Is There a Cure for Narcissism?
Although many would disagree with me I believe anything can be cured. I am a fan of Louise Hay's book "You Can Heal Your Life" where she talks about how incurable means "to cure from within." This means that when a doctor says something is incurable that means the doctors don't have a medicine or treatment for it that is proven to work. However it doesn't mean that the patient himself can't find a cure from his own inner resources.
Every day people are proving the modern medicine wrong in their belief that something cannot be cured. People are curing themselves of cancer, heart disease and diabetes on a daily basis. People are being cured of mental diseases, personality disorders and just about everything there is a name for.
I have a girlfriend who grew up with a severely abusive narcissistic father. The result was MPD or Multiple Personality Disorder. She claims to have had some 2000 different personalities living in her head. Now she is completely cured and a beacon of hope and support for others who have been through abuse.
If someone can be cured of MPD that is this severe, than one can certainly be cured of NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. However the individual with NPD has to want to change. He has to have hit some point in his life where the pain of staying the same outweighs the fear of change or in this case the fear of facing the truth.
I think the problem we have here is that most people seeking the change are the victims of narcissistic abuse, not the narcissist's themselves. The victims entertain fantasies of approaching the narcissist and saying "honey, I think you might have a problem, or you may have narcissistic personality disorder, and I need you to get some help for this little problem or I'm going to leave."
The fantasy is that the narcissist will say "yes, honey, you are absolutely right, I've always felt something was deeply wrong with me and I want to change. I will schedule an appointment with the therapist this week."
HA! Not likely, although I'm sure some readers have heard a similar story in the narcissist's attempt to gain control of the relationship.
The more likely reaction will be the wrath of narcissistic rage being unleashed upon you. You have just threatened his security, which is the illusion he lives in. You are likely to be the subject of attack on just why it is that YOU are the one with the problem and he will deliver his wrath in such a way you begin to believe it.
As victims we must look upon a narcissist as a child, in a sense. He doesn't live in our reality nor can he hear our words. You must understand that he has carefully constructed his world to protect him. This means keep danger out! Any threat to his self-image is danger!
When I work with my clients, victims of narcissistic abuse, I encourage them to focus on themselves rather than the narcissist. This is where true change happens. You cannot hope to change him but you can change yourself. This means refusing to tolerate abuse on any level and taking control of your experiences.
Most victims of abuse will find themselves leaving, eventually, when they realize they cannot change the person they are with. By the time I hear from the victims they are worn down, lost, feeling used, depleted and in the deepest pain they have ever felt. They have nothing left to give.
Often times the victims are so needy, fragile and sensitive that they are themselves displaying narcissistic behavior. I have had many people who claim to be victims of narcissistic abuse, write to me in extremely disrespectful and attacking tones putting down my work, my books, my philosophies etc. I had one woman tell me, after reading my book that she felt taken advantage of, cheated, like a sucker and informed me what price she felt my book should be sold for. Fortunately, for me, she was one cold letter in the middle of hundreds of warm letters from people who really valued my work.
So the question many have is "How do I know I am not the narcissist?" When I was in therapy I asked my Therapist the same question. She told me "if you have to ask the question than it is highly unlikely that you are a narcissist because narcissistic personalities don't think the problem is with them."
Victims of abuse often feel the problem is with them and this is re-enforced on a regular basis by the abuser.
Perhaps the reason we often feel that we are the one with the problem is because we seem to be suffering a whole lot more, we seem to be obsessed, weak, insecure, needy, fragile, sensitive and observing behavior in ourselves that we don't like. Meanwhile the narcissist has his strong, confident front that next to us, causes us to feel our light is pretty dim, in fact nearly stuffed out altogether.
Not to say that victims of narcissistic abuse don't have a problem. If you are a victim of consistant abuse then you do have a problem. The problem is you continue to allow yourself to be abused and the question would be why? This is where you need to get help for yourself. Find out why you are allowing it, why you are giving him your power and your energy.
The more you can take your focus off the narcissist and put it on yourself the better you will be. The more you focus on trying to cure the narcissist the more trouble you will find yourself in.
There are people who claim to have cured the narcissism in their relationships and I feel in some cases, it is entirely possible. Nearly anything is possible. But change begins from within and if you are a victim it is time to stop being a victim and start being a victor. Start finding ways to empower yourself, stop allowing the abuse, get help, get your power back!
If you are a narcissist looking for a cure! Good for you! You can set the example for those to come.
I have had several people who claim to be narcissists that find their way to my sites and my support groups in effort to understand themselves better. I don't allow narcissism in the support forums for the safety of those who I am trying to help, however just being approached tells me that there are people out there with NPD looking for help.
I will be doing more research in this area and post my findings on this page. Please check back.