ADHD PROGRESSING INTO NARCISSISTIC ANTI-SOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER?
YES, IT IS PROBABLE…
UNDERSTANDING THESE CONDITIONS, PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND EARLY TREATMENT ARE THE KEY TO HELP THESE PATIENTS LEAD A HEALTHIER LIFE.
The narcissist, for example, “is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention.” The same is true of the antisocial person. The narcissist evidences “self-dramatization.”
People who are antisocial can also be quite dramatic. In fact, some count on drama to distract others from their real intentions. And some appear dramatic as they play out their perception that they are the center of the universe around which all else should revolve.
The DSMIV cites as an “essential feature” of the narcissist a “lack ofempathythat begins by early childhood and is present in a variety of contexts.” If lack of empathy isn’t a hallmark of an antisocial individual, then what is (again see the DSMIV “reckless disregard for the safety of others”)?
Empathy impacts 100% of all of our lives. Whether we think about it or not, empathy has a large impact on our interactions with others. Also, to some extent, most all of us crave empathy from those we love and admire most.Empathy plays a significant role in many aspects of lives. It possesses an importance in our workplaces. If practiced well, empathy can drive better relationships at home. In short, we need empathy, and we all need to understand its impact and use.
You can spot a narcissist when you find someone completely preoccupied with himself or herself.Narcissists typically lack the ability to feel the feelings of others. They focus too much on themselves. They don’t have the skills to identify with other’s feelings.Why do you need to know about narcissism? Because in order to build empathy, you need to work against the behaviors and characteristics opposed to it. Additionally, in talking about ADHD and empathy, narcissism or its appearance plays a part.
- connection between ADHD and empathy
ADHD related behaviors in some respects mirror traits associated with narcissistic individuals. In fact, some researchers believe that some cases of ADHD could rather be instances of childhood narcissism. Such instances, though, most likely are not very common. We, here at FastBraiin, would recommend seeing a qualified professional to correctly identify ADHD.
The core issue remains the same, though: some ADHD behaviors can look similar to narcissism or a lack of empathy or awareness. For instance, the impulsivity seen in ADHD can appear as an indifference to others. Similarly, bursts of hyperactivity or tantrums related to ADHD could appear as an infatuation with oneself and lack of perception of others. Short attention spans can appear that ADHD individuals just don’t identify or care about others.
All these things do not have to be the case, but unfortunately the connection between ADHD and empathy often is negative. As a result, this can lead to larger problems in relationships for individuals with ADHD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children and teens and can continue into adulthood. ADHDis the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention.
- ADHD in childhood
(J Clin Psychiatry. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2009 Sep 1. This research was supported by NIMH grant# RO1 MH60698.)
The principal finding of this study is that individuals diagnosed with ADHDin childhood were more likely to be diagnosed with a personality disorder in late adolescence. Specifically, diagnoses of Avoidant, Narcissistic, Borderline and/or Antisocial personality disorders are more common. These results raise questions about the nature of the relationship between ADHD and personality disorders. One possibility is that ADHD is a precursor to particular personality disorders, and might be thought of as a child and adolescent prodromal phase of the behaviors typically associated with particular personality disorders. Similar to the predictive validity of early odd behaviors in individuals who later develop schizophrenia, early inattention and overactivity may foretell later affective instability and irritability in some individuals. Similarly, it may be that personality disorders are the natural outcome of ADHD in some segment of the population, and that ADHD in childhood/adolescence interacts with other factors to produce this outcome. A more controversial possibility is that ADHD and certain personality disorders may represent different phenotypic manifestations of the same disorder. Recent data have convincingly indicated that ADHD is a chronic or enduring condition which is associated with a maladaptive pattern of behavior that causes impairment in multiple environments (4,6,49). This more current view, which is quite distinct from earlier beliefs that it was a childhood condition, has much in common with the conceptualization of personality disorders in adults. This alternative hypothesis is supported by the high degree of similarity in symptoms of several personality disorders identified in this study (e.g., Paranoid, Borderline, and Antisocial personality disorders) and ADHD: hypersensitivity to interpersonal cues, poor self-regulation, affective instability, and impaired social relationships. These features are present in children as well, yet the focus on inattention, impulsivity and overactivity may make it seem that the conditions are more distinct than they actually are.Although these different hypotheses offer intriguing explanations for the high rate of comorbidity of ADHD and certain personality disorders in adulthood, two important factors must be considered: multifinality and equifinality. Multifinality is the process through which individuals who experience a particular course of events or circumstances have different outcomes, whereas equifinality is the process wherein individuals experiencing a diverse set of circumstances have the same or highly similar outcomes. From the multifinality perspective, not all individuals with either childhood ADHD or persistent ADHD in this study met diagnostic criteria for a personality disorder by late adolescence. Thus, other contributing factors clearly play a role in the development of personality disorders in an ADHD population.
In summary, these data suggest that as compared to controls, individuals diagnosed with ADHD during childhood are at greater risk for a diagnosis of a personality disorder in late adolescence. Specifically, we found elevated rates of Narcissistic, Paranoid, Borderline, and Antisocial personality disorders. Further, Antisocial and Paranoid personality disorder appears to emerge primarily when ADHD is persistent. Clinicians treating young adults should be mindful of possible co-occurring ADHD and personality disorders. In particular, those individuals who experience poor outcomes associated with strained interpersonal relationships may be at increased risk to also meet criteria for a personality disorder diagnosis. Identifying and providing treatment for behaviors related to personality disorders may improve overall level of functioning and reduce impairment.
- ADHD Prevalence in Adults
Longitudinal studies of children with ADHD have shown that the disorder frequently persists into adulthood, and is associated with significant life-long functional impairment, and increased risk of adverse outcomes. Approximately 65% of those with childhood ADHD have severe persisting symptoms into adulthood. There is the suggestion that ADHD in childhood leads to a risk for developing psychopathology in adulthood. Among those adults with ADHD, many are likely to have co-existing disorders. Those may include various forms of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders, learning disorders, personality disorders, and substance use disorders. Various addictive behaviours such as problem gambling, hypersexuality, and overspending may also co-exist. With respect to why there might be an overlap between adult ADHD and personality disorder in some persons, there is the suggestion of a theoretical connection between ADHD symptoms and personality traits and, by extension, personality disorder. By definition, personality traits are the longstanding and pervasive ways in which individuals typically think, feel, act, the beliefs about themselves, the world, and other people, and how they relate to other people. A personality disorder is when such personality traits are rigid, inflexible, maladaptive, and cause significant conflict with others and/or functional impairment in key areas of the person’s life. One possibility is that ADHD may alter personality and thus, for some individuals, may increase the risk for personality disorder later in development. Another possibility is that diagnostically, both may share overlapping diagnostic criteria. Perhaps both disorders may co-exist because of common neurobiological risk factors and/or environmental risk factors. Perhaps, for some individuals, adverse early experiences with fear or anger, or early temperament, may also contribute to such overlap.
- ADHD progression to NARCISSISTIC ANTI-SOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER:
- Turning ADHD and Empathy into a Strength
ADHD and empathy doesn’t have to be a relationship killer. As we’ve discussed, unfortunately, many people with ADHD tend to have a lack of empathy. This can be addressed, though, through identifying and communicating about each other’s feelings.
If you see a disconnect between ADHD and empathy in your child or in your spouse, don’t give up hope. Seek help for the ADHD symptoms. Be patient, and show compassion.
Most importantly, though, work together to help build empathy in your loved one with ADHD. Ultimately, you too can turn ADHD and empathy into a strength.
- TREATING ADHD EARLY ON
Treatment for ADHD usually includes:
Medicine. This activates the brain’s ability to pay attention, slow down, and use more self-control.
Behavior therapy. Therapists can help kids develop the social, emotional, and planning skills that are lagging with ADHD.
Parent coaching. Through coaching, parents learn the best ways to respond to behavior difficulties that are part of ADHD.
School support. Teachers can help kids with ADHD do well and enjoy school more.
The right treatment helps ADHD improve. Parents and teachers can teach younger kids to get better at managing their attention, behavior, and emotions. As they grow older, kids should learn to improve their own attention and self-control.
When ADHD is not treated, it can be hard for kids to succeed.This may lead to low self-esteem, depression, oppositional behavior, school failure, risk-taking behavior, or family conflict.
If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, chances are good that your doctor has prescribed a medication — typically a stimulant — and suggested cognitive behavioral therapy or even a life coach. She might also have suggested a good pocket planner.
Treating ADHD in adults requires a multi-pronged approach. Symptoms are generally treated with medicine.
But it’s not just a matter of taking a pill. There is work to be done on practical stuff, such as getting organized, and on other emotional issues that often come with the territory.
(ADHD; http://caddac.ca/adhd/wp-content… ; Childhood ADHD and the Emergence of Personality Disorders in Adolescence: A Prospective Follow-up Study;What Is ADHD?;ADHD and Empathy: Identifying and Resolving the Disconnect;ADHD and Empathy: Identifying and Resolving the Disconnect)
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