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Stop Being So Full of Yourself: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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Autor:   •  February 6, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,506 Words (7 Pages)  •  748 Views

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Stop being so full of yourself:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A young handsome man, who views his female suitors as unworthy of his beauty is condemned by the gods to never find true love. One day he saw his reflection in a pool, and he stares at himself lovingly for so long eventually he simply withers away and dies. This is the story of Narcissus in Greek mythology for which Narcissistic Personality Disorders is named for. NPD is a serious life consuming disease that is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance. Though many people seem to have NPD it is only defined as disorder if it interferes with one’s life. In this paper I will discuss the symptoms, onset, the theories, and treatments.

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder must have other people continually reassure their self image because they cannot create one for themselves. It is defined as, in Essential of Abnormal Psychology 4th ed., “A Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic) personality disorder involving a pervasive pattern of grandiosity in fantasy or behavior; need for admiration, and lack of empathy. “ According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition you must have five of these nine symptoms

“(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.” NPD patients have often seen as cocky and self absorbed, when spoken to they constantly turn the conversation back on themselves. Alexander Lowen (1984) describes narcissistic personality disorder, as "the denial of the true self." When they feel they are not receiving the special treatment they deserve they will often become angry and lash out at others. They do not respond well to criticism and do not like to be around successful people because they are jealous. When Narissicit people are in imamate relationship they partner is most often verbally abuse and in some extreme physical abused because they cannot and do not live up to the standards of the Narcissistic person. This will also happen in children of Narcissistic people. Patients with NPD insist on being viewed the way they want to and grow upset with other people do not agree with them. They often have such high expiations of themselves, they cannot meet, they are depressed but they will hide this from this rest of the world. People with NPD are generally vulnerable and have very low self-esteem but they would never admit this to anyone or themselves. Some people with NPD with draw from society and put on a faÐ"§ade of modesty and humiliation so they can avoid situations that could lead to criticism.

According to Internet Mental Health “Less than 1 percent of the general population has the disorder and some studies indicate that is more dominated in males up to 75 percent. It is seen in two to sixteen percent of clinical outpatients.” Narcissism is generally seen in adolselance or primary narcissism, as a healthy part of development, but most teenagers will grow out of it when it is carried into adulthood or secondary narcissism it is then consider a disorder. Many specialists believe that people with NPD fear growing up because they will lose their youthful superiority. Each person with NPD are different they share similar core issues but it is manifest in each person differently. According to “Researchers have identified childhood developmental factors and parenting behaviors that may contribute to the disorder: An oversensitive temperament at birth. Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents. Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem. Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback. Unpredictable or unreliable care giving from parent’s .Severe emotional abuse in childhood. Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or talents by adults. Learning manipulative behaviors from parents.”

Theories about NPD go back to Sigmund Freud's pioneering work On Narcissism, published in1914. In this essay, Freud (1914) introduced a distinction between “primary and secondary narcissism”. Freud thought that all babies pass through a phase of primary narcissism, in which they assume they are the center of their universe. This phase ends when the child is forced by the realities of life to recognize that it does not control its parents but is in fact entirely


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