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Asperger's and Narcissism with Melanie Amandine

Uploaded 11/21/2019, approx. 28 minute read

It's actually really good to get you on the phone, because since I met you back in March, which was the How to Manipulate the Narcissist seminar that you and Richard Grannon were holding together. Yeah, I found that really informative, by the way, there were lots of things I wanted to chat with you afterwards.

But one of the things that you were discussing was discerning between Asperger's and PD. And I just wish that I'd seen your YouTube videos many, many years ago, Sam, before YouTube was becoming honest, because this is actually quite an important topic for me.

My dad himself is an undiagnosed Asperger's and also has very highly narcissistic traits. So I would argue that one of the reasons I even got into psychology and then counseling was to be able to discern the difference I just didn't know.

Bear in mind, my dad's born in 1941, he's quite an old person. So back then, I don't think people were really getting diagnosed with it.

I was wondering if you can share your opinions on that.

Actually, the diagnosis of Asperger's was, as the name implied, first proposed by an Austrian doctor by the name of Asperger and not only an Austrian doctor, but an avowed Nazi. So he was first to observe the set of symptoms that he attributed to a syndrome. In other words, he organized these symptoms within a coherent framework, clinical framework. And he suggested that there is a unique syndrome, which later was named after him. So he was the first to come up with this today, of course, Asperger's is no longer a mental health diagnosis.

The new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Edition Five, published in 2013, they eliminated Asperger's, replacing it with what is today known as autism spectrum disorder level one, which is pretty similar, pretty akin to Asperger's with some with some important differences, differences that are common to all types of autism.

So there is an open question to cut a long story short, whether the whole thing is a clinical entity, whether it exists in reality at all or not. It shares many similarities.

Asperger's at the erstwhile Asperger's disorder, shares many similarities with certain personality disorders, and even with certain mood disorders, certain types of depression, for example. So there's an open question regarding this.

Now, for many, many decades, at least 30 or 40 years, Asperger's disorder in clinical setting was often misdiagnosed as narcissistic personality disorder. And narcissistic personality disorder has often been misdiagnosed as Asperger's disorder. And that's because the two are, in some respects, almost indistinguishable, behaviorally indistinguishable. The difference between them is the etiology, the psychodynamic etiology. In other words, why the narcissist behaves the way he does, and why the Asperger's patient behaves the way he does.

They may both exhibit exactly the same behaviors, but the reasons for the behaviors, the motivations, are diametrically opposed.

So we need to delve deeper in clinical settings in order to distinguish narcissists from Aspies. And that is a rarity, because most clinicians and so on, they get paid a fixed sum by insurance companies. And so they do a very cursory and shallow bit of observational diagnosis, some structured interviews, and the odd test, and then they determine the diagnosis.

To tell a narcissist apart from an Aspie, you need to spend a lot of time. You need to spend a lot of time observing the antecedents of the behavior, what led to the behavior, circumstances, interactions, etc., over a protracted period of time. That's in a nutshell, the overview.

Now we can go into details if you wish, but that's the overview.


Okay. Thank you, Sam. Indeed, like an undiagnosed Asperger's has a comorbidity with pathological narcissism, other personality disorders.

And what really stood out for me in the lecture that you gave was when you said that the pathological narcissism develops as a coping mechanism. And this really rung true to me, because from my own personal life experience of growing up with someone who we couldn't decide, okay, well, where does Asperger's start and where does the narcissism start? And actually, it made a lot of sense because he came from a traumatic childhood and he came from a big family where he wasn't seen, I think it was 10 brothers and sisters. So it would make sense to me where someone who would be on the autism spectrum, I also have an older brother who's on the autism spectrum. So it's for them to develop narcissism as a way to have this reality that's safer for them in which they can relate to other people.

I really, really observe the social awkwardness that comes of Asperger's. And I can imagine that just developing these highly narcissistic traits is a way to make sense of their reality, I guess.

Pathological narcissism can easily be construed and amply described as a post-traumatic condition.

People in early childhood are subjected to abuse in a variety of forms. Abuse doesn't have to be physical, doesn't have to be sexual, doesn't have to be verbal or psychological. Abuse simply means that the child is not allowed to differentiate from the parent, that the child is not allowed to set boundaries and to separate from the parent.

There's a process called separation and individuation. If it is disrupted in any way, shape or form, it constitutes abuse. Of course, physical abuse simply means that the body's boundaries are violated. The same with sexual abuse. Verbal and psychological abuse is when a person's psyche is violated.

Putting the child on a pedestal, using the child as an instrument of gratification, a tool to realize the parents' unfulfilled dreams, idolizing the child, pampering, spoiling the child, they're all forms of violating the child's nascent and emergent boundaries, not allowing the child to separate from the parent, merging and fusing with the child in a sick diet.

So all these are forms of abuse.

In an abusive environment, an abusive childhood like this, one of the possible reactions is pathological narcissism. That's why I postulated a few years ago that narcissism is not a personality disorder, but it is a post-traumatic condition akin to complex PTSD.

It is ironic that both the narcissist and his victims share almost identical etiology. Both of them are victims of complex post-traumatic stress disorder, according to me at least.

So this is pathological narcissism.

I simply suggested that a child born with autism spectrum disorder, which is today we think is a biochemical problem in the brain, a child born with such a disability or a dysfunction would feel deprived, would be shunned and excommunicated by peers, would be mocked, would be degraded and humiliated, etc. And such a child would be traumatized by his or her own disorder.

And narcissism being a post-traumatic condition, such a trauma of being exposed to one autistic problem, such a trauma may lead as one of the solutions, may lead to the emergence and development of pathological narcissism.

To put it more simply, I suggested that pathological narcissism in the case of autistic children might be a compensatory mechanism, might be a way to compensate for the child's realization that he's different, that he's disabled, that he's dysfunctional, that something's wrong with him.

The child's trauma with the child's own disorder may yield a narcissistic solution, a narcissistic reaction.

Narcissism is not merely about developing communication skills or narcissism is an organizing principle which imbues reality and life with meaning and direction.

In this sense, narcissism, pathological narcissism, is akin to a religion. It is a worldview. It is a theory of mind. It's a theory of the world. It dictates behavior patterns. It sets rules and regulations. It explains the world. So it's hermeneutic.

That's the problem with narcissism and why it is essentially intractable. It fulfills too many psychological functions. It is an adaptation, not a maladaptation. And it provides, endows the individual with certain evolutionary advantages.

So it's a problem. It's not easy to disentangle the individual from his or her narcissism.

When there's autism in the picture, the situation is really almost beyond hope because if the individual is deprived of his or her narcissism via, for example, therapy, I invented a new therapy. It's dubbed cold therapy. Cold therapy ameliorates pathological narcissism to the point of vanishing.

But if this were to happen to someone with autism, they would be left face to face with their own inadequacies, shortcomings, dysfunctions, humiliation, and so on and so forth.

Narcissism is the only firewall, the only defense the autistic child has against shame, excruciating, all pervasive shame.

And if we were to take away pathological narcissism from the adult autist, he will be immediately confronted with his reservoir of shame, which could have a suicidal outcome.

Yes.

Sorry, I thought you finished.

Sorry, I should have said I'm finished.

Okay.

Well, I really enjoyed that description of narcissism. Thank you for sharing that. When you were describing it and just likening it to a religion, for me, the idea of Alexander the Great pops up a lot.

And funnily enough, that's what my dad, that was his thing that he clung on to. And it makes sense. It gives you a sense of purpose and direction when you find you know that something's wrong with you, that there's something within you that's finding it hard to relate that other people can do so easily.

You can see that.

And I did, yes, I've been reading about your cold therapy, and I have seen that you've had some success with that with people highly narcissistic. And I was actually thinking in my head, I wonder if someone like my dad was doing that, it would just wouldn't work for him. He would withdraw, and it will be very painful. He just wouldn't, the withdraw that happens, it's Yeah, I just, it will be too much to face that sense of shame.

Yeah, I don't think they'd be able to not shatter from it, to be honest.

It's the approach in the case of your father, for example, should be too pronged. It's very similar to treating someone with an addiction and a personality disorder. So very often, alcoholics come to rehab. And in rehab, they're diagnosed, for example, with narcissistic personality disorder, and an addiction to alcohol.

So we never treat the alcoholism separately, or we never treat the personality disorder first, we treat both of them simultaneously. And it would be the same for your father, we would treat both his problems simultaneously, we treat the autism, and we would treat the emergent defenses, narcissistic defenses, I doubt very much if your father has a full fledged personality disorder, because it's extremely rare, what does happen, they have very pronounced narcissistic defenses, for example, grandiosity, or similar defenses, fantasy. There's several defenses which are designated narcissistic defenses, they are very dominant, very visible and discernible.

So people often conflate and confute and confuse them with the full fledged thing narcissistic personality disorder.

But Otis, with narcissistic defenses, either engaging fantasy, or they are grandiose, or they're both, or they lack empathy, so they're exploitative, or they are avoidant in a hauteur way, they're arrogant to the point of avoidance, I mean, they have narcissistic defenses, which lead to highly specific traits and behaviors, but all put together, they do not coalesce into a full fledged diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. That's more rare. It happens, but it's rare.

Yes, yes.

I admit when I was younger, I assumed it was actually when I first got into psychology and then went to study at university, I was like, oh, okay, yeah, then it is NPD.

And over the years, and actually, if you more research, I've come to realize actually, you're absolutely right. It's a defense. It's not actually a full fledged personality disorder.

Unfortunately, in my business world in the past, I've come across highly narcissistic individuals were very covert and very charming. And that actually for me was very much opened up my eyes, because there's a level of fakeness and putting on a charm, putting on a face and hiding behind your real intent that happens in highly narcissistic individuals, whereas people with asperger's on the autism spectrum, I've noticed that it's not they're not acting, they can't really put on this facade. They're not good at faking it, basically.

Yeah, well, some narcissists faking some narcissists don't bother to haughty and to self assured that their narcissism is a whole zoo. And there are many varieties of narcissists.

And so one cannot generalize, is covert and overt somatic and cerebral inverted and classic and, and so on and so forth ad nauseam. narcissism is that's one of the reasons I sincerely believe that narcissism is not a personality disorder.

We don't have such a variety, for example, in borderline, borderline is borderline period. We don't have such a variety in psychopathy. Someone with antisocial personality disorder is is immediately recognizable as a member of a group.

And all the matters of a group sharing the same traits. And so but only in narcissism, we have this enormous variety of narcissists, they are narcissists who are deeply ashamed. They are called vulnerable of fragile narcissists, they are narcissists, or on the other hand, are extremely arrogant and grandiose like Donald Trump. So these would be grandiose, or overt, classic narcissists.

Some narcissists compensate for deep set feelings of inferiority. These are called compensatory narcissists.

And some narcissists are exactly the opposite. They fully and firmly believe that they are utterly superior, the next stage in the evolutionary ladder. And so they don't have any inferiority complex, if anything, they have a God complex.

And both of them are called narcissists.

So that that's one reason that led me to believe that it's it's not a single clinical entity, it's not a single construct, but a variety of highly individualized reactions to the same meteorological trauma.

Because we know in trauma studies, that each trauma victim is unique. It's not possible to capture the entire spectrum of reactions to trauma.

In any way, because every trauma victim brings to the table, baggage, personal history, identity, memories, interactions with family members, prior history, and so on and so forth.

And so every trauma victim is unique, absolutely unique, exactly as every narcissist is unique. The similarity led me to believe that we are talking about a post traumatic condition.


Now aspergers, aspies, or more precisely, people with autism spectrum disorder level one, they are usually egodystonic. In other words, they suffer, they endure and display some kind of discomfort with their condition, they could be filled with shame, or they could feel guilty, or they could be socially avoidant, socially shy, or they could be there's some discrepancy there, there's some discordant note, there's some some unease, a deep at the core of the asperger's patient.

This is not the case with most narcissists, those are since we have egosyntony. In other words, most narcissists are happy go lucky. They believe they are the best and the greatest and the wonderfulest and the hugest and so on and so forth.

It is true that in some of them, this facade of invincibility and superiority is aimed at compensating for an inner void, for a lack, for a deficiency. That's true.

And in others, it corresponds well with the inner landscape. They believe inside what they display outside. It's all true.

But it doesn't matter. The fact is that the almost universal facade of narcissist is a happy go lucky I'm the greatest. Am I not blessed? Wouldn't you agree that I'm blessed kind of thing. And this is very rare with asperger's patients. They are more likely to withdraw from society over the years. Because of fear of rejection and social awkwardness, awkwardness and social shyness. They are likely to have severe difficulties in communicating while the overwhelming vast majority of narcissists are consummate communicators, of course.

Asperger's people are much more likely to be solitary and monomaniacal, dedicated to a single pursuit or single topic or a single person.

And while narcissists, of course, are not narcissists are zealots. They are chameleons. I mean, you tell the narcissist what you want him to be, he will be.

Self-harm and suicide among asperger's patient is infinitely bigger in terms of rates, infinitely bigger than among narcissists.

Because of this ego, ego destiny, because of the self, self-hatred and self-loathing and self-criticism and incompatibility of personality constructs and shame and guilt and shyness and avoidance and fear of rejection and timidness and lack of communication skills and a constricted body language and inability to interpret nonverbal cues and a narrow range of emotions and affect and always interactions that always end badly or awkwardly and so and so forth. I mean, it's much more difficult to be an asperger's patient than to be a narcissist, obviously. This is especially true, of course, in a society that is increasingly more narcissistic and psychopathic or a narcissist and psychopath have an inbuilt natural advantage, competitive edge because of who they are.

So the differences are serious.

Also, the way other people perceive aspects and narcissists is different. For example, people perceive patients with asperger's, they perceive them as cold, eccentric, insensitive, indifferent, repulsive, exploitative, absent, emotionally absent, sometimes robotic even. People don't perceive the narcissist this way. People have very strong opinions and polarized emotions about narcissists. They either find them charming and irresistible or they find them loathsome and infinitely reptilian. I mean, narcissists provoke strong emotions, strong allegiance and strong hatred and so on and so forth.

But with the asperger's patient, the general tendency is to shun the asperger's patient because he appears to be not fully human. No one would say that the narcissist is not fully human. People would say that the narcissist is a caricature of a human, an exaggerated human. Where people have greed, the narcissist has super greed. Where people have, I don't know what, where people are exploitative, the narcissist is only exploitative. Where people sometimes are dysempathic, the narcissist has no empathy, etc.

So it's like a caricature, an exaggeration of a human being. Although, technically, the narcissist really is not a human being because he has no empathy, which is the foundation of being a human being.

Still, it is the aspie that is perceived as robotic, machine-like. So I wouldn't conflate the two. There are serious internal differences between them, although when you look at them from the outside, cursory, shallow glance, they can be confused.

Yes, yeah, greed. And I would also say with how they deal with hurt control, when they're experiencing hurt, the narcissist, for example, could devalue the other, could ghost them, shun them, get other people to attack them. Whereas the aspie is more likely just to withdraw to avoid pain and to throw themselves into an all-consuming hobby as a way of dealing with it.

And I wonder whether OCD canbe like a co-morbidity with aspergers as well.

Yes, aspergers in general have an avoidance withdrawal strategy. They are pain-averse and they avoid and withdraw.

Narcissists have an arsenal of ways to cope with the weight rejection, for example. So they could rage, the narcissistic rage. They could devalue, discard and replace. There are many ways. Narcissists are much more versatile, much more multifarious.

And therefore, they're much better adapted to cope with the environment.

Aspergers are not. Aspergers are two state machines, basically. And at the end, one state machine.

They let in one or two people. Narcissists have a lot in, sorry, aspergers have a lot in common with schizoids. Schizoids are very similar. They have an intimate relationship with one or two people, but they shut out the rest of the world.


But the difference between aspergers and schizoids is that schizoids are genuinely uninterested in human interactions. They're genuinely not concerned with sex, with socializing, with, I mean, they feel much better all by themselves. They relegate themselves to solitary activities. They're happy. They're genuinely happy.

In other words, egosyntonic. There's no discomfort or what's wrong with me with schizoids. Schizoids do exactly what they want, and they're happy with it. They shut themselves in a room for decades. They never have a girlfriend or boyfriend. They interact only with mommy, and they're utterly, unmitigatedly happy about it.

Not so the aspergers. The asperger does want intimacy, does want a family, does want an ordinary life, does want to achieve things. The asperger's wet dream is to be normal, and he can't. And because he can't, his ego is distorting. He doesn't like himself, and he doesn't like his failures. He doesn't like the hurt and the rejection and the pain.

And so you could say that aspergers are failed or collapsed schizoids. They are schizoids, but not by choice. They're schizoids because they fail at being gregarious, or being collaborative, or being interactive. They don't know how to do this. They try very hard. That's the heartbreaking thing.

People with aspergers, people with autism generally, they try very hard. And they do succeed in certain professions and at certain times, and many of them are families and everything. But they are not entirely there. Something is wrong.

There was a roboticist, Japanese roboticist by the name of Maury. In 1970, that's 7-0, he coined the phrase uncanny valley. It's when someone, a robot looks exactly like a human being. He said that the closer the robot will be to a human being, the more discomfort we will feel. We become more and more uncomfortable as robots converge with human beings to the point of perfection so that they are indistinguishable from humans.

And I could say that people with aspergers, and to some extent, narcissists, psychopaths, schizoids, these are disorders that provoke this anxiety, provoke this discomfort.

Because all these classes of people, they look human. They look very human, the outer shell, the envelope. It is a wonderful simulation of a human being, but they are not. I know it's politically incorrect to say this, but they are not human in any meaningful sense of the word.

We construct our humanity, we construct our understanding of what it is to be human, and then the experience of being human on obviously empathy, the foundational stone of everything that happens afterwards. Without empathy, we are unable to assimilate, compare, modify and calibrate our behaviors, our inner landscape, our emotions and the cognitions attendant upon our emotions.

In other words, we don't become fully human. We are not rendered human without empathy.


Now the narcissist, for example, has a form of empathy, so does the psychopath, which I dubbed cold empathy. It's cognitive empathy, but without the emotional complement. It's the ability to discern vulnerabilities and pounce on thememotional empathy. So they are incapable of becoming fully human.

It's the same with aspergers. Aspergers have emotional empathy. They even have cognitive empathy, but it is inexpressible. It's inexpressible because an integral part of empathy is interaction. For example, we interpret cues from others, non-verbal cues, verbal cues emanating from others. We use these cues both to regulate our internal environment and to make certain to form certain hypotheses and theories about other people. This is known as theory of mind.

And if we can't read other people properly, if we don't understand the monovalent language of verbal cues and nonverbal cues, we can never form a true understanding of what it is to be human.

In this sense, the asperger's empathy, albeit complete, is inoperative. And the narcissist's empathy, albeit incomplete, is operative.

That's another irony of psychology.

Oh, that's really good description. Thank you for sharing what you told empathy. I knew that highly narcissistic individuals do have some measure of empathy in order to assess how their supply source is thinking and feeling and how to best meditate in a sense.

So yes, you're right, cold empathy, which what you just said makes me want to ask.

In your opinion, do you think ASPE, the Sperger's, required narcissistic supply, much like the highly narcissistic person would?

No, not really.

Narcissistic supply is used to regulate, mainly, a sense of grandiosity. And the grandiosity is a cognitive deficit, of course. This is a misapprehension of reality. And it's a cognitive deficit paired with a psychological defense mechanism, which is fantasy.

So it's a construct that is highly specific to narcissists. Narcissists have grandiose fantasies, and they need to defend them. And they defend these fantasies by being hypervigilant, scanning for insults and slides, by eliciting or soliciting narcissistic supply in more extreme cases, extorting narcissistic supply, and by using aggression to fend off any challenge to the grandiosity.

So they're verbally abusive and so on. And these behaviors are completely not typical of the Asperger's. It's unique to narcissists.

Thank you for clarifying.

And I've got so much information with you in this angle. It's been really helpful.


I just want to go about one final question.

You mentioned that in your clinic where you provide your cold therapy, would you be able to treat someone who would consider themselves both on the autism spectrum and also pathologically narcissistic?

I'm sorry. I'm not sure. I think the line was gone. Are you asking if it's applicable to people with dual diagnosis?

Yeah. I think you mentioned that it was. Could you just expand on that a little bit?

Well, if we were to treat someone with dual diagnosis, which is let's say cluster A and cluster B, that means narcissism and let's say schizoid or cluster C. So if we were to treat someone with multiple personality disorders and autism or multiple personality disorders and mood disorder or a personality disorder and some other disorder, for example, affect disorder, anxiety disorder, and so on, we need to treat both disorders simultaneously. It's not comorbidity. Comorbidity is when people have two personality disorders at the same time and they feed off each other. They have a mutual dynamic. This is dual diagnosis. So it requires the dual treatment of both diagnosis simultaneously.

Cold therapy is not built for that. Cold therapy is built to uniquely tackle narcissism, pathological narcissism in all its forms and depression, major depression, but it's not built to tackle anything else.

So if a patient client were to come to me with autism and narcissism, I would reject them. I don't have any effective tools, nor am I an expert on treating autism. But such a person, such a patient, a client could visit two therapists. You could visit one therapist to tackle the autism and he could visit me to tackle the narcissism with cold therapy. That's not out of the question. Of course, the treatment will have to be coordinated and so on, but it's a possibility.

We've never done this before. I've treated only about 50 patients until now, which is a vanishingly small sample with a track record of six years. Let me think seven years. I'm sorry. A track record, a maximal track record of seven years. I mean the earliest patient was seven years ago and that's not considered clinically significant.

So we still can't make any statements in good faith about cold therapy. It's efficacy, how it works, etc.

All 50 lost their narcissism in the sense that they tested differently after cold therapy than before.

And so we, after seven years, we can safely say the effect is prolonged and the people who had lost their narcissism never regained it. That part we can say for sure. Depression has vanished in all of them. So we can also say for sure that cold therapy is probably the most powerful treatment today for depression, in my view, because I also, you know, I also deal with CBT and other other modalities and they're not nearly as efficacious as cold therapy when it comes to depression, but that's it. That's it. That is its remit as distinct from other treatment modalities.

It is not a universal treatment modality. For example, CBT, cognitive behavior therapy, you can apply to, you know, a huge variety, huge spectrum of disorder. Not to mention psychodynamic psychotherapies. So, but not so cold therapy. It's very limited, effective, but limited.

Right. That's fantastic. Right.

So many people can relate to depression, to be fair, maybe not so much being pathologically narcissistic, but the fact that it has such significant results, even though the sample is still small, it's still amazing results.

So I will happily put the links down after this call. So the links can people can find out more about your cold therapy. Thank you. That's my pleasure.

Before we end the call, is there anything that you wanted to bring in with regards to what we were talking about?

I just wanted to warn against the devaluation in the currency of clinical entities.

So people bandy, bandy about the word narcissism, or even depression when they are not warranted. People use narcissism to attack each other. It's become an offensive weapon, not to mention an offensive language. People take it upon themselves to diagnose other people without any qualification whatsoever. And that's what I wanted to bring in.

Was without any qualification whatsoever. The sin is bad. The sin had been corrupted massively by, by YouTube and the entrance of self-styled pseudo experts and wannabe experts. And victims who suddenly became experts by virtue of having been self-designated victims and victimhood in general had become a profession.

People make money off victimhood. So they are invested in the victim and victims defend their turf. So they vary narcissistically and psychopathically became vicious and despotic.

There is a counter movement of self-styled empaths, an utterly meaningless term, but there's no such thing as an empath.

So the sin is bad. The sin is corrupted and contaminated and invaded by scams, scamsters and con artists, self-styled experts, including self-styled experts with academic degrees.

And I'm very worried about what's happening. I think the last 20 years, the popularization of narcissism, which I started in 1995, so I bear a big part of the blame and it weighs on me. The popularization of narcissism ended up doing more ill than well.

I say judiciously, more ill than well. More people have been damaged by the misappropriation of the term narcissism, by the false and misinformation out there, by all kinds of rank nonsense. More people have been damaged by this than by actual pathological narcissism, in my view.

Actual pathological narcissism is a vanishingly small phenomenon, but what's happening online has already captured and affected, badly affected, adversely affected, the lives of tens of millions of people.

My website alone has had 100 million visitors and that's one of numerous websites, although it's been the first. Still, it's one of many.

So we're talking about a global movement which possibly affects hundreds of millions, I know.

And what I see online is absolutely terrifying, absolutely terrifying. I can say pretty safely that nine out of every 10 videos contain rank trash, wrong, misleading, dangerous information. That's nine out of 10, if not 99 out of 100.

And there is no way to tell who is who and which is what. There's a problem of discoverability of qualitative content. The more rabid you are, the more insane you are, the less empathic you are, the more ranting and raving and screaming you are, the bigger your fellowship.

I mean, the more fans you have, the more followers and subscribers. It's become total. It's utterly out of control, utterly.

I'm worried.

In your opinion, what can be done to rectify this?

We need, it's a problem because also in parallel, there is another movement online and it's overwhelming. And it's a movement against authority, against intellect, and against expertise.

So in a normal world, pre-internet world, I would have said, let's establish a committee of scholars, let's say even international committee of scholars, and this international committee of scholars will certify YouTube channels. We check the content and certify the channel so that you have a badge saying this channel is, you know, accords with our latest findings, knowledge, surveys, and studies.

But immediately, the second trend would rear its ugly head. The hatred of experts, the hatred of wisdom, the hatred of scholars, hatred of academia, hatred of bodies, establishment, regulatory bodies, committees, etc., conspiracy theories, sickness all around. The internet is a very sick place for very sick people. And it has a contagious, a contagion effect. And millions are affected by the day. Millions more are affected by the day.

And I don't see the end of it. And I don't think it's going to end well, to be honest. And I don't think there's any way to stem the tide, this tide of affluence and nonsense. No way to stem this tide.

Because people want to, you know, they want this lowest common denominator. They are encouraged to indulge the base instincts and to idolize ignorance and self-sufficiency, to contumaciously hate experts and scholars and academia, and to detest the government and its regulatory power, to attack every committee self-appointed or not to.

There are no tools left, no gatekeepers, no one, no one, the barbarians are not at the gates. They're inside the city and they're ransacking Rome.

Yeah, yes. I agree. Absolutely. Rome is falling again. We just have to watch and see and see what happens.


Okay.

Well, thank you very much, Sam, for taking the time to record.

Thank you for having me.

Oh, my pleasure. Absolutely.

Yeah, it's been really informative and I look forward to sharing this. Thank you.

Yeah, it's been a pleasure.

Just send me the link and everything and I'll upload it to my YouTube channel with credits to you, of course, and to your channel. Thank you.

So, which will add viewership.

Okay.

All right. Well, let's leave it here and enjoy the rest of your evening and happy Halloween and all that.

I'll try to, you too.

Bye.

Okay. Bye-bye.

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The Narcissist's Inner World and His Intimate Partner: New Directions

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the difference between healthy and unhealthy narcissism, the prevalence of narcissism, the emotional components of self-awareness, the role of emotions in narcissists, the types of abuse, the characteristics of narcissism, and the effectiveness of cold therapy in treating narcissism and depression. He also explains the concept of trauma bonding and the challenges in breaking free from a relationship with a narcissist.


Why Narcissist APPEARS So STUPID (Borderlines and Psychopaths, too!)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the topic of narcissistic abuse and the intelligence of individuals with Cluster B personality disorders. He explains that while these individuals may possess high IQs, they often exhibit behaviors that appear foolish and self-defeating. Vaknin attributes this to factors such as grandiosity, lack of empathy, identity disturbance, and external locus of control. He argues that these individuals are ultimately disabled and ill-equipped to navigate life and human relationships, despite their intellectual abilities.


Psychedelics Hype Or Hope

Professor Sam Vaknin argues that claims about the healing effects of psychedelics on narcissistic personality disorder are exaggerated and misleading. He states that there is not enough scientific evidence to support these claims, as most studies on psychedelics have not been conducted with proper control groups. Vaknin believes that talk therapy is the recommended treatment for pathological narcissism, while antidepressants can be used for comorbid depression and OCD. He advises against self-treatment with psychedelics for psychological disorders, as it may cause more harm than good.


Is Narcissism Like Bipolar or Depression, Mood Disorder? (Addiction, Depression, Suicide, Webinar)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the relationship between narcissism and depression, particularly in the context of the pandemic. He delves into the distinctions between bipolar disorder and narcissistic personality disorder, highlighting their differences in symptoms and behaviors. Vaknin also explores various types of dysphoria experienced by narcissists, and the complex interplay between depression, anxiety, and narcissistic traits. He emphasizes the need for accurate diagnosis and understanding of these conditions.


Narcissist Therapy Notes

The notes of a therapist's first session with a patient diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, Sam V, reveal that he presents with anhedonia and dysphoria, complains of people's stupidity and selfishness, and is a hermit who fears being mocked and ridiculed. Sam is convinced that people envy him and are out to get him, and he feels that his work is not appreciated because of his elitist nature. He is disarmingly self-aware and readily lists his weaknesses and faults, but only in order to preempt risk scrutiny or to fish for compliments.


Alcohol+Covert Narcissist=Antisocial Grandiose Narcissist

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the effects of alcohol on covert narcissists. He explains that alcohol can transform a covert narcissist into an overt narcissist, leading to reckless and psychopathic behavior. He argues that alcoholism is a choice, not a brain disorder, and that alcohol affects empathy, disinhibits behavior, and distorts perception of attractiveness. He also delves into the psychological reasons why covert narcissists turn to alcohol and the impact of alcohol on their behavior and self-perception.


Are Autistic People Narcissists? (READ DESCRIPTION) ( Webinar on Psychosomatic Medicine, Oct 2020)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the differences between autism spectrum disorder and certain personality disorders, particularly narcissistic personality disorder. He explains that autism spectrum disorders are often misdiagnosed as personality disorders, and provides pointers for differential diagnosis. While the Asperger's disordered patient is self-centered, like the narcissist, the autistic patient is not anti-social, but rather a-social. The use of language is another differentiating factor, with the narcissist being a skilled communicator and manipulator of language, while the autistic patient has a complicated relationship with language. A good diagnostician should never misdiagnose autism spectrum disorders as personality disorders, and vice versa.


Trusting After Narcissistic Abuse, Narcissism Reconceived, Treated: Cold Therapy (with Pi Winslow)

In this interview, Professor Sam Vaknin discusses narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and its treatment. NPD is a result of trauma and abuse in early childhood, and narcissists create a false self as a defense mechanism. Treatment for NPD is difficult, as narcissists often do not see their disorder as a problem. Cold therapy, a treatment modality developed by Vaknin, involves re-traumatizing the narcissist to weaken the false self. However, even with treatment, some narcissistic traits will remain. Vaknin advises those living with a narcissist to avoid labeling them as such and to leave abusive relationships.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
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