Dreams of Mental Illness

Oct 27 08:40 2009 Sam Vaknin Print This Article

Psychopathology is often revealed in dreams.

A Dream (Night of May 8/9,Guest Posting 2009)

Throughout my dream life, Nazism (the regime, its operatives, and its visual manifestations) represented my mental health disorder, the rot that is my being.

In my dream, a squadron of high-ranking Nazis invades my rented apartment with the aim of confiscating my collections (mainly books I had packed in cardboard boxes and stashed in what passed for storage space in my real abode in Israel many years ago). The physical premises in the dream are a combination between my parents' house and the apartment I shared with my first wife. In other words: they represent the entirety of my life.

As they roam my home, fingering objects and evaluating them, I desperately try to explain to the them that I have abstained from other expenses to be able to afford my prized possessions. They ignore my pleas as they boisterously participate in the hustle and bustle, climbing up and down stairs and calling to each other. It then occurs to me that I envy Hitler who remains untouchable despite his vast library. Despite the dire circumstances, I am still hopeful that my things will be returned to me, unmolested, once the misunderstanding that is at the base of these ominous proceedings is cleared up.

Thus, even in my dream, I realize how my disease is set dead against everything I love and cherish: my privacy, my person, my learning, and the accumulated goods that make an existence. My narcissism is all-pervasive, hideously energetic, tyrannical, and unfair. It is a malignant manifestation of my self-destructive and self-defeating urges.

A senior Nazi orders me to join an SS doctor-officer in his rounds as he compiles an inventory of tangibles in the neighborhood. There are two of us detailed to this ostensibly pedestrian mission: myself and a street-wise and resourceful child whose face I never see, but whose presence is clear. His cheer and acumen immediately render him my competitor. It is clear that only one of us will survive.

This impish child is my True Self and to outlive my disorder (my Nazi tormentors), I have to eliminate him. The only way to come on top is to demonstrate to our indifferent slavemaster how profoundly and overwhelmingly more intelligent I am. I want to make it worth the SS officer's while to keep me alive, even as he sacrifices my co-worker. In other words: terrified by my sickness, I choose to become the False Self.

I have a stomach-churning four-pronged epiphany right there and then: (1) This ordeal is not going to end soon; (2) I have to make it to the end of the War (another 2 years, as the dream inexplicably takes place in 1943); (3) As death is administered randomly and off-handedly by the Nazis, my chances to survive are not good; (4) I am ill-equipped to cope in an environment that values practical, or somatic skills above intellectual achievements and capacities.

The three of us proceed from one backyard to another, taking stock of all the physical objects in them. As we progress, I commit a mistake and the SS man notices it. Endowed with the gifts of gab and blarney, I assure him that it was intentional and that he has nothing to worry about, he can leave it all to me. "If this happens again, feel free to torture me!" - I protest to his bemusement. He seems skeptical, but doesn't put a bullet through the back of my skull, as I dreaded he would.

The tour ends at a familiar site: the lane of semi-detacheds, among which is my grandparents'. The entire row of dilapidated houses (in reality, long demolished) is enclosed within a wire fence. The objects strewn in the weed-grown backyards are borrowed from my childhood. The door to my grandparents' unit is ajar. The great commotion inside indicates that this is the Headquarters of the Nazis (read: where my disease originated). My streetwise and resourceful colleague enters it and at first I can hear his voice, but then it ceases. I know that he is dead.

The SS-officer turns to me and says: "It's time to complete the ethics chapter of our report". I seethe inside: "The hypocrite! What do the Nazis have to do with ethics?" Something in me, a sliver of sanity, rebels against the inane demands of my disorder and is revolted by its confabulated fakery. I flip through the notepad that we have used to take the inventory and mutely indicate that it has run out of empty pages. The officer dives into an inner vest pocket and emerges with a cheap, blue plastic-bound diary. He searches for an empty leaf. As he turns the pages, I notice handwritten comments about the genocidal activities of various "gangs".

Next I know, the SS doctor is holding a baby in his arms, examining it in a clinically-aloof but thorough manner. The boy is deformed: the skin on the right side of his face is covered with a patchwork of purplish scales; his lips are bumpy; his eyes wander aimlessly, unfocused and dim.

The doctor takes meticulous notes and then rises from his crouch, the baby cooing, still in his embrace. He enters my grandparents' house, I hear a shot and the baby's pale body is hurled on top of a heap of still corpses in the garden.

Two Dreams (Night of November 6/7, 2006)

I dreamt that I am a child. I am surrounded by family members who pay scant attention to me. They go about their bustling daily lives and I merely exist on the fringes of their awareness. Suddenly I notice a pure white bird, a cross between a seagull and a quail or a magpie. It is strutting on a cabinet shelf, turning itself into an impeccably shaped ball and rolling with brio among the statuettes and vases. I finally succeed to draw attention to myself by pointing to this magical bird and its nigh-impossible exploits. The fowl does nothing of value or utility - but it still garners narcissistic supply for me. This bird is my pathological narcissism.

Seamlessly and gradually, the bird metamorphoses into a swallow - plain, grey, small, and inconspicuous. Still, it is far more clever and useful than its erstwhile transformation. It fulfills functions: it cleans the house, it turns electrical appliances on and off, it even communicates, perhaps via telepathy.

Despite the fact that the sparrow - the drab adult incarnation of the flamboyant seagull-quail - is helpful and charitable, the adults around me reject it cruelly and consign it to the weather-beaten porch, behind a glass partition. The swallow is baffled; why is it being so punished? It tries to prove its merit by sweeping clean with a broom the entire balcony. To no avail.

I point out to the adults how incredible this tiny bird is and how productive. "See how it has scrubbed the verandah sparkling shine!" - I implore. But they are uninterested. I stare at my hyper-intelligent bird, deeply pained and sad. I know that I will never ever have a bird like this again: so clever, so industrious, so functional. I can communicate with it from now on only through a glass darkly. And one day she surely would be gone.

When narcissists grow old, society forces them to let go of major facets of their hitherto unbridled pathological narcissism. This coerced transfiguration makes them very sad, angry and bitter. Narcissists find it difficult to give up their narcissism. They are shocked by the fact that they no are no longer able to attract attention and adulation to themselves (to their magic birds). They then realize that their True Self (the child) is immature and helpless and their False Self (the bird) is a social outcast.

In my second dream, there was a black kid. He inhabited a tiny cubicle, crammed to the ceiling with books, amongst them, prominently displayed, my tome, "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited". This leads me to believe that this child is I, the author. But why black? And why a child? I am a white, middle-aged male.

Blacks were discriminated against, excommunicated, and persecuted throughout their sad history as slaves in the Americas and as natives under colonial administrations. I feel like that: a freak, shunned by one and all and victimized by "normal people". My True Self (that does the dreaming) is an immature child.

The child is despondent and depressed. He shuts himself in his room and refuses to eat or drink and, most alarmingly, won't even touch his precious books. A procession of adults gently force themselves into his living space in order to cheer him up. Among them is a white cheerleader (adolescent girl), beating a drum and blowing a trumpet and a colored magician with a top hat. They represent my defense mechanisms: narcissism (the cheerleader) and magical thinking (the magician).

The child in the dream is instantly reassured and uplifted by their presence. He says to himself: How wonderful for any kid to be surrounded by such support and love. My defense mechanisms, including my pathological narcissism, keep me alive. I need them in order to survive and function. By ignoring them or trying to suppress them, I place myself at risk.

The Sad Dreams of the Narcissst

I dream of my childhood. And in my dreams we are again one big unhappy family. I sob in my dreams, I never do when I am awake. When I am awake, I am dry, I am hollow, mechanically bent upon the maximization of Narcissistic Supply. When asleep, I am sad. The all-pervasive, engulfing melancholy of somnolence. I wake up sinking, converging on a black hole of screams and pain. I withdraw in horror. I don't want to go there. I cannot go there.

People often mistake depression for emotion. They say: "But you are sad" and they mean: "But you are human", "But you have emotions". And this is wrong.

True, depression is a big component in a narcissist's emotional make-up. But it mostly has to do with the absence of Narcissistic Supply.

It mostly has to do with nostalgia to more plentiful days, full of adoration and attention and applause. It mostly occurs after the narcissist has depleted his Secondary Source of Narcissistic Supply (spouse, mate, girlfriend, colleagues) for a "replay" of his days of glory. Some narcissists even cry - but they cry exclusively for themselves and for their lost paradise. And they do so conspicuously and publicly - to attract attention.

The narcissist is a human pendulum hanging by the thread of the void that is his False Self. He swings between brutal and vicious abrasiveness - and mellifluous, saccharine sentimentality. It is all a simulacrum. A verisimilitude. A facsimile. Enough to fool the casual observer. Enough to extract the drug - other people's glances - the reflection that sustains this house of cards somehow.

But the stronger and more rigid the defences - and nothing is more resilient than narcissism - the bigger and deeper the hurt they aim to compensate for.

One's narcissism stands in direct relation to the seething abyss and the devouring vacuum that one harbours in one's True Self.

I know it's there. I catch glimpses of it when I am tired, when I hear music, when reminded of an old friend, a scene, a sight, a smell. I know it is awake when I am asleep. I know that it subsists of pain - diffuse and inescapable. I know my sadness. I have lived with it and I have encountered it full force.

Perhaps I choose narcissism, as I have been "accused". And if I do, it is a rational choice of self-preservation and survival. The paradox is that being a self-loathing narcissist may be the only act of self-love I have ever committed.

The Narcissist's Clarion Call


This dream was related to me by a male, 46 years old, who claims to be in the throes of a major personal transformation. Whether he is a narcissist (as he believes himself to be) or not is quite irrelevant. Narcissism is a language. A person can choose to express himself in it, even if he is not possessed by the disorder. The dreamer made this choice.

Henceforth, I will treat him as a narcissist, though insufficient information renders a "real" diagnosis impossible. Moreover, the subject feels that he is confronting his disorder and that this could be a significant turning point on his way to being healed. It is in this context that this dream should be interpreted. Evidently, if he chose to write to me, he is very preoccupied with his internal processes. There is every reason to believe that such conscious content invaded his dream.

The Dream

"I was in a run-down restaurant/bar with two friends sitting at a table in a large open area with a few other tables and a bar. I did not like the music or the smoky atmosphere or other customers or greasy food, but we were travelling and were hungry and it was open and the only place we could find.

There was a woman with other people at a table about 10 feet in front of me that I found attractive, and noticed she was noticing me as well. There was also another woman with other people at a table about 30 feet to my right, old with heavy make-up and poorly dyed hair, loud, obnoxious, drunk who noticed me. She started saying negative things to me, and I tried to ignore her. She just got louder and more derogatory, with horrible rude and jabbing comments. I tried to ignore her, but my other friends looked at me with raised eyebrows, as if to ask: 'How much more are you going to take before you stand up for yourself?' I felt sick to my stomach, and did not want to confront her, but everyone in the place was now noticing her confrontation of me, and she was almost screaming at me. I couldn't believe no one was telling her to stop it, to be civil, to be nice.

I finally looked over at her and raised my voice and told her to shut up. She looked at me and seemed to get even angrier, and then looked at her plate and picked up a piece of food and threw it at me! I couldn't believe it. I told her I wasn't going to take one more thing, and to stop it now or I would call the police. She got up, walked towards me, picking up a plate of popcorn from another table, and upended it flat upon the top of my head. I stood up and said: 'That's it! That's assault! You're going to jail!' and went to the cash register area by the door and called the police.

The police instantly appeared and took her away, with her resisting arrest the whole time. I sat down and someone at the table next to me said: 'Now you can open up the dam gate.' I said: 'What?', and he explained how the woman was actually pretty powerful and owned a dam and had shut the gate down years ago, but that now she was locked up we could go open it up.

We piled into a truck and I was led into a cavernous room and shown a small room with a glass wall in it and a big wheel, a control valve. I was told that I could turn it whenever I wanted. So I started to turn it and the water started flowing. I could easily see it through the glass, and the level on the glass rose higher the more I turned the wheel. Soon there was a torrent, and it was thrilling. I had never seen such an incredible roar of water. It was like the Niagara falls flowing through the huge room. I got frightened along with being thrilled, but discovered I could lessen the water with the valve if it got to be too much. It went on for a long time, and we whooped and laughed and felt so excited. Finally, the water grew less no matter how wide I opened the valve, and it reached a steady flow.

I noticed the pretty woman from the grill way across the huge area, and she seemed to be looking for someone. I hoped it was me. I opened the door, and went out to go meet her. On the way out, I got grease on my hand, and picked up a rag on the table to wipe it off. The rag had even more grease on it, and so now my hands were completely covered in grease. I picked up another rag on top of a box, and there were wet spark plugs stuck with globs of grease to the underside of the rag, lined up in order as if they used to be in an engine and someone stuck them in this order on purpose, and some of it got on my clothes. The guys with me laughed and I laughed with them, but I left without going to meet the woman, and we went back to the grill.

I found myself in a tiny room with a table in it and a picture window looking out into the area where everyone was sitting and eating. The door was open into a back hallway. I started to go out, but a man was coming into the room. For some reason he frightened me, and I backed up. However, he was robot-like, and walked to the window and looked out to the dining area, making no indication that he even noticed me, and stared blandly at the people having fun. I left and went out into the dining area. I noticed everyone staring at me in an unfriendly way. I started for the exit, but one of the policemen who had arrested the woman from the night before was off-duty in plain clothes and grabbed my arm and twisted me around and shoved me face down on a table. He told me that what I did to the woman was wrong, and that no one liked me because of it. He said that just because I had the law on my side and was in the right didn't mean anyone would like me. He said if I was smart I would leave town. Others were around me and spit on me.

He let me go, and I left. I was driving in a car alone out of town. I didn't know what became of the friends I was with. I felt both elated and ashamed at the same time, crying and laughing at the same time, and had no idea where to go and what I was doing."

The Interpretation

As the dream unfolds, the subject is with two friends. These friends vanish towards the end of the dream and he doesn't seem to find this worrisome. "I didn't know what became of the friends I was with." This is a strange way to treat one's friends. It seems that we are dealing not with three dimensional, full-blown, flesh and blood friends but with FRIENDLY MENTAL FUNCTIONS. Indeed, they are the ones who encourage the subject to react to the old woman's antics. "How much more are you going to take before you stand up for yourself?" – they ask him, cunningly. All the other people present at the bar-restaurant do not even bother to tell the woman "to stop, to be civil, to be nice". This eerie silence contributes to the subject's reaction of disbelief that mushrooms throughout this nightmare. At first, he tries to emulate their behaviour and to ignore the woman himself. She says negative things about him, goes louder and more derogatory, horribly rude and jabbing and he still tries to ignore her. When his friends push him to react: "I felt sick to my stomach and did not want to confront her." He finally does confront her because "everyone was noticing" as she was almost screaming at him.

The subject emerges as the plaything of others. A woman screams at him and debases him, friends prod him to react, and motivated by "everyone" he does react. His actions and reactions are determined by input from the outside. He expects others to do for him the things that he finds unpleasant to do by himself (to tell the woman to stop, for instance). His feeling of entitlement ("I deserve this special treatment, others should take care of my affairs") and his magical thinking ("If I want something to happen, it surely will") are so strong – that he is stunned when people do not do his (silent) bidding. This dependence on others is multi-faceted. They mirror the subject to himself. He modifies his behaviour, forms expectations, gets disbelievingly disappointed, punishes and rewards himself and takes behavioural cues from them ("The guys with me laughed and I laughed with them"). When confronted with someone who does not notice him, he describes him as robot-like and is frightened by him. The word "look" disproportionately recurs throughout the text. In one of the main scenes, his confrontation with the rude, ugly woman, both parties do not do anything without first "looking" at each other. He looks at her before he raises his voice and tells her to shut up. She looks at him and gets angrier.

The dream opens in a "run down" restaurant/bar with the wrong kind of music and of customers, a smoky atmosphere and greasy food. The subject and his friends were travelling and hungry and the restaurant was the only open place. The subject takes great pains to justify his (lack of) choice. He does not want us to believe that he is the type of person to willingly patronise such a restaurant. What we think about him is very important to him. Our look still tends to define him. Throughout the text, he goes on to explain, justify, excuse, reason and persuade us. Then, he suddenly stops. This is a crucial turning point.

It is reasonable to assume that the subject is relating to his personal Odyssey. At the end of his dream, he continues his travels, continues his life "ashamed and elated at the same time". We are ashamed when our sense of propriety is offended and we are elated when it is reaffirmed. How can these contradictory feelings coexist? This is what the dream is about: the battle between what the subject has been taught to regard as true and proper, the "shoulds" and the "oughts" of his life, usually the result of overly strict upbringing – and what he feels is good for him. These two do not overlap and they foster in the subject a sense of escalating conflict, enacted before us. The first domain is embedded in his Superego (to borrow Freud's quasi-literary metaphor). Critical voices constantly resound in his mind, an uproarious opprobrium, sadistic criticism, destructive chastising, uneven and unfair comparisons to unattainable ideals and goals. On the other hand, the powers of life are reawakening in him with the ripening and maturation of his personality. He vaguely realises what he missed and misses, he regrets it, and he wants out of his virtual prison. In response, his disorder feels threatened and flexes its tormenting muscles, a giant awakened, Atlas shrugged. The subject wants to be less rigid, more spontaneous, more vivacious, less sad, less defined by the gaze of others, and more hopeful. His disorder dictates rigidity, emotional absence, automatism, fear and loathing, self-flagellation, dependence on Narcissistic Supply, a False Self. The subject does not like his current locus in life: it is dingy, it is downtrodden, it is shabby, and inhabited by vulgar, ugly people, the music is wrong, it is fogged by smoke, polluted. Yet, even while there, he knows that there are alternatives, that there is hope: a young, attractive lady, mutual signalling. And she is closer to him (10 feet) than the old, ugly woman of his past (30 feet). His dream will not bring them together, but he feels no sorrow. He leaves, laughing with the guys, to revisit his previous haunt. He owes this to himself. Then he continues his life.

He finds himself, in the middle of the road of life, in the ugly place that is his soul. The young woman is only a promise. There is another woman "old, with heavy make-up, poorly dyed hair, loud, obnoxious, drunk". This is his mental disorder. It can scarcely sustain the deception. Its make-up is heavy, its hair dyed poorly, its mood a result of intoxication. It could well be the False Self or the Superego, but I rather think it is the whole sick personality. She notices him, she berates him with derogatory remarks, she screams at him. The subject realises that his disorder is not friendly, that it seeks to humiliate him, it is out to degrade and destroy him. It gets violent, it hurls food at him, it buries him under a dish of popcorn (a cinema theatre metaphor?). The war is out in the open. The fake coalition, which glued the shaky structures of the fragile personality together, exists no longer. Notice that the subject does not recall what insults and pejorative remarks were directed at him. He deletes all the expletives because they really do not matter. The enemy is vile and ignoble and will make use and excuse of any weakness, mistake and doubt to crack the defence set up by the subject's budding healthier mental structures (the young woman). The end justifies all means and it is the subject's end that is sought. There is no self-hate more insidious and pernicious than the narcissist's.

But, to fight his illness, the subject still resorts to old solutions, to old habits and to old behaviour patterns. He calls the police because they represent the Law and What Is Right. It is through the rigid, unflinching, framework of a legal system that he hopes to suppress what he regards as the unruly behaviour of his disorder. Only at the end of his dream he comes to realise his mistake: "He said that just because I had the law on my side and I was in the right didn't mean that anyone would like me." The Police (who appear instantly because they were always present) arrest the woman, but their sympathy is with her. His true aides can be found only among the customers of the restaurant/bar, whom he found not to his liking ("I did not like … the other customers…"). It is someone in the next table who tells him about the dam. The way to health is through enemy territory, information about healing can be gotten only from the sickness itself. The subject must leverage his own disorder to disown it.

The dam is a potent symbol in this dream. It represents all the repressed emotions, the now forgotten traumas, the suppressed drives and wishes, fears and hopes. It is a natural element, primordial and powerful. And it is dammed by the disorder (the vulgar, now-imprisoned, lady). It is up to him to open the dam. No one will do it for him: "Now YOU can open the dam gate." The powerful woman is no more, she owned the dam and guarded its gates for many years ago. This is a sad passage about the subject's inability to communicate with himself, to experience his feelings unmediated, to let go. When he does finally encounter the water (his emotions), they are safely contained behind glass, visible but described in a kind of scientific manner ("the level on the glass rose higher the more I turned the wheel") and absolutely controlled by the subject (using a valve). The language chosen is detached and cold, protective. The subject must have been emotionally overwhelmed but his sentences are borrowed from the texts of laboratory reports and travel guides ("Niagara Falls"). The very existence of the dam comes as a surprise to him. "I said: What?, and he explained."

Still, this is nothing short of a revolution. It is the first time that the subject acknowledges that there is something hidden behind a dam in his brain ("cavernous room") and that it is entirely up to him to release it ("I was told that I could turn it whenever I wanted"). Instead of turning around and running in panic, the subject turns the wheel (it is a control valve, he hurries to explain to us, the dream must be seen to obey the rules of logic and of nature). He describes the result of his first encounter with his long repressed emotions as "thrilling", "incredible" "roar(ing)", "torrent(ial)". It did frighten him but he wisely learned to make use of the valve and to regulate the flow of his emotions to accord with his emotional capacity. And what were his reactions? "Whooped", "laughed", "excited". Finally, the flow became steady and independent of the valve. There was no need to regulate the water anymore. There was no threat. The subject learned to live with his emotions. He even diverted his attention to the attractive, young woman, who reappeared and seemed to be looking for someone (he hoped it was for him).

But, the woman belonged to another time, to another place and there was no turning back. The subject had yet to learn this final lesson. His past was dead, the old defence mechanisms unable to provide him with the comfort and illusory protection that he hitherto enjoyed. He had to move on, to another plane of existence. But it is hard to bid farewell to part of you, to metamorphesise, to disappear in one sense and reappear in another. A break in one's consciousness and existence is traumatic no matter how well controlled, well intentioned and beneficial.

So, our hero goes back to visit his former self. He is warned: it is not with clean hands that he proceeds. They get greasier the more he tries to clean them. Even his clothes are affected. Rags, wet (useless) spark plugs, the ephemeral images of a former engine all star in this episode. Those are passages worth quoting (in parentheses my comments):

"I noticed the pretty woman from the grill (=from my past) way across the huge area (=my brain), and she seemed to be looking for someone. I hoped it was me. I opened the door, and went out to go meet her (=back to my past). On the way out, I got grease on my hand (=dirt, warning), and picked up a rag on the table to wipe it off. The rag had even more grease on it (=no way to disguise the wrong move, the potentially disastrous decision), and so now my hands were completely covered in grease (=dire warning). I picked up another rag on top of a box, and there were wet (=dead) spark plugs stuck with globs of grease to the underside of the rag, lined up in order as if they used to be in an engine (=an image of something long gone) and someone stuck them in this order on purpose, and some of it got on my clothes. The guys with me laughed and I laughed with them (=he laughed because of peer pressure, not because he really felt like it), but I left without going to meet the woman, and we went back to the grill (=to the scene of his battle with his mental disorder)."

But, he goes on to the grill, where it all started, this undefined and untitled chain of events that changed his life. This time, he is not allowed to enter, only to observe from a tiny room. Actually, he does not exist there anymore. The man that enters his observation post, does not even see him or notice him. There are grounds to believe that the man who thus entered was the previous, sick version of the subject himself. The subject was frightened and backed up. The robot-like person (?) looked through the window, stared blandly at people having fun. The subject then proceeded to commit the error of revisiting his past, the restaurant. Inevitably, the very people that he debunked and deserted (the elements of his mental disorder, the diseased occupants of his mind) were hostile. The policeman, this time off duty (=not representing the Law) assaults him and advises him to leave. Others spit on him. This is reminiscent of a religious ritual of ex-communication. Spinoza was spat on in a synagogue, judged to have committed in heresy. This reveals the religious (or ideological) dimension of mental disorders. Not unlike religion, they have their own catechism, compulsive rituals, set of rigid beliefs and "adherents" (mental constructs) motivated by fear and prejudice. Mental disorders are churches. They employ institutions of inquisition and punish heretical views with a severity befitting the darkest ages.

But these people, this setting, exert no more power over him. He is free to go. There is no turning back now, all bridges burnt, all doors shut firmly, he is a persona non grata in his former disordered psyche. The traveller resumes his travels, not knowing where to go and what he is doing. But he is laughing and crying and ashamed and elated. In other words, he, finally, after many years, experiences emotions. On his way to the horizon, the dream leaves the subject with a promise, veiled as a threat "If you were smart you would leave town." If you know what is good for you, you will get healthy. And the subject seems to be doing just that.

Also Read

 Metaphors of the Mind

The Dialogue of Dreams

Treatment Modalities and Psychotherapies

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About Article Author

Sam Vaknin
Sam Vaknin

Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com/ ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, and international affairs.

He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, Global Politician, PopMatters, eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He was the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

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