlarge the narcissism.
narcissistic elements in myself was difficult, but thereafter things went
nearly automatically: the same elements simply crumbled off gradually. The
literature mentions this as well. It is striking to read these 'modern' insights
in a myth from thousands of years ago: as soon as Narcissus becomes conscious
of himself and his situation, his illusion, there is no Narcissus.
Denying the problem is a
crucial characteristic of the problem. This provides a paradox for the
patient: the more he or she denies, the more he or she confirms the diagnosis.
This makes the diagnosis difficult. After all, stomachache or stress
can be reported by the patient, but a narcissist never will tell about or
acknowledge his or her narcissism.
This paradox has a therapeutic
counterpart: as soon as one acknowledges narcissism within oneself, it will
disappear. A therapist will be glad, but the diagnostician will see that
their diagnosis melts away before their eyes; narcissism disappears as soon as one
The theory of narcissism developed from Sigmund Freud's deterministic and mechanic drift
the Symington's theory of 'a choice as reaction to a trauma'. The latter is plausible and is confirmed by my experience. The latter theory and
method gives more chance for healing than the first.
b. Research on a broad sample of the population could tell us how much narcissism there is, so we could see how much it is a characteristic of our society.
c. As I look at the people I knew with pedophilic feelings, in some I see narcissistic features, but in others I don't.
d. Thus, the diagnosis 'narcissism' may not routinely be given to people with pedophile feelings only because they have those feelings. This happens, in my opinion, and this is not correct and not justified.
e. It is not only wrong to routinely give this diagnosis routinely to these people, but also to disclose it in the media. It gives the impression that these people always have this disorder, while others do not. This is definitely untrue.
As regards to the content, we are dealing with a serious problem on a very fundamental level. Autism and early depression are in line with narcissism. The standard cause, the early deprivation of the mother, can have serious consequences. These can be long-lasting, difficult to recognize and difficult to cure. Thus, the problem asks for serious attention, especially among the 'normal' population. Narcissism is a characteristic of our culture and society, The Narcissistic Society, as Christopher Lash named his book.
a. Childcare workers and other
social workers should be very attentive to this. That is: attentive to
unnecessary separation of child and caregiver, attentive to possibly being
emotionally unattainable (especially the mother figure), and
attentive to possible standoffishness (especially the
Attentive also to the possibility of replacing the mother with a permanent caregiver. This caregiver, the childcare worker, should be able to establish this substitute, but still personal contact with the children. Their job is far more than nursing according a timetable, more than establishing a functional distance and practising of behavior modification techniques. For this, the managers' staff has to create the conditions.
b. The politicians and the generals, the proud people who make war and create streams of fugitives, who murder parents and make children orphans - or who spread AIDS by refusing medicines - or who otherwise separate parents and children by juridical or asylum policy - should take the above more seriously.