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NTS - Narcissistic Trauma Syndrome

By Nanook - Posted on 14 November 2010

[Nanook is talking with George. NB: Narcissistic Trauma Syndrome is NOT another term for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is a new variation on Narcissism.]

Narcissistic Trauma Syndrome

The second part is self denial. That is blocking off truth in their own mind that they just don’t want to hear. It is a major component of a group of mental disorders called Narcissistic Personality Disorders, the primary one I call Narcissistic Trauma Syndrome. Unfortunately, the government is full of people with those problems.”

"I’m sure, when you say ‘full of them’, you’re talking about a few percent, right?"

“NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! I meant what I said. The process we have in place to select senators, congressmen and all the appointed offices is a magnet for these kind of people.”

"Did I hear you right when you said these people have some kind of disorder? I think you called it Narcissistic Trauma Syndrome? Father Vincent told me to talk to you about that."

"That’s right. Due to traumatic situations in their childhood, a person who has NTS has a brain which has REWIRED itself to create protective rationalizations. These protective mental tricks do not allow them to look at their own actions and see any faults. They are blind to any faults in themselves. This has a lot of repercussions. Because of this mental shield, any faults that they do see have to be attributed to someone else. This combination makes them totally incapable of visualizing the needs of others. They are EXACTLY the wrong type of people to leading any society. Yet, ironically, their other traits make them ideal to be selected as leaders in our culture.

The key to understanding Narcissism in all its forms is to understand that it occurs when a person is subject to great emotional trauma, primarily in early childhood. They are treated as if they can’t do anything right. So their brain rewires itself to block out the person’s ability to look inside at their own feelings and emotions. Since they can’t look inside, they can’t find value in themselves. So, the Narcissist looks outside to replace that image and fill their need for self esteem. But, again, the key to understanding Narcissism is seeing its foundation in loss of self; not in its symptoms which appear as being self centered.”

"I get it. That’s where the story about the Greek hero Narcissus comes in. Narcissus was not in love with himself. He fell in love with an image in the water. So people with NTS are not really centered on themselves. They are centered on images of people they want to be like or what they think they should be. Once they pick these images, I guess they essentially become those images."

“Exactly. And they are DRIVEN to protect the image which is reflected into themselves that they believe is good.”

"But Father Vincent also said what makes the disease so devastating is that they can never find piece. The drive is a bottomless pit."

“That’s right. It is a bottomless pit because becoming the outside image does nothing to heal the loss of value inside themselves. The pain of that loss will keep driving them to look for more.”

"So, these people are very driven, then?"

“Exactly. And that drive makes a lot of these people exceptional. They are the world’s leading musicians, artists, writers, etcetera.”

"But that seems like a good thing?"

“Sure. If you look at the results with Single Sentence Logic. The problem, that makes this a disease, is that a NORMAL person can only have one image. And if a Narcissist believes that they have chosen the ONE correct image, then what can they think of all the others that are different from them?”

"Ah. I see. So, they don’t tend to see value in others then?"

“Exactly! UNLESS the other person supports them without exception. They will treat their admirers and supports very well as long as they are rigidly loyal. But if a supporter gets out of line, they are very quickly cut off.”

"It must be tough to be a supporter in that position?"

“More than you know. The Narcissist is driven to perfection. Because life is so complex, eventually they will make blunders. But they can’t attribute those blunders to themselves. Any faults that they do see have to be attributed to someone else. This means the supports have to bear the load of all the Narcissist’s faults even though those supporters aren’t guilty of them.”

"Ah. I see."

“This is what leads to the Narcissist Zen problem, which is stated: ‘WHY IS IT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU’. The problem arises because in confrontations, the Narcissist and their supporter are both always confronted with this question about the other person. The supporter wants to know why the Narcissist must ALWAYS get their way. And Narcissists must ALWAYS get their way. But the Narcissist will take even the slightest disagreement as a major affront. When this happens, they see a ‘red cape in front of a bull’ and exaggerate the supporter’s disagreement. The Narcissist then sees the supporter as ALWAYS raising disagreements and wants to know why the support must ALWAYS have THEIR way. It isn’t true, of course, but that’s how the Narcissist sees it.

The social problem this creates is that it makes the Narcissist totally incapable of visualizing the needs of others. That means, they are almost never able to sustain a close relationship. But also, they are EXACTLY the wrong type of people to lead any society. Yet the process we use to select and elect leaders is fine tuned to favor just these kind of people.

Let me read something related to the NTS problem from a book by Eric Hoffer – The Passionate State of Mind.”

"Hmmm . . . I think Father Vincent read some things from that book to me."

“You know that Father V has problems with Hoffer because Hoffer does not support religion?”

"Yeah, he said that. But he thought the material was instructive anyway."

“I admire him for being open minded about that. OK. Here we go:

“Page 1: Passions usually have their roots in that which is blemished, crippled, incomplete and insecure within us. The passionate attitude is less a response to stimuli from without than an emanation of an inner dissatisfaction."

"Are you sure you didn’t pay him to write that to support your point."

“Page 2: A poignant dissatisfaction, whatever be its cause, is at bottom a dissatisfaction with ourselves. It is surprising how much hardship and humiliation a man will endure without bitterness when he has not the least doubt about his worth or when he is so integrated with others that he is not aware of a separate self."

"So, he’s saying that if I feel dissatisfied about how something is going on around here, that I should take a look inside myself?"

“Exactly! Buy the book and do your homework.”

“Page 3: In every passionate pursuit, the pursuit counts more than the object pursued."

"I guess the important word here is PASSION?"

“Exactly. And interpret this statement in relation to politics. Politicians openly admit that their primary goal is to get elected. Sure, they lay out issues. But these are gladly compromised to get votes rather than explored for truth. And what’s most sad about this is that the citizens know about this and go along with it.”

“Page 4: It seems that we are most busy when we do not do the one thing we ought to do; most greedy when we cannot have the one thing we really want; most hurried when we can never arrive; most self-righteous when irrevocably in the wrong. There is apparently a link between excess and unattainability."

"Sounds like the Seven Deadly Sins to me."

“Exactly. I could talk for an hour about each of these observations.”

“Page 6: To believe that if we could but have this or that we would be happy is to suppress the realization that the cause of our unhappiness is in our inadequate and blemished selves. Excessive desire is thus a means of suppressing our sense of worthlessness.”

“Page 36: Give people pride and they’ll live on bread and water, bless their exploiters and even die for them …”

“Ironically, this especially applies to false pride for things which can’t be measured.”

“Page 59: To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth. Though it is held before our eyes, pushed under our noses, rammed down our throats – we know it not.

Page 60: Vehemence is the expression of a blind effort to support and uphold something that can never stand on its own.
Page 62: Intolerance is the ‘Do Not Touch’ sign on something that cannot bear touching. We do not mind having our hair ruffled, but we will not tolerate any familiarity with the toupee which covers our baldness."

Mental Illness - psychosis

"So you’re saying that this kind of passion is typically involved in NTS. And, you’re saying it’s a true mental illness."

"Exactly! People with NTS are not in touch with reality.”

"But how do they function on a day to day basis?"

"I think you are making an assumption about mental illness. I think you believe that mentally ill people are incompetent. That is, that they always wave their arms around, see ghosts and can’t even walk in a straight line. That’s the Hollywood movie version of mental illness. People with Schizophrenia can be like that. But that’s only a very small portion of what mental illness is about.

A mental illness is defined as a health condition that changes a person’s thinking, feelings, or behavior and that causes the person distress and difficulty in functioning. The more severe forms of mental illness are referred to as PSYCHOSES. A psychosis is defined as a major mental illness characterized by severe symptoms such as DELUSIONS, HALLUCINATIONS, and an INABILITY TO EVALUATE REALITY in an OBJECTIVE MANNER.

Think about this definition a little. This is how the worst mental illnesses are defined.”

Rich and powerful with NTS

We were talking about government leaders. That automatically means rich and powerful people. And most of these people have certifiable Narcissistic Personality Disorders.

Let me be precise in this last observation. They may not have the hallucination symptoms, but they do have the delusions and inability to evaluate reality in an objective manner. So for them, their brain blocks out the plight of the poor. Their brain gives them a hundred rationalizations why they are better than everyone else and why they deserve their wealth and power. And what makes this problem boarder on being criminal is that these people take their justifications and behaviors to such an excess. An $800 million annual compensation is a prime example. Seeking re-election from inside prison is another. Giving legislators special immunities from the laws that govern everyone else is another.

So, society has to be extremely careful about letting that type of person get power and make decisions. The problem is, society has set up the political rules so that it is exactly those people who do end up in power positions. This is not a good situation.”

"That’s the understatement of the year. Why don’t we just get them out of there?"

“HOW? The foxes are guarding the henhouse!”