My name is Sam Vaknin, and I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
Narcissistic personality disorder is often diagnosed with other mental health disorders, such as borderline, histrionic or antisocial psychopathic personality disorder. And this phenomenon is called co-morbidity.
Narcissism is often also accompanied by substance abuse and other reckless and impulsive behaviors, and this we call dual diagnosis.
There is one curious match, one logic-defying appearance or co-appearance of mental health disorders, narcissism, together with schizoid personality disorder.
The basic dynamic of this improbable duo of this particular brand of co-morbidity goes like this.
The narcissist feels superior, unique and titled and better than his fellow men. He thus tends to despise people, to hold them in contempt and to regard them as lowly, inferior and subservient beings.
The narcissist feels that his time is invaluable, his mission of cosmic importance, his contributions to humanity priceless.
The narcissist therefore demands total obedience and catering to his ever-changing and ever-increasing list of needs. Any demands on the narcissist's time and resources is deemed to be both humiliating and wasteful.
But the narcissist, for all his braggadocio and swagger, the narcissist is dependent on input from other people for the performance of certain ego functions.
For instance, the narcissist needs other people to tell you that he's perfect, brilliant, unique, special, etc. to regulate his sense of self-worth. Without narcissistic supply, without adulation, adoration, admiration, attention, the narcissist shrivels with us and becomes dysphoric, depressed.
The narcissist resents this dependence. He is furious at himself for his neediness and in typical narcissistic fashion and maneuver, he blames other people for his own anger and his own dependence on their narcissistic supply.
He displaces his rage and his truths.
Many narcissists are paranoid. This means that they're afraid of people and what people might do to them.
Consider this. Wouldn't you be scared and paranoid if your very life depended continually on the goodwill of others? You would.
And so is the narcissist. The narcissist's very life depends on other people providing him with narcissistic supply day in and day out, minute in and minute out.
The narcissist becomes suicidal if other peoplestop providing him with supply.
And to encounter this overwhelming sense of helplessness, this all-devouring dependence on narcissistic supply, the narcissist becomes a control freak.
The narcissist sadistically manipulates other people to do his bidding and to cater to his needs. He drives pleasure and derives pleasure from the utter subjugation of his human environment.
Finally, the narcissist is also a latent masochist. The narcissist seeks punishment, instigation, and excommunication.
And this self-destruction, this strand of self-defeating behaviors, is the only way to validate powerful voices that he had internalized as a child.
Voices that keep telling him, you're bad, you're rotten, you're worthless, you're hopeless.
As you can easily see, the narcissistic landscape is fraught with contradictions.
The narcissist depends on people, but hates and despises them. He wants to control people unconditionally, but is also looking to punish himself savagery.
He is terrified of persecution, persecutory delusions, but he seeks the company of his own persecutors compulsively.
The narcissist is a victim of incompatible inner dynamics, ruled by numerous vicious circles, pushed and pulled simultaneously by irresistible forces.
A minority of narcissists, therefore, choose the schizoid solution. They choose to disengage, to detach both emotionally and socially. They withdraw behind the ramparts. They pull back the drawbridge. They vanish.
In isolation, their fantasy life develops. The delusions increase until they are completely consumed.