Monday, January 16, 2006

Hmmm, sound like anyone we know?

According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (IVth edition: DSM-IV), narcissism in extremis involves a self-centeredness that makes one oblivious to the emotional existence of others. The DSM-IV defines its pathological extreme (narcissistic personality disorder) as: "A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy."

The DSM-IV further diagnoses a narcissitic personality by the following characteristics:

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

"Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

"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)

"Requires excessive admiration

"Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

"Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

"Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

"Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

"Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes"

From "Narcissism, the Public, and the President" by Stephen Soldz

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