Sunday, May 13, 2007

Alcoholism, Narcissism, and Psychopathology

Alcoholism, Narcissism, and Psychopathology

by Gary Forrest

ISBN-10: 1568213778
ISBN-13: 978-1568213774

Customer Reviews

Sam Vaknin author of Malignant Self Love, 06/27/2003
The Addicted Narcissist
To attribute alcoholism to narcissistic regression is both commonplace and controversial. But there a less convoluted clinical 'handle': Pathological narcissism is an addiction to narcissistic supply, the narcissist's drug of choice. It is, therefore, not surprising that other addictive and reckless behaviors - workaholism, alcoholism, drug abuse, pathological gambling, compulsory shopping, or reckless driving - piggyback on this primary dependence. The narcissist - like other types of addicts - derives pleasure from these exploits. But they also sustain and enhance his grandiose fantasies as 'unique', 'superior', 'entitled', and 'chosen'. They place him above the laws and pressures of the mundane and away from the humiliating and sobering demands of reality. They render him the center of attention - but also place him in 'splendid isolation' from the madding and inferior crowd. Such compulsory and wild pursuits provide a psychological exoskeleton. They are a substitute to quotidian existence. They afford the narcissist with an agenda, with timetables, goals, and faux achievements. The narcissist's addictive behaviors take his mind off his inherent limitations, inevitable failures, painful and much-feared rejections, and the grandiosity gap - the abyss between the image he projects (the False Self) and the injurious truth. They relieve his anxiety and resolve the tension between his unrealistic expectations and inflated self-image - and his incommensurate achievements, position, status, recognition, intelligence, wealth, and physique. Thus, there is no point in treating the dependence and recklessness of the narcissist without first treating the underlying personality disorder. The narcissist's addictions serve deeply ingrained emotional needs. They intermesh seamlessly with the pathological structure of his disorganized personality, with his character faults, and primitive defense mechanisms. Hence the importance of this book: it unflinchingly exposes the roots of alcoholism and attributes it to an identity disturbance, paranoia, sadomasochism and obsessive- compulsive disorders. The author's rich experience is evident in each and every page. A documentary treasure trove - if not a theoretical masterpiece. Sam Vaknin, author of 'Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited'.

Narcissistic Need and Entitlement Deprivation, July 2, 2001
Reviewer: Douglas Wayne (Wise, Virginia United States)
At age fifty-two, I am absolutely in awe of this book which hit me like a sledge hammer; it is holographic in its presentation, and speaks to me very deeply, personally, and professionally.

Each chapter is a multi-faceted reflection of the whole, and it pretty much sums up my personal experiences in growing up in a constantly relocating military family within a global environment during the post-World War II and Cold War period. If I had to write a personal byline on this text I would catagorize it in this generational fashion: Paint Your Wagon; The Unforgiven; and, Apocalypse Now; i.e., The American Experience of Conquest!

This text made me realize that my own life-long personal quest as the young captain, the trained assassin sent upriver on a covert mission to terminate the colonel, was really a personal paradox to be reconsidered: the young questing captain, in my personal interpretation of a time paradox, was realistically and symbolically the son of the colonel he was seaching out to terminate. The captain was the son that the remote, alienated, and estranged colonel-father, who had become distraught by the deeper woundings of a continuing warfare and conquest, wanted his son to know and understand him personally at the rivers end! This text allowed me to do this personally.

In conclusion, it is necessary for one to understand that "The Destructive Narcissitic Pattern" (described by Nina W. Brown) of the generational circumstance, the handing down, does not reguire drinking at this level. One can be quite numbed by The Great Depression, World War II, and Vietnam and, by one's sense and mission of self-importance through...Narcissitic Need and Entitlement Deprivation.