The False Self in Borderline Personality Disorder and Pathological Narcissism

A woman sitting alone on a green couch waiting for something

What is the relationship between Borderline Personality Disorder and Pathological Narcissism? It is the False Self in Borderlines that houses pathological narcissism?

Narcissism, pathological narcissism, is not just found in those who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Those with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) also wrestle with it as I outline in my newest ebook, available now The Shadows and Echoes of Self - The False Self Born Out of the Core Wound of Abandonment in Borderline Personality Disorder.

The core wound of abandonment that is experienced by those with Borderline Personality Disorder is, in fact central to what causes and shapes Borderline Personality Disorder. The pathological narcissism of the borderline false self is at the core of almost everything borderline.

“Otto Kernberg uses the term Narcissism to refer to the role of self in the regulation of self esteem He regarded normal, infantile Narcissism to be dependent on the affirmation of others and the acquisition of desirable and appealing objects, which should later develop into healthy, mature, self esteem.

This healthy Narcissism depends upon an integrated sense of self, that incorporates images of the internalized affirmation of those close to us, that is regulated by the super ego and ego ideal, internal mental structures that assure us of our worth and that we deserve our own respect. When infantile Narcissism fails to develop in this healthy adult form it becomes a pathology.”

(Source: Wikipedia)

The fact that, according to Kernberg, “healthy narcissism depends upon an integrated sense of self” is the first major distinguishing factor for those who are diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Those who have BPD – borderlines – lack a known or developed self and have no sense of a self that they could integrate anything with or into.

The reality of the arrested emotional development of those with BPD, caused, largely, if not entirely, by what I have termed the core wound of abandonment results in the psychological death of the authentic self that was emerging pre-abandonment trauma.

The borderline false self rises out of the void left by the evacuation of the authentic self that has left a space where that self was meant to be.

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A.J. Mahari lives in Ontario, Canada. She is an Author, Speaker, Counselor, Life Coach, BPD/Loved Ones Coach, NPD/Loved Ones Coach, Mental Health Coach, and Self-Improvement Coach. She has been described by many as an insightful and astute student of life’s ups and downs. A.J. is a Mental Health Professional. A.J. writes from her own life experience and education. You can purchase any of A.J.'s 35+ Ebooks or Written and Narrated 45+ Audio Programs or work with her as a your Counselor or Life Coach. She is a sexual abuse survivor and recovered from Borderline Personality Disorder many years ago. She is also an adult living with (“high functioning”) Asperger's Syndrome.

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