Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This just in: "Narcissism No Longer a Psychiatric Disorder"

Here's Tara Parker-Pope in NYTimes:

Narcissistic personality disorder, characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and the need for constant attention, has been eliminated from the upcoming manual of mental disorders, which psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness.

As Charles Zanor reports in today’s Science Times, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — due out in 2013 and known as D.S.M.-5 — has eliminated five of the 10 personality disorders that are listed in the current edition. The best known of these is narcissistic personality disorder. [Link added by me]

Charles Zanor's story, which Parker-Pope refers to, has a great headline: A Fate That Narcissists Will Hate: Being Ignored. This story will resonate with you even more if you think about your least favorite narcissist in your circle; here's an excerpt:

The second requirement for N.P.D. [narcissistic personality disorder]: since the narcissist is so convinced of his high station (most are men), he automatically expects that others will recognize his superior qualities and will tell him so. This is often referred to as “mirroring.” It’s not enough that he knows he’s great. Others must confirm it as well, and they must do so in the spirit of “vote early, and vote often.”

Finally, the narcissist, who longs for the approval and admiration of others, is often clueless about how things look from someone else’s perspective. Narcissists are very sensitive to being overlooked or slighted in the smallest fashion, but they often fail to recognize when they are doing it to others.


  1. Anant said...

    These guys are really behind times. Not only is it not a psychiatric disorder, it also rumoured to be a religion. See, e.g., character played by Woody Allen in Scoop who says

    “I was born into the Hebrew persuasion, but when I got older I converted to narcissism…”

  2. Anonymous said...

    I can already see Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi smile with relief.