Echo Personality Disorder is a specific and highly differentiated form of dependency, marked by behaviours of compliance and a need to 'mirror' significant others -parents, spouse, friends, employer. It has been found that those with EPD are highly attracted to relationships with individuals who show marked narcissistic tendencies.
This mirroring behaviour was the reason for choosing the name Echo personality disorder, which is based on the Greek myth of Narcissus and Echo. In this story Echo, a forest nymph, falls completely in love with the egocentric youth Narcissus, and when he shows clear signs of rejecting her, she persists in her attatchement to him and will not be moved from her aim. She finally satisfies him with the masochistic task of echoing back to him all that he says. This too is the central feature of EPD behaviour in relationships, where the individual will mirror, echo, and compliment another at the expense of their own self-worth and dignity.
Self descriptions by EPD sufferers focus strongly on perceived fears of abandonment, rejection, and loss, and these agonizing feelings are the driving force behind the above-mentioned interpersonal coping style (mirroring others). These individuals protect themselves from abandonment/rejection by being so agreeable to others, via their mirroring capacity, that chances of re-experiencing abandonment agony is brought to a low minimum. Unfortunately this approach amounts to a false existence with little or no true self expression, and eventually leads to poor psychological health.
Characteristic experiential history for EPD often involves individuals being parented by caretakers who are themselves self-absorbed or narcissistic. In this environment the child learns that asserting ones true self will be met with a form of (often serial) rejection, to which they respond by substituting compliant behaviour in place of true selfhood. This 'compliant' behaviour can then be witnessed as a stable feature...
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