Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Injury, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Using Narcissism to Mobilize the Patient

Using Narcissism to Mobilize the Patient

Narcissistic people crave attention and acclaim. They wish to be the center of attention and want to be seen as unique, gifted and special.

When such individuals are injured, they can become deeply entrenched in the attention, affection and praise provided by the family.

There is, however, a way to approach and potentially resolve this problem:

a. Be certain that the personality disorder (often called an Axis II Disorder), a developmental defect, has been accurately diagnosed

b. Have someone see the patient who can communicate that true uniqueness does not reside in being helpless and dependent but resides in the admiration for mobilizing and becoming productive

c. Insure that the employer verbally rewards the patient’s return to productivity

d. Have someone (or yourself) explain to the family that if the patient is rewarded for non-productivity, he/she will remain non-productive

e. Be certain that the primary provider responds positively (as does physical therapy) to any independent and mobilizing behavior

Case workers find that narcissistic patients learn to revel in the attention from their complaints. Be certain that they see someone who redirects them to be more invested in their productivity.

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