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Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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Do you know some with a personality disorder? What is a personality disorder? These maybe some questions someone may ask. Personality Disorders are mental illnesses that share numerous distinctive qualities. They contain symptoms that are long lasting and play a major role in most, if not all, aspects of a person's life.

While many disorders fluctuate in terms of symptoms presence and intensity, personality disorders typically remain quite regular. The DSM IV states, "Many highly successful individuals display personality traits that might be considered narcissistic. Only when these traits are inflexible, maladaptive, and persisting and cause significant functional impairment or subjective distress do they constitute Narcissistic Personality Disorder." (BENJAMIN J. SADOCK, M.D, 2000). The dominance of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is less than 1% of the general population. It is noticed in 2% to 16% of psychiatric outpatients. This disorder is more common in males (50% to 75%) than females (Long,1995-2009, year). These people lead lives that few can understand, or want to understand.

The personality disorders are not only relentless and heartless, but also very hard to cure. Most people with personality disorders, unlike other psychological disorders, can function normally in every aspect of society outside their disorder. Many leaders of negative groups appear to be examples of this particular personality disorder. Overall the characteristics of these leaders are arrogance, domineering behavior and greed. The three behaviors form the core of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Healthy people are humble, democratic, and unselfish.

Not all Narcissistic Personality Disorders are leaders of destructive groups. However, it is believed that, all leaders of truly vicious groups, exhibit extreme narcissistic traits and/or tendencies. The above listed individuals, and many others, all share in common these characteristics in an uncanny way.

The Origin

For the most part the cause of this disorder is not definitive. Like most personality disorders, there are many factors that may contribute to the development of symptoms. Because the symptoms are long lasting, the idea that symptoms begin to emerge in childhood or at least adolescence is well accepted. If a child does not receive sufficient recognition for their talents during about ages 3-7 they will never mature and continue to be in the narcissistic early development stage. Some narcissistic traits are common and a normal developmental phase. The negative consequences of the symptoms may not show themselves until adulthood. Parenting behaviors that may contribute to the disorder are: an oversensitive nature at birth, overindulgence and overvaluation by parents. By looking at the life of a child is another way to identify narcissistic traits to come or that has been developed. Children who are valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem, or receive excessive admiration that are never balanced with realistic feedback, unpredictable or unreliable care giving from parents, severe emotional abuse in childhood, being praised for perceived exceptional looks or talents by adults, and learning manipulative behaviors from parents shows parental behaviors that contribute to the disorder

Some psychotherapists believe that the etiology of the disorder is, in Freudian terms the result of fixation, to early childhood development (Joseph Fernando 1998). A 1994 study by Gabbard and Twemlow reports that histories of incest, especially mother-son incest are associated with NPD in some male patients.

The symptoms

The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder revolve around a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and sense of entitlement. Often people with NPD feel excessively important and will exaggerate achievements and will accept and often demand praise and admiration despite how insignificant the achievements. They may be overwhelmed with fantasies involving unlimited success, power, love, or beauty feeling that they can only be understood by others who are like them, superior in some aspect of life. There is a sense of entitlement of being more deserving than others based solely on their superiority. Karen J. Maroda, Ph.D. states that, "The



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