Volume 6   Number 1     Spring 2012

The Independent Self in Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Comparison to
     to Dependent Personality Disorder: A Dialogical Analysis

Giampaolo Salvatore
Antonino Carcione
Giancarlo Dimaggio
Centro di Terapia Metacognitiva Interpersonale, Roma, Italy
pp. 31-49

ABSTRACT. Many manifestations of human dependency are adaptive, such as looking for proximity, care, and support when in distress, or establishing stable bonds in which others are perceived as a safe haven that can shield us against many difficulties and dangers. In spite of these adaptive manifestations, dependency can be maladaptive. Psychiatric classification has generally labelled dependency “Dependent Personality Disorder”, but empirical evidence supports the notion that maladaptive dependency symptoms are positively related to the majority of DSM-IV PDs from all three clusters. A disorder in which only a few thinkers have noted the presence of severe aspects of unhealthy dependency is Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is completely lacking in the DSM description of the disorder. In this paper we highlight maladaptive dependency features in NPD and comparing them with unhealthy dependency in DPD. Our analysis will make use of diary and session fragments involving patients with severe manifestations of both NPD and DPD, and will be carried out within the framework of Dialogical Self Theory.