CEREBRAL MEDULLA CONSTELLATION
Biological Conflicts: self-devaluation conflict, loss conflict. Any conflict combination is possible.
The Cerebral Medulla Constellation presents as a compulsion to draw attention to oneself. People in this constellation have a persistent self-referential attitude and an over-inflated sense of self-esteem. They come across as overconfident, arrogant, pompous, and over pretentious – as “full of themselves”. Here we find the show-offs, the braggers, the boasters, the know-it-all, and the narcissists who crave for attention, approval, praise, and admiration (classified in the DSM-5 as “narcissistic personality disorder”). The significance of this self-importance is to counteract the double or multiple breach of self-esteem by creating a superior, often unreal image of oneself. In other words, inferiority turns into superiority, into an exaggerated sense of being better than others (in psychology, this is called a superiority complex). We find this behavior also in nature, where fluffing up the feathers is a means to impress the opponent by pretending to be stronger or bigger. It is a natural survival tactic. In the human world, the inflated ego serves the purpose to protect the individual from further self-devaluation conflicts. At the same time, the “puffed-up” self-esteem gives the person that has been put down the strength to pick himself up and regain courage and self-assurance. It is the “megalomania constellation” that produces the necessary force for exceptional achievements, academically, intellectually, in sports, in the arts, or in a professional career. This constellation might also explain what is commonly known as the “Short Man Syndrome”.
The Cerebral Medulla Constellation also creates the control freak, the person who has a compulsive need to exercise control and power over others (see crime disposition).
What is known as Munchausen syndrome is a condition where people deliberately produce, exaggerate, or fake symptoms of a physical or mental disease in order to draw (medical) attention or sympathy to themselves (compare with hypochondria). From the GNM point of view, this behavior is the result of self-devaluation conflicts experienced in association with a previous illness (humiliating comments or treatments by doctors or nurses) or not feeling cared for.
An intense megalomania constellation could lead to delusions of grandeur, of greatness, genius, wealth, fame, brilliance, or omnipotence. The type of delusion reveals the underlying conflicts. For example, a person who believes to be a famous general like Napoleon (either in fantasy or by conduct) might have suffered traumatic self-devaluation conflicts in the military through brutal, humiliating training or as a soldier in combat. Many U.S. Vietnam veterans developed mental diseases of this kind after they had returned home, where they faced humiliation and dishonor. If grandiose delusions have a religious content, for instance, a belief that he or she has received a special message from God, the self-devaluation conflicts might have been caused by parental disciplining such as verbal reprimands or corporal punishments for “sinful” deeds (as to messianic delusions see also Flying Constellation).