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Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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Did you know that eighteen million United States citizens have a mental illness and that one out of seven have a personality disorder? A personality disorder is a problem with the way a persons character develops and the way the person behaves that causes disruption in their life. One such personality disorder is the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.



The Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by acts of grandiosity, an extreme need for admiration, and a sense of entitlement. Symptoms associated with the Narcissistic Personality Disorder are that the person has feelings of being overly important, he overstates his achievements, and needs an excessive amount of praise and admiration. He is also controlled by fantasies of limitless power, sex, money, love and beauty and believes he can only be understood by people who are like him in being superior to everyone else. The truth behind this façade is that he has an underlying sense of inferiority about himself. He becomes jealous and angry to an extreme amount when others receive more respect, admiration, or simply when another person steals his spotlight. If a person seeks treatment these symptoms can be reversed with therapy. However, most people with this Narcissistic Personality Disorder never seek treatment.



The causes of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder are unknown at this time. However, evidence has led some psychologists to believe that it is caused by extreme amounts of pampering, exceedingly high expectations being held for this person, abuse, neglect, genetics, and psychobiology. According to the DSM-IV-TR the criteria that must be met in order for someone to be diagnosed with this disorder is that they must have a pattern of grandiosity, an excessive need for admiration, lack of empathy for others, and has five or more of the following characteristics that the person feels overly important, overstates achievements, and requires praise and admiration; is controlled by fantasies with limitless success, power, love, and beauty; believes he can only be understood by those who are also "superior"; has an underlying sense of inferiority complex and can become envious and angry when others steal their spotlight; exploits others when in relationships; has no empathy for others; and has an extremely arrogant and haughty attitude.


Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects less than one percent of the general population and affects two to sixteen percent of psychiatric outpatients. The people that are affected by Narcissistic Personality Disorder are affected in their everyday lives in that their feelings of entitlement, their need for admiration and that they lack empathy for others pushes people away and hurts their relationships. They are affected in their jobs because though they can usually achieve high success, they are intolerant of criticism or being defeated so their work may be disrupted.


One personality disorder is the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Society takes psychological disorders such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder and makes them something to be feared. This makes it so that people with a psychological disorder feel inferior to everyone else, combined with how someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder feels and now another psychological disorder is created, depression. If our society treated people with psychological disorders in a better manner then perhaps people with say, Narcissistic Personality Disorder could be helped.



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