Primary Racism And Secondary Nascissism

Freud made the distinction between two types of narcissism: primary narcissism and secondary narcissism. Primary narcissism constitutes a normative stage (6 months old to 6 years old) in the development of the psyche that is common to all individuals. The concept of primary narcissism is based on the premise that the young child is naturally egocentric and self-oriented, showing some level of narcissism necessary for normal development. During this time, the natural impulse to self-preserve (ego-instincts) is inseparable from the impulse to preserve the species (sex-instincts), which makes the child direct all their sexual energy toward the self. The child naturally starts to direct this energy towards others as time passes and the ego-instincts become separate from the sex-instincts.

Secondary narcissism develops when the child or adolescent is exposed to a traumatic event, and a regression to primary narcissism takes place: the individual begins to direct the libidinal energy exclusively toward the self after previously having developed the capacity to direct this energy toward outside objects. This type of narcissism is characterized by a pathologic infatuation with the self that is associated with different pathological states, including schizophrenia and narcissistic personality disorder.

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