What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder

be-selfish-1It is normally the victims of narcissistic abuse that find themselves researching and educating themselves as to what exactly narcissism is and what can be done about it. The question is often “Does my mate have narcissistic personality disorder?” Or “is a family member, or co-worker a narcissist?”  However there are also those who have either been diagnosed as having narcissistic personality disorder or those who are projecting their own narcissism onto their partners who find their way to Websites about narcissism.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a psychological condition that causes a lot of pain for both the narcissist and those who love him. It is the narcissists refusal to accept responsibility for his/her behavior and actions that cause so much pain for others. It is his projecting his/her own repressed feelings of self-loathing onto others and lashing out at others as a sort of dumping or discarding of those pent up emotions that erodes the self-worth of his victims.

Narcissism begins in childhood, as a normal part of development but it becomes a coping mechanism for those who never outgrow it. They construct a sophisticated fantasy world to protect them from the real world and its consequences.

The narcissistic reality is fabricated on illusion and anyone who threatens this reality may fall prey to narcissistic rage (the dumping of those repressed toxic emotions.)

Because the narcissistic reality is carefully crafted as a coping mechanism protecting the narcissist from his earlier childhood experiences of feeling rejected, unloved, uncared for, hurt and punished, it can be difficult to penetrate that reality. It is like a shell or bubble of protection that keeps the narcissist safe inside his/her own illusionary reality.

Trying to draw out or confront the narcissist about his/her behavior is most often a futile effort. S/he is likely to project back onto the person doing the confronting, finding fault with them. Once again this is his way of protecting himself/herself and his/her falsely constructed illusion of who s/he believes himself/herself to be.

The falsely constructed illusion is one of perfection where the narcissist is unable to perceive that he has any flaws, however the world around him and the people in it are all deeply flawed. He seeks out perfection in others to find his ideal love or true match. Although he may initially believe he has found his perfect partner, he is quickly disappointed when the partner begins to invite him to see another perspective that isn’t based on his image of perfection.

Narcissism is referred to as excessive self love, however Narcissistic Personality Disorder has little to do with authentic Self Love.  It is more likely to evolve out of a deep self loathing that is compensated for by putting oneself upon a pedestal and largely inflating ones ego.

Other Definitions

self-admiration or self-love; a tendency to over-estimate one’s abilities and importance.

An exceptional interest in and admiration for yourself

Narcissism is a psychological condition defined as a total obsession with self, to the exclusion of almost all other interaction with people. Narcissism is often characterized by a lack of empathy for others, an immature sense of humor, sadistic or destructive tendencies towards other people, and a compulsion to satisfy personal needs without regard for others. People suffering from narcissism can be extremely introverted in social situations, tending to avoid deep friendships or commitments to career or family. Wise Geek

Use their looks to get what they want, is able to plan and work towards goals successfully, loves themself, optimistic, sparkling, achiever, self promoting, self assured, success driven, thinks they can charm anyone, ambitious, elegant, thinks they are better looking than most people (which they may or may not be), believes that they are special, more a leader than a follower, believes that other people are envious of them, loves to win awards, fits in most places, seductive, purposeful, believes in success through appearances, assertive, goal oriented, would love to have buildings and monuments named after them, believes they deserve all the good things they have, likes to be popular.

Mental disorder characterized by extreme self-absorption, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and a need for attention and admiration from others. First identified by Havelock Ellis in 1898, the disorder is named for the mythological Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. In addition to an inflated self-image and addiction to fantasy, narcissism is characterized by an unusual coolness and composure, which is shaken only when the narcissistic confidence is threatened, and by the tendency to take others for granted or to exploit them. According to Sigmund Freud, narcissism is a normal stage in children’s development, but it is considered a disorder when it occurs after puberty. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

Freudian term, drawn from the Greek myth of Narcissus, indicating an exclusive self-absorption. In psychoanalysis, narcissism is considered a normal stage in the development of children. It is known as secondary narcissism when it occurs after puberty, and is said to indicate a libidinal energy directed exclusively toward oneself. A degree of narcissism is considered normal, where an individual has a healthy self-regard and realistic aspirations. The condition becomes pathological, and diagnosable as a personality disorder, when it significantly impairs social functioning. An individual with narcissistic personality disorder tends to harbor an exaggerated sense of his own self-importance and uniqueness. He is often excessively occupied with fantasies about his own attributes and potential for success, and usually depends upon others for reinforcement of his self-image. A narcissist tends to have difficulties maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships, stemming largely from a lack of empathy and a propensity for taking advantage of others in the interest of self-aggrandizement. It is often found in combination with antisocial personality disorder. Columbia Encyclopedia

The Peter Pan Syndrom

The Peter-Pan psychological type is one characterized by immaturity or certain sorts of psychological, social, and sexual problems. The type of personality in question, usually male, is immature and narcissistic. More completely, according to Kiley, the characteristics of a “Peter-Pan” include such attributes as irresponsibility, rebelliousness, pottering about, anger, narcissism, dependency, manipulativeness, and the belief that he is beyond society’s laws and norms. According to Kiley, “Peter Pan” is the adult little boy who, when in a relationship or in seeking a relationship, acts out a need for mothering. It is useful to compare the Jungian archetype of Puer Aeternus, the eternal boy.

Narcissism describes the character trait of self love, based on self-image or ego.  The word is derived from a Greek myth. Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. As punishment, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus pined away and changed into the flower that bears his name, the narcissus.

In psychology and psychiatry, excessive narcissism is recognized as a severe personality dysfunction or personality disorder, most characteristically Narcissistic personality disorder, also referred to as NPD.

Sigmund Freud believed that some narcissism is an essential part of all of us from birth and was the first to use the term in the reference to psychology.

Andrew Morrison claims that, in adults, a reasonable amount of healthy narcissism allows the individual’s perception of his needs to be balanced in relation to others.[2]

The terms “narcissism”, “narcissistic” and “narcissist” are often used as pejoratives, denoting vanity, conceit, egotism or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others. Arguably, however, these terms are used to draw parallels between allegations of self-centeredness and Narcissistic personality disorder, rather than toward healthy self-love. Wikepedia