What are some narcissistic adult children

Narcissistic Parents: No Heart for Your Children

How a parent's narcissism affects the development of children has also hardly been scientifically investigated. A Norwegian research group led by the psychologist Silje Steinsbekk was interested in a study published in 2019 in parental personality disorders and the mental health of children. The team interviewed almost 600 mothers, fathers and their children between the ages of four and eight on several occasions. If the parents showed characteristics of a personality disorder of cluster B (which in the DSM-5 diagnostic guide, in addition to narcissistic personality disorder, also includes borderline, histrionic and antisocial personality disorder), the children reported stronger depressive symptoms two years later. The researchers believe that the actual effect may be underestimated because the influence of personality disorders increases over time.

According to an analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO), children of mentally ill parents are 1.8 to 2.9 times more likely to develop a mental illness themselves. If the mother or father has a personality disorder, the offspring could be particularly severely affected. This is indicated by a study by Silke Wiegand-Grefe. "Due to the high inheritance of narcissism, children are also at risk of becoming narcissistic themselves," says psychiatrist Stefan Röpke.

The family therapist Silke Wiegand-Grefe accompanies affected children and says: "How they develop depends on whether they also have positive relationship experiences." People from the social environment such as grandparents, a neighbor or the teacher could compensate for the negative influence, by giving the child security and self-confidence. The other parent, on the other hand, is often burdened himself: "The relationships of parents with personality disorders often fall apart."

"For adult children it is important to get out of the negative relationship with the narcissistic parent" (Stefan Röpke, psychiatrist)

Most children begin to understand how it has shaped their parents' behavior late. "Many adults with narcissistic mothers or fathers have always felt that they are neglected and used as showpieces," reports Stefan Röpke from his clinical experience. Some still bind themselves to narcissistic people again and again in partnerships. "As adults, we look for relationship patterns that are familiar to us," Silke Wiegand-Grefe explains this behavior.

Psychiatrist Stefan Röpke says: "It is important for adult children to get out of the negative relationship with the narcissistic parent, to develop distance and focus on their own life." That means reducing contact or, in extreme cases, breaking it off completely . “Since narcissistic people want control and power over others, breaking off contact can be very offensive for them. But it can also make them begin to think about their behavior. ”Narcissistic traits usually diminished with age. Sometimes there could be a new beginning.

Monika Celik is also no longer in contact with her mother - after many unsuccessful attempts at clarification. "I only understood that conversations like this made no sense when I realized what narcissism means and how it expresses itself," she writes. Today she advises other affected people in the Facebook group and says: »If we know that our mother is narcissistic (...), we have to say goodbye. Not necessarily from the mother, but from the dream that this, our mother, will ever even begin to be the mother that is quite normal for other people. "