ADHD, or Childhood Narcissism?

In a typical American classroom, there are nearly as many diagnosable cases of ADHD as there are of the common cold. In 2008, researchers from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University found that almost 10 percent of children use cold remedies at any given time. The latest statistics out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the same proportion has ADHD.

 The rising number of ADHD cases over the past four decades is staggering. In the 1970s, a mere one percent of kids were considered ADHD. By the 1980s, three to five percent was the presumed rate, with steady increases into the 1990s. One eye-opening study showed that ADHD medications were being administered to as many as 17 percent of males in two school districts in southeastern Virginia in 1995.

With numbers like these, we have to wonder if aspects of the disorder parallel childhood itself. Many people recognize the symptoms associated with ADHD: problems listening, forgetfulness, distractibility, prematurely ending effortful tasks, excessive talking, fidgetiness, difficulties waiting one’s turn, and being action-oriented. Many also may note that these symptoms encapsulate behaviors and tendencies that most kids seem to find challenging. So what leads parents to dismiss a hunch that their child may be having difficulty acquiring effective social skills or may be slower to mature emotionally than most other kids and instead accept a diagnosis of ADHD?

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia]

All Bullies Are Narcissists

Late in October, a complaint was filed against Aledo High School football coach Tim Buchanan for encouraging his players to “bully” their opponents. The nature of the alleged bullying? A win so decisive as to humiliate the losing team, with a final score of 91 to zero. The unhappy parent of a player on the defeated team had filed the complaint following Aledo’s lopsided victory.

An investigation by the school district soon cleared Coach Buchanan, and interviews suggest he did what he could to minimize the rout, but the feelings of that disgruntled parent aren’t hard to understand, even if we don’t agree with the charges. It’s one thing to lose in competition, quite another to feel as if you’re a total loser on the field, so inept that you might as well not play. The complaining parent no doubt believed his son had been demoralized by this staggering loss, his self-esteem shattered by such a public demonstration of athletic inferiority.

But unlike Coach Buchanan and his players, the actual bully deliberately sets out to make his victim feel inferior. It helps to view the bully as a kind of competitor on the social playing field, one who strives not only to win but to triumph over the social losers and destroy their sense of self. As in competitive sport, where winners and losers exist in a binary relation to one another, the bully is yoked in identity to his victims. To a significant degree, his self-image depends upon having those losers to persecute: I am a winner because you are a loser.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

“It’s not surprising that men who post a lot of selfies and spend more time editing them are more narcissistic, but this is the first time it has actually been confirmed in a study,” said Jesse Fox, lead author of the study and assistant professor of communication at The Ohio State University.

“The more interesting finding is that they also score higher on this other anti-social personality trait, psychopathy, and are more prone to self-objectification.”

Editing photos was also related to higher levels of self-objectification, which has been rarely studied in heterosexual men, Fox said.

Self-objectification involves valuing yourself mainly for your appearance, rather than for other positive traits.

“We know that self-objectification leads to a lot of terrible things, like depression and eating disorders in women,” Fox said.

“With the growing use of social networks, everyone is more concerned with their appearance. That means self-objectification may become a bigger problem for men, as well as for women.”

While this study didn’t include women, Fox said she is currently conducting follow-up work that suggests the same findings found in this research also apply to women. Women who post more selfies also show higher levels of narcissism and psychopathy.


A day in the life of a teacher’s kid!!! I went to my mom’s school and taught the first graders how to paint and draw dinosaurs. 

The Amaro family and narcissim

Padre Sandunguero was one of the best and most real SVU eps of Warren Leight’s run, and, IMO, one of the only instances of a personal-based episode (as opposed to case-based) being well done.

One thing this episode absolutely nailed was the dynamics of a family with a narcissistic parent. As a person with a narcissistic mother, a lot of the episode details resounded with me. Even the ones I didn’t experience personally, I could relate to other people I’ve talked to in that situation.

Here are some traits and behaviors that prove Nick’s dad as a narcissist. (Also, please note that while some of the characteristics could apply to abusers who aren’t Ns, in the interest of time I won’t make that distinction. Other parts of his personality prove he’s committing narcissistic abuse specifically, not just “regular” abuse.)

1: Scapegoat/Golden Child

Nick’s father was horrible to him, but his sister escaped unscathed. N-parents are well known for their way of picking a child or children to be the Scapegoat, the one responsible for ALL their problems, and a Golden Child, the one who can do no wrong. The roles may be picked from birth for any reason or none at all, really, and the N may not even do this consciously.

The Scapegoat will be berated, abused, manipulated, insulted, and belittled for every little thing, while the GC will be lavished with gifts. (For an example of this dynamic, think of Harry Potter vs Dudley Dursley.) This is explicitly stated by Nick about himself and Sonya. While Nick would get beaten with a belt, Sonya got her extensive college debt paid for.

The SG is also infinitely more likely to realize the wrongness of the dynamics they were a part of, while the GC doesn’t see anything wrong with it, because they personally were never harmed.

This adds another benefit for the N-parent, because it pits the children against each other. While the kids fight, this leaves the N free of guilty, and they get to revel in the drama going on in their life. They will often encourage the siblings to fight.


FLEAS is a term that comes from the expression “lie with a dirty dog and you’ll get fleas”. It is, in short, the variety of harmful behaviors a person might have from growing up with an N-parent. This could be single traits like an affinity for manipulation, or even such identical features that they are a narcissist themselves.

Nick’s FLEA is his uncontrollable anger.

His sister, on the other hand, has the same skill at manipulation and using people, and lack of boundaries. For example, her stunt with Zara, promising she can be the flower girl before asking Nick’s permission, so that there is no way Nick can say no. She later tries to turn Zara against Nick to guilt him into not testifying.

GCs often have significantly worse FLEAS than SGs because while an SG usually realizes what happened was wrong, a GC often won’t, so they don’t try to resist the bad behavior they see. (Think about Dudley in Harry Potter, when Dumbledore says what they have inflicted on him is even worse than what they did to Harry.)

3. Gaslighting

This is possibly the most important, defining trait for Nick Sr.’s narcissism. The term gaslighting originally referred to a way to try and drive someone insane by slowly moving their living room furniture just a bit until they doubted their perception of reality so much that they became insane. But it’s easy to see how the term can be broadened and used more metaphorically.

Instead, gaslgihting refers here to any attempt to make a person doubt their own judgment, and narcissists are NOTORIOUS for it. In Padre Sandunguero Nick’s father did it blatantly, telling Nick his memories of being abused were all in his head, or that he was overreacting. His sister engaged in this too.

Nick’s dad also intentionally triggered him. This is a similar behavior, trying to destabilize Nick. He wants to break Nick down so that he will see that only Nick’s dad can be in the right. All of Nick’s family joins in attacking him mentally because he’s the one who isn’t going along with their lies.

It is puzzling why his mother did this, but she is an enabler. Even though she was being abused by him as sure as Nick was, the abuse made her align with Nick’s dad as a way of protecting herself, and this continued well after he left them. The enabler parent can also be dragged into the scapegoating behavior of the N, leading to…

4. Denial/Blame of the Whistleblower

Nick was the only one of his family willing to say that what happened, happened and that it was wrong. This made him a target for his family. Ns and their non-SG family live in denial that what’s happening is wrong. The others don’t have to admit they are living with a dangerous person, and the N doesn’t have to admit their behavior isn’t normal. So when someone forces them to confront the truth, that person is blamed. It’s their fault for making waves, not the fault of the N for making those problems to begin with.

5. Power

Ns really cannot handle a reality where they can’t control the people around them. In their minds, the world doesn’t revolve around them: they ARE the world. And the inhabitants of it are not their own people with their own wants and needs, but the N’s toys.

This is why N’s have no sense of boundaries. THEY get to decide your boundaries, not you, and if they decide you don’t need them, you ain’t getting any boundaries. N parents are notorious for banning closed/locked doors for this reason.

This is the reason for scapegoat/golden child dynamics. The scapegoat, for either obvious or impossible to see reasons, threatens them in some way. And the GC reinforces it. This is why the GC often goes along with the N’s plans. And why the scapegoat will often only be treated kindly when they DO act as a problem child. It reinforces that the N is right about the world.

So, as a means to their end, Ns are determined that the world will match how they see it. Even if they have to do a bit of “rearranging” to make it fit. When they violate boundaries, it’s their way of reminding others how important they are, in addition to creating drama, which they feed off of. It’s their way of reestablishing that THEY are the only thing that matters in this world and everyone else is damn lucky they’re allowed to live in it.

So, that last scene with Nick and Nick sr.? With all the gaslighting and invalidation of emotions? That’s an N hissy-fit. He can’t handle that Nick is right. He can’t handle that Nick won’t admit he is right. So he tries one last time to make Nick see he is “imagining” it. Then he tries to make Nick forgive him. Then he tries to tell Nick he’s just like him. Because Ns can sense like no other people what will upset someone. And he knows that with how much Nick hates him, there is nothing worse in the world for Nick to think about than being like him.

And then there’s the KISS. With that one little thing he has WON. He gets the last word. He shatters Nick and triggers him yet again. He invades his boundaries and establishes that those are for him to decide, not Nick. He gets to force his affection on Nick even when Nick has spent the whole episode trying to escape it. The look in Nick’s eyes after says it all. He’s completely defeated.

Nick’s father isn’t just abusive, he is a narcissistic abuser. And that’s why he was able to charm so many people despite being so horrible, and why he was so utterly manipulative the whole time.

I have to wonder if someone on the SVU writing staff might have been in this kind of situation themselves with one of their parents.

The Narcissist ~~ "In Love With The Enemy"

The Narcissist ~~ “In Love With The Enemy”

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Narcissus was a figure in Greek mythology; a hunter who was renowned for his incredible beauty. A mountain nymph named Echo feel in love with Narcissus, but he was preoccupied with himself and his unmatched beauty.

Emotionally unavailable, Narcissus broke Echo’s heart and as often happens…

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All joking aside I just bought so much liquor and I am about to impress the ladies…well lady… ( ok it’s my mom) I will impress me. I will be impressed. By my skills. I’ll be all “WOW I DIDNT KNOW I COULD DO THAT” and then I’ll be like “I was rooting for you the whole time” and then Kanye will appear and be like “That’s how it’s done baby! NARCISSIM AHHHHH!!”