Cure or No Cure?
Has reading that there is no cure for narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) made you feel depressed, anxious, frightened, desperate or even reckless? If it has, you are not alone.
Considering that the professionals are so divided on diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options, I don’t understand how it can be stated so flatly, and by so many people, that NPD is incurable and that to save yourself you must cut all contact with anyone who suffering from this disorder.
Cause or Symptom?
Another reason I believe this wrong is that the symptoms of narcissism and codependence are so common in people having relationship problems, that they could even be described as the symptoms of relationship breakdown, rather than the cause of it.
Back when I was first informed about Steve having a disorder, I felt like I was going out of my mind (and have spoken with many others who have felt the same way) by the lack of compassion, insight, hope, courtesy or any sensible advice given to me. The same people who led me to understand that Steve was suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, were the ones who advocated most strongly that I must leave him and not ever speak to him again. Later, when Steve got better, these same people said he must not have been NPD after all and that he probably only had tendencies and that I was just lucky(?)
This concerns me in a number of ways:
- When our family needed help, not one person on or offline, said there was a chance Steve only had tendencies (or that he might improve). Quite the opposite, it was suggested that I was delusional and lacking in self esteem if I didn’t leave him. If I had gone ahead and followed this advice (leaving with no contact), it would have been a devastating psychological, emotional and financial blow for us. One that would have shattered our family. It would have been a decision that the individual members of our family may NEVER have recovered from.
- I have sometimes been accused of spreading false hope, and these same critics claim that my message is dangerous. But when I see stories in the paper every day about domestic murders and crimes, always committed after one partner has left, I believe our message is much more responsible on every level. We don’t pretend that the steps we offer are easy, but whether the narcissistic partner’s behaviour improves or not, our advice will leave their family in a much stronger and safer position than they were previously.
- To those who say that I was lucky! I talked to Steve about this earlier today. I asked: “Do you think it was luck that changed things or that I was lucky in any way with what I went through with you?” He just laughed and said “Kim, it was not luck, it was you; I was the lucky one!”
Narcissism & Codependency = Patterns of behaviour that hurt families . . .
If you are in an emotionally abusive or violent relationship it doesn’t matter if your partner has been diagnosed with NPD or just has tendencies (and most sensible experts admit that they cannot tell the difference between the two anyway). What matters is that the steps we offer will help you improve your safety, whether your partner’s behaviour changes or not. I cannot promise their behaviour will change. I can tell you however that Steve has changed and over the past 10 years we have helped tens of thousands of people to protect themselves and many to keep their family intact when previously they were told there was no hope.
Our ebooks will give you clear steps of what actions you will need
to take to get out of the corner you may now find yourself in.
For there to be any hope of change, you will need to protect yourself; become a very strong parental figure; fill in some developmental gaps and heal some distortions in your ability to regulate your emotions. Just like parenting, if you want to improve a child’s behaviour and character you will need to change your own behaviour first.
The Cause of Family Dysfunction
If your partner is violent or committing crimes, you may need to get help from the police, apply for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) and/or have your partner arrested and put in jail. We don’t pretend you can avoid this. It is important that partners of people who are emotionally reactive and violent stop protecting them from the consequences of their aggression. However this is very different than saying this person cannot be cured and that you should just run away! Divorce will not stop someone’s criminal behaviour, but jail (or the very real threat of jail) certainly may!
Beware of Phoney Experts!
In my journey I discovered that the online self-professed ‘expert’ on narcissistic personality disorder, who has been influencing the medical profession for years claiming there is no cure, is no expert at all. Rather, he is a man with a mental illness who may know about symptoms, but is dangerously wrong about what the family of someone with NPD should do to protect themselves and get help. (It was a police officer who initially informed me that this online self-professed ‘expert’ was wrong).
An international documentary has been made about this man and all the people and families he has hurt. In this program, he admits on camera that his PhD is from a ‘grist mill’ (not an accredited Medical Doctorate). So please be warned. This supposed expert has many online sites and has influenced many people with his delusional notions about NPD. Be discerning when researching information about this disorder. Your family is too precious to risk!