Health04 Oct 2010 03:11 pm
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. Individuals with this disorder are usually arrogantly self-assured and confident. They expect to be noticed as superior. Many highly successful individuals might be considered narcissistic. However, this disorder is only diagnosed when these behaviors become persistent and very disabling or distressing.
The narcissist is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, and prestige. Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness. Psychologist Theodore Millon identified five subtypes of narcissist. Any individual narcissist may exhibit none or one of the following:
• unprincipled narcissist – including antisocial features. A charlatan – is a fraudulent, exploitative, deceptive and unscrupulous individual.
• amorous narcissist – including histrionic features. The Don Juan of our times – is erotic, exhibitionist.
• compensatory narcissist – including negativistic (passive-aggressive), avoidant features.
• elitist narcissist – variant of pure pattern. Corresponds to Wilhelm Reich’s “phallic narcissistic” personality type.
• fanatic type – including paranoid features. A severely narcissistically wounded individual, usually with major paranoid tendencies who holds onto an illusion of omnipotence.
Moreover, a person with narcissistic personality disorder tends to:
• Reacts to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
• Takes advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
• Has feelings of self-importance
• Exaggerates achievements and talents
• Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love
• Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
• Requires constant attention and admiration
• Disregards the feelings of others, lacks empathy
• Has obsessive self-interest
• Pursues mainly selfish goals
The cause of this disorder is unknown. Narcissistic personality disorder usually begins by early adulthood. Psychotherapy may help the affected person relate to others in a more positive and compassionate manner.
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