Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Moments of clarity

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Question
Hi,
This may seem like a silly question given how complicated the ecosystem of the mind is, but here goes:

When people suffer extreme disorders (resulting in such charming stuff like cannibalism and sadism), do they sometimes have a moment of clarity? Are some able to recognise that they suffer an illness? Do they even see it as an illness, or are they incredulous or indifferent to such diagnoses? I know the lack of empathy plays a big part in one's willingness to hurt people. I suppose sociopaths could know but just not care. But, the psychopaths who draw pleasure from torture and death, that must be something else than mere indifference to others, correct? I guess what I'm asking is, can such people go through transient moments of awareness and fearfulness of the destructive nature of their own actions and thoughts? Or, is making lamp shades of human skin just a barrel of laughs 24/7?

Best regards,
Erlend

Answer
Dear Erlend,

Most of them are fully self-awarte most of the time. But self-awareness is not the same as healing and it doesn't always lead to ego-dystony (disliking oneself and one's actions). Read this:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/2.html

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/cannibalism.html

Projection and Projective Identification - Abuser in Denial

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissisticabuse/message/5002

Approach-Avoidance Repetition Complex and Fear of Intimacy

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissisticabuse/message/5000

The Narcissist or Psychopath Hates your Independence and Personal Autonomy

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissisticabuse/message/4959

Guilt? What guilt?

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissisticabuse/message/4931

Does the Narcissist Have a Multiple Personality (Dissociative Identity Disorder)?

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissisticabuse/message/4950

Narcissists as Drama Queens

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissisticabuse/message/4948

The Narcissist as Know-it-all

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissisticabuse/message/4945

Violent, Vindictive, Sadistic, and Psychopathic Narcissists

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/narcissisticabuse/message/4938

Take care.

Sam

http://www.youtube.com/samvaknin

http://www.youtube.com/vakninmusings

http://www.youtube.com/vakninsays

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

Expertise

Personality disorders. I have collaborated with Israeli psychologists and criminologists in the study of personality disorders and am the author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" (available from Barnes and Noble and as an e-book from my publisher). My expertise is: the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and pathological narcissism.

Experience

I am the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited. (number 1 bestseller in its category in Barnes and Noble). The Web site "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" was, for many years, an Open Directory Cool Site and a Psych-UK recommended Site. I am not a mental health professional though I am certified in psychological counseling techniques by Brainbench. I served as the editor of Mental Health Disorders categories in the Open Directory Project and on Mentalhelp.net. I have my own websites about the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and about relationships with abusive narcissists here and in HealthyPlace. You can read my work on many other Web sites: Mental Health Matters, Mental Health Sanctuary, Mental Health Today, Kathi's Mental Health Review and others. I also served as the author of the Personality Disorders topic, Narcissistic Personality Disorder topic, the Verbal and Emotional Abuse topic, and the Spousal Abuse and Domestic Violence topic, all four on Suite101, as well as the moderator of the Narcissistic Abuse Study List , the Toxic Relationships Study List, and other mailing lists (c. 7000 members). I wrote a column for Bellaonline on Narcissism and Abusive Relationships.

Publications
"Managing Investment Portfolios in States of Uncertainty", Limon Publishers, Tel-Aviv, 1988 "The Gambling Industry", Limon Publishers, Tel-Aviv, 1990 "Requesting My Loved One: Short Stories", Miskal-Yedioth Aharonot, Tel-Aviv, 1997 "The Suffering of Being Kafka” (electronic book of Hebrew and English Short Fiction), Prague, 1998-2004 "The Macedonian Economy at a Crossroads – On the Way to a Healthier Economy" (dialogues with Nikola Gruevski), Skopje, 1998 "The Exporter’s Pocketbook" Ministry of Trade, Republic of Macedonia, Skopje, 1999 "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited", Narcissus Publications, Prague, 1999-2007 (Read excerpts - click here) The Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Abuse in Relationships Series (E-books regarding relationships with abusive narcissists and psychopaths), Prague, 1999-2010 Personality Disorders Revisited (e-book about personality disorders), Prague, 2007 "After the Rain – How the West Lost the East", Narcissus Publications in association with Central Europe Review/CEENMI, Prague and Skopje, 2000 More than 30 e-books about psychology, international affairs, business and economics, philosophy, short fiction, and reference (free download here) Winner of numerous awards, among them Israel's Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978). Hundreds of professional articles in all fields of finance and economics, and numerous articles dealing with geopolitical and political economic issues published in both print and Web periodicals in many countries. Many appearances in the electronic and print media on subjects in psychology, philosophy, and the sciences, and concerning economic matters.

Education/Credentials
1970-1978: Completed nine semesters in the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. 1982-3: Ph.D. in Philosophy (dissertation: "Time Asymmetry Revisited") – California Miramar University (formerly: Pacific Western University), California, USA. 1982-5: Graduate of numerous courses in Finance Theory and International Trading in the UK and USA. Certified E-Commerce Concepts Analyst by Brainbench. Certified in Psychological Counselling Techniques by Brainbench. Certified Financial Analyst by Brainbench. Full proficiency in Hebrew and in English.

Awards and Honors
Winner of numerous awards, among them Israel's Council of Culture and Art Prize for Maiden Prose (1997), The Rotary Club Award for Social Studies (1976), and the Bilateral Relations Studies Award of the American Embassy in Israel (1978).

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