This is a question many of my clients ask me, " Why am I different?"…
Is Meghan Markle a narcissist?
First of all, I have never met Meghan Markle and my opinions are based on indirect information. I have researched TV interviews, their documentaries (South Africa) and read up as much as I can. This post is about my assumptions as a mental health expert. It is possible to conclude a potential mental health diganosis purely by observing behaviour. This is because often, a narcissist doesn’t realise they have narcissistic tendencies or their self reporting will be inaccurate. After years of doing this work, it becomes easier to identify patterns of behaviour. I am concerned for Meghan Markle, because if she does have mental health issues (such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder or many traits of narcissism) she is vulnerable. In my opinion, she exhibits all of the nine symptoms required to diagnose someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (see below). If she doesn’t receive the right help, she is likely to slip further into a situation where she self sabotages and ends up struggling to be successful. Currently, she is facing a huge backlash and I can imagine that she is dumbfounded as to why this is. Individuals with this disorder think in a certain way that is automatic and ‘normal’ to them. As a result, what they see as normal may be seen by others as self serving, self promoting or spoiled and entitled. Meghan Markle also shows classic signs of a narcissist’s tendency to thrive in the “emerging” phase but flounder in the “enduring phase” – also see below.
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. They can feign empathy though as a way to get what they need. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life — and to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behaviour may be appropriate for a king in 16th century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today.
People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s “rudeness” or “stupidity,” or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician.
In layperson terms, someone with this disorder may be described simply as a “narcissist” or as someone with “narcissism.” Both of these terms generally refer to someone with narcissistic personality disorder.
A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behaviour that deviates from the norm of the individual’s culture. The pattern is seen in two or more of the following areas: cognition; affect; interpersonal functioning; or impulse control. The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations. The pattern is stable and of long duration, and its onset can be traced back to early adulthood or adolescence.
Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM criteria)
In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following nine symptoms:
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
Meghan stated in the documetary of their recent trip to South Africa: “No one has asked me if I’m okay”. Considering that she had just seen incredible poverty in South Africa and clearly has the support of her husband Harry and girlfriends, this statement does hint at self importance and an expectation that everyone should make her a priority. Unfortunately the real world doesn’t work like that and this comment shows a lack of understanding as to how many people have to cope with real hardships in life.
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
There have been several rumours and media articles stating that Meghan Markle is a social climber, keen to make a name for herself and get ahead. She seems to like the limelight and even had a stint as a Brief case girl on Deal or No Deal. There have also been reports that Meghan drops people who are no longer of use to her such as Piers Morgan, Lizzy Cundy and several other friends and family along the way.
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
Apparently Meghan said something along the lines of- If Trump is president I won’t live in the USA. Not even many famous celebrities talk like this. Then there is the assumption that SussexRoyal will be a world-wide brand and it was created behind the backs of the royal family, suggesting a selfish nature. Apparnently many of the celebrities invited to the wedding that weren’t close friends. This all forms parts of the bigger puzzle that makes up Meghan Markle.
- Requires excessive admiration
It seems there is a lot of self promotion and PR to help Meghan come across in a certain way. She doesn’t seem to cope well with any negative criticism. Narcissists are especially sensitive to criticism as it is threatening to their sense of self that they cling on to for dear life. Underlying a narcissists confidence is often a highly insecure person and this is why they seek admiration to boost their fragile egos.
- Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
Rumours abound that many staff members quit as they found it difficult to work with Meghan. Apparently she would wake early and expect everyone else to do exactly as she ordered. Staff found this exhausting. Harry and Meghan spoke about climate change and protecting the environment yet flew on private jets. This was in direct contrast to what they were telling the public to do. Perhaps this is because Meghan felt she should not be subjected to the same rules as others.
- Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
There was apparently little or no warning or discussion with British Royal Family about their future plans despite the fact that these plans would have huge implications for the rest of the family. It has also been reported that Meghan tends to let go of people who are no longer useful to her in furthering her ambitions. Perhaps Meghan doesn’t want royal duty but wants the association with the Royal brand to further her future goals. To her this may seem completely acceptable but to many onlookers, this is something they disagree with on a fundamental level.
- Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
It has been reported that Meghan ignored her father after he had two heart attacks. It appears she was only able to see her own hurt and isn’t seemingly able to put herself in her ailing father’s shoes. Another example of a alck of empathy was when she left for Canada and left the British Royal Family reeling from their autocratic decision to step back as senior royals.
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
There have been rumours that Meghan was envious of Kate and never felt she matched up to Kate. Kate has fitted in really well and with ease into the British Royal Family, something Meghan doesn’t seem to have been able to achieve.
- Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Trouble arose over the tiara Meghan wanted to wear for her wedding as the Queen would not allow her to wear the tiara of her choice. Apparently Meghan was highly upset by this rather than being appreciative of the what the Queen offered.
Because personality disorders describe long-standing and enduring patterns of behaviour, they are most often diagnosed in adulthood. It is fairly uncommon for them to be diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, because a child or teen is under constant development, personality changes, and maturation. However, if it is diagnosed in a child or teen, the features must have been present for at least 1 year.
Narcissistic personality disorder is more prevalent in males than females and is thought to occur in around 6 percent of the general population, according to research.
Like most personality disorders, NPD can decrease in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in their 50s.
Learn more: Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder
How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Diagnosed?
Personality disorders such as NPD are typically diagnosed by a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Family physicians and general practitioners are generally not trained or well-equipped to make this type of psychological diagnosis. So while you can initially consult a family physician about this problem, they should refer you to a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. There are no laboratory, blood, or genetic tests that are used to diagnose personality disorder.
Many people with this disorder don’t seek out treatment. People with personality disorders, in general, do not often seek out treatment until the disorder starts to significantly interfere or otherwise impact a person’s life. This most often happens when a person’s coping resources are stretched too thin to deal with stress or other life events.
A diagnosis for narcissistic personality disorder is made by a mental health professional comparing your symptoms and life history with those listed here. They will make a determination whether your symptoms meet the criteria necessary for a personality disorder diagnosis.
Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
Researchers today don’t know what causes NPD. There are many theories, however, about the possible causes of narcissistic personality disorder.
Most professionals subscribe to a biopsychosocial model of causation — that is, the causes are likely due to biological and genetic factors, social factors (such as how a person interacts in their early development with their family and friends and other children), and psychological factors (the individual’s personality and temperament, shaped by their environment and learned coping skills to deal with stress). This suggests that no single factor is responsible — rather, it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important.
If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be “passed down” to their children. While some of this has to do with genetics, some of is also likely due to the child’s personality, as well as the parenting behaviour of one or both of the parents.
How narcissists self sabotage
The emerging zone and the enduring zone
Consequences over time
Long term consequences for a narcissist who doesn’t get help can be:
Depression, anxiety, addiction to rushing, compulsive spending, overconfident decisions, difficulty learning from feedback, volatile leadership performance, poor management skills, romantic volatility in relationships and reduced likeability. Over time people begin to trust a narcissist less.