Narcissist, Schizoid, Psychotic: Progression, Common Roots

Uploaded 1/9/2021, approx. 42 minute read

Okay, survivors, this is the third in a series of three videos. I recommend that you watch the first two. And all three videos deal with a combined, combined construct of a schizoid narcissist, ostensibly an internal contradiction, mutually exclusive.

The narcissist needs other people. His pro-social depends on other people for the regulation of his internal environment, especially his sense of self-worth.

The schizoid avoids other people at all costs. He doesn't have sex. He doesn't have friends. He barely communicates with a single member of his family. He finds people boring. He finds sex dull and unpleasurable. He is confined to his own solitary existence as a monk would.

So how do these two sit together?

Perhaps before we come to this, to clarify something, I said in earlier videos, I said that trauma is not an objective event or set of circumstances. Trauma is a subjective experience. It is the way you react to external circumstances, to other people's behavior or misbehavior, to natural disasters, to manmade disasters.

Trauma is the way you react. It's a reactive pattern.

I can take 10 people, subject them to exactly the same experience, replicated identically, and only two of them would be traumatized. The other eight would not be.

But one thing I neglected to mention is that trauma could be endogenous or exogenous, internally generated or externally generated.

Trauma could be a reaction to an experience that emanates from and is contained inside the mind, as no outside correlates.

Consider, for example, chronic illness. Consider mental illness. Mental illness and chronic illness generate trauma, but they are not external events. They don't depend on anyone's misconduct. They are not derivatives of any external or outside disaster, catastrophe, or calamity.

Mental illness is essentially biological in most cases. It's a medical condition. So is chronic illness. People react with trauma to internal processes, to internal dynamics. And this trauma generates loads of anxiety and depression.

I would say that endogenous traumas, traumas which are reactions to internal processes, endogenous traumas are even more anxiety-producing and more depression-inducing than exogenous traumas.

Because when the enemy is you, when you are your own enemy, when your brain and your mind are your worst foes, where would you run? Where would you escape to?

You can escape an enemy. You can escape an adversary. You can escape adverse circumstances. You can escape the police.

Where are you going to escape your mind to? Where are you going to go to?

Your mind is with you at all times. Your body is with you at all times. Where are you going to flee? Your chronic condition.

So endogenous traumas induce much more anxiety and depression than exogenous traumas.

And gradually over time, people try to develop strategies to cope with this permanent, all-permeating, ubiquitous anxiety and depression. Depression that is kind of a Damocles sword hanging in the balance about looming, imminent, ambient depression and anxiety.

People try to develop strategies, coping strategies. And these coping strategies are what we call personality disorders.

One coping strategy is to say, I'm fearless. I'm resilient. I'm strong. Nothing. And no one can break me, not even myself. That is the psychopathic reaction. It's defined. It's consummation. It's reckless. It lacks impulse control.

Another solution is to say, I'm God. Someone can touch me. I'm untouchable. I'm invulnerable. That is the narcissistic solution.

As you see, personality disorders are forms, are reactive patterns.

And one of the main roles of personality disorders is to ameliorate, to reduce and to regulate anxiety, depression, moods and emotions in the wake of trauma.

And that's why I'm trying to recast personality disorders as post-traumatic conditions.

To the issue, how do we connect? How do we connect schizoid personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder?

You remember that my philosophy is that there is only one condition, personality disorder. That has been my position since 1995.

I think the ICD, the International Classification of Diseases, Edition 11, is going to reflect this thinking. And it's going to have a single personality disorder with dominant traits or emphasized traits, which is what I suggest.

So in my dictionary, the very question, the very question of how can we reconcile schizoid and narcissistic personality disorders is meaningless because there's only one personality disorder with different emphases.

But we live in the DSM lens, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, its latest edition in 2013, still rules the hay, rules the barn, and we have to comply, we have to adapt, and we have to discuss psychology and psychiatry in terms dictated by the consensus on the orthodoxy if we want to be understood, comprehended and communicated.

So schizoid personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder.

Intuitively, a connection between these two actually seems plausible.

What are narcissists?

Narcissists are people who self sufficiently withdraw from other people. Narcissists are self-contained. They are an ego system. They are self-sufficient. They are solipsistic. They are atomized. They do use and abuse other people.

But the same way you eat food, they are predators, like psychopaths. Narcissists love themselves in lieu of loving others. They are auto-erotic and auto-libidinal.

Now this love, don't confuse this self-love with real self-love. They don't love themselves. They love their false selves.

So they invent a new self, piece of fiction, a movie script called false self. And that false self is everything the narcissist is not. The false self is omniscient. Omnipotent is perfect and brilliant, etc, etc. And the narcissist is emotionally invested in the false self. And he tries to uphold the grandiosity that underlies the false self.

But still, this emotional investment is self-directed, that the self happens to be false.

That's another issue, but it's self-directed.

Narcissist has no object relations. He doesn't love other people. Same like the narcissist's self.

Lacking empathy, narcissists regard others as mere instruments, objectified sources of narcissistic supply.

Take, for example, the inverted narcissist, a subspecies of covert narcissists. It's a narcissist who projects her narcissism onto another narcissist.

The mechanism of projective identification allows the inverted narcissist to experience her own narcissism vicariously through the agency of a classic narcissist.

But the inverted narcissist is no less a narcissist than a classical narcissist. She is no less socially reclusive.

So we must make therefore a distinction between social interactions and social relationships.

The narcissist, even the inverted narcissist, even the covert narcissist, they all interact socially, but they fail to form human and social relationships, bonds, attachment. They have the equivalent of flat attachment, the psychopath, of course. So while they interact, they never get attached, they never bond.

The narcissist is uninterested in bonding and the narcissist is both uninterested and incapable owing to his lack of empathy and pervasive sense of grandiosity.

The psychologist H. Deutsch first suggested the construct of as if personality in the context of skis weight patients. It's an article published in 1942 titled Some Forms of Emotional Disturbance and Their Relationship to Schizophrenia.

So the construct of a pretend personality, a substitute personality, a fake personality, this construct was first proposed, not in the context of narcissism, but in the context of schizophrenia and skis weight patients. A decade after Deutsch, Donald Winnicott named the very same idea, gave it the name of false self personality.

That's how the false self was born. The false self has been established as a driving engine of both pathological narcissism and pathological skis weight states.

From the very beginning, from the 1940s and 1950s, top eminent scholars saw the immediate connection between narcissism and skis weight states and they used common psychological constructs to elucidate both.

C. R. Cloninger and M. McWilliams, Cloninger and M. McWilliams, in 1994 they wrote the book Psychoanalytic Diagnosis. They observed the faintly contemptuous attitude and isolated superiority of, no, not of narcissism, of skis weight.

So when they described skis weight, they described skis weight in classic narcissistic terms, contempt, superiority. These were narcissistic traits which they had attributed, actually not to narcissists, but to skisoids.

Theodore Millon and Roger Davis summed it up in their seminal tome, Personality Disorders in Modern Life, my favorite book on personality disorders.

And they had written, where withdrawal has an arrogant or oppositional quality, fantasy in the skisoid-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 skisoid while lacking the asocial and anhedonic qualities of the pure prototype.

So even Millon and Davis saw the commonalities between narcissists and skisoids.

Before we proceed, many, including self-styled experts, real scholars, therapists, psychologists, many confuse the terms asocial and antisocial.

Antisocial is a person who rejects society or in half a collective stance rejects life. He is defiant. He defies also authority, he's contumacious. He is reckless, he's impulsive, he's aggressive, sometimes violent. Antisocial personalities tend to break the law or bend it or test it. Many of them become criminals.

Asocial personalities are people who don't like to be with other people. They don't socialize. They don't blend in, they don't mingle, they don't talk to people, they don't communicate, they don't have sex, they don't get married, they don't have children, they don't confide in anyone. They're solitary figures, quite happy in their own isolated universe.

That's asocial, asocial, antisocial.

Okay, is this not all connected somehow to culture?

I refer you to the previous video I've made about Christopher Lash and the other video about Althusser. There will be a forthcoming video about the Bois and the French thinkers, but is this not all part of cultural expectations? I mean, we're expected to be social and if we are not, we are freaks, we are outliers, we are outcasts. Something's wrong with us. It's a dysfunction or a pathology.

Is it not a culture-bound thing? Is it a clinical entity? Is it a disorder? Or is it just the current way of thinking about how people should behave?

The mores of society and culture in our day and age, after all, there have been periods in history where people were encouraged to be schizoids. They were encouraged to go to the desert for 40 days, expecting epiphany and enlightenment. They were encouraged to spend their youth and life in monasteries and nunneries.

Isolation, social isolation has been condoned, not condemned in previous periods of history. So why are we condemning it now?

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

The ethnic unconscious includes all the defense mechanisms and most of the superego. Culture dictates what is to be repressed. That's why he calls it the ethnic unconscious.

Mental illness, he said, is either idiosyncratic, cultural directives are not followed, and the individual is unique, eccentric or schizophrenic, or mental illness is conformist, abides by the cultural dictates of what is allowed and disallowed.

At any rate, cultural and society seem to dictate what constitutes mental illness and what constitutes permissible mental illness, or mental illness to be repressed and suppressed and so on.

I refer you to the work of others like Lang and the father of the resilience movement and so on and so forth.

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

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

The solution our culture offers is to withdraw even further, to isolate ourselves even further, to become even more solitary, and that only exacerbates the problem.

You could say therefore, why accurately, that Western culture and civilization, which is now regrettably the dominant cultural mode, you could say that it is dysfunctional in this sense.

A cultural and civilization whose solutions to mental health issues only make the issues worse is a culture and civilization which is doomed functionally, is dysfunctional.

Richard Sennett 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, An Ethnic Psychosis or Schizophrenia Without Tears.

According to Devereux, the United States is afflicted by what came later to be called schizoid disorder.

C. Fred Alford, in the book Narcissism: The Original Sin, Sigmund Freud, and the Frankfurt School, and psychoanalytic theory, published by Yale University Press in 1988.

Alford enumerates the symptoms, he says, the symptoms of schizoid, the schizoid syndrome.

We draw emotional aloofness, hypo-reactivity, 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, he says, 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.

Okay, this is the cultural background, but our psychodynamics react to our context.

We react to the culture, we react to society, definitely to social expectations as they are mediated and communicated via social agents and agents of socialization, peers, parents, teachers.

What are the common psychodynamic roots of narcissistic personality disorder and schizoid personality disorder?

The first to seriously consider the similarity, if not outright identity, between the schizoid and narcissistic disorders of the self were Melanie Klein.

Melanie Klein broke ranks with Freud in that she believed that we are born with a fragile, brittle, weak, and unintegrated ego.

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

And so the infant is forced to employ primitive defense mechanisms such as splitting, projection, and introjection to cope with this fear, actually with the result of aggression generated by the ego.

The ego splits and projects this part, death, disintegration, aggression, it projects it, it disowns it, this part becomes ego-alien.

It does the same with the life-related constructive, constructive, integrative part of itself.

So actually it splits, it separates, breaks into the bad part, so to speak, and the good part.

As a result of all these mechanics, the infant views the world as either good, satisfying, complying, responding, gratifying, or bad, frustrating.

And Klein calls it the good and the bad breasts.

The child then proceeds to introject, internalize, simulate 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 is not vanished. It is there, which is the cornerstone, the foundation of my work in psychology.

I actually inverse or reverse Klein. I claim that the child actually internalizes the bad part because he's afraid to attribute it to mother, which is the only other person he knows, but put that aside.

Continue with Klein. The fact that the bad object is out there, says Klein, the fact that it's persecatory, threatening, gives rise to the first schizoid defense mechanisms.

Foremost among these mechanisms is the mechanism of projective identification, which narcissists use very often because they are infantile, they are still children.

The infant projects parts of himself, his organs, body parts, his behaviors, his traits. He projects these onto the bad object, and this is the famous Kleinian paranoid schizoid position.

The ego is split. Of course, this must be harrowing and terrifying. It must be very traumatic, and it is. It's as traumatic as it sounds, but it allows the baby to make a clear distinction between the good object inside him and the bad object out there split away from him.

If this phase is not transcended, the individual develops schizophrenia and a fragmentation of the self, says Klein.

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

He develops the depressive position. He's very depressed to discover that an object that he had thought to be totally good, mother, actually has bad aspects, bad parts.

It's like, you know, after you're infatuated with someone, you idealize them, and suddenly you begin to see the bad sides, the negative sides, the ugly, disgusting behaviors and traits and habits. It's depressing.

So the baby equally becomes depressed. When he integrates the good and the bad, when he realizes that no object is perfect, no object is all good, no person is all good, object in psychology is person. It depresses him and he becomes depressive, depressive position.

This depression, Klein believes, the two positions continue throughout life, by the way. This depression is a reaction of fear and anxiety.

Remember how we started this lecture? Trauma leads to anxiety and depression. The infant feels guilty at his own rage. He's guilty, he's raging, he's frustrated, his impulse is out of control, but he also feels very guilty. And he feels anxious. He's afraid that his aggression will harm the object and eliminate the source of good things.

At this stage, the only object he knows, the primary object, his mother.

The infant experiences the loss of his own omnipotence, since now the object is outside his self.

The infant wishes to erase the results of his own aggression by making the object whole again. Make America great again.

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

The ego reintegrates.

Ironically, this trauma of integrating good and bad in the same object, which leads to depression, also leads to reintegration.

We need to go through this phase, traumatic as it may be, in order to become whole again.

If the object out there is whole, good and bad, I am whole.

Good and bad, I don't need to worry so much about the bad parts in me. If mommy is bad and good, I can be bad and good. No problem there. I can reintegrate.

But the transition from the paranoid schizoid position to the depressive position is by no means smooth, nor is it assured.

Excess anxiety and envy can delay this transition or prevent it altogether. Envy, what is envy? Envy seeks to destroy all the good objects so that other people don't have them.

I cannot have her, and you will not have her, too, jealous husbands say, before they kill their wives. It therefore hinders, envy hinders, the split between the good and the bad breasts. Envy destroys the good object, but leaves intact, untouched, the persecatory, bad object.

Moreover, envy does not allow reintegration, reparation, Klein calls it reparation, it's her genre. Envy doesn't allow reintegration to take place.

The more whole the object, the more complete the object, the greater the destructive envy.

And so envy feeds on its own outcomes. The more envy, the less integrated the ego. The weaker and more inadequate the ego, and the more reason for envying the other object out there, envy other people.

So the more you envy, the less accomplished you are, the more damaged you are, the more dysfunctional you are, the more envious you are, the less integrated you are, even as a child, even as a baby.

And that's real reason to envy people, because they are okay, they are whole, they are complete, they are accomplished, they are integrated, you are not. You've been destroyed and consumed by your own envy, which is good reason to envy other people who had not been destroyed and consumed by their own envy.

Both the narcissist and schizoid are examples of development arrested, owing to envy and other transformations of aggression.

Let's consider pathological narcissism.

Envy is one of the diagnostic criteria of narcissistic personality disorder. It is the hallmark of narcissism. It's a prime source of what is known as narcissistic rage.

The schizoid itself, fragmented, weak, primitive, is intimately connected with narcissism via envy.

Narcissists prefer to destroy themselves and to deny themselves, any pleasure, rather than endure someone else's happiness, wholeness, and triumph.

The narcissist fails his exams in order to frustrate the teacher that he both adores and envies.

The narcissist aborts his therapy in order to not give the therapist a reason to feel gratified and superior.

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

It's like a cheating wife who tells her husband, I cheated on you to devalue your property, me. I hurt you by hurting myself. I took away your prized possession.

If the narcissist fails in therapy, it means his analyst is inept and no reason to do it.

If the narcissist destroys himself by consuming drugs, it means his parents are less than perfect, blameworthy, should feel guilty and bad, and there's no reason to envy them.

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

The psychodynamic connection is obvious. Envy is a rage reaction, an aggressive reaction to not controlling, not owning, not possessing, not having, not engulfing, not enmeshing the good, desired object.

Narcissists defend themselves against this assiduous, corroding sensation by pretending that they do control, they do possess, they do engulf and own the good object. It's a pretension. It's a piece of fiction. It's fame. It's a conversation.

Not to say a lie. These are the narcissist's grandiose fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience.

It's part of his grandiosity. He tries to avoid envy. He tries to avoid envy by subsuming the good object, making the good object a part of himself so he doesn't need to envy the good object because he cannot stand envy. Envy kills him, destroys him, destroys him, destroys him and drives him to self-destruction.

It's a self-defense mechanism.

When the narcissist snapshots you, when he internalizes you, when he consumes you, when he subsumes you, when he controls you, when you become his extension, he is doing this because he doesn't want to envy you and he doesn't want to envy you because if he does envy you, he will destroy himself in order to destroy you and he doesn't want to destroy himself. He wants to survive.

But in doing this, in going through this act of merging and fusing with the potential object of envy, wine, red wine, the narcissist must deny the existence of any good outside himself.

If there's something good outside the narcissist, he needs to envy it. He will envy it.

So he needs to deny it. There's nothing good outside me.

The narcissist defends himself against his rage, against his all-consuming envy by solipsistically and counterfactually claiming to be the only good object in the world. This is an object that cannot be had by anyone except the narcissist and therefore is immune to the narcissist's threatening annihilating envy.

Put simply, narcissist is not likely to envy himself if he is the only good object in the world.

In order to refrain from being owned by anyone, being consumed and subsumed by anyone, in order to refrain from to avoid self-destruction in the hands of his own envy, the narcissist reduces other people to non-entities.

That's a narcissistic solution. Or he completely avoids all meaningful contact with other people and that is the schizoid solution.

The suppression of envy is at the core of the narcissist's being. Being, if the narcissist fails to convince himself, his self, that he is the only good object in the universe, the narcissist 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, spitefully. 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. And the good object is the narcissist.

The inner dialogue of the narcissist is this. I'm the only good object in the world and I'm the only owner of this good object. Am I not lucky? Ain't I the luckiest guy on earth?

I own the only good object in the whole universe. And now she comes and she thinks presumptuously and impertinently that she can own this good object or that we can share ownership on this good object, which is me. She deserves to be punished for this impertinence. She deserves, I need to show her her mistake in a way that is unequivocal.

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

Perhaps it is clear now why narcissists react as raving madmen to anything, however minute, however remote, that seems to threaten their grandiose fantasies.

Because their grandiose fantasies are the only protective barrier between themselves and their own lethal seething envy.

And when you come to the narcissist and you love him and you try to be intimate with him, let alone if you pose any demands or you demand reciprocity, you are laying claim to the narcissist. The only good object in the world.

It's like the famous, you know, race for Africa during colonial times. As everyone was trying to get a piece of Africa, she's trying to get this, a woman who gets close to the narcissist, she's trying to get a piece of the narcissist.

And this is going to provoke war. There is nothing new in trying to link narcissism to schizophrenia. Freud did it in his seminal essay on narcissism in 1914. Klein's contribution was the introduction of immediately postnatal internal objects.

Schizophrenia, Klein proposed, was a narcissistic and intense relationship with internal objects such as fantasies or images, including fantasies of grandeur, of grandiosity. Klein proposed a new language in effect.

Freud suggested a transition from primary object-less narcissism, self-directed libido. There are no objects, just me. I love only myself.

He suggested the transition from this phase to object relations, object-directed libido. Others do exist. I'm going to love them.

Klein suggested the transition from internal objects to external objects. And in this sense, of course, I'm a clinician.

While Freud thought that the denominator common to narcissism in schizoid phenomena is a withdrawal of libido from the world, Klein suggested that it was a fixation on an early phase of relating only to internal objects.

But is it a real difference or is it semantic?

I'm going to read to you from Grinberg and Mitchell, object relations and psychoanalytic theory, Harvard University Press, 1983.

The term narcissism tends to be employed diagnostically by those proclaiming loyalty to the drive model, Otto Kanberg, Edith Jacobson, for example, and by mixed model theories such as Kohut, who are interested in preserving a time to drive theory.

So narcissism is a term used by drive theorists, theoreticians, psychologists who believe in drives.

Schizoid tends to be employed by diagnostically by adherents of relational models, Fairbair, Gantrip, who are interested in articulating their break with drive theory.

These two differing diagnoses and accompanying formulations are replied to patients who are essentially similar by theories who start with very different conceptual premises and ideological affiliations.

What these people are saying, and mind you, they are top-level scholars, what they were saying is that narcissism is just another name for schizoid and schizoid is another name for narcissism, depending which theory you start with.

Klein, in effect, said that drives, example, the libido, drives are relational. They're relational flows, drives flow from you to someone or to something. A drive is the mode of relationship between an individual and his objects, internal objects or external objects.

And so a retreat from the world, according to Freud, into internal objects, as populated by object relations theories, the British school, Fairbair, and Gantrip, this retreat from the world into internal objects, that is the drive.

That's a good description of drive, because the energy, the libido is redirected at internal objects. That's a way to reconcile, as the British did, Fairbair and Gantrip and others, the way to reconcile drive and relational models by saying that a drive is simply the flow into objects, the flow from you to objects, internal or external. Drives are orientations to external or internal objects.

Narcissism is an orientation, a preference even. That's why I keep saying that narcissism is in many ways a choice. It's a preference orientation towards internal objects, the very definition of schizoid phenomena as well.

And to some extent, psychosis, hyper reflection will come to us. This is why narcissists feel empty, fragmented, unreal, diffuse. It is because their ego is still split. It's never been integrated. They had withdrawn from the world of external objects. They live only inside themselves with internal objects. When they come across an external object, you, they immediately convert you into an internal object via the snapshotting process.

Kenbeck identifies these internal objects with which the narcissist maintains a special relationship with the idealized grandiose images of the narcissist's parents.

He believes that a narcissist's very ego, his self-representation, had fused with the parental images, which are idealized, can do no wrong, perfectly good.

Fairbairn's work, even more than Kenbeck, by the way, and not to mention Kogut's work, all these integrate all these insights into a coherent framework.

Gantrip elaborated on this framework and together they created one of the most impressive theoretical bodies in the history of psychology.

Fairbairn internalized Klein's insights that drives objects orientated and their goal is the formation of relationships and not primarily the attainment of pleasure. Pleasurable sensations are the means to achieve relationships. They encourage relationships. They provide you with an incentive of sorts to form relationships, but the core, the main goal is relationships.

The ego does not seek to be stimulated or to be pleased and to find the right good supporting object. To find the right good supporting object is the main goal.

So yes, the ego can be stimulated, yes, the ego can be pleased, but it is in order to find the right good supporting object and to establish a relationship with it.

The infant is fused with his primary object, the mother. Life is not about using objects for pleasure under the supervision of the ego and super ego, as Freud had suggested, before he himself had changed his mind, recanted in many ways. Life is about separating. Separate. It's about differentiating, individuating and achieving independence from the primary object, mother, and the initial state of fusion with it. Dependence on internal objects is narcissism.

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

The newborn's ego is looking for objects with which to form relationships. Inevitably, some of these objects, some of these relationships frustrate the infant, disappoint the infant.

This is life, early on. The infant compensates for these setbacks, for this disillusionment, disappointment and disenchantment by creating compensatory internal objects.

Initially, the unitary ego fragments into a growing group of internal objects.

Think about it this way. Every time there is a disappointment, every time there's a frustration, the infant generates an internal object which is not frustrating and not disappointing as a way to balance the emotions.

And so gradually, there are many, many, many internal objects where they used to be a single ego.

It reminds me of the many-worlds theory in the interpretation of quantum mechanics, where every decision and every action you make creates a new separate universe with a copy of you.

So it's the same with the infant, according to Klein at least, and some of the object-relation theories. You could say that reality breaks our hearts and minds according to Fairbairn.

The ego and its objects are twinned. The ego is split in three or four according to Gantry, who introduced the fourth ego.

And so this leads to a schizoid state.

The original Freudian libidinal ego is unitary. It's instinctual. It's needy. It's object-seeking. It then 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's obedient.

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

The libidinal ego 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, which he called the regressed ego, which is the true self in cold storage, the lost heart of the personal self.

Fairbairn's definition of psychopathology is therefore quantitative. How much of the ego is dedicated to relationships with internal objects rather than external objects like real people?

In other words, how fragmented, how schizoid is the ego?

To achieve 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. Not perfect, good enough.

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

If the parent is dead, dead mother like Andrei Green, the parent is withholding, harsh, abusive, narcissistic, selfish, immature, parentifies the child, etc. Breaches the child boundaries, does not allow the child to form his own boundaries, doesn't allow the child to separate, to individually, doesn't allow the child to explore the world, stunts the child's growth, personal autonomy, etc.

If the parent is dysfunctional in any of these senses, the number of bad objects, bad internal objects will outweigh the number of good internal objects.

And we have a problem then, it's known as psychopathology.

And so the parents become part of the child. It's a repressed part, but it's a critical part.

The more bad objects, the bigger the number of bad objects repressed, the less ego is left for healthy relationships with external objects.

According to Fairbairn, the source of all psychological disturbances is in these schizoid phenomena.

Later developments such as the Oedipus complex and whatever, they're less crucial.

Fairbairn and Guntrup 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, by the way, generally letting go of mummy, letting go of internal objects as well.

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 it. They want to remain children forever.

The Peter Pan syndrome, Puerre Aeternus.

This reluctance, this withdrawal to an internal world of representations, internal objects, broken ego, this is narcissism. It's a good description of narcissism.

Narcissists simply don't know how to be themselves, because they don't have a self. Their self is broken, fragmented, disunitary, and a big part of it is false and projected. They don't know how to be and act independent while managing their relationships with other people.

Both Otto Kernberg and Franz Kohut 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 Kohut, identifies narcissism with schizoid phenomena and with schizophrenia.

This is not the only difference between them, but it's a crucial one.

They also disagreed on the developmental locus of narcissism.

Kohut thinks that narcissism is an early phase of development, fossilized and doomed to be repeated, a repetition compulsion, while Könberg maintains that the narcissistic self is pathological from its very inception.

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

In his words, they failed to endow him with a self-object.

They did not explicitly recognize the child's nascent self, the child's separate existence and boundaries.

The child learned to have a schizoid, split fragmented self rather than a coherent and integrated one.

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

Kernberg regards mature narcissism, also espoused by neo-Freudians like Gruenberger and Shasigle Schmurgel.

So Kernberg regards mature narcissism, which by the way, Shasigle Schmurgel has very interesting work and I'm going to focus on it in one of the next videos.

So mature narcissism said Könberg is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron, and here he conflicts directly with Jung, who considered narcissism as a crucial part of the process of introversion.

Kernberg observes that narcissists are already grandiose, they are already schizoid, detached, cold, asocial, at a very early age when they are three years old according to him.

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

In an adult, such an emergence is known as psychosis, and this is why Könberg classifies narcissism as borderline, almost psychotics.

We are beginning to see how everything fits into everything, and what we thought of as separate disorders, they're not their spectrum.

Even Kohut, who is definitely 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.

Kernberg himself sees a clear connection between schizoid phenomena such as alienation in modern society, the subsequent withdrawal from society, you know, atomization and alienation in genomic societies.

Kernberg sees this phenomena as narcissistic. He said these schizoid phenomena, they are actually narcissistic phenomena, because they denote, the truth clearly, an inability to form relationships or to make commitments or to empathize.

Fred Alford in the aforementioned book, narcissism, Sigmund Freud, and psychoanalytic theory, he wrote, I quote, Fairburn and Guntrip represent the purest expression of object relations theory, which is characterized by the insight that real relationships with real people buildpsychic 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 Gundarrip 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 and reality, alienation, 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 cathexis of the self, in a word, self-love, seems far removed from the experience of narcissism as characterized by a loss of or split in the self.

How can you have self-love if you have no self?

Fairburn's and Gundarrip's view of narcissism is an excessive attachment of the ego to internal objects, resulting in various splits in the ego necessary to maintain these attachments.

This view allows us to penetrate this confusion.

Although I must say that it's somewhat analogous to Freud's narcissistic as opposed to object love.

The innovation, the new thinking here is not as new as it sounds.

Okay, all of us know lone wolves, you know, recluses, hermits, asocial by inclination or asocial as an ideology.

I'm rejecting society, I'm rejecting the world.

But what about the lone wolf narcissist?

The narcissist's false self requires constant doves of narcissistic supply, attention. The narcissist's sense of entitlement, innate superiority, they collide painfully with his unmitigated dependence on other people for the regulation of his labile sense of self-worth and the maintenance of his grandiose fantasies.

Narcissists who are also psychopaths, antisocial. Narcissists who are also schizoids, they choose to avoid the constant hurt and injuries entailed by this conflict. And they do this by withdrawing from society, physically as well as psychologically. They create a cocoon of self-delusion, confabulated narratives and vivid dreams of triumph and revenge.

Watch my previous video.

This kind of narcissist become lone wolf narcissist. They prey, they're predators, they prey on society at large by indiscriminately victimizing, abusing and attacking any person unfortunate enough to cross the path, especially people who try to get close to them.

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.

And this overwhelming, unquenched, vampiric hunger coupled with an almost psychotic state, they render the lone wolf narcissist very dangerous to others.

His aggression often turns into 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 and support.

His detachment evolves into a loss of touch of reality, cognitive deficits and utter misjudgment of his environment and milieu. He seeks fame and celebrity by all means available to him, even by resorting to crime and terrorism.

What is the schizoid existence like? Is solitude frowned upon in modern Western civilization? Is it actually a logical choice, especially now, given the recent developments, rising anomie, disintegration of its basic institutions like community and family, pandemics, crime, terrorism, isn't withdrawing and avoiding a very rational, logical, self efficacious choice?

Purebred schizoids, you know, schizoids who are not comorbid with narcissism or any other disorder, they shrug off their disorder. They simply don't like being around people. End of story. People who are only schizoids, people who can be diagnosed only with schizoid personality disorder, resent the pathologizing of their lifestyle. They say it's a choice to remain aloof and alone and nothing wrong with it. They consider the diagnosis of schizoid personality disorder to be spurious, a mere reflection of current social coercive mores, mores, a form of social control, culture- bound artifact.

Narcissists as usual tend to rationalize and aggrandize their schizoid conduct. They propound the idea that being alone is the only logical choice in today's hostile, anomic and atomized world. They have an ideology. They weave an ideology around their lack of choice and lack of opportunity.

So they become schizoid because they want to become schizoid. It's like pre-emptive abandonment and abandoning the world before the world abandons me.

The concept of individual exists only in the human species. Animals flock together or operate in colonies or herds. Each member of these aggregates is an extension of the organic whole.

In contradistinction, people band and socialize only for purposes of goal-oriented cooperation or the seeking of emotional bodily rewards, solace, decor, love, sex, support.

And yet in contemporary civilization, the accomplishment of most goals is outsourced to impersonal collectives, such as the state or larger corporations. Everything from food production and distribution to education is now relegated to faceless, anonymous entities, which require little or no social interaction using modern-day technologies.

Additionally, these modern-day technologies, they empower the individual. They render the individual self-sufficient, profoundly independent of others.

Social distancing started long before the virus. 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.

People enter relationships with dread. Relationships create anxiety, depression, and heartbreak. Everyone knows this. No one wants it anymore.

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 and emotional damage, emotional deprivation on all the parties involved.

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

We have created an environment which not only is not conducive to relationships, it actively sabotages them, undermines relationships. This is an anti-relationship environment, perhaps because people make money from lonely people.

If you are on social media, Facebook and Twitter and YouTube compete with your daughter and with your wife for attention. They don't want you to have a daughter or a wife. They want you to be all the time online.

This is a vicious circle that is difficult to break.

Traumatized by past encounters, past liaisons, past relationships, people tend to avoid future ones, deeply wounded, deeply wounded. We are all bleeding profusely. People are rendered less tolerant, more hypervigilant, more defensive, more aggressive, even, I would say, paranoid.

These are traits that bode ill for the capacity of people 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 verisimilitudes and confabulations of social conduct.

Social media is a social media. We all gravitate towards the delusional and fantastic universe of our own making, as we find the real one, too harsh and too hurtful to endure.

Modern life is so taxing, so onerous, it so depletes the individual scarce resources that little is left to accommodate the needs of social integrals.

We don't have energy for other people. We hardly have enough energy for ourselves.

Reality is constructed. Society and civilization have been constructed in a way that they consume the last drop of blood we have, leaving nothing to us, to ourselves and to our loved ones.

People's energy, funds and will whittle a stretch to the breaking point by the often conflicting demands of mere survival in post-industrial, post-modern societies.

Furthermore, the sublimation of instinctual urges to pair, libido, associate, urges to mingle and fraternize, is both encouraged and rewarded, not the urges, their sublimation.

We are encouraged to ignore our instincts, our intuitions, our drives, our urges. We are encouraged to substitute for them.

Don't date, surf, don't talk to a real-life person, talk to your Facebook friends.

Substitutes exist for all social functions, including sex, pornography, including child reread, single parenthood, and all these substitutes render social institutions obsolete and superfluous.

Social give and take became awkward and highly inefficient.

The individual me has emerged as the organizing principle in human affairs, supplanting the collective us, the idolatry of the individual, inexorably, ineluctably results in the malignant forms of narcissism that are so prevalent, indeed, all pervasive.

Wherever we look, our world is becoming more and more narcissistic, ironically, as it becomes more and more schizoid, for a very simple reason.

These are two sides, two facets, of the very, very same deleterious coin.

It's a bad path we have chosen.

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