Narcissist vs. Psychopath
Thought this deserved a separate thread. It's so pregnant with thoughts & similarities about those we ran across in our experiences.
Here's another part of his Blog that clarifies these terms. It certainly explains to me the different types I have come across in the 29 year experience in my former Bible Cult/Church.
Narcissist vs. Psychopath - Dr. Sam Vaknin
5:41 AM PDT, July 15, 2006
We all heard the terms "psychopath" or "sociopath". These are the old names for a patient with the Antisocial Personality Disorder (AsPD). It is hard to distinguish narcissists from psychopaths. The latter may simply be a less inhibited and less grandiose form of the former. Indeed, the DSM V Committee is considering to abolish this distinction altogether.
Still, there are some important nuances setting the two disorders apart:
As opposed to most narcissists, psychopaths are either unable or unwilling to control their impulses or to delay gratification. They use their rage to control people and manipulate them into submission.
Psychopaths, like narcissists, lack empathy but many of them are also sadistic: they take pleasure in inflicting pain on their victims or in deceiving them. They even find it funny!
Psychopaths are far less able to form interpersonal relationships, even the twisted and tragic relationships that are the staple of the narcissist.
Both the psychopath and the narcissist disregard society, its conventions, social cues and social treaties. But the psychopath carries this disdain to the extreme and is likely to be a scheming, calculated, ruthless, and callous career criminal. Psychopaths are deliberately and gleefully evil while narcissists are absent-mindedly and incidentally evil.
From my book "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited":
"As opposed to what Scott Peck says, narcissists are not evil – they lack the intention to cause harm (mens rea). As Millon notes, certain narcissists 'incorporate moral values into their exaggerated sense of superiority. Here, moral laxity is seen (by the narcissist) as evidence of inferiority, and it is those who are unable to remain morally pure who are looked upon with contempt.' (Millon, Th., Davis, R. - Personality Disorders in Modern Life - John Wiley and Sons, 2000). Narcissists are simply indifferent, callous and careless in their conduct and in their treatment of others. Their abusive conduct is off-handed and absent-minded, not calculated and premeditated like the psychopath's."
Psychopaths really do not need other people while narcissists are addicted to narcissistic supply (the admiration, attention, and envy of others).
Millon and Davis (supra) add (p. 299-300):
"When the egocentricity, lack of empathy, and sense of superiority of the narcissist cross-fertilize with the impulsivity, deceitfulness, and criminal tendencies of the antisocial, the result is a psychopath, an individual who seeks the gratification of selfish impulses through any means without empathy or remorse."
More about the Narcissistic Personality Disorder - click on this link:
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Proposed Amended Criteria for the Narcissistic Personality Disorder
* Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements);
* Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;
* Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);
* Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply);
* Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment;
* Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;
* Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;
* Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel the same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;
* Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "above the law", and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.
Reg "If we want to set our lives right and find peace, it is not the tolerant attitude of others that will do it for us. It will come about, rather, by our learning how to show compassion to them..... If we do not seek liberation from our obsessions, then becoming more withdrawn and less social may even make us more blind to them, since it can mask them." - John Cassian (He lived between 360 and 430 A.D. He was a monk in Bethlehem and Egypt.)