While Democrats and the news media are all working feverishly to get Gov. Blagojevich branded with the "insanity" label in order to discredit him and inoculate the Obama franchise from taint I fume over something else. The irresponsible reporting from the Chicago Sun-Times on speculation over Blago's possible NPD.
Why would that bother me? I'll 'splain.
First of all, the so-called professionals love to tell us laypeople that we are not qualified to determine whether or not someone we know has NPD by comparing that individual's behaviors with an checklist. What the article from the Sun-Times illustrates to me is how the 'professionals' are the ones who are unqualified. I think it is highly unprofessional for a psychologist to make pronunciations on someone's mental state to the media when that psychologist has never even met the person in question. They should at least try to uphold some of the standards they hold the rest of us to. They tell us we can't diagnose persons whom we've grown up with or married or worked with for years yet, sight unseen, they can make absolute statements about a person's mental health just from reports they've read in the media and a few pictures of a person? Bah. That is my first irritation.
Next. Frankly, I myself had come to strongly suspect that extreme narcissism was motivating Blago. But I based my suspicions on his behaviors. Not his HAIR! The article begins with a little dramatic embellishment by the journalist followed by the quote from a psychologist:
It's a head of hair that a man 20 years his junior would envy -- a chestnut helmet that brazenly mocks Father Time and screams "healthy!"Okay. There is SO much about Blago's behavior that could indicate possible NPD without going to the most superficial aspect of his person....how he styles his hair!!?? This is completely and totally irresponsible on the part of the psychologist as well as the stupid journalist who seems to be thrilled to report this revelation. Of what value would this blog be if I busily reported on the various ways to spot a narcissist and then started directing your attention to how a person styles their hair, how they dress, whether or not they wear designer clothes and glasses or drive a sports car? I would be a joke. And I contend this psychologist is a joke. The obvious extrapolation from his comment above is we are to suspect NPD in a person if they seem to be overly proud of their hair, if their hair seems to look too good given the wind, rain, or time of day or even the decade of their life. I cannot even begin to express my contempt for this ridiculousness. It will accomplish nothing good for helping people to truly understand what NPD is and how it manifests.
Gov. Blagojevich's glossy locks -- perfectly sculpted in rain or snow -- may be an indication of a sickness beneath his scalp, said one local psychologist.
"It's all part of managing his image, managing his image of being without a blemish, without a flaw," said Scott Ambers, who has practiced clinical psychology in the city for more than two decades.
Chicago Sun-Times article here.
The psychologist (as well as the air-head journalist) have seized on the most insubstantial in order to make their case. This itself reminds me of narcissists. Narcissists are always focused on superficialities. I'm sorry, but focusing on how much hair someone still has and deciding they are overly proud of their hair is as superficial of an analysis as any analysis could get. There is no real sign that Blago is overly proud of his locks. Where was this analysis when John Edwards was on the scene?? We actually had proof of Edwards excessive fondness of his hair...yet this psychologist had nothing to say back then. Fraudulent quack.
I won't go into all the speculation on whether or not Blago is certifiably insane. All of the babblings of the news media only illustrate to me they know nothing of what they speak and their motivations are suspect. The word of the week has been "insane". Yet sprinkled in between pronouncing Blago insane they throw around the word "sociopath" and "narcissist". Anyone who knows anything knows that insanity is not the issue when talking about narcissism or sociopathy. They are not interchangeable labels! The profound ignorance of the talking heads is being blared from every mouthpiece and is driving your friendly blogger to distraction.
This is just one very good illustration of why you should ignore anyone, especially the 'professionals', who tells you that you can't tell whether or not someone in your life has NPD. They don't know Jack themselves. No one knows what NPD is more than someone who has suffered from its predations for years. Eggheads in ivory towers only know NPD from textbooks. I am absolutely convinced that if this psychologist actually had a person with NPD in his office he'd be blissfully unaware of that fact. Yet he'd label some arrogant snob or braggadocious windbag as NPD.
NPD is much more than arrogance or bragging or attention to personal grooming. NPD is, at its core, predatory. While vain, arrogant or boastful people may be annoying it doesn't mean they are predatory. Without that core motivation it just ain't NPD. NPD = malignant narcissism = evil behaviors. Evil as defined by exploitation and abuse of the most vulnerable. You can't tell that from how a guy styles his hair. Even if you're a 'professional'.