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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I'm wondering if my mother suffered from narcissistic

Customer Question

I'm wondering if my mother suffered from narcissistic ignoring personality disorder? She made a big issue of having a traumatic war (in Germany) and yet I only found out as an adult that it was my father who was the refugee (Jewish, he was one of the last children out of Czechoslovakia when the Nazis arrived.) Her parents were divorced, she undoubtedly did have a troubled childhood (her mother was diagnosed with paranoia). She used to talk incessantly throughout my childhood particularly to staff (she was wealthy).
I was an observer and considered myself to have had a happy childhood. I didn't notice much was awry at the time except she did beat us pretty badly for no reason it seemed as we were all extremely well behaved. She spent all her time shopping and traveling. I was sent away to boarding school and she rarely kept in touch. Didn't even tell me about menstruation! Very hands off.
It was only when I became severely disabled through illness at 23 (I'm now 50) I was shocked that my mother was so uncaring. I hadn't noticed before. Bedridden for years, she had very little to do with me. I got cancer, she didn't visit. I had 2 kids, she visited one of them once - yet travelled the world incessantly on luxury holidays (she never worked). She was a great pleasure-seeker and got through the family fortune on expensive holidays and crazy gifts to 'friends'.
As a parent it is only now that I realise how different a mother can be as I love being with my kids and listening to them. I feel very connected with them. I'm very much hoping I'm not narcissistic though!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area.

Hello and thank you for your question. It would be impossible to provide an official diagnosis for your mother without a face to face evaluation, but based on what you are describing in terms of her behavior, it does seem like there is a high probability she suffers from traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Your mother appeared selfish, lacked empathy, controlling, and failed to take responsibility for her own actions which are all symptoms of NPD. You did not mention much in terms of grandiosity, but I imagine she may have had those symptoms as well given some of your description. Individuals with NPD rarely think anything is wrong with them and instead feel that everyone else is wrong, so there is a strong lack of insight with this disorder. Because you have good insight and you have a strong sense of connection/empathy to others there is a very low likelihood you would suffer from NPD.

I hope this answers your question and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.

*****YOU ARE ALMOST FINISHED…EXPERTS ONLY GET COMPENSATED FOR EACH POSITIVE RATING, SO I WOULD APPRECIATE IF YOU COULD GENTLY MASH ONE OF THE 3, 4, 5 SMILEY FACES/STARS THAT YOU SEE BEFORE YOU GO. THANK YOU SO MUCH AND IT WAS MY PLEASURE HELPING YOU WITH YOUR ISSUE*****

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I should add that I have 2 sisters and a brother - no relationship with them at all. Very unsympathetic and competitive with me. All divorced and not especially happy. Brother: major pleasure seeker, sister a bit crazy and very troubled kids - other sister - a bit of a fantasist (don't mean to sound critical of them, but want to add information). I'm happily married now for 30 years with 2 lovely boys. But do feel a lot of pain about my mother (now living abroad with alzheimer's) as I can't visit her - she moved to Italy even though she knew I'd be too ill to ever visit from the UK. Have definitely felt a major lack of a female figure in my life since adulthood. Thank you for your response!
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry that you do not have a relationship with your siblings, nor your mother. I can understand how difficult that must be for you. It is possible that some of your siblings may have some NPD traits as there is a strong genetic component to this disorder, but of course many adult siblings do not get a long for a host of different reasons as well.

*****YOU ARE ALMOST FINISHED…EXPERTS ONLY GET COMPENSATED FOR EACH POSITIVE RATING, SO I WOULD APPRECIATE IF YOU COULD GENTLY MASH ONE OF THE 3, 4, 5 SMILEY FACES/STARS THAT YOU SEE BEFORE YOU GO. THANK YOU SO MUCH AND IT WAS MY PLEASURE HELPING YOU WITH YOUR ISSUE*****

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your prompt reply but I'd like another Expert please - I am looking for a more tailored response and feel yours is somewhat generic - no offense! Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Well you asked a simple question on if your mother could be a narcissist, which I answered. I would be happy to provide more details on this if you like, so please ask me more question specific on this issue that you would like answers on as I would be happy to provide more assistance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** like you to open my question up to other Experts.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

No problem, you are more than welcome to do that. Good luck to you finding the answer you are looking for :)

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