BPD and covert narcissism/covert NPD are often confused with each other, because on the surface, their symptoms can appear very similar. Neither has a grandiose sense of self or displays much (or any) arrogance, which is the more typical picture of someone with NPD. Like borderlines, covert narcissists can seem very sensitive, needy, or emotionally fragile (something grandiose narcissists are not usually noted for, except for their infamous outbursts of rage).
Because covert or “fragile” NPD is not a recognized psychiatric diagnosis (at least not in my country), people who are actually suffering from covert narcissism (or covert NPD for those higher on the spectrum) are usually diagnosed with something else — usually Borderline Personality Disorder, especially for females. Covert narcissism is also frequently confused with PTSD (which may actually be comorbid with it), Avoidant Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, or Asperger’s syndrome/high functioning autism.
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