What can be worse than a narcissist or a sociopath? A narcopath. It is a dangerous mix of narcissism and sociopathy that leads to aggressive and sadistic behavior.
Who is a narcopath?
In short, narcopaths are simply Narcissistic Sociopaths. Narcopath is a new unofficial term that is used to describe someone with two certain types of personality disorders –
Narcopaths tend to meet the diagnostic criteria for these two types of Cluster B personality disorders that are categorized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). This psychological syndrome is also identified as malignant narcissism which involves characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), sociopathy, sadistic personality disorder and paranoia. “A person with malignant narcissism has the potential to destroy families, communities, nations, and work environments,” explains neuropsychologist Rhonda Freeman, Ph.D.
Narcissistic Sociopaths care only about themselves, lack empathy, have an unrealistic sense of grandiosity and entitlement. They are often hostile and can easily dehumanize the people around them. They are highly abusive, manipulative, pathological liars who are psychologically aware. The condition may also include symptoms such as –
- Emotional detachment
- Need for control
- Lack of authenticity
- Poor self identity
- Constantly seeking positive attention and praise
- Lack of concern about how their behavior affects others
- Desperate need for approval
Moreover, people with both ASPD and NPD are highly likely to exploit others for their personal gain or pleasure. However, not every narcissistic sociopath will have all the same traits. They may not behave or act in the way we expect a narcissist or a sociopath to behave. Rhonda adds “There is heterogeneity, of course, because people are complex.”
Why we use the term ‘narcopath’
Although Cluster-B personalities are generally addressed as psychopaths or sociopaths, which may be extreme and even inaccurate, the term Narcopath is now being used to describe narcissistic sociopaths or malignant narcissists to avoid confusion. Moreover, there is some controversy regarding sociopathy and psychopathy being similar yet different disorders in the same spectrum. Hence, most people now tend to use Narcopath to describe someone with traits of both NPD and ASPD. However, this is not a medical term nor is used by professionals. Additionally, someone can be identified with NPD or ASPD only after they have been clinically diagnosed.
What the typical narcopath looks like
As every person is different and unique, it can often be difficult to identify a narcissistic sociopath. They can be the most well-dressed, charming and wittiest person in the room. They are often smart and successful and know exactly what to say to hook their victims. They are good at reading others and will never hesitate to use your weaknesses against you. However, the entire process is usually very subtle which is why you may only realize the reality once it is too late.
They may seem perfect to others, have a respectable reputation and appear generous in public. But, it is mostly a display that helps them appear better than others. They are master manipulators who abuse and exploit others for their own pleasure or personal gain. They can be emotionally, physically and sexually abusive to you on a personal level, while others may not even have a single clue about their true personality. They are callous, cold and uncaring individuals who believe they deserve attention from everyone else. “They will have a disdain for people and think it’s okay to exploit and dispose of others in whatever way it helps them to get ahead,” explains author Arlin Cuncic, MA. They never hesitate to manipulate others to gain their love and trust and then dominate and control them. A narcopath is always striving to gain power and control over others without feeling an ounce of guilt. When they feel a person is not serving their purpose any longer, they will discard them without hesitation. As they are hard to spot, they can be especially dangerous in relationships.
Narcopaths are hard to spot unless their personality disorder starts to affect their daily life and the lives of the people around them. Narcissism can often worsen with the traits of sociopathy. According to research, narcissistic sociopaths or malignant narcissists possess characteristics of:
- Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
- Antisocial personality disorder (APD)