I looked up what a narcissist is, but still not sure. Can anyone give me some examples of narcissistic behavior? If a person has Alzheimer's his or her personality changes drastically. Can a person exhibit narcissistic traits after they get Alzheimer's or were they always a narcissist but the disease only intensified that trait?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I believe they were always narcissistic but now, with dementia, they’re off the chain.

Narcissism means IT’S ALL ABOUT ME! I LIKE TO PLAY MIND GAMES. I love to manipulate everyone around me. I’m smarter than everyone else. Everyone and everything exists for me!

Helpful Answer (22)

Regardless as to whether your aging parent was always a narcissist, demonstrates narcissist tendencies, or is making unrealistic demands as senile dementia is setting in, the key factor as a caregiver is to set and maintain realistic boundaries and be consistent about them. I have dealt with my narcissistic mother since childhood, and it took me years to pull back and build a life of my own. It's difficult to separate your emotions from what your parent really needs and/or demands, but it's important to do so because you deserve a life as well. As an aside, I am amazed at how many caregivers on this site seem to have, at the very least, some very entitled parents who think their child and/or children should give up their lives to take care of them in their old age. I would not want either of my sons to take care of me in old age, and have communicated this to my sons should I ever not be able to make such decisions. I give my mother, who is 91 and lives in her own apt and still able and persistent in wanting to make her own decisions, lots of options but I will not allow her to manipulate me into doing things that are ridiculous and unfounded. A strong support team of doctors, husband, family, and friends help me get through and stay strong. I actually told my mother recently that if she continued to upset me, I would be of no value to her. Boy, did that speak to her narcissistic core and make her realize I was firm in my boundaries and to stop pushing and creating false needs. As long as your parent is safe and healthy, don't give in to the guilt and grooming they attempted to develop in you or allow them to gaslight or use other techniques to throw you off balance. Almost daily my mother, who still lives independently with help, tries to throw a wrench in plans or come up with unreasonable demands. If I don't have an answer, I buy time and say I'll think about it. And, at all costs, please try never to allow a narcissistic parent to live with you. My mother did briefly after we were first married, and it was horrible! It will never happen again, but I will do my best to take care of her, love her to the best of my ability, and make sure she is safe and healthy so there will be no regrets. Some people go "no contact" with their narcissistic parent, but that wasn't an option for various reasons. I hope and pray for all of us taking care of a parent(s) and wish you all well in every circumstance.
Helpful Answer (17)

Total lack of empathy, no remorse, plays the victim, paranoid, pathologically
competitive (they must win, you must lose), grandiosity, impulsivity due to extreme
self focus, can be aggressive when they feel threatened (which is often), manipulative, deceitful, disloyal to the extreme, enjoys watching others fail and/or suffer, steals other's ideas, identity, property, friends, etc, unrealistic long range plans due to selfishness and fantasy based thinking. Tend to use their children as either servants or extensions of themselves (ie want their children to be super successful to take credit and/or bask in shared glory) . Tend to play favorites and pit one child, relative, coworker, etc off of others or scapegoat. Usually at center of workplace mobbing or family mobbing.

In other words, they don't parent their children, they parentify them. When they
age its just more of the same. Exhausting and heartbreaking. Those who hope that
breaking their backs care taking their demanding parent will finally bring them the
recognition and love they so clearly deserve are in for great disappointment.
Helpful Answer (15)

I never new exactly what my mother's problem was until several years ago. Here are a couple of things I experienced that a therapist told me are signs of a narcissist -
• My mother took credit for my accomplishments. When an elderly neighbor told my mother that I was a "nice, young lady", my mother's response was, "Yes, I raised her right".
• Lack of empathy. I attended several funerals with my mother and while everyone else is sniffling and drying their eyes, I looked at my mother and saw nothing - no emotion.
• "Look at me" -- As she got older, my mother liked to ask people to guess her age. Several times a waiter or store clerk would say, "No, I'm not going to guess" and my mother would almost insist. One time we were at a restaurant and she pretty much badgered the waiter into guessing. And we were there to celebrate MY birthday.
• I can remember in grade school being dropped off at a friends house for a "sleep-over". I didn't hear, "Have a good time" or "Don't stay up too late". What I did hear was, "Behave yourself". Because if I misbehaved that would be a direct reflection back to her.
To sum it up, for a narcissist it's "all about me".
Whether or not it gets worse with age is hard to say. But when you have to deal with the dementia on top of it, it's a real b*tch.
My mother passed several months ago and as cold as it sounds, there wasn't a lot of grieving from me. She simply wasn't the mother I needed or deserved.
Helpful Answer (13)


There are two types of narcissist. The type that is pompous and grandiose is the Overt type.

The type that APPEARS insecure an shy is the covert type or the introverted type.

The Covert type is actually more malignant than the overt type.

The coverts are far more sneaky and they are always playing the victim card.

There seeming sensitivity and shyness and pity parties are all tools they use to manipulate and fool and control people
Helpful Answer (13)

I have recently come to grips that this is what my mother is and I am the one who cares for her now - for over 6 yrs. She drained all my energy for the first 3 plus years until I finally put up borders. I was very ill from trying to keep up with her incessant demands of me and my family. My daughter had to move back here to help me because I was so weakened by the experience. I know it sounds over-the-top, but I had to do something and I began to research the calamity of this whole existence. It was then that I realized why my siblings and I left home at a very young age to get away from her. And almost 30 yrs later, she was back in my life full force with all her demands and needs so she could continue her life by getting me to replicate what my father used to do for her. Sorry to sound so blatant, but the realization snuck up on me like a ton of bricks. Now she has volunteers who take her out if she wants to go and she gets Meals on Wheels so I don’t have to take her shopping every other day for food. She is 92 it’s old, but don’t let the age fool you. She is still the same energy draining tornado she always was. But I have put up boundaries now and she acts so hurt. It was either her or me and it’s not going to be me. I am finally gaining back some of my health. It was difficult to admit that this was the situation, but understanding what it was all this time has helped me to gain control back of my life.
Helpful Answer (12)

Per Psychology Today website;
A narcissistic parent can be defined as someone who lives through, is possessive of, and/or engages in marginalizing competition with the offspring. Typically, the narcissistic parent perceives the independence of a child (including adult children) as a threat, and coerces the offspring to exist in the parent’s shadow, with unreasonable expectations. In a narcissistic parenting relationship, the child is rarely loved just for being herself or himself.

There are 10 signs on their site. (Too many to copy.)
Mostly, the narcissist is focused on themselves, often wanting huge amounts of attention and becoming resentful if they don't get it. Usually they want the best of everything because they believe they're worth it. They usually are oblivious to anyone who doesn't measure up to their standards. Self absorbed pretty much explains it.

It is astounding how many of us on this board have a narcissistic parent! Each of us has suffered through their parenting in slightly different ways.

I can't imagine developing narcissism AFTER dementia, although it may seem that way.
You'd know if your pared was self absorbed in your childhood. 
You just may not know what it was called.
Helpful Answer (10)

My dad is a narcissist, it's good to see someone finally asked about this, I noticed a lot of complaints about narcissistic parents too, are there really that many? And why? I wonder if it's a particular generation that leans towards this behavior. My dad's focus was on attention and emotional torment, manipulation. Even when my mom was in a hospital bed dying, my dad who was 63 at the time, spent his time walking around the hospital and sitting in various waiting rooms talking about how is wife was dying on him. He spent no time with her. There's been a lot of behavior over the years, and as someone said as I kid, we knew something wasn't right but didn't know what to call it. After awhile with consistent behaviors, even kids can tell something isn't right. Dad is 81 now, disabled and lives with me because every nursing home he's been in, within a few weeks they learn what they're dealing with, and I hate to say it, but his physical care drops noticeably. They just don't want to be around him.

We're getting ready to auction off his house to get it sold fast, and even though the man can't drive, can't walk, he's insisting he be put on a 4wheeler so he can parade around at the auction of his house. He's always had to have the biggest boat, truck, everything, mom had to have the biggest wedding ring so he could brag about it. Besides the stuff, he pitted family against each other for entertainment, he still tries, there's no one left but me and my kids now, and we all know well the games he plays. My kids visit with him briefly, they're good people doing the right thing, and when he starts what we call "the behavior" they leave. They know it well. When he's in nursing care briefly at times, usually for PT, if he doesn't get the attention he wants, he starts offering to write nurses 100,000 dollar checks. He by all means does not have that kind of money, but it shows how he is, nurses usually get angry and will avoid him if they can, or get someone else to work with him. I have conversations with dad, as soon as they turn that direction, I'll say well I've got to get to work on this or that like his laundry, his dinner, etc... which makes him happy, I also wear headphones listening to music, and he doesn't mind that. I can see the start of every game he tries a mile away now, so it's easier for me to avoid the issues. But yeah, sorry for the little rant, my thoughts are with all who have no choice but to deal with this behavior.
Helpful Answer (9)

I don't know if my mom would qualify as a full blown narcissist, but if not she definitely has NPD traits.

With her, everything has always been "all about me." And it's always felt like I'm the parent and she the child. It's always been a role reversal like this in a sense.

Three years ago, before I got pregnant with my youngest, I had a miscarriage. I had told some family about it, but had not told mom. I've always kept stuff to myself with her because she really doesn't care what I'm going through except how it affects her. Well, sure enough, she found out and called to yell at me about how upset she was that "she lost a grandchild and didn't even know it." There was no "I'm so sorry" "Are you doing ok?", etc. Just angry at me for not telling her.

Add to all of her "normal" personality traits her paranoia and delusions, and now cognitive and memory impairment, and you can just's either drama with her or a list of things to do. No consideration for anything I might have going on in my life nor any appreciation for what I do for her. I do what I can, and make sure she is well cared for, but I have better boundaries than I did before.
Helpful Answer (9)

Very interesting article.
There was another article from 
"People who are narcissists are almost proud of the fact. You can ask them directly because they don’t see narcissism as a negative quality — they believe they are superior to other people and are fine with saying that publicly.”

“For example, narcissistic people have low empathy, and empathy is one key motivator of philanthropic behavior such as donating money or time to organizations.”

“Overall, narcissism is problematic for both individuals and society. Those who think they are already great don’t try to improve themselves,” Bushman said.
Helpful Answer (8)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter