Is There A Narcissist In Your Life?

 

‘He is a narcissist. He can only think about himself all the time.’

 

Narcissism has grown into becoming a commonly thrown across word these days. But what does it mean and who is a narcissist? The word took its origin in Greek mythology where a character named Narcissus fell in love with his own image that he saw reflected in a sea. Thereon, it has come to signify self-love, selfishness, and arrogance. However, narcissism has many shades from an extra healthy ego to a pathological grandiosity.

 

Who is a Narcissist?

The unhealthy end of the narcissistic spectrum can be characterized by-

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance
  • Preoccupations with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love
  • A belief that he/she is special and unique and only other special or high-status people or associations can understand them
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a sense of entitlement
  • Is interpersonally exploitative
  • Lacks empathy
  • If often envious of others or believes others are envious of him/her
  • Shows arrogant behaviors or attitudes

 

How to identify a narcissist in your life?

  • He/she would be the one basking in the center of attention. Narcissists dominate conversations. They love to talk about themselves and exaggerate their accomplishments. They embellish their stories in order to impress their audience.
  • Narcissists offer unsolicited advice all the time. They seize opportunities to demonstrate their superior knowledge.
  • He/she can’t wait in line and hates it when someone doesn’t pick up their phone. They believe they deserve special treatment and want their needs to be fulfilled immediately. They live life with a sense of entitlement and expect the world to revolve around them.
  • Narcissists have high ambitions. However, instead of working hard to get there, they believe they are destined for greatness. Narcissists believe they are naturally special and deserve only the best. They obsess over status symbols and belittle others who don’t quite fit in.
  • These persons are charming till the time you keep the praise and appreciation flowing. But as soon as you criticize them, the relationship is over.
  •  Narcissists are competitive. They need to win everywhere, be it in a video game, office or a lottery. Turning out superior to everybody else is important to them. Consequently, they can never celebrate anyone’s success because it would mean someone else won this time.
  • They are pros at keeping grudges since they take every criticism and disapproval very personally. If you insult them or criticize them, they will never forget it or get over it either. Most likely, they will take revenge either now or in the future.
  • They never own up to their faults. Blaming others is a defense mechanism they use almost immediately.
  • They lack empathy and take advantage of people by manipulating or bullying them.

 

What to do when there is a narcissist in your life?

Unfortunately, narcissism cannot be treated with a drug; there is no medication for it. However, being a personality trait or disorder, it can be treated with intensive specialized psychotherapy. But if he/she refuses to believe there is a problem and resists treatment, the most you can do is talk to a therapist about how you can make things work without him/her seeking therapy.

People who have narcissistic traits or personality are difficult to deal with and more so, to stay with. It is imperative that once you realize these symptoms in your loved ones, you sit down with them and show them some of the things that are happening in their lives and the reason behind it. If they acknowledge it, prepare them to see a therapist. If they don’t, you seek a therapist yourself to work out things at your end.

 

Reference

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

How Can I Help My Child Who Is Afflicted With ADHD?

Does your child always seem to be running around? Is he/she easily distracted by the least of sounds? Does he/she find it difficult to focus on anything?

Have you classified these symptoms as a result of your child merely being naughty or playful? Think again.

Kids are naughty, definitely. However, there are several ailments, which may come across as the child being naughty but are actually a form of disorder classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). One of these ailments is ADHD.

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) refers to three major symptoms; inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These can be detected in the following behaviors:

Inattention

Does your child:

  • make careless mistakes in schoolwork?
  • find it difficult to sustain attention in tasks or play?
  • fail to finish chores, schoolwork etc.?
  • seem distractible even when you are talking to him/ her?
  • have difficulty organizing tasks?
  • avoid tasks that require sustained effort?
  • often lose things?
  • gets easily distracted by external stimuli?
  • Is your child often forgetful?
Hyperactivity and Impulsivity

Does your child:

  • frequently fidget with hands, feet, or squirms in their seat?
  • often leave his/her seat during the class?
  • often run or climb when it is inappropriate?
  • talk excessively?
  • have a hard time waiting for the question to be completed before he/she blurts out an answer?
  • have difficulty waiting his/her turn?
  • often interrupt during conversations?
  • Is your child often ‘on the go’?

If your child seems to have at least six or more of the symptoms in any one (or both) areas, he/she might be suffering from attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder.

How to treat ADHD?

Treatment for ADHD helps manage symptoms. The treatment modalities consist of medication or therapy. Often, a combination of both is best.

Both the diagnosis and medication are best left to the psychiatrist. If you suspect, your child may have ADHD, it’s best to see a professional right away. The disorder can be easily diagnosed from ages 4 and up.

Additionally, think about therapy for your child. It can be highly valuable for both of you. The therapist will help you understand the disorder, train and educate you regarding your behavior with the child and work with your child on several aspects (i.e., behavior therapy, social skills training etc.).

Further, certain diets and supplements are also seen to help with the treatment. The treating team will guide you regarding the same.

ADHD can be a distressing condition, both for the child as well as the parents. However, with timely and effective treatment, it can be brought under control. Following these tips with your child will go a long way in changing his behavior in the long-term.

How can I help my child afflicted with ADHD?

Apart from consulting professionals and starting the treatment at the outset once the diagnosis has been made, you can also do some concrete things to help your child.

  • Nature and Exercise. Your child needs to spend time in nature. Playing outside for at least 30 minutes is essential. Other recommended activities are dance, gymnastics, skating, and martial arts. Encourage team sports.
  • Regular sleep. Ensure there are a regular sleep and wake times for your child. Turn off all electronics at least an hour prior to bed (i.e., phone, TV, computer, tablet). Also, limit physical activity a few hours before bedtime.
  • Nutrition. Schedule regular meals. Ensure your child has snacks every two to three hours. Include protein and carbohydrates in each meal. Check the levels of Zinc, Iron, and Magnesium. Boosting these would be of help. Add Omega-3 fatty acids to your child’s diet (i.e., tuna, fortified eggs, milk products, salmon, sardines).
  • Behavior Therapy. Set specific goals for your child. Make a daily timetable and stick to it. Provide rewards for a behavior well done and consequence for when the child fails to meet a pre-decided goal. Use the rewards and consequences consistently to ensure the long-term changes in behavior.
  • Consistency. Follow a routine. Set a time and place for everything. Establish a predictable routine for bed, meals, study, and play.
  • Organization. Encourage the child to put things in the same place every day. That will reduce the chances of losing things.
  • Manage distractions. Limit noise, turn off the TV, and clear the workspace for your child to do homework.
  • Limit choices. Don’t overwhelm or over-stimulate the child with too many options. Offer choice, but fewer.
  • Clarity and specificity. Be clear and specific in conversation with your child. Use brief directions to direct them.

 

References:

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Barkley, R. A. (Ed.). (2014). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment. New York: Guilford Publications.

3 Tips for a Family Day

Today here in Ontario we are celebrating “Family Day”. Family Day was passed by Dalton McGuinty in 2007, and the first one was observed in 2008.

People can define family in many ways; a group of people affiliated by consanguinity (by recognized birth), affinity (by marriage), or co-residence/shared consumption (see Nurture kinship). Members of the immediate family may include a spouse, parent, brother and sister, and son and daughter. Close friends can also be considered family, as well as close-knit communities you live in.

What Does Family Day Mean to You?

Understanding your own values (even going through an exercise of reciting your values is helpful), and knowing why you keep in touch, why you connect, and why you hold these relationships dear to you can provide insight to your motives of keeping family around.

Here are some tips for Family Day:

1)  Spend time with people you like. People that help you thrive, people that help you grow, and people that make you smile. Remember, you can choose who these are.

2)  Do something fun! Life is sweet! Spend some quality time getting to know your family more.

3)  Embrace some traditions, but make some new ones as well! Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

 

Happy Family Day!

Finding The Person For You

Finding the person for you can turn out to be pretty frustrating. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be. If you are single and looking for a long-term relationship or marriage but are having trouble finding a partner or spouse, here are some suggestions for you – and they don’t involve an Internet site.

Specify What Kind of Person You’re Looking For

What qualities do you value in a mate, and how do you judge whether a person has those qualities?
Do you have a clear picture of what your relationship with your partner will be like, including how you will treat each other, how you will deal with conflict, what your social life will look like? You see, the clearer your values are and the clearer your picture of the kind of person you are looking for, the likelier it is that you will end up with what you want.

Are You Allowing Yourself to Be Happy?

Do you have issues with your family of origin or other relationships that might prevent you from enjoying this kind of happiness?  Would some counseling or group support help eliminate these obstacles?

Are You the Right Person for What You’re Searching For?

Finally, do you live in a way that is consistent with what you want in a relationship? Because in the end, it is far more important to be the right person than it is to find the right person.

 

You can’t attract anyone who is better or more successful or kinder than you are comfortable with, or believe in your heart of hearts you deserve. If you work on your mental pictures and your growth as an individual first, you will recognize and be ready for the right person when that person comes along.

holiday stress

How to Reduce Stress Over Christmas and Holidays

The holiday season…

Cold weather ✓

Snow ✓

2013 coming to an end ✓

Deadlines approaching ✓

More family time ✓

More commitments ✓

Season of giving ✓

…as you know, the list keeps running. Most of our lives encompass some of these things right now. In my practice, I’m finding that there’s an increased level of stress and anxiety in people’s lives. Why does holiday stress happen?

Holiday Season and Stress

Research from the American Heart Association (2004) contends that this time of year there’s an increase in emotional stress about the holidays. Having to interact with family we may, or may not want to associate with, feeling the pressure of having to absorb financial pressures such as purchasing gifts, traveling, and/or entertaining. Also around this time of year, people are more likely to indulge in foods and beverages they may not usually consume. Consequently, if it interrupts normal healthy patterns, feelings of guilt or regret creep in.

5 tips for avoiding holiday stress:

  • Pick and choose your holiday activities
  • Ask for help
  • Say no when necessary
  • Everything in moderation
  • Set realistic expectations for the season

Try to relax and lower your expectations from yourself and from your family. You may find yourself enjoying holidays more than you expected.

 

References

Kloner, R. (2004). The “Merry Christmas Coronary” and “Happy New Year Heart Attack” Phenomenon. American Heart Association. Retrieved from: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/110/25/3744.short