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Posted by Charlie ( on August 10, 2003 at 02:37:06:

I have a few problems with Oldham's styles. First, the self-confident. He claims that Narcissism is on the self-confident style continium. So if a narcissist could overcome his pathology, he would revert back to a self-confident style. But if we look at Narcissism, it is possible that he could revert into any of the styles.

Narcissism results when the real self is martryed for the false self. It goes back to childhood, when the child learns that be what you need to be instead of what you are. So essentially, the narcissist is the person out of touch with who they are. Every face they put on is a mask used to fulfill who they think they should be to feel good about themselves and gain acceptance. This leads to lying, manipulation, delusion, grandiosity, etc. Self-confidence appears evident in the narcissist, but deep down his real self feels worthless, whereas the false self is grandiose.

So what I say is that the true self repressed in childhood doesn't necessarily have to possess a self-confident style. The true self may be adventurous, or devoted, or self-sacrificing. If anything, the true self is helpless and has feelings that are anything but self-confident.

My next problem is with his claim that an adventurous person can move in and out of ASD. The person who suffers from ASD has no conscience, whereas the adventurous person does. A person without a conscience cannot gain a conscience, and vice versa. So I'm not sure he can propose this continuum without explaining his theory on how a person can go from conscience to no conscience and back again. Also, we have to consider that the psychotherapeutic world is in a fog when it comes to treating ASD, so I am curious once again to hear Oldhams explanation of how it can be that a person can go back and forth between the two. I think Oldham saw how similar the adventurous and ASD appeared, so he joined them at the hip. But we shouldn't accept his classification without seeing solid evidence that a person can bounce between the two.

In my opinion, there is no way to develop a conscience once a person is out of their early childhood.

And last but not least, it is a big misconception to think people with ASD have no consciences. The psychopath has no conscience, and it has been a big misconception to classify all people with ASD as psychopaths.

Let me know what you think.


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