Friday, 12 January 2018 03:29

What is the cure for paranoia, delusion disorder and narcissism?

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WHAT IS THE CURE FOR DELUSION DISORDER, PARANOIA AND NARCISSISM?

Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD

To the best of my knowledge no one has figured out a way to cure delusion disorder, aka paranoia. There is no medication for it, either. Let me try to shade some light on the phenomenon and suggest how it can be dealt with.

The term paranoia is Greek. It means that the person has rejected his real self and invented an ideal, perfect self that she wants to become and identified with that alternative ideal self. In effect, the paranoid person wears a mask, and uses the mask to cover her real self and thinks, talks and behaves as if she is the mask, the ideal wished for self.

Generally, in childhood, the person felt that there is something wrong with her body, such as a pained body; in childhood she rejected her bodily self and used her imagination to come up with an alternative bodily self and now sees herself as the imaginary ideal self.

The imaginary self is made to be totally bright (with genius level IQ), totally powerful and totally wealthy; it has all the positive attributes of whatever society likes (in America the ideal self is made a white person, of course, for  black people are seen as not good enough).

From childhood the paranoid person rejects his real self and acts as if he is his ideal self. You can see this pattern of behavior in even six year old paranoid, deluded children. They are uncomfortable with their actual selves but have an inner obsessive-compulsive urge to deny their real selves and be like imaginary powerful selves.

Psychoanalysts like Alfred Adler and Karen Horney called this process in children neurotic. Alfred Adler said that the neurotic child feels inferior, rejects that supposed inferior self and seeks a superior self. (See Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution, New York: Ayer, 1987).

Karen Horney says that the neurotic child was probably socially rejected and told that she is no good (as white folks tell black folks and women); she then rejects her supposed no good self, does not like her real self and, instead, uses her mind to invent an imaginary ideal, powerful self and henceforth tries to think and behave from that fantasy self.  (See Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: Norton, 1950.)

The ideal fantasy self is the preferred self and is presented to other people to relate to. If they collude with the neurotic child and validate the fantasy ideal, powerful self she feels good if not she feels angry at them.

As long as the child identifies with the powerful self she feels all-knowing and does not take directions from other people. She does not listen to her parents, school teachers and other significant and authority figures in her life; she feels that she knows more than her parents and teachers.

She does not go to school for why go to school to go listen to teachers who do not know anything relative to herself; she sees herself a  genius with IQ of 160 (even though she writes  at eight grade level... the specific woman that motivated me to write this piece dropped out of school at the eight grade).

The deluded person responds to all stimuli from the big self-perspective.  This person generally drops out of the workforce and lives in the margins of society; outside society, in social isolation she fancies herself superior to all people.

She avoids going to school or working for at school or work she has to compete and be realistically evaluated by her peers; to avoid been negatively evaluated she withdraws from society and outside school and work feels superior to all people; hers is a superiority that is not proven but merely assumed by her grandiose ego self.

Therapists generally avoid paranoid persons because such persons feel that they know more than therapists and do not take corrections from therapists. Thus, therapists do not waste their time on them and leave them to go on pretending that they are god.

Psychotherapists know that paranoid, deluded persons lack good self-esteem, positive self-confidence; paranoids feel like they are rubbish; their mask of superiority merely hides their negative self-assessment from their immediate awareness.

If you push the paranoid person you find that she is depressed from feeling that life is not worth living, the belief that life is pointless and meaningless and her desire to correct it by giving her life bogus meaning and grandiose purpose that cannot be achieved in the real world.

(See, William Meissner, The Paranoid Process; Psychotherapy for the Paranoid Process, both published by Aronson, New York; David Shapiro, Autonomy and the Rigid Character, published by Basic Books, New York; David Swanson, The Paranoid, New York, Mcghlofflin and Houghton; and, of course, The American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition, 2013, sections on paranoid personality disorder, delusion disorder and narcissistic personality disorder; you may also want to see the sections on schizophrenia and mania, although we are not talking about schizophrenia and Bipolar affective disorder in this piece; there is no hallucination in delusion disorder and personality disorders whereas there is hallucination in schizophrenia and mania.)

Most deluded persons have paranoid personality disorder. In paranoid personality the person feels totally inadequate and inferior and compensates with false sense of adequacy. The person feels that the rest of the world is out to get him and is guarded and defensive; he is suspicious all the time and does not trust anyone.

Interestingly, some paranoid personalities make it to high social positions. President Nixon was a paranoid personality, so was Stalin and Hitler. The man in the present White House, Donald Trump has a combination of paranoia and narcissism.

In narcissism one feels better than other people and wants all people to admire one and uses people to achieve what one wants and discard them when they are no longer useful to one; the narcissist exploits people and throws them away; he does not know love for he operates from pure ego...the ego is the opposite of love; he marries beautiful wives as parlor trophies to decorate his house but does not love them; he divorces them when they begin to age and marry younger, beautiful women, as Trump does. Trump is afraid that cooks who work in the White House kitchen could poison him through the food they cook for him so he prefers to call out for food, especially McDonald's hamburger and fries.

Please see attached material on delusion disorder, paranoid and narcissistic personality disorders.

THE CURE FOR PARANOIA IS TO HAVE NO SEPARATED EGO SELF, AS GAUTAMA BUDDHA RECOGNIZED 2500 YEARS AGO

What is the cure for paranoia and delusion disorder? Paranoia is rooted in an attempt to have a separated ego self, a big separated ego self.

The cure lies in not desiring to have a separated self, and not have a big separated self. The deluded person must stop desiring and defending a grandiose ego self and if possible not defend any kind of ego self and have no ego-separated self at all.

This is actually what Gautama Buddha taught 2500 years ago. Buddhists ask one to let go of one's ego self for it is said to be a false self. One is supposed to empty one's mind of the ego separated self and let one's mind be a void.

The purpose of Buddhist, Hindu and Zen and Tao meditation is to jettison the ego self and attain no ego self, to have void where one hitherto felt that one had a separated ego self.

When the ego self is let go one experiences what Buddhists call Nirvana, Hindus call Samadhi, and Zen Calls Satori and Christian mystics call the union of the son and his father, God. In that experience one feels indescribably blissful; in it one has returned to one's real self and real home in God and stopped living in the false ego self in the imaginary world of space, time and matter.

When the ego is let go, Buddhism teaches that another self, one that is spiritual now operates from one; one that knows itself to be one with all people, is equal with all people and is peaceful and happy.

The paranoid, deluded person would like to have a big self and in the process feels anxiety and depression so if she lets go of any wish to be superior to other persons and have no ego self she feels anxiety free and feels happy (depression and fear and gotten rid of in God).

ONE MUST NOT RELATE TO OTHER PERSONS FROM THE IDEAL, PERFECT, BIG SELF

The healed paranoid person must not relate to all human beings from the ego; she must not respond to social stimuli with her old ego self; she must stay calm and say nothing and do nothing instead of responding from the big ego self that boasts of its imaginary superiority to other people when it opens its mouth or writes stuff.

When stimulus is not responded to from the grandiose-self one's higher self-responds to it in such a manner that one feels equal and the same with all people and the result is that one feels peaceful and happy.

As is well known there is a phenomenon called group paranoia. Many Igbos are paranoid and narcissistic. Many Igbo Nigerians have delusion disorder. When you talk to them they tell you that they are more powerful than you, are richer than you and more intelligent than you.  They are extremely boastful people. Humility is absent from their vocabulary; humility is the sign of mental health.

Igbos engage in these delusional and narcissistic behaviors because they rejected their real selves; they consider their real selves inferior and identify with imaginary, mentally invented ideal selves; they relate to people from that false powerful self.

From the perspective of their imaginary, exalted and deluded selves, Igbos look down on other Nigerians and people in general; since people know that all human beings, black and white, man and woman are the same and coequal they tend to hate Igbos for looking down on them.

Occasionally, people who Igbos feel superior to attack and even kill them or socially marginalize them by not giving them jobs.

If you want to get along with people and have them like you, you must love and respect all of them; the moment you look down on a human being you have made for you an eternal enemy for no son of God will ever accept you as superior to him. We are all existentially equal.

DISCUSSION

Most human beings have normal egos; that is, they have separated ego selves and desire some ideals and perfections but not excessively, not as much as neurotic, paranoid- deluded persons do.

Every human being has a bit of paranoia and delusion disorder and narcissism. Mystics tell us that to be a human being is to be paranoid and deluded and narcissistic; they tell us that when we let go of our deluded egos we realize that we are the sons of God, the parts of God, the Christ self. As Christ self, what I call unified self, we feel permanent, changeless and eternal, peaceful and happy.

CONCLUSION

Paranoia, Narcissism, delusion disorder and all mental disorders are masks we wear to avoid knowledge of our real selves.

Our real selves are spirit. We are all parts of one unified spirit self, what religionists call God.  Mental disorders, for our present purposes, paranoia, delusion and narcissism are mechanisms with which we fancy ourselves separated from Unified Self and from other persons, and deceive ourselves into seeming superior to other people and to God.

When the paranoid, deluded and narcissistic person lets go of the mask of delusion, paranoia and narcissism (and all other mental disorders) he experiences unified self and in it feels peaceful and happy.

In unified self-all human beings are healthy. Thus, the cure for paranoia, delusion and narcissism is to jettison the ego separated self, big or small and revert to living from our real selves.

Our real selves are loving selves. When we love all selves we are mentally healthy but when we feel superior to other people, as deluded and or narcissistic persons do, we are mentally unhealthy.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD

January 11, 2018

Delusional Disorder Symptoms

By Steve Bressert, Ph.D.
~ 2 min read

Delusional disorder is characterized by the presence of either bizarre or non-bizarre delusions which have persisted for at least one month. Non-bizarre delusions typically are beliefs of something occurring in a person's life which is not out of the realm of possibility. For example, the person may believe their significant other is cheating on them, that someone close to them is about to die, a friend is really a government agent, etc. All of these situations could be true or possible, but the person suffering from this disorder knows them not to be (e.g., through fact-checking, third-person confirmation, etc.). Delusions are deemed bizarre if they are clearly implausible, not understandable, and not derived from ordinary life experiences (e.g., an individual's belief that a stranger has removed his or her internal organs and replaced them with someone else's organs without leaving any wounds or scars). Delusions that express a loss of control over mind or body are generally considered to be bizarre and reflect a lower degree of insight and a stronger conviction to hold such belief compared to when they are non-bizarre. Accordingly, if an individual has bizarre delusions, a clinician will specify "with bizarre content" when documenting the delusional disorder.

People who have this disorder generally don't experience a marked impairment in their daily functioning in a social, occupational, or other important setting. Outward behavior is not noticeably bizarre or objectively characterized as out-of-the-ordinary.

The delusions cannot be better accounted for by another disorder, such as schizophrenia, which is also characterized by delusions (which are bizarre).  The delusions also cannot be better accounted for by a mood disorder, if the mood disturbances have been relatively brief. The lifetime prevalence of delusional disorder has been estimated at around 0.2%.

Specific Diagnostic Criteria

Delusions lasting for at least 1 month's duration.

Criterion A for schizophrenia has never been met. Note: Tactile and olfactory hallucinations may be present in delusional disorder if they are related to the delusional theme. Criterion A of schizophrenia requires two (or more) of the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1-month period (or less if successfully treated):

delusions

hallucinations

disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence)

grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior

negative symptoms, i.e., affective flattening, alogia, or avolition

Note: Criteria A of schizophrenia requires only one symptom if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person's behavior or thoughts, or two or more voices conversing with each other.

Apart from the impact of the delusion(s) or its ramifications, functioning is not markedly impaired and behavior is not obviously odd or bizarre.

If mood episodes have occurred concurrently with delusions, their total duration has been brief relative to the duration of the delusional periods.

The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.

Specify type (the following types are assigned based on the predominant delusional theme):

Erotomanic Type: delusions that another person, usually of higher status, is in love with the individual

Grandiose Type: delusions of inflated worth, power, knowledge, identity, or special relationship to a deity or famous person

Jealous Type: delusions that the individual's sexual partner is unfaithful

Persecutory Type: delusions that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way

Somatic Type: delusions that the person has some physical defect or general medical condition

Mixed Type: delusions characteristic of more than one of the above types but no one theme predominates

Unspecified Type

For more on treatment, please see treatment for delusional disorder

Paranoid Personality Disorder

By Steve Bressert, Ph.D.
~ 4 min read

People with paranoid personality disorder are generally characterized by having a long-standing pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others.  A person with paranoid personality disorder will nearly always believe that other people's motives are suspect or even malevolent.

Individuals with this disorder assume that other people will exploit, harm, or deceive them, even if no evidence exists to support this expectation. While it is fairly normal for everyone to have some degree of paranoia about certain situations in their lives (such as worry about an impending set of layoffs at work), people with paranoid personality disorder take this to an extreme — it pervades virtually every professional and personal relationship they have.

Individuals with paranoid personality disorder are generally difficult to get along with and often have problems with close relationships. Their excessive suspiciousness and hostility may be expressed in overt argumentativeness, in recurrent complaining, or by quiet, apparently hostile aloofness. Because they are hypervigilant for potential threats, they may act in a guarded, secretive, or devious manner and appear to be "cold" and lacking in tender feelings. Although they may appear to be objective, rational, and unemotional, they more often display a labile range of affect, with hostile, stubborn, and sarcastic expressions predominating. Their combative and suspicious nature may elicit a hostile response in others, which then serves to confirm their original expectations.

Because individuals with paranoid personality disorder lack trust in others, they have an excessive need to be self-sufficient and a strong sense of autonomy. They also need to have a high degree of control over those around them. They are often rigid, critical of others, and unable to collaborate, and they have great difficulty accepting criticism.

A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates from the norm of the individual's culture. The pattern is seen in two or more of the following areas: cognition; affect; interpersonal functioning; or impulse control. The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations. It typically leads to significant distress or impairment in social, work or other areas of functioning. The pattern is stable and of long duration, and its onset can be traced back to early adulthood or adolescence.

Symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder

Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent. This usually begins in early adulthood and presents in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

Suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her

Is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates

Is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her

Reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events

Persistently bears grudges (i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights)

Perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others, and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack

Have recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner

Paranoid personality disorder generally isn't diagnosed when another psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia or a bipolar or depressive disorder with psychotic features, has already been diagnosed in the person.

Because personality disorders describe long-standing and enduring patterns of behavior, they are most often diagnosed in adulthood. It is uncommon for them to be diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, because a child or teen is under constant development, personality changes, and maturation. However, if it is diagnosed in a child or teen, the features must have been present for at least 1 year.

Paranoid personality disorder is more prevalent in males than females, and occurs somewhere between 2.3 and 4.4 percent in the general population.

Like most personality disorders, paranoid personality disorder typically will decrease in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in their 40s or 50s.

How is Paranoid Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

Personality disorders such as paranoid personality disorder are typically diagnosed by a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Family physicians and general practitioners are generally not trained or well-equipped to make this type of psychological diagnosis. So while you can initially consult a family physician about this problem, they should refer you to a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. There is no laboratory, blood, or genetic tests that are used to diagnose paranoid personality disorder.

Many people with paranoid personality disorder don't seek out treatment. People with personality disorders, in general, do not often seek out treatment until the disorder starts to significantly interfere or otherwise impact a person's life. This most often happens when a person's coping resources are stretched too thin to deal with stress or other life events.

A diagnosis for paranoid personality disorder is made by a mental health professional comparing your symptoms and life history with those listed here. They will make a determination whether your symptoms meet the criteria necessary for a personality disorder diagnosis.

Causes of Paranoid Personality Disorder

Researchers today don't know what causes paranoid personality disorder; however, there are many theories about the possible causes.  Most professionals subscribe to a biopsychosocial model of causation — that is, the causes are likely due to biological and genetic factors, social factors (such as how a person interacts in their early development with their family and friends and other children), and psychological factors (the individual's personality and temperament, shaped by their environment and learned coping skills to deal with stress). This suggests that no single factor is responsible — rather, it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important. If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be "passed down" to their children.

Treatment of Paranoid Personality Disorder

Treatment of paranoid personality disorder typically involves long-term psychotherapy with a therapist that has experience in treating this kind of personality disorder. Medications may also be prescribed to help with specific troubling and debilitating symptoms.

For more information about treatment, please see paranoid personality disorder treatment.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

By Steve Bressert, Ph.D.
~ 3 min read

The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include: grandiose sense of importance, preoccupation with unlimited success, belief that one is special and unique, exploitative of others, lack of empathy, arrogance, and jealousy of others. These symptoms cause significant distress in a person's life.

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody's life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today.

People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter's "rudeness" or "stupidity" or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician.

In layperson terms, someone with this disorder may be described simply as a "narcissist" or as someone with "narcissism." Both of these terms generally refer to someone with narcissistic personality disorder.

A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates from the norm of the individual's culture. The pattern is seen in two or more of the following areas: cognition; affect; interpersonal functioning; or impulse control. The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations. It typically leads to significant distress or impairment in social, work or other areas of functioning. The pattern is stable and of long duration, and its onset can be traced back to early adulthood or adolescence.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

Requires excessive admiration

Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Because personality disorders describe long-standing and enduring patterns of behavior, they are most often diagnosed in adulthood. It is uncommon for them to be diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, because a child or teen is under constant development, personality changes, and maturation. However, if it is diagnosed in a child or teen, the features must have been present for at least 1 year.

Narcissistic personality disorder is more prevalent in males than females and is thought to occur in around 6 percent of the general population, according to research.

Like most personality disorders, NPD typically will decrease in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in their 40s or 50s.

Learn more about the symptoms and characteristics of someone with narcissistic personality disorder.

How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

Personality disorders such as NPD are typically diagnosed by a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Family physicians and general practitioners are generally not trained or well-equipped to make this type of psychological diagnosis. So while you can initially consult a family physician about this problem, they should refer you to a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. There is no laboratory, blood, or genetic tests that are used to diagnose personality disorder.

Many people with this disorder don't seek out treatment. People with personality disorders, in general, do not often seek out treatment until the disorder starts to significantly interfere or otherwise impact a person's life. This most often happens when a person's coping resources are stretched too thin to deal with stress or other life events.

A diagnosis for narcissistic personality disorder is made by a mental health professional comparing your symptoms and life history with those listed here. They will make a determination whether your symptoms meet the criteria necessary for a personality disorder diagnosis.

Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Researchers today don't know what causes NPD. There are many theories, however, about the possible causes of narcissistic personality disorder. Most professionals subscribe to a biopsychosocial model of causation — that is, the causes are likely due to biological and genetic factors, social factors (such as how a person interacts in their early development with their family and friends and other children), and psychological factors (the individual's personality and temperament, shaped by their environment and learned coping skills to deal with stress). This suggests that no single factor is responsible — rather, it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important. If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be "passed down" to their children.

Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Treatment of narcissistic personality disorder typically involves long-term psychotherapy with a therapist that has experience in treating this kind of personality disorder. Medications may also be prescribed to help with specific troubling and debilitating symptoms.

For more information about treatment, please see narcissistic personality disorder treatment.

More Information about Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms

In-Depth: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

 

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176