A False Self is a term they usually connect to NPD. For long, I thought that if you have a False Self, you are pathologic (have a personality disorder). As I learn more and more about this and myself, I now realize that a False Self is not just a good thing, but neccessary for a meaningful life.
So, how it can be a good thing and cause Narcissistic Personality Disorder and depersonalization?
I tell you my opinion. A False Self is a creation of your mind (you can say it is an "illusion"). Every single person whose life is worth living has a false self. A False Self is the ingredient of healthy narcissism. It is something you identify with, therefore have a unique sense of self, so your life starts to have meaning. You have a narrative connected to it, which is your life story.
Without a life story, you are living in a meaningless wastelend. Some people connect this to enlightenment, which I believe to be true, others call depersonalization "Enlightenment's evil twin". I don't want to talk much about spirituality here, but I beleive that depersonalization is when someone gets "enlightened" for the wrong reasons. If your life goal is to achieve that state, fine. But if you have totally different intentions, and see "enlightenment" as a solution, "losing your ego" (becoming enlightened) is a terryfing experience.
So, I think in depersonalization, you simply experience the "loss" of the "false self". Why do I used double-quotes on both words? Because you aren't really losing your false self, and your false self isn't really false.
First of all, since your false self is something YOU have created, you can't lose it forever, you can recreate it anytime. Secondly, the False Self (which EVERYONE has, EVERYONE) is not really false. It's just a phsychological phenomenom that is simply can not be called neither real or false. Your sense of self (your False Self) is an idea about yourself in your mind, which you then MANIFEST in the real world.
EXAMPLE: "I will become the best lawyer in the world". Or "I am the best lawyer in the world.". Now, is there anything pathological about that? Well. If you BELIEVE you are the best lawyer in the world, but you have just finished college, is it kind of false, or you could say arrogant, or big-headed. But, if you were one of the best students in college, and you are really on your way to become the best, is that false? How false it is? Is there such a thing that a "BEST" lawyer? If you start to examine the f*ck out of the question, you'll come to the conclusion that there IS no best lawyer. Even if you win every single case, you can still find a lawyer who won a more difficult case you ever had.
But, if you are really a GOOD lawyer, isn't it VERY HEALTHY, and PRO-LIFE to think yourself as the best as long as you keep your ego in place and work hard?
Do you get me? So, I think, a False Self only becomes "pathological" if it is WAAY out of sync with reality, and I think there is NO sharp dividing between a pathological and a "normal" false self.
So how the false self goes wrong in NPD and DP/DR? Well. Here is my take. First of all, I believe that the more fragile or sense of self (false self is), the less confidence we have in it's "realness" (which is subjective anyway), the MORE we identify with it. It is a totally self-defeating human trait, but we still do it.
And when we get DP/DR and panic attacks, that means 1.) Our false self got destroyed or damaged so much 2.) We IDENTIFY with it too much.
So the solution is:
Realize that you, as a human being NOT EQUALS your false self. If your false self CRASHES, you still have value, you are still a human being with 100% worth. You just feel worthless. This is a FALSE belief.
----> PROBLEM: When we realize (because in DP we realize) that our false self was only a creation of our mind, we think it's an ILLUSION, so we think life is MEANINGLESS. It is black-and-white thinking at it's best (=worst). Why have another false self if it is all fake?
Realize that you are STILL ALIVE. You have lost your false self and survived.
So my recipe is this: create a NEW FALSE SELF. IDENTIFY WITH IT, but create a BALANCE.
If you don't identify with a false self at 0%, your life becomes meaningless, empty, you'll float around in space without purpose. You'll have ZERO motivation, ZERO ambition, ZERO interest in life.
If you identify with a false self at 100%, you will feel like your WORTH and ultimately your LIFE depends on it, and it will create perfectionism, procrastination of tasks (your inner rebel will NOT like the idea that you have to work your ass off JUST to have a basic worth as a human being).
So, the solution is to create, work at and ENJOY your false self while keeping a DISTANCE.
You are NOT a "lawyer", not a "musician", not a "mother", not a "basketball player". But you can create all of them out of you, do the best at them, enjoy being everyone of them, without feeling like you HAVE TO BE any of them.
Feel free to comment!