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Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited (FULL TEXT, 10th edition, 2015) by [Vaknin, Sam]
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Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited (FULL TEXT, 10th edition, 2015) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 720 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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The FULL TEXT of Sam Vaknin's classic, groundbreaking BIBLE of NARCISSISM and NARCISSISTIC ABUSE, now in its 10th edition. Tips and advice as well as the most complete clinical background. Narcissistic Personality Disorder and its effects on the narcissist, the psychopath and their nearest and dearest in a variety of settings: the family, workplace, in Church, the community, law enforcement, and politics. 100 frequently asked questions and two essays - a total of 730 pages! Updated to reflect the NEW criteria in the recent fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

You are not alone! Are YOU Abused? Stalked? Harassed? Victimized? Confused and Frightened? Were you brought up by a Narcissistic or Psychopathic Parent? Married to a Narcissist or a Psychopath - or Divorcing One? Afraid your children will turn out to be narcissists or psychopaths? Want to cope with this pernicious, baffling condition? OR: Are You a Narcissist or a Psychopath - or suspect that You may be one ... This book will teach you how to Cope, Survive, and Protect Your Loved Ones!

"Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" is based on correspondence since 1996 with hundreds of people diagnosed with Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorders (narcissists and psychopaths) and with thousands of their suffering family members, friends, therapists, and colleagues. The first ever book about narcissistic abuse, Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited offers a detailed, first hand account of what it is like to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It contains new insights and an organized methodological framework. The book comprises more than 100 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding relationships with abusive narcissists and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

What is a personality disorder? When the personality is rigid to the point of being unable to change in reaction to changing circumstances - we say that it is disordered. Such a person takes behavioral, emotional, and cognitive cues exclusively from others. His inner world is, so to speak, vacated. His True Self is dilapidated and dysfunctional. Instead he has a tyrannical and delusional False Self. Such a person is incapable of loving and of living. He cannot love others because he cannot love himself. He loves his reflection, his surrogate self. And he is incapable of living because life is a struggle towards, a striving, a drive at something. In other words: life is change. He who cannot change cannot live.

The narcissist is an actor in a monodrama, yet forced to remain behind the scenes. The scenes take center stage, instead. The Narcissist does not cater at all to his own needs. Contrary to his reputation, the Narcissist does not "love" himself in any true sense of the word. He feeds off other people, who hurl back at him an image that he projects to them. This is their sole function in his world: to reflect, to admire, to applaud, to detest - in a word, to assure him that he exists. Otherwise, the narcissist feels, they have no right to tax his time, energy, or emotions.

The posting of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited on the Web in 1997 has elicited a flood of excited, sad and heart rending responses, mostly from victims of Narcissists but also from people suffering from NPD. This is a true picture of the resulting correspondence with them. This book is not intended to please or to entertain. NPD is a pernicious, vile and tortuous disease, which affects not only the Narcissist. It infects and forever changes people who are in daily contact with the Narcissist. In other words: it is contagious. It is my contention that Narcissism is the mental epidemic of the twentieth century, a plague to be fought by all means. This tome is my contribution to minimizing the damages of this disorder.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2131 KB
  • Print Length: 720 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Narcissus Publications; 10 edition (30 June 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HDJF7HC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,441 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Truly revealing work from the author. There is so much in this work that assists the victim to acknowledge and consume, then apply to their own abuse. It is with this information that one can then move forward AND not look back. The narcissist can not recover, the victim with knowledge can recover and move forever onwards with love in their heart. As stated in this work, the new love of a victim's life will be so much better than the narcissist. I can only be a better person for the experience.
Rob.
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Its absolutely insane how we can live with a narcissist for so many years and think that their crazy behavior is because they love us too much (because that's exactly what they want us to believe ) its all a lie..i just love to read about these vampires because i lived with one for 19 years. It's amazing how much you don't know about them until you read this book. Wisdom is knowledge. What an amazing book.! Will be passing it on to a friend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 280 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars NARCISSISM SUPER-SIZE 13 October 2013
By D.B. - Published on Amazon.com
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After reading the reviews,(some of which could use a bit of editing, this is Amazon, not group therapy!) I went ahead and added Malignant Self Love to my library of self-help books on NPD. Like all the other reviewers here, I have a direct relationship with a pathological narcissist. My father, who is increasingly becoming more monstrous as he ages and his voracious appetite for supply becomes harder to deal with as I continually grow into the autonomous individual I have worked so hard to be from years of therapy (formal and informal) and from witnessing my mother's early death from cancer. Mr. Vaknin is indeed a narcissist, there is no doubt about that. Highly intelligent, and accomplished. He has extremely insightful thoughts and theories on the disease. However, this kind of info gets redundant without the use of a proper editing. 3/4 of the way through, its like, "ok, I get it...Narcissists need their supply...and on and on and on...!" After reading it, (and it is page turner, for sure) I feel almost as drained as I do after my father depletes me of my energy and absorbs it into his supply.
I recommend reading in small doses, journal, take a walk, breath. Because it is a lot, and since it is written by a narcissist, you do somehow find yourself giving him all your attention and energy.
It is definitely worthwhile, and if you ever wonder what the heck is going on in the sick, twisted mind of the narcissist dominating your life, READ AWAY!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind and eye opening 21 October 2016
By Jeannette Perret-Gentil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a master piece. I struggle for 30 years with a Covert narcissist, doubting and blaming myself, crying, feeling lonely and not loved, working so hard to please everybody else, nulling myself in favor of others with no results, nothing was ever enough, trying to understand, knowing that something was wrong and it wasn't me but couldn't nail it. And now finally everything is clear. Sam Vaknin might not be a psychotherapist, but he sure knows more than any psychologist I've been to. He absolutely knows what he's talking about, both from a scientific and a human point of view. He explains this disorder so well that you have no doubt that you can trust his advice. No Contact. No matter how many years you were trapped, you can work on yourself and you can move on and have a healthy life, whether alone or in a new relationship. You are a person of great value and don't ever let anyone tells you the contrary. Read this book. Find out the truth. Move on. Let go. Be happy.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Savor it like a fine wine, but gulping it down too fast may make you ill. 14 June 2015
By Lauren Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I first heard about Sam Vaknin’s book “Malignant Self-Love” about 15 years ago–when I made a cursory online search about NPD after I realized my own mother was one. At that time, Vaknin was pretty much the only voice on the Internet about narcissistic abuse. Vaknin, a self-confessed narcissistic psychopath , had written a “bible of narcissism” and it became obvious, from scanning the selected pages he provided in PDF format on his website (which has never been upgraded to a more current look and format–he uses the ancient blogging site, Tripod), that this guy was obsessed with his own disorder to the point of unhealthy navel-gazing and what’s more, he and seemed to hate people like himself. What was this, some kind of pathology performance art?

His book and his own story that inspired the book intrigued me, but at the time, I was still trapped (or thought I was trapped) in my abusive marriage and my kids were still very young, so I filed this information away in the back of my brain, and quickly moved onto other things, such as trying to keep my doomed marriage together. In fact, I didn’t think about his book again until late last year, after I left my narcissist.

When I started my blog in September 2014, Vaknin still had a huge presence online (though he no longer had a monopoly on narcissism). He was often quoted on ACON blogs and even in more serious articles in publications like Psychology Today. The difference was, by now, he was no longer alone. There were other voices joining his–Kim Saeed, Michelle Mallon, and Kathy Krajco (who is with us no more) just to name a few, and of course psychologists and other authors like Dr. George K. Simon, Robert Hare, and Marsha Stout. And too many ACON (Adult Children of Narcissists) bloggers to count. By this time, Narcissism was a Very Hot Topic, at least on the Internet. Sam Vaknin probably began that trend, in spite of his being so vilified by so many of the narcissism bloggers he paved the way for.

A self-professed malignant narcissist writing self help books for victims of abuse may seem like the ultimate irony–but when you look a little deeper, it makes a lot of sense. Who better than a narcissist to know what makes a narcissist tick? Every other expert who writes books about narcissism has to make educated — or not so educated — guesses.

If you’re not a narcissist, it’s almost impossible to imagine what such a disorder can feel like to its bearer, just as the pain of cancer can never be convincingly described by one who has never suffered from cancer. If a book were to be written about what it’s like to have cancer, the writer should be a cancer survivor–or one about to succumb. My point here being that Sam Vaknin, whether you like him or not, whether you think he’s doing ACONs a service or hurting them, whether he’s got the proper credentials or not (and personally I don’t care about the whole credential brouhaha because not once in the book does he say he’s a mental health professional and in fact it’s full of disclaimers), is definitely qualified to write about narcissism. His primary qualification–the only qualification that really matters–is that he is speaking from personal experience.

So I pulled out my debit card and ordered the huge black-and-red tome with its Caravaggio “Narcissus” illustration on the cover (which, for me, was a draw in itself, because I love the painting). It set me back about $40 on Amazon (you can get a copy signed by the author for about $54.95) I thought the price was a bit high, until I held the book in my hands. It was as big as the Bible! Maybe even bigger. I flipped through its onion-skin thin Bible-like pages and saw how tiny the print was.

Oh, man, I thought. I don’t think I can read this. But I was determined to. I wanted to understand what it felt like to be a narcissist, what it felt like to be inside Sam’s head. And so I began to read.

Malignant Self-Love is not a book you can read in one sitting–or even ten. Maybe not even twenty. Normally, I’m a very fast reader. Until I started blogging (and no longer had time to read much), I could consume about 3 good-sized books a week. People looked at me like I had three eyes and a horn growing out of my head when I’d tell them I finished a 300 page novel in 2 days. But Vaknin’s book is different. It’s not only got a LOT of information–almost more information about narcissism than you’d ever need or want to know–but it’s a dark and depressing read too, and I found that while reading it, I felt my mind being sucked into Vaknin’s bottomless black vortex of pain. He’s pessimistic, negative, and hates his own disorder. He also seems to hate himself for having NPD, and demonizes narcissists in general, referring to them as non-humans and machines. He demonizes himself in the process, and warns his readers to stay far away from people like himself. You would think from all this encouraging advice to the sort of people who would have been his prey, that he cares about the victims. I’m not so sure, since he himself is quoted as saying he never intended to help anyone by writing Malignant Self-Love, that his primary motive was narcissistic supply and attaining a guru-like status for himself.

Yet in spite of his heart never having been in its creation, Malignant Self-Love is an outstanding piece of writing. Vaknin weaves words together into a beautiful piece of literature the way a holy man weaves tiny colored threads together to create a Persian rug–with an intricacy and detail that is rare in modern writing.

Indeed, Vaknin’s writing at times can seem as if it’s from a bygone century. His phrasing is old-fashioned and his writing is highly descriptive, hearkening back to 19th century authors. At times it reads almost like poetry. And it’s very emotional writing. You come away from the pages (which feels somewhat like coming up for air after having been underwater too long), with the strong sense that whenever Vaknin refers to the “Narcissist,” he is really speaking about himself in the third person. There is passion and pain in these pages, but more than anything else, there is rage. White hot rage. Sam Vaknin is…intense. And so is his book.

Although some mental health professionals and other who study NPD have criticized Vaknin for appearing to take several related personality disorders–Antisocial, NPD (the less malignant type described in the DSM-V), Borderline Personality Disorder, and even autism–and churn them together into a mutation of psychiatric NPD: psychopathic malignant narcissism. Some mental health experts have even said Vaknin’s book has been damaging to the field of diagnostic psychology for this very reason.

But since when is the field of diagnostic psychology a real science anyway? At best, it’s a social science; at worst, an art form–so in my mind, Vaknin’s theories about NPD make as much–or more–sense than some of the experts.’

Vaknin was also not the first narcissism writer to ever do this. While M. Scott Peck’s 1983 book “People of the Lie” is written from a completely different perspective from Vaknin’s–one with religious overtones written by psychiatrist who is also a born-again Christian–Peck’s book too seems to mix traits of NPD and ASPD. And while Peck didn’t call the hybrid disorder “malignant narcissism” (he calls it “evil”) because that term wasn’t in wide use in 1983, people could relate–because we almost all know someone like that. Vaknin’s book also describes people that victims of narcissistic abuse recognize–a dangerous kind of narcissist who has nothing but ill will toward others, but it was born from having been abused themselves, as Vaknin was abused.

Vaknin’s readers are mostly women, who are in a relationship with a narcissist or thinking about leaving one. Sam Vaknin does not disappoint. Victimized, emotionally damaged women see Vaknin as a kind of online therapist (especially those who frequent his discussion groups and forums), and the “transference” of strong feelings of a patient to their therapist is an important development in the psychotherapeutic relationship. If they’re using the Internet as their therapist, Vaknin can easily become the object of these feelings of transference. He becomes a kind of mirror reflecting back to them all the admirable qualities they have imbued him with–-which may or may not be accurate-–but it’s what they want or need to see in him. The problem is, unlike with a therapist in a controlled psychotherapeutic setting, women experiencing transference toward a online cult hero like Vaknin have no idea what to do with these feelings or how to use them to learn more about themselves. But on the plus side, he does tell them how to disengage and tell them WHY they should disengage and what makes their narcissist tick, and of course he’s right. Many of these women (and men too) claim Vaknin’s book saved their lives and helped them get started along the road to self-discovery and freedom from abuse.

If you don’t like ponderous, pessimistic tomes or books that don’t require the reader to think, then Vaknin’s bible of narcissism may not be for you. But if you like a book you can savor and digest over weeks or months, the way you would savor a fine wine by taking small sips and not chugga-lugging it down like a cheap bottle of Gallo, then I recommend his book if you’re in an abusive relationship with a narcissist, trying to go No Contact, or just interested in narcissism. His writing is so good it’s worth reading even as just a work of literature, even if you disagree with his assessment of NPD as a blight on humanity and the precious little hope he conveys that sufferers of NPD can ever get well (which is one of the few problems I have with his book).

It took me nearly three months to finish Malignant Self-Love, but only because I could only swallow a little of his brand of darkness at a time without making myself sick. However, when I finally read the last page, I came away feeling like I had an insight into my narcissists that no one else could have made possible. It was as if Mr. Vaknin provided a sort of mirror to my narcissists and made them talk to me– openly and honestly–about why they did the awful, hurtful things they did. In giving my narcs a voice, albeit a depressing, raging one–I felt as if Vaknin had somehow stripped away some of their power over me. And that’s always a good thing.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource for Writers & Actors Portraying Narcissists and Psychopaths 28 January 2016
By MediaFrenzy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a writer/producer, I have a specific interest in writing about serial killers, military warriors, dishonest business men, dangerous andmanipulative lovers, bad doctors and bad cops. In my work, as in life, these people are usually psychopaths and narcissists.

Outside of Vaknin's material, the information on the internal lives and psycho dynamics of people with these disorders is limited and shallow. The advice and insight provided doesn't go much beyond "these are bad people, run away". Which generally speaking is fine advice, but not much help to someone who wants to write about or portray what makes these folks so dangerous. They don't look like monsters, talk like monsters, or behave like monsters most of the time. If they did, staying away from them would be easy. Furthermore, we as a world depend on these folks and frequently idolize them, particularly in fiction. Dirty Harry, Don Corleone, even Iron Man . . .

If you're a writer looking to create better characters, or an actor looking to bring more depth and truth to the people you portray, I think this is an invaluable book.

If you're someone who has to live with a narcissist or a psychopath in the real world, and the advice to "run away" is completely ridiculous because you have children with them, a business with them, want to remain a part of the family you were born into, this book may honestly be your best chance of living through crazy.

Finally, if you happen to be a narcissist or psychopath, or think you might be, first my condolences. It's not an easy road you're on and you're likely not on it by choice. The path to these disorders almost universally involves trauma and insidious forms of abuse and violations of "self".

Vaknin has indicated he was twice professionally diagnosed as a Psychopathic Narcissist and this book and I think his work may be one step toward finding a more livable life for yourself and incidentally those who choose to associate with you.

You can't diagnose or treat yourself for this illness, and you shouldn't try because it will lead to infuriating frustration which is counter productive. But you can get some sense that you aren't the only one wrestling with the issues you face, and you will discover that you are not, as almost every other book on the topic seems to indicate, "untreatable".
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING! You'll need extra copies 9 December 2015
By Dustbunny - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I HIGHLY recommend the website and the book. Why did I never hear about NPD when I was suffering through an abusive marriage? Narcissists arent textbook & not all cross the line into physically attacking. They are all very different. Conventional/Unconvential, Overachievers/Underachievers,..but you'll be surprised at how much they have in COMMON! The one thing I disagree with is that the victims in these relationships somehow subconsciously "pick" their abusers (poor self esteem/must have unconsciously picked codependency)...since those with NPD can fool most therapists and pretty much everyone else too... but most of the targets figure it out and leave!. Why would all these people leave if they subconsciously wanted and needed the chaos? Narcs are experts at picking YOU....because you're their ideal that needs some whittling down. They never fail to devalue, debunk, demoralize, and desert you..over and over again.

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