[Critical views on narcissism theories].Z Psychosom Med Psychoanal. 1983; 29(3):209-33.ZP
After having given an overview about the different definitions of the Self, I have defined it as the seat of narcissism which furnishes the instances of Ego, Id and Super-Ego as well as to the body this narcissistic investment or information which gives the individual the feeling that the different instances and his body are belonging to his own and giving him throughout his life a feeling of continuity. Otto F. Kernberg describes, contrary to Heinz Kohut, the primarily pathological nature of narcissism of individuals having an Ego prone to fragmentation and very rigid defense mechanisms, e.g. splitting, projective identification, blind rage, hostility etc. The pathological narcissism results out of an early pathological object-relationship and of an Ego prone to fragmentation with a consecutive disturbance of the development of the Self. From these borderline personalities with their pathology of narcissism I differentiate the narcissistic neuroses--called by Kohut narcissistic personality disorders or behavior disorders--in individuals with a strong Ego, which are due to a lack--or more rarely to a surplus--of warmth-, stimulation- and cognition-experiences in early childhood. They have a tendency of undergoing more than usual a fusion with a Self-object, mirror transferences and developing a grandiose Self in their fantasy as compensations or defense mechanisms. The schizoid personalities are intermediate forms, which show a rigid defense, however do not have like the borderline-personalities the tendency to occasional break-throughs of the primary process. Whereas in the treatment of narcissistically disturbed borderline conditions early interpretations of the rigid archaic defense mechanisms and furthering reality testing are necessary, in narcissistic neuroses primarily the building up of a consistent Self and then a working through of the named narcissistic compensations and defense mechanisms are necessary.