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Both Self-Hating & Narcissistic?

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hello there. This is my first time ever actually posting on a forum like this, so I’m sorry if I don’t know how to properly explain myself.

I have had problems with self harm before, just once, back in 2012. My mom found out and so did my younger brother and out of shame I stopped, but I never sought out professional help. I got better by just focusing all my negative energy on extreme exercise and spending lots, and lots of time with my younger brother, who has become my best friend. Lately I’m feeling weird again though, going back to feeling uninterested in my usual hobbies and just wanting to sleep. It’s been pretty bad this last week and I thought it’d be over by now but now the same things that happened before I cut are happening again — I’m becoming more and more self hating and less interested in connecting. But the actual problem here is that I have really aggressive ups and downs between self hating and narcissism. How can this even be? I sometimes get really rude thoughts about how I’m better than most people (which, I am aware is bad and I try to dismiss them quickly) and I feel like people don’t have the right to see me down or sobbing or “pathetic”. But then it turns, suddenly, into me hating myself and feeling inadequate and useless and I hate it. Everything with me is one extreme or the other and it makes it hard to fix my issues.

I want to become more productive and become a better person but I don’t care enough. My interest fades out just as quickly as it appears. I hate people too much to want to connect but at the same time I can feel less than them. Yeah, I’m not really sure how to work around this. There’s a lot more black and white things I feel. Is this normal? How do I stop it? Is it necessary for me to seek professional help?

Thank you very much for your time

Whenever you notice a potential problem developing, it is wise to seek help. Mental health professionals are trained to deal with these types of problems. Counseling is the process of analyzing one’s thoughts to determine if an individual’s thinking is consistent with reality. Counseling would be the ideal solution to this problem.

People engage in self-harm whenever they don’t feel good about themselves. Self-harm is self-punishment. By its very nature, it is self-destructive. It’s a maladaptive attempt at solving one’s problems.

Counseling, on the other hand, is the opposite of maladaptive coping. It’s the purposeful learning of problem-solving skills. We are not born knowing how to solve our own problems. Everyone faces life problems, but not everyone is equipped with the proper skill set to manage these problems. These skills must be learned. In the absence of problem-solving skills, people tend to engage in maladaptive strategies such as self-harm.

I would strongly recommend counseling. Ask your primary care physician for referral. Some primary care physicians even have in-house licensed clinical social workers to assist patients with more immediate psychological care. Perhaps your primary care physician has such a service. If not, he or she can refer you to a counselor in the community. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can stabilize your mood. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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