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When is narcissism a personality disorder that needs professional treatment?

AlwaysCurious

AlwaysCurious

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I'm looking at the description of NPD through google, and I'm having a hard time taking it seriously:

"Narcissistic personality disorder is found more commonly in men...Symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others' feelings, an inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement.
Rare
Fewer than 200,000 US cases per year.
"
This resembles an incredibly high number of people in the US, so many people get bent out of shape when met with gentle criticism, and practically everyone has a little bit of a sense of entitlement. My sense of entitlement is pretty low because I've realized over the years that feeling like other people are in debt to me just makes me miserable, but I still do feel a little entitled to a little bit of respect.

Also, while I find people to be fairly empathetic and regarding, instances of people being self-centered to the point of stepping on each others toes is also very common. At what point is someone pathologically a narcissist who needs treatment?
 
Tawny

Tawny

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I think it would be when the person reaches a point where they are no longer coping in life such as a suicide attempt, homelessness, addiction, as with most mental health problems it is when you hit rock bottom or are hanging by a thread.
 
T

turnitoffandonagain_again

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Well it seems like that's an issue with every personality disorder. It becomes a 'disorder' when the individual has 'difficulty functioning'. But how do you define that? It's surely going to depend on the culture and society you are in and your position within it. US culture clearly accepts a much greater degree of narcissism than some others (indeed, it increasingly seems to positively _require_ it).

How much 'narcissism' is too much? And surely to know what constitutes 'a sense of entitlement' one has to have an opinion on what someone is actually entitled to in this world? Who gets to decide that?

Personally I struggle to see how Personality Disorders are a coherent concept. They seem extremely fuzzy and subjective to me.
 
fragrant_violet

fragrant_violet

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I'm surrounded by folk with NPD

They are a problem to other folk rather than to themself

I'm convinced it's primarily an autistic trait
 
T

turnitoffandonagain_again

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Furthermore, I sometimes wonder whether the mental health profession doesn't suffer from a kind of collective narcissism. Insofar as they sometimes seem to believe they can stand outside history, culture, and society and define what is the 'rational' way to view the world and behave within it. CBT in particular seems to be the distilled-essence of the narcissism that is latent within the whole project of psychiatry.
 
T

turnitoffandonagain_again

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An example of how political and culturally-dependent these categories are - when it comes to 'sense of entitlement', I have noticed American liberals suggesting white people have a 'sense of entitlement' insofar as they will behave aggressively or offensively around cops and not expect to get shot.

On the one hand, compared to what happens to black Americans, I can see there's some logic in that, but on the other hand, compared to most other developed countries, 'expecting not to be shot' for moderate bad-behaviour around cops is not 'entitlement' but 'normal'. The question that should be asked, is 'why do US cops feel entitled to shoot so many people?'.

This is just one example among many of how often these things seem to me to be a question for sociology and a matter of politics, not psychology. Psychologists too often seem to flat-out ignore culture and politics, just as they tend to ignore every other part of reality (e.g. medical issues, to declare an interest, that being central to my own gripes with the profession) in order to concentrate exclusively on the ideas in people's heads.
 

WMD

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From my understanding a narcissist will not go and get help because they are a narcissist.

They always think they are right and blame everyone else.

So if they did get help, its probably because of something else.
 
C

Comorbidity

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I'm looking at the description of NPD through google, and I'm having a hard time taking it seriously:

"Narcissistic personality disorder is found more commonly in men...Symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others' feelings, an inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement"

A perfect description of every single middle manager and their lackey's who carry their favour by being sycophantic suck ups I have ever had the misfortune to encounter
 
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