Would you reveal to others a person has Narcissist Personality Disorder?

I have a narcissist in the health care system in need of serious caretaking. She is surrounded by health care professionals and friends that are catering to her every need. Some of them she is actively "playing", acting the sweet, old neglected lady that is so grateful for their help. Others she is showing her true colors and just disrespecting, disregarding, and dismissing them. 

I am grateful for anyone's help because it takes pressure off me. But, part of her drama is that when she is playing someone, she is putting me down as a useless, uncaring, neglectful person, in order to get sympathy and aid. Then I have to see and talk to these people who think I am horrid. When we talk about her care they think I am crazy because it is like we are talking about two different people, they see her mask and don't understand what I am saying about her behavior and needs at home. 

Furthermore, I see she is taking new victims under her wing that are getting set up to go down the long path with her. I feel torn and guilty because I want to warn them, but at the same time by them being there, it is taking pressure off me. Others I see are finally breaking and are where I was years ago, I want to console them and tell them it is NPD, they are not nuts, but then I don't want to ruin all her relationships when she is in a vulnerable place. 

Would you tell people, health care professionals or friends, that someone they are dealing with has NPD?

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  • That's a tricky one. As a carer, it is probably better to share this information with other professionals and family but as for friends - well I think you might be breaking some sort of confidentiality code there. 

    I have to ask though, are you certain that it is NPD and not anything like Alzheimers setting in?
  • I worked with a person like this. I pegged her finally as a sociopath. She was a liar, a drug abuser and she would try to destroy anyone who crossed her (crossing her meant telling her to do her job). She had most of our managers snowed, and they went to bat for her. Finally we got a new manager who looked at her track record over a period of two years, called her in, and fired her immediately. I was so relieved, I thanked him! I wanted to tell our bosses what I knew to be true about her, but I don't think they would have believed me. It's a sticky situation, because those people can be SO convincing. I'd try to communicate it to someone if I were you, but choose carefully.
  • Thanks for your input. It does feel like a no win situation for me that is bound to go bad either way.

    @missbishi, it is certainly NPD and I just wished I had figured it out earlier in life, rather than now when she is in need of help. Now I feel so much anger for having pieced everything together, which all my life I could not figure out what the issue was with her. So it's just a continuation of her regular behaviour, not Alzheimer's.

    The other issue is that all her friends are also her caregivers. She doesn't keep anyone in her life unless they are serving her in some way, so even though they are "friends", they are being put under enormous stress and burden as she orders them around and asks them to do the most ridiculous petty things for her. It is all getting to be too much for everyone at this point, because she is in need of legitimate care, but yet she still insists on the most petty demands, which in the big picture are meaningless and just serve to aggravate and push people to their breaking point. 

    I would have thought her current situation would have finally humbled her and let her see clearly what is important and not, but she hasn't changed in the least. It really is proof to me there is no way a person can recover from this NPD. 
  • Of course you should tell your co-workers, but not with the intention of antagonizing your patient. Just keep it professional and don't let yourself get attached emotionally to any situation involving this person. The best course of action is to be detached and impersonal.
  • No, absolutely not. I would never ever recommend doing so to anyone. Why?

    You said:
    "she is putting me down as a useless, uncaring, neglectful person, in
    order to get sympathy and aid. Then I have to see and talk to these
    people who think I am horrid. When we talk about her care they think I
    am crazy because it is like we are talking about two different people,
    they see her mask and don't understand what I am saying about her
    behavior and needs at home"

    If she has even the slightest inkling that you are on to her or that you are trying to shine a light on the truth, this kind of behaviour will continue to increase dramatically, only it will become more covert, insidious and manipulative. You do not realize how far narcissists are willing to go to protect themselves. You will be playing with fire!
  • Not having much experience with this I would confront someone who you can trust and start to build a network of other trusting individuals so as a group you can confront the person in question in order to help the situation and the patient. Not trying to prove "you" are right but to shed some light on the patience tendencies to play people against each other and their manipulative nature.   
  • Nothing good can come of keeping the truth - especially when it concerns an illness or a disorder. The more you hide it, the more people will not be able to understand the person in question. For them to come to an understanding and stop judging, information about the illness or disorder must be disclosed. Who knows, aside from learning to understand the person's situation, people might also be able to suggest better forms of treatment.
  • I’m torn about this as well. I’ve known a couple of people who, while they may not be full-blown narcissists, have displayed some tendencies. On the one hand I’ve wanted to warn people not to tangle with them, but on the other hand, it may blow up in my face. I’ve seen that happen to others. Narcissists have a way of making a person’s life hell if they find out said person is responsible for blowing their cover. The only thing to do is pick up on the cues of others around you, and if you should choose to communicate, be extremely mindful of how you frame things.
  • I am still battling with this question and the situation seems to be getting much worse.

    My main concern lately is that somehow the person will cause me some legal culpability. In either attempting to blame me for neglect in order to get others sympathy/aid/attention, or through others believing her stories and viewing her own self induced neglect as my fault. All the aid I attempt to provide is rejected by her, and she chooses to be in a food/safety/medication neglected position - but then when others come and view the situation it is shocking to them and appears to be my fault for not providing for her ---- and at that point it is extremely hard to explain the power struggle that happened behind the scenes and her purposeful refusal for logical aid and assistance --- then when the outsider is saying how shocking the situation is and how she should be better cared for, she is rejoicing and reveling in the moment that another is rushing to her aid and viewing me as negligent. It is becoming such an extremely twisted mind blowing situation. 
  • Since this is a work-related problem, you have to check your employers policy.
    You could be under obligation to say something, but you could also be under obligation not too! 

  • @Diane ; I so totally understand the situation you are in. I think I am confused as to whether this is a work situation or an older individual that you care for (or work for?)  If this is a work situation I would not say a word, I would cover myself to the hilt and start looking for a new assignment.

    If this is a person in your family or that you care for the question would be do you have power of attorney? If you do I would discuss this with the doctor or health care system in private. There is very little that can be done for an older person, and although Aids might not be familiar with what a person with NPD is like, most Doctors and Nurses are. I don't blame you for being concerned about getting blamed for being the person that is doing terrible things when you know you are not. For what it is worth the NPD knows deep inside where the care comes from, they do these displays to fill the inner need they have for the attention, it is not likely since she knows she really needs you that she would go that far. In fact if you were gone I am certain that it could result in some sort of NPD crisis. It is always a push/pull in these relationship dynamics. Sadly it is always very stressful.

  • @Diane  Are we talking about your mother here?  Because if this is the case... let me tell you I am really sorry!  I believe my dad has NPD!  Everyone else thinks I am horrid,  and my mom is the only one who knows who he really is.   He plays everyone just like your mom does, tells a lot lies and makes everyone think  me and my mom are so evil.   He thinks I am evil just because I don't talk and play his game. No thanks.

    I think you shouldn't tell them, they will think that the lies your mom has said about you are true, and will be reinforced if you try to warn them.  They won't believe you.   Let them find out by themselves.
  • Narcissistic abuse is all about twisting the truth very cleverly without your awareness. You can never outwit them, they are always twenty-two steps ahead of you. The more you try to expose the truth, the more extreme it becomes. They will destroy your life and your livelihood in the background and by the time you realize it'll be too late. It's just not worth the damage they'll do to your life.
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