Narcissistic Pathology & Delusions
The narcissistic personality collapses into persecutory delusions under stress – like the stress created by their public rejection during and surrounding divorce.
This is a known fact about narcissistic personality pathology, that it collapses into persecutory and paranoid delusions under stress.
Theodore Millon is considered among the top experts in personality disorder pathology. He is author of the Millon Clinical Multi-Axial Inventory (MCMI), considered the gold standard assessment instrument of personality disorder pathology.
Theodore Millon wrote the book on personality pathology. Look at the title of the book. Then listen to what he says about narcissistic personality pathology.
Millon. T. (2011). Disorders of personality: Introducing a DSM/ICD spectrum from normal to abnormal. Hoboken: Wiley.
From Millon: “Under conditions of unrelieved adversity and failure, narcissists may decompensate into paranoid disorders. Owing to their excessive use of fantasy mechanisms, they are disposed to misinterpret events and to construct delusional beliefs. Unwilling to accept constraints on their independence and unable to accept the viewpoints of others, narcissists may isolate themselves from the corrective effects of shared thinking. Alone, they may ruminate and weave their beliefs into a network of fanciful and totally invalid suspicions.” (Millon, 2011, pp. 407-408).
From Millon: “Among narcissists, delusions often take form after a serious challenge or setback has upset their image of superiority and omnipotence. They tend to exhibit compensatory grandiosity and jealousy delusions in which they reconstruct reality to match the image they are unable or unwilling to give up. Delusional systems may also develop as a result of having felt betrayed and humiliated. Here we may see the rapid unfolding of persecutory delusions and an arrogant grandiosity characterized by verbal attacks and bombast.” (Millon, 2011, pp. 407-408).
It is a known fact of the pathology that the narcissistic personality will collapse into persecutory delusions under stress.
The rejection inherent to divorce will present the narcissistic parent with conditions of unrelieved adversity and failure. The narcissistic parent will decompensate into persecutory delusions.
We know this. This is an established fact about narcissistic personality pathology
Shared (induced) Delusional Disorder
The pathology of a shared delusional disorder is also called an induced delusional disorder.
Wehmeier Barth, & Remschmidt (2003). Induced Delusional Disorder. Psychopathology,
From Wehmeier Barth, & Remschmidt: “Induced delusional disorder (or shared paranoid disorder), also known as folie à deux, is a fairly uncommon disturbance characterized by the presence of similar psychotic symptoms in two or more individuals. Most often the symptoms are delusional. Usually the ‘primary’ case, i.e. the individual who first develops psychotic symptoms, can be distinguished from one or more ‘secondary’ cases, in whom the symptoms are induced.”
From the American Psychiatric Association: “Usually the primary case in Shared Psychotic Disorder is dominant in the relationship and gradually imposes the delusional system on the more passive and initially healthy second person… Although most commonly seen in relationships of only two people, Shared Psychotic Disorder can occur in larger number of individuals, especially in family situations in which the parent is the primary case and the children, sometimes to varying degrees, adopt the parent’s delusional beliefs.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 333)
Shared (induced) Delusions in Family Courts
The journal Family Court Review is the flagship journal of the AFCC.
From Walters & Friedlander: “In some RRD families [resist-refuse dynamic], a parent’s underlying encapsulated delusion about the other parent is at the root of the intractability (cf. Johnston & Campbell, 1988, p. 53ff; Childress, 2013). An encapsulated delusion is a fixed, circumscribed belief that persists over time and is not altered by evidence of the inaccuracy of the belief.” (Walters & Friedlander, 2016, p. 426)
From Walters & Friedlander: “When alienation is the predominant factor in the RRD [resist-refuse dynamic}, the theme of the favored parent’s fixed delusion often is that the rejected parent is sexually, physically, and/or emotionally abusing the child. The child may come to share the parent’s encapsulated delusion and to regard the beliefs as his/her own (cf. Childress, 2013).” (Walters & Friedlander, 2016, p. 426)
Walters, M. G., & Friedlander, S. (2016). When a child rejects a parent: Working with the intractable resist/refuse dynamic. Family Court Review, 54(3), 424–445.
Diagnosis Guides Treatment
In healthcare, all of healthcare, including all of mental health care, diagnosis guides treatment. The treatment for cancer is different than the treatment for diabetes.
Is there a shared (induced) persecutory delusion created by the pathogenic parenting of the allied parent? Creating delusional thought disorder pathology in the child that then destroys their attachment bond to the other parent is a DSM-5 diagnosis of V-995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.
Diagnosis guides treatment. Is the DSM-5 diagnosis V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse? Was a proper risk assessment for possible Child Psychological Abuse conducted?
Apply knowledge to solve pathology, ignorance solves nothing.
2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments
Psychologists’ work is based upon established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, CA PSY 18857