Saturday, January 29, 2011

Midlife Crisis Resource Page

“The aging narcissist is trapped in a psychic spider web waiting only for his inevitable consumption by the forces of despair.” 

~Richard M. Restak~

Crisis? Maybe He’s a Narcissistic Jerk

by  Richard A. Friedman, M.D. 

"With the possible exception of “the dog ate my homework,” there is no handier excuse for human misbehavior than the midlife crisis. Popularly viewed as a unique developmental birthright of the human species, it supposedly strikes when most of us have finally figured ourselves out — only to discover that we have lost our youth and mortality is on the horizon."

"The stress of aging or illness and the attendant loss of beauty, strength, or cognitive function can undermine narcissistic fantasies of invulnerability and limitless power. It may lead to an empty, depleted collapse on the one hand or a frantic search for compensatory thrill-seeking on the other, both of which are described in the classic “midlife crisis”. Later-life crises, such as one experienced on the eve of retirement, also may reflect narcissistic pathology. For example, a 62-year-old married man..he had a narcissistic decompensation rather than a clinical depression."

by Paul Wink
“…From a developmental perspective, narcissism has been associated with deterioration in midlife. The realization of mortality, physical aging, and the limits to accomplishments potentiate in narcissistic individuals feelings of envy and resentment (Kernberg, 1980), and also elicit feelings of shame and self-mortification at not having lived a life that was true to their inner hopes, wishes and aspirations (Kohut, 1977). The resulting defensive devaluation of self and others and a sense of depeletion means that the narcissistic individual inhabits a world that is progressively more hostile, lonely, and devoid of meaning and nourishment (Kernberg, 1980)...” 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder
by Sharon C. Ekleberry

“These individuals have a particularly difficult time with the limitations inherent in ageing; NPD has been associated with deterioration in midlife with the realization of mortality and loss of physical vitality."

“Kernberg (1980) pointed to the narcissistic patient’s capacity to learn from experiences and to develop more self-awareness over time. He noted that the potential for change might increase in middle age as people face their limitations as well as more severe or long-term consequences of their narcissistic personality and lifestyle. A capacity to mourn and to tolerate the experience of depression, including guilt and regret, indicate a better prognosis. Kohut (1968) noted that changes take place in the narcissistic personality throughout the life cycle via compensation for narcissistic vulnerability and deficiencies and via transformation of narcissistic strivings such as grandiosity and exhibitionism.” (Page 184)

by Richard M. Restak

“Kernberg’s description of the aging narcissist reflects an unhappy, isolated individual filled with vague regrets of opportunities missed, particularly in the area of interpersonal relationships. Most distressing of all is the absence of an inner life filled with fond and happy memories of shared experiences and affections. This bleakness of the internal landscape is accompanied by the inevitable external physical and mental failings which accompany increasing age. But for the narcissist, aging brings no consolation of compensation. Neither wisdom nor respect are the narcissist’s lot since he has never laid the necessary groundwork from which can come rich and rewarding experiences with children, grandchildren and long-term friends. The narcissist’s reliance on manipulation makes him unable to relinquish responsibility to others. He projects his own brutal uncaring attitude onto relatives and friends, assuming that they harbor similar feelings toward him in his advancing years and he would hold toward them in a similar situation.” (page 123)
The Borderline/Narcissist Couple
By Shari Schreiber, M.A.
The Borderline's captivating allure is nearly impossible to ignore--particularly for a man in mid-life. Long term marriages are often destroyed in the midst of affairs with considerably younger women who've enlivened the Narcissist's sense of grandiosity, along with his penis. Erectile dysfunction is generally blamed on the wife of many years--when it's actually just a symptom of pre-existing intimacy issues, that have reached critical mass. I think of ED more as Emotional Dysfunction, than any problems with male physiology. In most instances, this is a psychic/emotional issue--not a physical one.
If you’re a woman dealing with your husband’s issues or a man in crisis, be sure to read: HIS Midlife Crisis! We’re often asked if we have a similar article regarding her midlife crisis and, to date, the response is that we have several articles focusing on women’s issues at midlife.

1 comment:

  1. My ex husband showed signs of midlife crisis divorced me to be with an ex classmate. He put me through a separation lies. I have Bi Polar very high functioning. He used this against me saying I would not get help for ruminating and obsession. How did he know whats in my head.I was very in love with him. I couldn't believe he could do this. He turned his feelings off like a light.Became verbally abusive. I will be seeing him to settle contents of a home. we are in different states whats the best way to deal with him..