Sunday, October 14, 2012

Is Your Mother a Narcissistic Personality and a Histrionic Personality

There are cases in which a child has a mother that has a dual diagnosis. She is both a narcissistic personality and a histrionic personality disorder. The histrionic is noted by her compulsive need to be the center of attention at all times. She is given to fits of temper and is highly dramatic. These individuals are highly  impulsive and no one can predict their next exact behavior. They  disrupt parties, family gatherings and public events without batting an eye. That is how emotionally labile they are. Combined with the HPD diagnosis you have a narcissistic personality disorder. Completely self absorbed, lacking empathy, incapable of emotional intimacy, selfish, self centered, grandiose, manipulative, exploitative--that is at the core of the narcissistic personality. Being the child of this mother is extremely difficult. There is no emotional or psychological bond or security with this parent. The child is not cared for or cherished. She grows up without emotional attachment to the mother and her deepest needs to be cherished and treated as a unique individual are overlooked. Mother is too immersed in herself to pay appropriate attention to her son or daughter.

In many cases these mothers both histrionic and narcissistic unconsciously project their self hatred on to their children. They have no insight into themselves. These are fixed personalities and do not change.  If there is a loving responsible other parent, the child has a chance to go through the normal stages of development and become a stable individual.

If you now know that you mother was a dual diagnosis histrionic personality and narcissistic personality---don't blame yourself and begin to think she could have been any different through any of your interventions. You did not make her disturbed. She had a long history of psychopathology long before you came on the scene.  Other members of the family are likely to pressure you into believing that mom is normal, just a little eccentric. You know that "There she goes again" attitude. This is not true. Mother suffers from a dual diagnosis which is very serious. Children who survive these mothers psychologically are extraordinary and have great courage. Sometimes there are other family members who take on the role of surrogate parent and provide the child with much needed stability. Some children raise themselves, seeking the families of friends, learning to keep themselves together with their minds in solitude, study, art and other creative pursuits.

This is one of the most difficult maternal backgrounds. Give yourself tremendous credit. In many cases high quality psychotherapy can be very helpful. Be sure to interview several therapists to find one that is both clinically skilled, highly empathic and who is neither narcissistic nor histrionic. Take very good care of yourself. Visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi,Ph.D.

Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

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