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Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Who is a Malignant Narcissist?
QUESTION Number 1 - Who is a Narcissist?
Dear Dr. Vaknin,
I read the excerpts you placed on your web site with great interest.
I wanted to ask:
Isn't your definition of malignant narcissism too wide? Having read it, I think that it fits my neighbours, friends, and family to a "t". Everyone seems to be a narcissist to me now!
Yours is an understandable reaction. All of us have narcissistic TRAITS. Some of us even develop a narcissistic PERSONALITY. Moreover, narcissism is a SPECTRUM of behaviours - from the healthy to the utterly pathological (known as the Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD).
But the "malignant" narcissist consistently manifests at least 5 of these 9 criteria.
The DSM IV uses this language:
"An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts."
So, what matters is that these characteristics, often found in healthy people, appear:
Here are the 9 criteria. Having 5 of these 9 "qualifies" you as a narcissist...
The language in the criteria above is based on or summarized from:
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Sam Vaknin. (1999, 2001). Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited, second, revised printing Prague and Skopje: Narcissus Publication. ("Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" http://www.geocities.com/vaksam/faq1.html)
About The Author
Sam Vaknin is the author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" and the editor of mental health categories in The Open Directory, Suite101, and searcheurope.com.
His web site: http://samvak.tripod.com
Frequently asked questions regarding narcissism: http://samvak.tripod.com/faq1.html
Narcissistic Personality Disorder on Suite101: http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/npd
Fairies and Mental Health
Schizophrenics hallucinate alternate realities. People who claim to have been abducted by aliens are accused of having Fantasy Prone Personalities. So what about those of us who claim to be conversing with angels, fairies, and spirit guides? Are we nuts? Absolutely yes! If we weren't crazy before we started chatting with the divine, we soon will be. Just the constant questioning of one's sanity can drive a person insane. How do you know if you're really talking to spirits or if you're losing your mind?
Animal Cruelty: The Key to Serial Minds
What makes a common person a Serial Killer? According to research, serial killers exhibit what is known as the 'Triad of Warning Signs in Childhood.'1
Why Does It Seem That There Are More Children With ADHD Than Ever Before?
Even though the percentage of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is likely the same as in the past, there are three likely reasons why it seems that "there is more ADHD" than ever before:
The Essence of Being Human
What does it mean to be Human? Well if you reflect on your thoughts and behaviors and those of the individuals around you on this planet since the beginning of our existence here I think you will likely come to the conclusion that to wear the label Human is not exactly endearing or desirable.
The following good work from a person engaged in trying to free people from cultish programming is far better than most. It demonstrates the person is aware of mind control techniques employed in influencing people. Having said that I will now try to show how this piece is in fact an evidence of SPIN or influence that the person engaged in doing it might not even personally realize. For example Catholic exorcists are taught incantations and rituals to use that they may not or usually will not understand either the derivation or history thereof.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1999 edition) defines empathy as:
What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a medical condition. It is caused by genetic factors that result in certain neurological differences. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder comes in various forms, and there are five or six different types of ADHD.
A Jungian Approach to Mental Illness
All of us suffer from some form of emotional distress at some stage. Some forms of distress can last longer than they should and may significantly impair our everyday functioning. If this persists, we may be suffering from a mental illness or mental disorder (like depression, or anxiety). We can better understand this by comparing a mental illness such as depression, with a case of the flu ? it pervades our daily life with painful symptoms.
Traumas as Social Interactions
("He" in this text - to mean "He" or "She").
What?s the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 1
Solution Focus is the brain child of Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer. This positive approach to problem resolution is rooted in the tradition of Milton Erickson's brief therapy. It assumes that small modifications in the individual's cognitive and behavioral expressions can lead to significant life changes. It further assumes that how individuals perceive events is what gives meaning to those events; how one organize and reorganize those experiences in conversation with others, allows for a reality that is versatile, fluid, and capable of revision. This approach is based on the premise that all individuals and families have definite strengths, coping skills and unique problem solving abilities to create positive change. Solution Focus taps in to this strength, helps individuals/families build upon it and uses a variety of tools such as purposeful questions that are utilized to assist in the movement from problems to solutions.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Neurologically Based
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurologically based disorder.
You, I and We
Our life in society hovers around the concept of 'You?I? We'. The first stage is 'You-You' which is called 'dependent' stage. As a child, we are dependent on others for our needs and expect help and support from others. The dependence can be either emotional or physical. The second stage is 'I ? I', where in we attain relative freedom and corresponding changes are noticeable in terms of speech, behavior, movements, preferences, interests and perceptions.In this stage we act with absolute freedom both mentally and physically. The feeling of 'Me-Mine' will be at a high point during this stage. Typical thought processes will be as follows:
Ericksons Theory of Human Development
I'm sure you've heard the term "Identity Crisis" before. It's thought of as a conflict of self and society and its introduction came from one of the most famous psychoanalyst of the 20th century.
Narcissism, Substance Abuse, and Reckless Behaviours
Pathological narcissism is an addiction to Narcissistic Supply, the narcissist's drug of choice. It is, therefore, not surprising that other addictive and reckless behaviours ? workaholism, alcoholism, drug abuse, pathological gambling, compulsory shopping, or reckless driving ? piggyback on this primary dependence.
Dredging the Truth
To seek and find truth requires that we communicate within rather than without. When we communicate outside, with other people, truth is always watered down by differing perceptions, consensus, and compromise. People have different understandings.
Is China Testing Bio Weapons on Its Own People?
Well the conspiracy theorists are out in full force I see. I had an interesting meeting the other day at a coffee shop and talked with a highly paranoid chap, who claimed to have some real insider information. He said that the Chinese were experimenting with their own populations with new vaccines for bird flu. He later said that an experiment with the N5H1 strain in a South Eastern province yielded better than expected results and they were forced to quarantine the area and kill thousands of birds and nearly 200 humans. He also said that they made mandatory the vaccination of all families in the vicinity to test their newest vaccine on the N5H1 Bird Flu strain.
The Diagnosis Myth
Although I risk dissension by doing so, I must say something that I think many of us in the mental health community have acknowledged for quite some time: every single diagnosis of a mental disorder is fallible.
A Look at The Brain
The endless, immeasurable brain. It does seem like more we discover about it, the more mystery we create. Perhaps the most intriguing of all is the child's brain. In certain ways, children are the most brilliant people in the world. They have the ability to absorb more information than we can conceive of as adults.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is Not Related to I.Q.
It's important to know that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Intelligence, as measured by I.Q., are two different things.
Solution Focus Process: Solution Talk vs. Problem Talk Pt 2
It is crucial that interviewing with helpee progress toward solutions. In addition to Exceptions and Miracle questions, Coping and Scaling questions are also useful and effective methods of moving helpees from problem talk to solution talk.
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