Choosing The Right Words

Many people who have seen our website have written to us describing their self-centred horrid parent with clarity and insight. Some, however, have gone further and stated that their parent hadNarcissistic Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder.

It is totally acceptable for a qualified mental health professional to diagnose a patient with one of these disorders, and some horrid parents fall into this category.  But anyone who does not have a professional qualification should exercise caution.  A horrid parent can function well socially and hold down a good job while still behaving badly with their child.  Something that makes it difficult for a professional to diagnose a  mental health disorder.   

It is understandable to want to neatly categorise what is wrong with your horrid parent.  Not least because you need all the help you can get to make sense of what you have been through.


We would instead like to encourage you to use your observational skills to describe various aspects of your horrid parent’s behaviour.  Writing down the details of what you see and what they do will build up a dossier you can refer to.  This will help give you a better grasp of the problems so you can focus on ways to copewith your difficult parent.   See the coping section on our website. 

Instead of offering a medical diagnosis we use the term ‘self-obsessed’ on our website when describing a parent’s unpleasant, irrational and manipulative behaviour.  It can also be described as ‘narcissistic’.

We also believe that noting and sharing your experiences with sympathetic people, perhaps through our forum can help you feel less alone and better understood than relying on a medical diagnosis that may or may not be accurate.