Sunday, July 27, 2008

Personality Disorders-II

Here comes yet another one in the DRAMATIC cluster of personality disorders. This one is called NARCISSISTIC Personality Disorder. As you can guess from the name, a person suffering from this disorder has a deep sense of love for oneself. This love is so powerful that it becomes a source of distress for the others, and hence pathological.

I know of one acquaintance who has this disorder. He is male and therefore, I will use the pronoun "him" in this post. However, both men and women both can suffer from this one.


Do you know of someone who has
an exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)?

We all are proud of our achievements and talk about them to some extent but someone with NPD will continue to do so for days, months, and years together, even when there is an absence of accomplishments, pretending that he is a hero and no one else exists.

Do you know of someone who is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love?

Someone with NPD will live in their own world where they live a glorified life and when confronted with reality, will react with anger and justifications. It wont be surprising to realize that a lot of their narrated stories are fake.

Do you know of someone who believes he is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)?

He with NPD will believe those beneath him to be average (since he is so superior). And those average are close to being worthless. To interact with those average people will be below his dignity.

Do you know of someone who requires excessive admiration?

He with NPD will want praise and compliments all the time. If people are jealous of him, that will give him pleasure. And if people disagree with him, then they are inferior and "stupid". They want to be told that whatever they do is the best. They do not care if its sincere or not, the amount matters.

Do you know of someone who has a sense of entitlement?

Those with NPD will believe that the world has to revolve around them and stop at their convenience. People should comply to their wishes whatever it may be and when these expectations are not met, they react with rage.

Do you know of someone who selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends?

Those with NPD will not care if they are hurting someone or using them to fulfill whatever they themselves want to achieve. Therefore, they are not able to have any deep relationships.

Do you know of someone who lacks empathy?

Those with NPD will not be able to step into someone else's shoes to understand the problem that they are going through. They will only be preoccupied with their own issues and have no concern for others' distress.

Do you know of someone who is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him?

If someone with NPD discovers someone else who he perceives to be better liked, appreciated, or talented, he will be very envious of the person. He also believes that those "inferior" to him are jealous of him and therefore do not talk to him.

Do you know of someone who shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes?

Basically, someone with NPD will be extremely proud, arrogant, boastful, and treat others like dirt.

So there!! You are now educated on this disorder. Remember not to confuse high self-esteem with NPD. Someone with high self-esteem will not necessarily think that he is superior to others. But someone with NPD will. Moreover,underneath all this grandiosity that the NPD person displays, ies a very fragile self-esteem. They have trouble handling criticism and may secretly be ashamed when that happens. Therefore, in order to make themselves feel better, they try to belittle others!

As with all other personality disorders, the person suffering from it, may be in DENIAL and react with anger when suggested that they might have it. But if you feel like someone has this disorder and you want to help them, see if you can get them to see a professional! Good luck!



Keshi said...

Interesting post!

Following r the points I noticed the most abt a friend I know. And they are:

**Do you know of someone who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance

**Do you know of someone who believes he is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)?

**Do you know of someone who selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his own ends?

**Do you know of someone who lacks empathy?

Sadly yes! But I dun think I can help him. I better send him to a shrink. But, if I suggest that, he might get upset with me. U know, not most ppl like that kinda suggestion made on them.

So, u being a shrink, tell me how do I get him to get help? How do I make that first step towards him in a subtle yet effective way?

tnxx Sol!


Ghost Particle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neeku said...

I smell my Ex here in this post !

You have no idea what I went through with him !

All I am thankful to God is not listening my (that) prayer and got me out of it before it was too late !

Solitaire said...

@ Keshi,

It is quite hard for a person with a personality disorder to admit that they have one, especially someone with NPD. As I have said in my post, they may react with anger to that.

Maybe glorify the shrink so that the person feels that he will be associating with someone of high status?

Solitaire said...

@ Neeku,

Haha! You are lucky then. And sensible too.

Ghost Particle said...

hey NPD! amazing, well thats me, I got NPD. I tink im gonna make a tshirt, coz that sounds cool. Atleast being NPD has much more dignity and selfrespect for it compared to being...hmmm...let say...HPD! baahgahahahah!

Ghost. NPD.

Keshi said...

**Maybe glorify the shrink so that the person feels that he will be associating with someone of high status?

hehe good one. Mebbe I should show him a pic of u? He'll make sure he MEETS ya :):)



Monika,Ansh said...

very informative. :) Thanks for enlightening us all.

Rakesh said...

mohammed bin tuglaq ka naam suna hi hoga.....but please advice to resolve those problem.

Ne said...

I like how you broke this down!!I know some with that disorder!!

This is getting interesting and I was thinking of changing majors!!


rayshma said...

very interesting... fortunately, for me, i can't think of anyone i know who exhibits any of these symptoms in extreme. i mean, there are a lot of folks who show some mild symptoms... but i guess they're plain self-obsessed...

Shruti said...

OMG!! I know 2 ppl.. my colleague, a female.. shows the first few characteristics. The things she says about herself. Once she even told us she has a patent!! Sigh..
..and then there's my Sir.. Prof. Wolf (a nick I have given him) shows all of the latter ones. Belittles another to hide his worthlessness and mistakes!

God! This kind of self love is sooo not good.

ceedy said...

Just two questions:

1)Is this something one is born with? or can be inculcated by parents/teachers etc...where a kid is constantly told that he/she is better than others and compared etc much so that - it becomes an obsession for that kid to be "praised".

2) What is my bill so far?

Pavi!!!! said...

Intersting agn. But luckily(??) i donno any1 wit this disorder...I know ppl who are self -obsessed to a v. annoying extent but not sum1 sufferin from NPD.It is so so irritating to be around self-obsessed characters. All they do , think, see,hear, listen has sumthing to do wit them!

Pranay said...

This is a very good thing you have started Solitaire. Apart from increasing knowledge about mental illness among others it would also help me with my studies in a way. :D
So I m all the more happy!!
But yes reading the comments, I thikn it is imperative to tell as you have keep saying that such characteristics are present in normal people but are just exagerrated enough to disturb the day to day life in these ppl. Not everyone having any of the characteristics is suffering from it.


see ya.

Hiren said...

hmmm ... interesting ... just curious though ... how do you ppl treat these disorders ?? **... I dont think any medication would help here ... just talk therapy ????

** dont bother to reply/post if its even a wee bit against your professional ethics to divulge into details ...

Ankur said...

luckily i dont know anyone with most of such traits!! !

and thanks for the post! its amazing to know so much abt NPD!! :)

Sam said...

and yes.. i'm surrounded by narcisstic ppl.. but then I won't categorise anyone as NPD..
do all conditions have to be satisfied for NPD??

Alok said...

I'd like a scientific answer to this query from you:

What do you define as a "Personality Disorder"?

As I think of it, "Disorder" means either of two things:

1) Traits that are noticeably different from the commonly accepted notions of society.


2) Traits that are harmful to the self or to people who are in contact with the person.

Does #1 necessarily imply #2?

mohak said...

how do you cure someone with NPD ??
with medication or its only sessions with psy. ?!!

Vandita said...

nope i dunno anyone with NPD either but thanks for the informative post sol

The Paratrooper said...

what about those who umm... like there is a woman who fights to death saying that her hubby is the best officer around...who in fact is a third grade officer... in rank also..but still she angrily denies that and says all the army revolves around him ??? what is that? this is the observations of 30 neighbours living around her... including me...

vivek said...

Why is it that this one has a he and not a she like your previous post?

I know ;)

Romila said...

Great post! Love this site of yours where you selflessly try and educate whatever you learnt to all of us.

Never knew the symptoms of Narcissism goes to such lengths and that it can actually be treated.

Kiran Sawhney said...

Urs is such interesting and informative blog. Very recently I was told by my shrink that my sis, whom i was really close to all this while has NPD. So many unsolved mysteries of my life opened up with this. Earlier I used to find faults in myself, in my relationships. Then I realized what was actually wrong.

Shailesh Mishra said...

If self diagnosis is allowed I'll then probably be afflicted by NPD along with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (justification for my bad grades),Binge Eating Disorder (I dunno if I am over-weight due to this or is it the beer),Avoidant Personality Disorder (Avoiding everyone and everything including work... some say I'm just being lazy but APD is pretty common too).

Many claim that I show symptoms of Antisocial Personal Disorder at times too but then I don't pay much attention to them.

Or am I simply suffering from Factitious Disorder??

On a serious note, isn't NPD similar to grandiose (Delusional Disorder)??

Scribblers Inc said...

ooooo...I discovered somwone in my known spehere of knowledge too!!creepy!!

Scribblers Inc.

Fictional Desi said...

spent the greater part of last night discussing personality disorders with my flatmates
interesting to have found your blog today

Solitaire said...

@ Fictional,

Really? How did you know about "personality disorders"?

Solitaire said...

@ Scribbler,

Its normal! :)

Solitaire said...

@ Shailesh,

Looking at that comment, all that I have to say is SELF DIAGNOSIS IS NOT ALLOWED!! Geez! Do you want to be on meds all your life or something to bring this upon yourself!?

A delusional disorder does not necessary relate to one's own personality while NPD is more about one's self.

Solitaire said...

@ Kiran,

Kudos to you for having a shrink. Some people think that it is drastic to have one but I think it should be the norm. I am glad it helped.

Solitaire said...

@ Romila,

Thanks! I have been neglecting it a bit, though. I get wary because people come here and start diagnosing themselves!

Solitaire said...

@ Vivek,

The reasons are stated there. Everyone knows.

Solitaire said...

@ Paratrooper,

Mera pati mahan attitude? Delusions I suppose.

Solitaire said...

@ Vandita,

Very good for you! They can be quite a headache.

Solitaire said...

@ Mohak,

With counseling. Hardly works. NPDs don't think they need treatment. They just think they are the king.

Solitaire said...

@ Alok,

Read this.

Solitaire said...

@ Sam,

Not all. 6/9 conditions.

Solitaire said...

@ Ankur,

You are welcome. And thank your stars that you don't know a person like that or that you have not yet recognized a person like that.

Solitaire said...

@ Hiren,

Nothing unethical about this question. Usually counseling is the way to go for personality disorders.

Solitaire said...

@ Pranay,

Of course! Just having one symptom does not necessarily mean that the person has a disorder!

I am glad this is helping you.

Solitaire said...

@ Pavi,

YES. Very annoying!!!!! I know a couple people like that and that is enough to give me headaches for a year.

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy,

Are you sure you are an architect? Your conceptualization is very accurate!!

Bill is 2000 bucks so far.

Solitaire said...

@ Shruti,

I hear ya! And feel for you! It sure is not easy dealing with these ppl on a daily basis!

Solitaire said...

@ Rayshma,

Good! It is important to distinguish between a full-blown disorder and just a few symptoms.

Solitaire said...

@ NE,

Why do you want to switch now?

Solitaire said...

@ Rakesh,

Can only sympathize. No home remedies available. Sorry!

Solitaire said...

@ Monika,

Thanks!! :)

Solitaire said...

@ Ghost,

Haha! So be it!

Che said...

I know a lot of people who will say that I suffer from this :(

Crepuscule Colour said...

I call myself mildly narcissistic. Not pathologically.. but yes, somewhat. I guess it kinds helps me in some ways. :D