Schizophrenia and Narcissism
In this episode of Schizophrenia and the City, Michelle Hammer discusses an article which asserts that schizophrenics are narcissists because a brain system involved in self-reflection is over-activated, leading to exaggerated focus on oneself. But to focus on oneself does not imply narcissism, it could just be self-care and self-awareness, which are very important to have. In addition, the over-stimulation that the study found could manifest itself in paranoia. Paranoia is the constant delusion that everybody is talking about you and hates you for being stupid. Paranoia definitely centers around the self, but it is far from narcissism. In addition, delusions commonly center around the self as well – things that you may have said or done a long time ago, which repeat themselves in your head. All of these things have happened to Michelle, and they always concern her. Again, though, that is not narcissism. All the voices, thoughts and ruminations, they are in her head and directed towards her. How, then, could she not have an elevated focus on herself? It is an uncontrollable byproduct of her symptoms. As Michelle says, it is less self-admiration than involuntary self-torture. The conclusion? Schizophrenics are most definitely not narcissistic.
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