Narcissistic personality disorder

What exactly is Narcissistic personality disorder? Here it is….

Some people diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder are characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance. They have a sense of entitlement and demonstrate grandiosity in their beliefs and behavior. They have a strong need for admiration, but lack feelings of empathy.

Symptoms of this disorder, as defined by the DSM-IV-TR, include:[1]
Expects to be recognized as superior and special, without superior accomplishments
Expects constant attention, admiration and positive reinforcement from others
Envies others and believes others envy him/her
Is preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies of great success, enormous attractiveness, power, intelligence
Lacks the ability to empathize with the feelings or desires of others
Is arrogant in attitudes and behavior
Has expectations of special treatment that are unrealistic

Other symptoms in addition to the ones defined by DSM-IV-TR include: Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends, has trouble keeping healthy relationships with others, easily hurt or rejected, appears unemotional, and exaggerating special achievements and talents, setting unrealistic goals for himself/herself.[6]

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by an over-inflated sense of self-importance, as well as dramatic, emotional behavior that is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders. [7]

In addition to these symptoms, the person may display arrogance, show superiority, and seek power.[8] The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder can be similar to the traits of individuals with strong self-esteem and confidence; differentiation occurs when the underlying psychological structures of these traits are considered pathological. Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others, when in reality they have a fragile self-esteem, cannot handle criticism, and often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth. Comments and criticisms about others are vicious from sufferers of NPD, in an attempt to boost their own poor self-esteem.[9]

Another narcissist symptom is a lack of empathy. They are unable to relate, understand, and rationalize the feelings of others. Instead of behaving in a way that shows how they are feeling in the moment, they behave in the way that they feel they are expected to behave or what gives them the most attention.[6]

Surprised? I wasn’t. Once I realized what narcissistic personality disorder was all the missing puzzle pieces to my ex-husband’s behavior started to make sense. I had what Oprah often mentions in her shows an “ah ha” moment. I finally had it figured out and of course I was happy that there was finally an explanation. Once you get a divorce these personality traits become even more inflated. As if it couldn’t get worse. Of course I wasn’t really happy, but at least I had answers. In my next blog I will finally talk about co-parenting with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder. Now I know what you’re thinking. What gives me the right to diagnose my ex with Narcissistic personality disorder? I didn’t have to because our evaluator who evaluated us in fact indicated that my ex has a “grandiose view of himself” which = Narcissistic personality disorder. Bam! There you have it.

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