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Is Narcissism the Norm?


Being exposed to the world of psychology, I have at many moments blurted out some out of the blue psychological terms that could almost... well almost, make me sound like the psychologist I dream to be. Words like "dysfunctional", "separation anxiety", "risk averse" not to mention the ever famous "penis envy" are enough for any sane person to get away from me for fear of being diagnosed of any personality disorder.

Just last night I came across this article which mentions that  "Narcissism" has been taken out from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (due out in 2013, and known as DSM-5).  Actually, they have taken out 5 personality disorders but the Narcissistic personality disorder is arguably the most well-known of the five, and its absence has caused most issue among psychologists and common people.

For the sake of clarification, let me just define "Narcissism"  according to DSM:

"a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy that begins in early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts."

A main factor for this disorder is a  special kind of self-absorption: a grandiose sense of self, extreme belief of one’s abilities and potential that is often accompanied by fantasies of greatness.

Another is the narcissist's belief of his or her high standing and persistently expects that others will recognize his/her superior qualities.

Moreover, the narcissist, who longs for the approval and admiration of others, is often clueless of other people's feelings and perceptions. Narcissists are very sensitive to being overlooked or slighted in the smallest manner, but they often fail to recognize when they are doing it to others.

I know is that these things are so common nowadays.  What with shows like Gossip Girl and Lea Michelle's role as Rachel Berry in Glee, one would say that there is probably nothing wrong with being too overconfident. And in the world of YouTube celebrities, having too much belief in yourself is not a flaw but a plus factor.  Afterall in today's society, as they say:

"It's natural—even smart—to be narcissistic enough to think you could be the next celebrity, because you could be."

In essence, its really hard to tell when one is suffering from a personality disorder or just being a bitch. And though I may not feel that the deletion of NPD is justified, I believe that we should focus more on the cure rather than the diagnosis. Please, please invent a pill to cure nastiness!

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