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Narcissist=Insane? You, Envy, Withdrawal, Loner Narcissist

Uploaded 10/11/2020, approx. 49 minute read

What a day. What a day. Only on Sunday. Two for one. Today you are in for a two-fer. One video will be dedicated to the schizoid loner withdrawing recluse, hermit, narcissist. Yes, there is such a thing.

And actually, every narcissist goes through these phases. And when he is in such a phase, he tries to drag you with him. He tries to isolate you in his aquarium. He tries to bring you into his coffin and then nail the lead shot. He wants you there with him in his time of hibernation.

What's happening to him? And what can you do about it?

Stay tuned.

The first video. The second video, we continue the Jerry Springer show with our special guest, Sam Vaknin. I'm going to answer dozens of questions you have sent me. I can't remember the last time I've been so inundated with emails, comments, SMSs, diatribes, WhatsApps, Vibers, chat messengers I never heard of, Facebook, I don't even name it.

For some reason, the last video where there was a part of a kind of personal confession touched a raw nerve. Everyone had written to me self-styled empaths, overt narcissists, women in distress, distressing men. I mean, everyone wrote, has written to me and I compiled the list of the more relevant, more pertinent questions. And this is going to be the second video of the day.

So let's start with today's video. And we're going to deal with a topic that is rarely, rarely ever mentioned. And that is when the narcissist withdraws.


My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

Okay, you see, I memorize it. I'm amazing. And I'm a professor of psychology in Southern Federal University in Rostov-On-Don in Russia. I'm also a professor of finance and a professor of psychology in the Global Outreach Program of SIAPS, known as SIAPS, the Center for International Advanced Professional Studies.

Many of you asked me whether there is a place they can go, which kind of summarizes my work in psychology, my various positions in academic institutions, in academic journals, and so on and so forth. So yes, there is. I've got good news for you. There is. I'm going to place a link in the description. It's my media kit. And my media kit contains everything you need to know about my last 25 years in the field. I'm editor-in-chief of three academic journals in psychology. And I'm editor, member of the editorial board of another 97, which is quite rare. I'm also on the organizing committee of 138 international conferences in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, mental health, and so on. You can find all these details in the media kit.

So again, go to the description of the video. There's a link. Click on it. And everything you need to know is there.


Today, I filled many up with tea. Usually, I fill her up with stronger fluids, but not today, and definitely not in front of you.

Some things must remain intimate.

Okay. Let's start with a quote provided to me courtesy of a viewer. Her name is Hannah Lee. I don't know if it's a pseudonym or real name.

The quote is from Hannah, another Hannah, Hannah Arendt, social commentator, psychologist, and sociologist. Her most famous book was written in the sixties about the Eichmann, the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the guy who was in charge of the logistics of the Holocaust.

And in there, in that book, she coined the phrase, the banality of evil, but she maintained a diary. And in her diary, actually, I find her diary much more interesting than her public takes.

And this is a quote from essentially her diary. When I think I am in an existential state where I keep myself company, so solitude is to be distinguished from loneliness, where I'm also alone, but now deserted, not only by human company, but also by the possible company of myself.

It is only in loneliness that I feel deprived of human company.

So Arendt makes a distinction between solitary or solitude and loneliness. I'm not only for others, but for myself. And as long as I am in the thinking activity, I'm in a silent dialogue, or as Socrates calls it, I am two in one.

First, when the thinker is called by his name back into the world of appearances, he becomes one again. It is as though the two into which the thinking process has split him clapped together again.

In 1951, two years after having finished the manuscript on the origins of totalitarianism, she wrote a note in her diary. It's a kind of diary of thoughts.

And the note reads, logic is the sin of loneliness. Logic is the sin of loneliness.

Thus the tyranny of the compelling provable, the conquest by the lonely ones, always inferring one from the other means to disregard men in the world, means to elevate an arbitrary opinion to a premise.

The inimitable Arendt.


Okay, the other day I came across something I've written long ago. I wrote that when I was growing up, you know, a girl, a woman would write to me that we had chatted, that we had spoken, that we had corresponded, gives you no right to sleep with me. That's the kind of message I would have received in the 60s, 70s, 80s, you know.

Today, a woman would write to me that you had slept with me, gives you no right to chat with me or to write to me. I mean, we had sex, but don't spam me. Everything meaningful, sex, learning, humility, empathy, altruism, everything meaningful in my past has now been rendered meaningless. Everything decried and derided when I was growing up, being fake, posturing, manipulating, exploiting, stealing, plagiarizing. Everything that we used to frown upon when I was growing up, everything was, as I said, mocked, ridiculed or chastised, judged harshly. These things are now treasured. Everything that was meaningless, meaningful is now meaningless, and everything that was wrong is now right.

And I wouldn't have a problem with that if this transition made people happy, but it didn't. It didn't make people happy.

The rates of alcoholism, of addictions, of depression, of anxiety, of dysfunction, of loneliness, these rates have never been even a fraction of what they are today.

Only in the past 15 years, depression and anxiety rates among the young have, hold your breath, quintupled, went up five times, and yet we're not learning a lesson. We're not saying, wait a minute, we're doing something wrong. Let's take a break.

I mean, this pandemic is an excellent opportunity. People are protesting because they want to go back to what they did before the pandemic.

They're not protesting because they want to make a better world. They're protesting because they had lost the old world.

But what was there in the pre-pandemic world? We are escalating the behaviors that led us here, here, into the greatest ever mental health crisis in human recorded and non-recorded history. Half the population suffers from serious mental health, mental health illnesses, disorders and diseases.

Why is that? Do we know no better? Are we just tired of it all? Do we want to go out with a winter rather than a bank?

What's wrong with us?

Personally, my natural state is schizoid. When I'm successful, I feel empowered. I feel self-sufficient.

And honestly, I feel sadistic. I feel like humiliating, torturing, tormenting and teasing people. It gives me pleasure.

It's, I call it the f-off factor.

That's when I'm successful. And when I fail, I withdraw in order to avoid further narcissistic injuries and mortifications.

Throughout my life, from a very early age, from age four, I've always been solitary, introverted and generated a constant stream of intellectual arousal, self-arousal and self-stimulation. I stimulated myself. I was my only friend, my best friend, and I had an imaginary friend, my false self.

It was out of necessity. My life was threatened daily, 20 to 30 times a day. I have been beaten to pulp on a daily basis and worse. I won't go into it.

So I had to withdraw. I had to withdraw to be alone with my books, to escape to the library, to establish niches, nooks and crannies where I hid my poetry and I hid my reading material. Later it became my study.

So that's me. That's my idiosyncratic trajectory of personal development and growth.

But it should be clear. All narcissists are at the core, schizoid. And even I would say schizotypal to some extent, but definitely schizoid.

All, no exception. We'll come to it in a minute.


Now that's very counterintuitive.

But wait a minute. Narcissists are gregarious. They're sociable. They want to be surrounded by people. They want to be able to admire them. They want to be able to give them feedback, to adulate them.

They need narcissistic supply, which you said, you said in the 90s that it means attention. They need attention, negative, positive attention.

Long before me, there were other psychoanalysts who described the phenomenon of narcissistic supply and even coined this phrase, narcissistic supplies in plural.

So everyone is in agreement, has been in agreement for well over 80 years, that narcissism is about attention, is about other people.

Narcissist uses other people to regulate his internal environment.

How can you say that the narcissist is a solitary, lone wolf, loner, hermit, recluse, schizoid? Something's wrong with this theory.

Hold your horses. Hold your horses and listen well.


I just want to conclude by saying that nothing terrifies me more than becoming the center of a cult. Nothing.

I look at the likes of Jordan Peterson and so on, and I quaver and shake with horror. As many of you can attest, I brutally, resolutely and rudely reject any attempt you make to become my fan or follower. I absolutely refuse to play this game. I barely tolerate even comments on my videos.

A cult for me would be a veritable nightmare.

I see these photos of public intellectuals and coaches and so on surrounded by fawning, brain dead young people. And I want to drown myself. This is something which would drive me to suicide within less than a week. This is how schizoid I am. And this is how schizoid all narcissists are.

It's just a question of balance.

Narcissists need other people, but they also resent this dependence. They hate the fact that they depend on other people and consequently they hate the people they depend on.

But there's a balance there. If the narcissist cannot generate sufficient, sufficient internal stimulation, if he cannot self-sustain, then he needs others.

If he's like me, where dialoguing with my brain consumes like 18% 18 hours a day, I don't need anyone. I don't need anyone. I have a huge library here and I have a genius up here and you know, it's okay. I essentially don't need anyone.

But the vast majority of narcissists can't generate this internal environment.

So they need others.

Howard H Goldman edited the review of General Psychiatry. Real General Psychiatry was published by Prentice Hall International in London. And he wrote, the person with schizoid personality disorder sustains a fragile emotional equilibrium by avoiding intimate personal contact and thereby minimizing conflict. Minimizing conflict is poorly tolerated.

So it's about conflict aversion, conflict avoidance.

The psychologist H. Deutsch first suggested the construct of as-is personality. As-is personality or what we know today as false self was first suggested by Deutsch in the context of schizoid patients.

In an article in 1942, the article was titled Some Forms of Emotional Disturbance and Their Relationship to Schizophrenia. A decade after Deutsch, Donald Winnicott named the very same idea false self personality, which is where we took the phrase false self from.

So the false self was first described not in narcissists, not in borderlines. They were not borderlines. It was first described in schizoid patients.

The false self has thus been established as a driving engine of both pathological narcissism and the pathological schizoid state.

Both C.R. Kloninger and McWilliams, they wrote a book called Psychoanalytic Diagnosis. It was published in 1994. They observed the faintly contemptuous attitude and isolated superiority of, no, not of the narcissist, but of the schizoid and yet a faintly contemptuous attitude or in my case an overtly contemptuous attitude and isolated superiority.

It's a wonderful description, encapsulation of narcissism.

But Kloninger and McWilliams are not talking about narcissists. They're talking about schizoids.

Theodore Millon and Roger Davis summed it up in their seminal book, seminal tome, Personality Disorders in Modern Life, which was published in 2000. They had written, where withdrawal has an arrogant or oppositional quality.

Fantasy in a schizoid-like person sometimes betrays the presence of a secret grandiose self that longs for respect and recognition while offsetting fears that the person is really an iconoclastic freak.

These individuals combine aspects of the compensating narcissist with the autistic isolation of the schizoid while lacking these asocial and unhedonic qualities of the pure prototype.

Page 328.

The ethnopsychologist, yes, there is such a discipline, ethnopsychology.

The ethnopsychologist Georges Devereux wrote a book called Basic Problems of Ethnopsychiatry. It was published by University of Chicago Press in 1980. And he proposed to divide the unconscious into the id, the part that is instinctual, that is unconscious. And the ethnic unconscious repressed material that was once conscious.

The latter includes all the defense mechanisms and most of what Freud would call superego. Culture dictates what is to be repressed.

Mental illness is either idiosyncratic, cultural directives are not followed, and the individual is unique, eccentric, freakish, and schizophrenic. Or mental illness is conformist, abiding by the cultural dictates of what is allowed and what is disallowed.

Our culture, according to Christopher Lash, teaches us to withdraw inwards when confronted with stressful situations. It is a vicious circle.

One of the main stressors of modern society is alienation and a pervasive sense of isolation.

The solution our culture offers to further withdraw only exacerbates the problem.

Richard Sennett expounded on this theme, withdrawal as a coping strategy for stress.

He expounded on this theme in The Fall of Public Men on the Social Psychology of Capitalism, Vintage Books, 1978. One of the chapters in Devereux's aforementioned tone is entitled Schizophrenia and Ethnic Psychosis, or Schizophrenia Without Tears.

As far as he was concerned, the United States was afflicted by what came later to be called a schizoid disorder.

C. Fred Alford, in his book Narcissism: The Life of the Mind, published by Yale University Press in 1988, Alford enumerates the symptoms of this kind of hybrid disorder.

Withdrawal, emotional aloofness, hyporeactivity, emotional flatness, sex without emotional involvement, segmentation and partial involvement, lack of interest and commitment to things outside oneself, fixation on oral stage issues, regression, infantilism and depersonalization.

These, of course, are many of the same designations that Lash employs to describe the culture of narcissism.

Thus, it appears that it is not misleading to equate narcissism with schizoid disorder.

These are not my words, these are Alford's words.

The first to seriously consider the similarity between narcissism and the schizoid disorder, if not the outright identity between she believed that we are born with a fragile, brittle, weak and unintegrated ego.

The most primordial human fear is the fear of disintegration, death, according to Klein.

Thus, the infant is forced to employ primitive defense mechanisms such as splitting or projection or introjection to cope with this fear of death, actually with the result of the aggression generated by the ego to be technical.

The ego, confronted with this enormous stress and internally generated fear, the ego splits, fractures, breaks apart and projects this part, death, disintegration, aggression, the bad part, projects it, throws it awayand it does the same with a life-related, constructive, integrative part of itself, so it breaks to a good part and a bad part.

As a result of all these mechanics, the infant views the world as either entirely good, wholly good, satisfying, complying, responding, gratifyingor entirely bad, evil, frustrating. Klein called it the good and the bad breasts.

Today, probably it would have qualified as pornography.

The child, having broken the ego into these good and bad parts, the child then proceeds to introject, to internalize, to assimilate the good object while keeping out, defending against the bad objects.

The good object becomes the nucleus of the forming ego. The bad object is felt as fragmented, but it has not vanished. It is there.

The fact that the bad object is out there, somewhere, lurking, persecutory, threatening, menacing. This persecretary object gives rise to the first schizoid defense mechanisms, for most among them the mechanism of projective identification.

But projective identification is mostly used by narcissists.

The infant projects parts of himself, his organs, his behaviors, his traits, unto the bad object.

And this is the famous Kleinian paranoid schizoid position, the ego is broken, it's split.

This is as terrifying as it sounds, by the way, but it allows the baby to make a clear distinction between the good object inside himself and the bad object out there, split from him.

If this phase is not transcended, if there's some perturbation, some disturbance in this phase, the individual develops schizophrenia and a fragmentation of the cell.

Around the third or the fourth month of life, the infant realizes that the good and the bad objects are really facets of one and the same object.

He develops the depressive position, because it's very depressing to realize that there's a very bad part of yourself.

This is the shadow, the young shadow, the dark side that I mentioned in a previous video, where I told you that you're attracted to narcissists, because there is a resonance, there is a part of you that is the narcissist.

His darkness is your darkness, his evil is your evil, his mist and folk are inside you.

The child, when he realizes that bad and good are two flip sides of the same coin and he is the coin, then there is a bad part, he becomes depressed. He develops a depressive position and this depression, Klein believes, the two positions continue throughout life.

This depression is a reaction, it's fear, it's anxiety, oh my god, there's something in me that's bad, that's evil, that's persecutory, that's frightening and it's inside me, it's not out there, it's inside me, it's me.

The infant feels guilty at his own rage, the infant feels anxious, he's fearful that his aggression will harm his beloved objects like his mother and will eliminate the source of good things, his mother feeds him, mother takes care of him, mother smiles at him and is afraid that his budding aggression will destroy her.

He experiences the loss of his own omnipotence, since the object is now outside himself.

The infant, the object, I mean mother, he realizes that mother is actually not him, it's outside himself and of course this challenge is omnipotence because there's something outside himself, that something is out of his control.

So two traumas happen simultaneously.

The first trauma, the child realizes there is a part of himself that is bad and evil and it's not out there, it's in here and the child also realizes that the source of good things, mami, is actually not inside himself but out there and he doesn't control this object, he doesn't control mami, mami is separate and distinct from him.

This is start of separation, individuation of course and he experiences a loss of omnipotence, loss of narcissistic defenses.

The infant wishes to erase the results of his own aggression by making the object whole again, sounds like Donald Trump making America great again.

By recognizing the wholeness of other objects, the infant comes to realize and to experience his own wholeness, the ego reintegrates.

But the transition from the paranoid schizoid position to the depressive position is by no means smooth, it's not assured.

Excess anxiety, envy can delay this transition, can prevent this transition altogether.

What is envy? When we are envious, we seek to destroy all good objects. We don't want others to be good, we don't want others to own goodness. We want to be the exclusive source of goodness, we want to be the only good objects, we want to be exclusive, we want to be alone in this sense.

It's the beginning of the schizoid position. If we are all alone, if we are solipsistic, if we are the only object in the universe, then we are the only good object in the universe.

But if we are not, there are many others who are good, and maybe they're better than us. Maybe we are evil and wicked and bad and unworthy, and they are not.

This creates envy, and envy hinders the split between the good and the bad breasts.

Envy destroys the good object but leaves the persecutory bad object intact.

Moreover, envy does not allow reintegration, Klein calls it reparation. It doesn't allow reintegration of the ego to take place.

The more hold the object, when I say object, I mean outside object. Object is mother, father, peer, teacher, role model, outside. Object in psychology is a person, believe it or not.

So the more hold the object, mummy is a saint, a Madonna, you know, the greater the destructive envy.

And that is something that you don't come often across in YouTube videos and even in textbooks. The child not only loves his mother, not only idealizes his mother, not only splits his mother, so she is only good. The child absorbs some bad elements, but more importantly, he envies mother for being good.

And so envy feeds on its own outcomes. The more envious, the less integrated the ego is. The weaker and more inadequate the ego is and the more reason for envy in the good object and other people.

Like envy makes you weak. Your weakness makes you envy. Envy makes you weaker. Your weakness makes you envy.

And it's an endless, perpetual mobility and you can't break free of it.

This is the narcissistic predicament, absolutely. Both the narcissist and the schizoid are examples of development arrested due to envy and other transformations of aggression.


So let's talk a bit about pathological narcissism.

Envy is the hallmark of narcissism. It's a diagnostic criterion in narcissistic personality disorder. And the prime source of what is known as narcissistic rage is envy.

The schizoid itself is fragmented. It's weak. It's primitive. It's intimately connected through with narcissism.

And the bridge between schizoid and narcissist, envy, is narcissism.

Narcissists prefer to destroy themselves. Narcissists prefer to deny themselves. Narcissists prefer to torture themselves than endure someone else's happiness, success, wholeness, and triumph.

I used to work in Serbia and they had a saying, I will shoot my eye so that the bullet passes and kills you. The narcissistyou.

The narcissist fails his exams at school in order to frustrate the teacher or to punish his parents because he adores and envies his teacher and his parents. The narcissist aborts his therapy.

In order not to give the therapist a reason to feel gratified.

By self-defeating, self-destructing, and self-trashing, narcissists deny the worth of others.

A narcissistic borderline woman would self-trash drunk in a sleazy hotel with a total stranger in order to hurt her rejecting and humiliating husband by devaluing his property.

If the narcissist fails in therapy, his analyst is inept. There's no reason to envy him.

If the narcissist destroys himself by consuming drugs, his parents are blameworthy and they should feel guilty in bed, not he.

Self-destruction is a narcissist's way of transferring guilt and shame and blame to others. It's a blame-shifting strategy.

One cannot exaggerate the importance of envy as a motivating force in the narcissist's life.

A psychodynamic connection is obvious. Envy is a rage reaction to not controlling, to not having, or to not engulfing a good desired object.

Narcissists defend themselves against this assiduous corroding sensation by pretending that they do control, they do possess, and they do engulf the good object.

These are the narcissist's grandiose fantasies of omnipotence, of initiates. These are his delusions.

This object that's out there, that's good, that's successful, that's healthy, that's happy. This object is not separate from me. It's a part of me. It's an extension of me. I interiorize it through the snapshotting process. I control it by having an internal representation of it in my mind.

And from that moment, there's a total confusion between internal and external objects. The external object has been internalized and lost its independent autonomous existence, and the narcissist reacts horribly if the object reminds him that she is autonomous or she is independent or she has her own mind, priorities, and wishes.

But in doing so, the narcissist must deny the existence of any good outside himself. You see, he must claim that good exists only within him, never outside him.

The narcissist defends himself against raging all-consuming envy by solipsistically claiming to be the only good object in the world. This is an object that cannot be owned, cannot be possessed by anyone, except the narcissist.

And therefore it is immune to the narcissist threatening annihilating envy and abandonment anxiety.

In other words, if I'm the good object, and if I'm the only good object in the world, there's no need to envy. I mean, I can get rid of the envy, which is a very destructive energy-depleting emotion. I can get rid of it because no need to envy myself.

In order to refrain from being owned or possessed by anyone, in order to avoid self-destruction in the hands of one's own envy, the narcissist reduces others to non-entities.

The narcissist doesn't want to be owned or possessed by anyone because that way the narcissist has to admit that there is someone out there and that someone has something to offer him. So she's superior in some way or she's good in some way.

And this creates envy and envy leads to self-destruction.

To avoid all this mess, the narcissist reduces other people, considers them, describes them as non-entities, or completely avoids all meaningful contact with other people.

So either he disappears other people, vanishes them, destroys them, which is the narcissistic solution, or he avoids them, which is a schizoid solution.

But the path to both solutions is one and the same, and it goes through envy and self-destruction.

The suppression of envy is at the core of the narcissist being. If the narcissist fails to convince himself that he is the only good object in the universe, he is bound to be exposed to his own murderous envy. If there are others out there who are better than him, he envies them. He lashes out at them ferociously, uncontrollably, madly, hatefully, and spitefully, and he tries to eliminate them. If someone tries to get emotionally intimate with the narcissist, she threatens the grandiose belief that no one but the narcissist can possess the good object.

I want you to understand this. There's only one good object in the world, and that's the narcissist, and only one entity owns this good object, and that's also the narcissist. The narcissist owns himself, possesses himself, and his self is the only good object in the world.

And now here you come, and you're trying to become intimate and intimate with the narcissist, you're trying to have power over the narcissist, you're trying to possess and own the narcissist, you're trying to possess and own the only good object in the world.

That's war. That's competition. That's envy.

Only the narcissist can own and possess himself. Only the narcissist can have access to himself. This is the only way to avoid seething envy and certain self-annihilation.

Perhaps it is clear now why narcissists react as raving maniacs and madmen to anything, however minute, however remote, that seems to threaten their grandiose fantasies. There's no grandiose fantasies. This is the only protective barrier, the only firewall between themselves and their own lethal seething acid-like envy.

Now there's nothing new in trying to link narcissism to schizophrenia. Freud did as much in his seminal essay on narcissism. That's where the word narcissism was coined in 1914. Freud suggested in that essay that there may be a link between narcissism and psychosis.

Klein's contribution was the introduction of an immediately postnatal internal objects.

So she said, baby is born already with objects. Baby doesn't have to wait.

Like Freud and Jung said that babies had to go through a series of processes and traumas to develop internal objects.

Klein said it's not true. Babies are born with internal objects.

Schizophrenia, she said, was a narcissistic and intense relationship with internal objects such as fantasies or images, including fantasies of grandeur.

And she proposed a new language to describe this.

Freud suggested the transition from primary object-less narcissism. It's a kind of narcissism that is self-directed, limito, all the emotional energy, the life energy, the erotic energy, all of it is self-directed.

When the baby is a baby, that's primary narcissism.

Then we, some of us, grow up. And when we grow up, we take all this energy and we direct it outside at other people. And this is called objects-directed limito.

And we develop object relations.

Objects, remember, objects are people. Object relations, relations with people.

Klein suggested a transition from internal objects to external objects.

While Freud thought that the denominator common to narcissism and schizoid phenomenon is a withdrawal of limito from the world.

So there was a gap, there's a serious debate between Klein and Freud. And I'm much, much closer to Klein than to Freud.

As Klein said, schizoid reaction is when you withdraw the life force, when you withdraw your energy from the world, and that's it.

But think about it. If you withdraw your energy from the world, where is it? It's directed at yourself.

If you withdraw the energy from the world, means you become a narcissist.

Because then all your energy is invested in yourself.

And this is the missing part. The missing part in the jigsaw puzzle that Freud unleashed upon the world.

Klein completed it. Klein suggested a transition from internal to external objects.

She said that schizophrenia was a fixation on an early phase of relating to internal objects.

So I'm going to quote from Greenberg and Mitchell.

Object relations in psychoanalytic theory was published by Harvard University Press. It's an old book, but still, in my view, a foundational text. It was published in 1983.

They say, Greenberg and Mitchell.

The term narcissism tends to be employed diagnostically by those proclaiming, proclaiming loyalty to the drive model.

Otto Könberg and Edith Jacobson, for instance.

And by mixed model theories, like Kohut, who are interested in preserving a tie to drive theory.

Schizoid tends to be employed diagnostically by adherents of relational models, not drive models, relational models like Fairburn and Gantry, who are interested in articulating their break with the drive theory.

So they are like two schools, the drive theory and everyone who wants to somehow connect to the drive theory. And the relation or relational theory school, which says that everything in life has to do with relationships with other people. And the relationship school or relational school or object relation school is contrary to the drive school because the relationship school says everything is coming from the outside. And the drive theory says everything is coming from the inside.

So these are, these are, these are very schismatic gap, philosophical gap, metaphysical gap between these two camps.

These two differing diagnosis, I'm continuing from the book, these two differing diagnosis and accompanying formulations are replied to patients who are essentially similar by theories who start with very different conceptual premises and ideological affiliations.

That's a revolutionary statement.

What Grimberg and Mitchell are saying is, schizoid is another name for narcissism. A narcissist is another name for schizoid.

Only if you look at a patient from the drive theory angle, it's a narcissist. If you look at the patient from the relationship angle, it's a schizoid.

Klein in effect said that drives, for example, the libido are relational flows, a flux of relationships. A drive is the mode of relationship between an individual and his objects internal and external.

And so a retreat from the world as first described by Freud into internal object, objects as postulated by object relation theorists and especially the British school, Fairburt, Gantry.

This retreat is, is the drive.

I want you to, to focus.

Freud said you retreat, some people retreat from the world and they are the schizoid.

Object relations people say, yeah, people retreat from the world, but they redirect the energy into internal objects.

And Klein says, this redirection of the energy, this is what we call drive.

What is drive? Drive is energy.

So it's all, it's all, these are all facets of the same kaleidoscope. Drive is energy. Energy can be directed at external objects. That's object relations. Energy can be directed at internal objects. That's, you know, Kleinian approach drives our orientations, drives our orientations and energetic orientations to external or to internal objects.

Narcissism is an orientation, a preference, you could say, towards internal objects.

The very definition of schizoid phenomena as well. Both narcissism and schizoid disturbances. They are focused on internal objects.

This is why narcissists feel empty, fragmented, unreal, and diffuse. Exactly like borderlines, they have identity disturbance. They're dissociative. They have identity diffusion.

This is because their ego is still split, never integrated, and because they had withdrawn from the world. They had withdrawn, narcissists had withdrawn from external objects into internal objects.

And when they need external objects, for example, for narcissistic supply, they convert them into internal objects. That's what I call snapshotty.

Canva identifies these internal objects with which a narcissist maintains a special relationship with the idealized grandiose images of the narcissist's parents. Canva believes that the narcissist's very ego, his self-presentation, had fused with these parental images. Fairburn's work. Fairburn's work. Fairburn, F-A-R, like fair, F-A-I-R, B-A-I-R-N. Fairburn.

It was an object relation giant. Fairburn's work, even more than Kernberg's, not to mention Kohr's, integrates all these insights into a coherent framework.

Gantry collaborated on it, and together they created one of the most impressive theoretical bodies in the history of psychology.

What Fairburn did, he internalized Klein's insights that drives are object-orientated, and that the goal of drives is a formation of relationships and not primarily the attainment of pleasure.

Klein dispensed with the pleasure principle, as Freud did, by the way, in his later years. Klein said drives are object-oriented. They can be oriented to external objects, they can be oriented to internal objects, always an object.

So Fairburn took this insight. Pleasureable sensations, he said, are the means to achieve relationships.

The ego does not seek to be stimulated and pleased. The ego seeks to find the right, good, supporting object.

The infant is fused with his primary object, for example, the mother. Life is not about using objects for pleasure, and the supervision of the ego and superego, as Freud suggested. That's wrong. We don't seek pleasure, we seek connectedness. We seek meaning via connecting, connecting to something, connecting to other people, connecting to a club, to a nation, to a church.

There's no meaning without connection, and meaning is far more important than pleasure, as Viktor Frankl.

Life is about separating, differentiating, individuating, and achieving independence from the primary object, from mummy, and the initial state of fusion with the primary object. We want to separate from the primary object and become individuals.

Dependence on the external objects, these are pathologies.

So everything is geared toward relationships, but in these relationships, a healthy individual makes a distinction between internal objects and external objects. When no such distinction is possible, when the internal and the external are confused, or when there is an emphasis exclusively on one type of objects, these are pathologies.

For example, dependence on internal objects exclusively, that's narcissism.

Freud's post-narcissistic and eclitic phase of life can be either dependent, immature, or mature, actually.

The newborn zego is looking for objects. The newborn zego is looking for objects with which to form relationships.

Inevitably, some of these objects and some of these relationships frustrate the infant, frustrate the baby, disappoint the toddler, and he compensates for these setbacks by creating compensatory internal objects.

So whenever the baby is frustrated with mommy, whenever he is angry at mommy, whenever he is disappointed in mommy, he creates an internal object to compensate for the withholding mommy.

And of course, if mother is a dead mother, she is emotionally absent, she never gives, then the baby will be invested totally in his internal objects. He will have no relationship with the outside because the outside keeps causing him pain and hurt and keeps abusing him.

So the initially unitary ego fragments because the baby needs to compensate all the time by inventing additional objects.

The baby starts with one object, the ego, but then he invents many others and the ego fragments into a growing group of internal objects.

Reality literally breaks our hearts, breaks our minds, according to Fairburn. The ego and its objects are twinned, like twins, and the ego is split in three or four according to country, who introduced the fourth ego.

And then there's a schizoid instinct. The original Freudian or libidinal ego is unitary, it's instinctual, it's needy, and it's object seeking. And then it fragments as a result of three typical interactions with the mother, gratification, disappointment, deprivation.

The central ego idealizes the good parents, it is conformist, it is obedient.

The anti-libidinal ego is a reaction to frustrations. It is rejecting, harsh, unsatisfied, dead set against one's own natural needs.

And then there's a libidinal ego, it is the seat of cravings, desires, and needs. It is active in that it keeps seeking objects to form relationships with.

Gantry added another ego, he called it the regressed ego, which is the true self in cold storage, the lost heart of the personal self.

Fairburn's definition of psychopathology is quantitative. How much of the ego is dedicated to relationships with internal objects, rather than with external objects? The more the bigger part of the ego is dedicated to relationships with internal objects, the more mentally unhealthy the person is.

You need to interact with real people to be healthy. If you keep interacting with your internal environment and internal objects, only something's wrong with you. Your narcissist, your schizoid.

In other words, the question is how fragmented, how schizoid the ego is.

To achieve a successful transition, a successful transition from focusing on internal objects to seeking external objects, the child needs to have the right parents.

In Winnicott's parlance, the good enough mother. She's not perfect, there's no perfect mother, but she's good enough.

You need the good enough mother to transition from internal to external, to feel safe, to take on the world.

The good enough mother encourages you to be grandiose, to be in a way a bit psychopathic, risk-taking, novelty-seeking, surpassing face, and you can afford all this because she is there. She has your back, she's safe base.

The child internalizes the bad aspects of his parents in the form of internal bad objects and then proceeds to suppress them together with portions of the ego.

This is the twinning process.

And so his parents become a part of the child through a repressed part and through an overt part. The more bad objects are repressed, the less ego is left for healthy relationships with external objects.

You have a law of conservation of ego. You have a limited amount of ego. If your parents are really bad, frustrating, emotionally absent, depressive, unpredictable, capricious, arbitrary, selfish, centered, they parentify you, instrumentalize you, abuse you, sexually abuse you. And if your parents are bad, you would need to suppress all these bad aspects, all these bad dimensions of your parents.

And this will consume ever-growing parts of your ego until you have no ego left. And in the absence of an ego, you can't have a healthy relationship. Actually, you can't have any relationship with an external object with another person.

So to further the source of all psychological disturbances, he has a formative process.

Later developments, such as the Oedipus complex, in his view, and in my view, are much less crucial.

Fairbairn and Gantrip think that if a person is too attached to his compensatory internal objects, he finds it hard to mature psychologically.

Maturing is about letting go of internal objects. Some people just don't want to mature. They don't want to grow up. They're reluctant to do so. They're ambivalent about becoming adults.

And this is the Peter Pan syndrome of Puer Aeternus. This reluctance, this withdrawal to an internal world of representations, this preference for internal objects, this totally broken and submerged ego, like an iceberg.

This is narcissism. This is narcissism itself. The narcissist simply doesn't know how to be himself, how to be an act independent while managing his relationship with other people.

Both Otto Kernberg and Franz Kogut contended that narcissism is somewhere between neurosis and psychosis.

Kernberg thought that it was a borderline phenomenon on the verge of psychosis, where the ego is completely shattered.

In this respect, Kernberg more than Kogut identified narcissism with schizoid phenomenon and with schizophrenia. This is not a minor thing.

Kogut and Könberg also disagree on the developmental laws of narcissism.

Kogut thinks that narcissism is an early phase of development, fossilized, ossified, and doomed to be repeated. It's a crystallized repetition compulsion.

Kernberg maintains that narcissistic self is pathological from its very inception.

Kernberg believes that the narcissist's parents failed to provide him with assurances that he does possess a self.

In Könberg's words, they failed to endow him with a self-object. They did not explicitly recognize the child's nascentthey failed to endow him with a self-object. They did not explicitly recognize the child's nascent self, his boundaries, his separate existence, so they didn't allow the child to in-dividuate. The child learned to have a schizoid, split, fragmented self, rather than a coherent and integrated one.

The parents were not there to help him with this process.

To quote, narcissism is really all-pervasive. Is it the very core of being, whether in its mature form as self-love or in its regressive infantile form as a narcissistic disorder?

Könberg regards mature narcissism, also espoused by Neo-Freudians like Gruenberger and Chassegue, Schmergel.

So he thinks that mature narcissism is a contradiction in terms. It's an oxymoron.

Könberg observes that narcissists are already grandiose in schizoid. They are detached. They are called aloof, asocial.

And he says this starts at an early age when they are three years old, according to Könberg.

Like Klein.

And by the way, the other scholars who think the same are Gruenberger and Chassegue, Schmergel. Jesus Christ. This name should be criminalized.

So that's CHASSEMGL. It's like a name from the Ring trilogy.

Like Klein, Könberg believes that narcissism is the last ditch effort, a defense to hold the emergence of the paranoid schizoid position described by Klein.

In an adult, such an emergence is known as psychosis.

So Könberg believes that narcissism is a last ditch defense, a last hurrah, last attempt to fend off imminent and impending psychosis.

And this is why Könberg classifies narcissism as borderline, almost, psychotic.

Even Kohut, who is an opponent of Könberg's classification, uses Eugene O'Neill's famous sentence in The Great God Brown. Man is born broken. He lives by mending the grace of God, his glue.

Könberg himself sees a clear connection between schizoid phenomena, such as alienation in modern society and subsequently draw, and narcissistic phenomena, inability to form relationships or to make commitments or to empathize. Since they're connected, they're two facets of the same thing.


Back to Fred Alford in narcissism, Socrates and the Frankfurt School and psychoanalytic theory.

Alford says, Fairburn and Gantry represent the purest expression of object relations theory, which is characterized by the insight that real relationships with real people build psychic structure. Although they rarely mention narcissism, they see a schizoid split in the self as characteristic of virtually all emotional disorder.

It is Greenberg and Mitchell in object relations and psychoanalytic theory who established the relevance of Fairburn and Gantry by pointing out that what American analysts label narcissism, British analysts tend to call schizoid personality disorder.

This insight allows us to connect the symptomatology of narcissism, feelings of emptiness, unreality, alienation, and emotional withdrawal with a theory that sees such symptoms as an accurate reflection of the experience of being split off from a part of oneself.

That narcissism is such a confusing category is in large part because its drive theoretic definition, the libidinal cathects of the self, in a word self-love, seems far removed from the experience of narcissism as characterized by a loss of a split in the self.

I reread this, that narcissism is such a confusing category is in large part because its drive theoretic definition, the libidinal cathects of the self, in a word self-love, seems this definition seems far removed from the experience of narcissism as characterized actually by a loss of the self, by a split of the self.

How can you self-love if your self is split?

Fairburn and Gantry's view of narcissism is an excessive attachment of the ego to internal objects, roughly analogous to Freud's narcissistic as opposed to object love, resulting in various splits in the ego necessary to maintain these attachments.

This allows us to penetrate this confusion and I agree.


I want a few last words aboutthe lone wolf narcissist.

The lone wolf narcissist.

The lone wolf narcissist Ted Kaczynski, you know these kind of people, even calculators like Manson or the narcissist who sits alone at home and makes YouTube all day long, reminds me of someone.

The lone wolf narcissist, the narcissist's false self, requires constant dollops of narcissistic supply, attention.

The narcissist sense of entitlement and innate superiority collide painfully with his unmitigated dependence on other people for the regulation of his labile sense of self-worth and maintenance of his grandiose fantasies.

We mentioned it before. The narcissist hates his dependence on narcissistic supply and even more so hates the sources of supply because he s omnipotent, he s God, why is he dependent?

It creates a dissonance, cognitive dissonance, but also emotional disorder.

Narcissists who are also psychopaths, antisocial. Narcissists who are also schizoid, they choose to avoid the constant hurt and injuries entailed by this conflict.

By withdrawing from society, physically as well as psychologically into a cocoon of self-delusion, confabulated narratives and vivid rings of triumph and revenge.

This kind of narcissist, psychopathic, schizoid, they become lone wolf narcissists.

They prey on society at large by indiscriminately victimizing, abusing and attacking any person unfortunate enough to cross their path.

They are also the kind that become terrorists and criminals and so on.

Inevitably, the lone wolf narcissist is in a constant state of deficient narcissistic supply, very much like a junkie deprived of access to his drug of choice.

This overwhelming, unquenched, vampiric hunger, coupled with an almost psychotic state, renders the lone wolf narcissist dangerous to others.

His aggression often turns to outright violence, his frustration to vindictive rage, his addiction to narcissistic supply drives him to coerce people, often randomly selected, to serve as sources of adulation, affirmation, support and sometimes sex. That's rape.

His detachment evolves into a loss of touch with reality, cognitive deficits and utter misjudgment of his environmental milieu.

This kind of narcissist seeks fame and celebrity by all means available to him, even by resorting to crime or terrorism. If this kind of narcissist is a public intellectual, he is likely to become the center of a cult, a pernicious cult, a dangerous cult.

Few born schizoids shrug off their disorder. They simply don't like being around people and they resent the pathologizing of their lifestyle. They think their disorder is a lifestyle choice to remain aloof and alone.

They consider the diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder to be spurious, fallacious, a mere reflection of current social coercive values and mores, a culture-bound artifact.

They say, do I have to be like you? Do I have to conform?

You like to socialize. You're gregarious. I hate people. I don't want to be around you.

What's wrong with it? It's a choice. It's a lifestyle choice. Nothing pathological about this.

Narcissists as usual tend to rationalize their schizoid conduct. They tend to aggrandize it. They tend to embed it in an ideology.

Narcissists propound the idea that being alone is the only logical choice in today's hostile, anomic and atomized world.

You have narcissists rationalizing why not to date women. Narcissists intellectualizing why not to have a steady job.

The concept of individualism exists only in the human species.

They say, animals flock together or operate in colonies and herds.

Each member of these aggregates is an extension of the organic whole.

In contradistinction, people band and socialize only for purposes of a goal-oriented cooperation, of the seeking of emotion and rewards, solace, accord, sex, love, support.

And yet, in contemporary civilization, the accomplishment of Moscow's is outsourced to impersonal collectives such as the states, schools, large corporations. Everything from food production to food distribution to education is now relegated to faceless, impersonal, anonymous entities which require little or no social interaction.

Now during the pandemic, you're seeing this remote education, remote work, everything remote.

Additionally, empower the individual, render the individual self-sufficient, profoundly independent of others, existentially independent. The individual can exist without others. As they have grown in complexity and expectations fed by the mass media, relationships have mutated to being emotionally unrewarding and narcissistically injurious to the point of becoming a perpetual fount of pain and unease.

Today, nowadays, to date, is to commit suicide. It's to court, mortification, injury, betrayal, cheating, hurt, blackmail, horrible. The sin, the intergender sin, is horrible.

Why go into it? More formalized social interactions present a substantial financial and emotional risk as well.

Close to half of all marriages, for instance, end in a divorce, inflicting enormous pecuniary damage and emotional deprivation on the parties involved in the offspring.

The prevailing efforts of gender is gone, and the efforts of gender wars, as reflected in the evolving legal milieu, further serves to deter any residual predilection and propensity to team up and bond.

This is a vicious cycle, and it's difficult to break.

Traumatized by past encounters and liaisons, people tend to avoid future ones. People are deeply wounded. They are rendered less tolerant, more hypervigilant, more defensive, more aggressive. These are traits which bode ill for their capacity to initiate, sustain, and maintain relationships.

The breakdown and dysfunction of societal structures and institutions, communities, and social units is masked by technologies which provide very similitudes and confabulations of connectivity.

Social media is anything but social. We all gravitate towards a delusional and fantastic universe of our own making as we find the real one too hurtful, too hurtful, too dangerous, too risky, to endure. We avoid reality, and we enter virtual or augmented reality.

Modern life is so taxing, so onerous. Modern life depletes the individual scarce resources to such an extent that little is left, little is left to accommodate the needs of social intercourse. People's energy funds were whittled their stretch to the breaking point by the often conflicting demands of mere survival in post-industrial, post-modernist societies.

Furthermore, the sublimation of instinctual urges to pair, sublimation of what Freud called the libido, the sublimation of the need to associate, to mingle, to threatenize, to socialize, is encouraged, is rewarded. I mean, you're being told you don't need to have sex, you know, you have pornography, you don't need to be in a relationship, you can write books.

Substitutes exist for all social functions, including sex, pornography, child-raving, single parental, and so social institutions become obsolete, superfluous.

Social give and take becomes awkward, inefficient.

Finally, people lose the skills, social skills.

When you go to a bar or to a dating scene and you see how people don't know, simply they forgot, they lost it. It's a use it or lose it, and there's a big lose it out there.

The individual me, the self, has emerged as the organizing principle in human affairs not long ago, but now it has supplanted the collective.

Now me, it's the me generation, the self.

The core issue in psychology today is personality, self, not for example, relationships or connectivity.

The idolatry of the individual, I call it malignant individualism, the idolatry of the individual inexorably, ineluctably results in the malignant forms of narcissism that are so prevalent, indeed all pervasive, wherever we direct our gaze.

Should narcissism and its schizoid tendencies prevail, we're going to be atomized. We're going to be drifting in space all alone in our own bubbles, and we are never ever going to break through towards anyone else.

What a dystopian image.

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