Hidden Paranoia in the Narcissistic Personality

We all feel suspicious of others from time to time. Suspicion is a vague feeling that something is wrong without any specific evidence that this is true.

Paranoia has different qualities. The word “paranoia” has a Greek origin, meaning “madness.” Paranoia involves severe feelings of anxiety that are driven by delusional thoughts that the individual is being persecuted and will be harmed. There are psychotic illnesses in which the major feature is paranoia. However, there are non-psychotic individuals who suffer from paranoid delusions who are not psychotic. This is the case with Paranoid Personality Disorder Cmd368 sports.

The narcissist has a hidden paranoia. His inner world is dark and dangerous. With all the bravado, grandiosity, extraordinary self entitlement and self confidence, deep inside the narcissist feels a gnawing emptiness combined with paranoia. He lives in fear and dread. The narcissist both creates many real enemies due to his ruthlessness and complete disregard for others. He also propagates imagined enemies whom he fears will destroy him . “He (the narcissist) functions in an atmosphere of constant siege…he is paranoid, tormented by anticipated attacks of perceived enemies.”

Narcissists have special enemies that they dislike or hate with great intensity. They are called betes noires. Bete noire comes from the French, meaning black beast. The narcissist fears that associates will cheat him, form a cabal, bring him down financially, and destroy his power position and stature in the world. The narcissist is always looking over his shoulder to see who is gaining on him.

From his earliest years the narcissist never developed a feeling of what psychiatrist Erik Erikson named “basic Trust”, which is pivotal to a feeling of psychological security. The narcissist never felt that he could count on anyone. He often was adored and catered to by one or both parents. But there were high expectations and specific conditions placed on the budding narcissist. He was molded by a parent(s) to be the son or daughter that represented their vision of perfection. Unable to be free to become a spontaneous, unique individual, the narcissist beneath the surface, feels enraged and helpless. The narcissist’s paranoia stems from unconscious aggressive internal parental images that he carries inside.

The narcissist trusts no one, feels completely alone, and is incapable of intimacy. Ultimately, narcissists are tragic figures: they can neither give or receive love.

Linda Martinez-Lewi holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a licensed marriage family therapist. She has extensive clinical training in narcissistic and borderline disorders. Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi is the author of the book “Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Life.”

Dr. Martinez-Lewi has worked for many years with patients experiencing psychological problems as a result of personal and professional relationships with narcissistic personality disorders. She has clinical experience treating patients suffering from childhood trauma, anxiety disorders, and depression.

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