Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental disorder classified in the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as one of the major personality disorders. Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as defined by the DSM-V, is the “pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy” that typically begins by early adulthood (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Those individuals who suffer with narcissistic personality disorder often have an inflated sense of self-importance while also displaying other characteristics. Individuals who exhibit five or more of the following traits are often diagnosed with the personality disorder: “(a) a grandiose sense of self-importance; (b) preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love; (c) beliefs of being special and unique; (d) requirements of excessive admiration; (e) a sense of entitlement; (f) interpersonal exploitativeness; (g) lack of empathy; (h) envy of others; and (i) arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes” (Skodel, Bender, & Morey, 2013). Those who display these traits often display them in socially stressful ways that affect their relationships with others and interferes with their professional and personal lives.
An individual who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder will often always seem pleased with themselves no matter what. These people adopt the mindset that they are great and there exists no one like them and there is no one that can ever match the talents that they have. An example of a person that would suffer from narcissistic personality disorder could be described as an African American or Hispanic male, who falls in the age range of 15-24 years of age. This man will often lack empathy towards all people and will be very self-centered. As a result of this self-centeredness, this man will often alienate friends and family due to the fact that he cannot think of anyone else’s needs but himself. If he does not alienate himself from family and friends, in all other relationships, especially intimate ones, he will constantly need admiration from his partner to reassure his uniqueness. Lastly, in his career, he will often be competitive and aim to be the most successful, while displaying rage and/or aggression when faced with criticism.
Etiology of the Disorder
One of the first ideas about narcissism originated with the Ancient Greeks with the myth of Narcissus. According to Greek myth, Narcissus was a very handsome and vain young man that never grew tired of staring at his reflection in the waters of a pool (Sabine, 1940). Narcissus was so in love with his reflection that he often tried to embrace it and talk to it; as a result, he eventually wasted away. The manifestation of narcissism can clearly be seen in this tale as the stubborn pride of man captivated in his own beauty.
In the early twentieth century, psychoanalytic theorists believed...