by Madeline Laughs
What is Megalomania?
Megalomania is a psycho-pathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence. Megalomania is characterized by an inflated sense of self-esteem and overestimation by persons of their powers and beliefs.
Arguably, however, in addition to its pathological forms, megalomania is a mental behavior that can be used by any individual as a way of coping with distress linked to frustration, abandonment, loss, or disappearance of the object in everyday life. In this sense, we may see megalomania as an extreme form of manic defense…against the anxiety resulting from separation from the object.
Unfortunately, a person with megalomania may not be interested in self-reflection or personal change, so the talking cures may be less effective than medication.
Also refer to Delusions of Grandeur for another facet of this disorder.
Retrieved 2011-05-24.</ref> GDs are characterized by fantastical beliefs that one is famous, omnipotent, wealthy, or otherwise very powerful. The delusions are generally fantastic and typically have a supernatural, science-fictional, or religious theme. There is a relative lack of research into GD, in comparison to persecutory delusions and auditory hallucinations. About 10% of healthy people experience grandiose thoughts but do not meet full criteria for a diagnosis of GD.
Grandiose delusions are distinct from grandiosity, in that the sufferer does not have insight into his loss of touch with reality.
Both disorders can be exhibited individually, or together. Whichever way they manifest themselves in an individual it is very clear that in order for this person to lead any kind of normal life they must take medication. However medication alone is not enough and only treats the anxiety the person suffers from. The internal work of accepting their true selves has to be done with a psychiatrist and it is a long and arduous task.
Empathy, remorse, and regret are all words that are seldom found in their vocabulary. Yes, they will apologize profusely for any transgression in order to regain your trust. Once they have succeeded in manipulating you, they’ll resort back to what they do best and you will once again be on the receiving end of their psychosis. Some people suffering from these disorders are generally not interested in self reflection or change in their behavior. Most of the time they’re not even aware they have a problem.
How do you deal with a Meglomaniac? That’s a hard one. This type of person has a very strong personality. They are beguiling and manipulative and can either draw you in with their charm and rowdy sense of humor, or they can pound you down with their anger and confrontational nature until you either crack or walk away from them.
The one thing they all desire is a captive audience. Once they find this they are more at home than they are in their Lazyboy recliner. Their audience will usually consist of people that either don’t know them well, or don’t know them at all. This leaves the slate clean so that they can paint whatever picture they desire the group to see. As long as the majority of the group is going along with the fantasy, the person thrives.
Make no mistake, this is an extreme personality disorder. The best way to deal with them is to keep a low profile and never confront them. Confrontation and exposure of their fake claims may cause the Meglomaniac to strike out in your direction as they are generally bullies too. Bullies, as we all know, are just folks suffering from low self esteem.
Meglomania has another face; Narcissism. These two go hand in hand and the traits of a narcissist should be heeded when dealing with anyone that displays this type of extreme behavior. Here are some of the symptoms of narcissism:
Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Symptoms
Though it is difficult to trace the causes of this disorder, there are some very specific narcissistic personality disorder symptoms by which it can be identified. These have been mentioned here.
- Those who suffer from this disorder have an exaggerated sense of their selves.
- Such individuals are constantly under the belief that someone or the other is always jealous of them. On the other hand, they too are jealous of others as they have a low self esteem.
- Examples of narcissistic behavior include negative reactions to any form of criticism, even if it is constructive. They feel rejected and hurt when such criticism is expressed by others around them.
- A heightened superiority complex that shows in the form of considering everyone else inferior is another trait by which they can be identified.
- They have a deep need for power, success, and great achievements, and expect everyone around them to go along with them in achieving these dreams. Usually, the goals they have are unrealistic.
- Though they project themselves as unemotional, insensitive beings, they have a deep problem with their own self esteem that makes them look like that. All these symptoms lead them to have disturbed or unhealthy personal and professional relationships.
Not everyone with these types of personality disorders are failures. Salvador Dali was a Meglomaniac Narcissist and he was wildly successful in his chosen field. I think it’s all in the way the person suffering chooses to conduct himself in the real world. All of these defects in the human psyche can be engineered and geared towards a positive outcome. The person just needs to manage himself better.
In researching this I have found that not all people suffering from these disorders are “bad” people. In fact, they are people that need our love and understanding, perhaps more than most. When a severe lack of self esteem and self confidence occurs and pushes a person to act out in the ways described, maybe loving them more than they deserve is the better way to go in order to get them to seek the treatment they desperately need.
A crack in a person’s veneer doesn’t render them useless. Cracks can be repaired.
If the root of these disorders is low self esteem and a lack of self confidence then how can you aid your friend in becoming a well rounded member of society?
For starters you can encourage them to seek medical treatment. Medication and psychotherapy can benefit them greatly. There are also things they can do for themselves in addition to undergoing treatment. To name a few;
- Eating better. Adding fruits and vegetables to their diet can increase a release of good endorphins.
- Exercise and outdoor activities.
- Spend time with good friends, people that make them feel good about themselves.
- Learn a new hobby; painting, a musical instrument, etc.
- Read a good book and maybe join a book club.
- They can clean their house. A clean, uncluttered house wears little on the mind.
- Volunteer for something that helps others like Meals on Wheels or Hospice.
- Reward themselves with tickets to a concert or something that makes them happy.
- Take care of themselves and present themselves as well dressed. If they look good on the outside, feeling good on the inside will be easier.
These are just a few suggestions for rebuilding the way they feel about themselves. It will build their self confidence and reduce the need to self aggrandize because if they like themselves as they are, then there’s no need to pretend to be someone they aren’t.
In my humble opinion, people suffering with these ailments are not a total loss. I know someone right now that is suffering from some of these disorders and I dearly love this person. I wish I had done the research before I confronted him, but hindsight is 20/20. My friend has so many other redeeming qualities and to think he is a waste of humanity is not something I am willing to do.
I hope my friend keeps up with his therapy, takes his medications like he’s supposed to and I hope he remembers someday that time loves a hero.
- Borderline Personality Disorder (gratiaetnatura.wordpress.com)
- What can we learn from narcissistic personality disorder? [Lucas Wyrsch] (ecademy.com)
- The Narcissist In Therapy (counselorcarmella.wordpress.com)
- Understanding Narcissism Part One (counselorcarmella.wordpress.com)
- Psychotherapy: Those Who Need it the Most Often Don’t Go (psychologytoday.com)
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the Antisocial Personality Disorder — A Lot in Common (psychologytoday.com)
- Narcissists Look Like Good Leaders – But They Aren’t! (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- How To Cope With A Paranoid Ex-Spouse / Tips of All Sorts (protectivemothersalliance.wordpress.com)
- What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? (showard76.wordpress.com)
- DSM Characteristics for NPD (datingapersonalitydisorder.wordpress.com)
- What is it called when you hear voices telling you to do bad things (wiki.answers.com)
- Bipolar Disorder (education.com)
- How is schizophrenia diganosed (wiki.answers.com)
- Understanding Narcissism Part Two (counselorcarmella.wordpress.com)
- Delusion, Productivity, and Success. Does being delusional improve productivity and success? by Prof. Raj Raghunathan, Ph.D. in Sapient Nature (spiriterial.com)