I saw this post (which was reposted by someone else) over at Psychforums. It’s written by a man named Tom Crown, who described the stages he went through when undergoing psychotherapy for his NPD. I have no idea whether he is cured or not.
The stages remind me of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Realizing that one is a Narc is the same as realizing that something called “Sex” have been going around in the world for ages, and it is not, as you have previously thought, a religion , nor was it, as you sometimes guessed , a philosophy, but something totally different from that, and every body knows about it and enjoys it and you don’t.
It is like realizing that you are blind, and that other people could see.
Of course, in the beginning, this realization is a terrible shock, especially for a person whose most valued possession is his exaggerated and glorified self-image. facing that amount of “humiliating ignorance” shocks you.
Thinking about it deeper, and realizing what being a Narc really means, and how one’s lack of empathy must have harmed him and wasted many chances in life from him, and blinded him from lots of opportunities and made him lose where one could’ve easily won, all that had a hell of an effect on me when i found out I had NPD. This developed through four stages so far:
Anger ( at the world and myself and the books and the people who assure me that I have NDP and thus confirm my lethal ignorance)
Fear ( of this unknown world which I was scared of in the first place because it was filled by mean and unpredictable people, and now I add to this that even the little I thought i knew about their strange ways is lacking, and that I probably know nothing at all, and hence, until I learn what empathy is and catch up with what i have been missing, I am in GREAT DANGER)
Shame ( because after calming down and allowing my brain to work again, I realise that it is not the world in general and every one in it in particular that is mean, unethical and unpredictable, but that it is actually me who fits those descriptions)
Fighting Back ( feeling that I owe my self-image(my only true love) a lot.I turned him down by allowing myself to be deluded and failing to be a perfect person entitled to all the good things in life. instead of achieving this, I only achieved the shameful status of an NPD. Therefore, I must gather my strength and fight back this NPD imperfection thing until it is fully obliterated. if NPD means I am haughty I will force myself to learn modesty. If it means I am a compulsive liar, I would force myself to be more honest and direct than anyone alive, etc.
Of course in the first three stages, it is very unwise to expect a Narc to be rational when you reveal his true essence to him/her. At that stage, it is more of an accusation, or a threat, or a nightmare he/she wants to escape from than an attempt to help. Of course he/she would not be in the mode to share that shame.
In the fourth stage however, things would get better, and he/she would be far more appreciative for your (or anybody’s) help to “win the next battle”.