Thursday, December 9, 2010

God Help Us! Narcissistic Personality Disorder Removed as Mental Disorder by American Psychiatric Association

I'm still waiting on any response from the author Anna Valerious of a popular blog Narcissists Suck over my email disclosure the American Psychiatric Association has decided to remove Narcissist Personality Disorder as a mental disorder from its disorders index.  The prolific NPD blogger retired her blogging a while back but occasionally provides book reviews, the last being in January, 2010 on The Narcissism Epidemic.

On November 29, 2010, the New York Times published its article Narcissism No Longer a Psychiatric Disorder - A Fate That Narcissists will Hate: Being Ignored rehashing what N.P.D used to be.
The central requirement for N.P.D. is a special kind of self-absorption: a grandiose sense of self, a serious miscalculation of one’s abilities and potential that is often accompanied by fantasies of greatness. It is the difference between two high school baseball players of moderate ability: one is absolutely convinced he’ll be a major-league player, the other is hoping for a college scholarship.
The second requirement for N.P.D.: 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.
Hmmm, sounds familiar (see  Perhaps the aforementioned NPD attributes are too widespread in this day and age for the APA to consider abnormal.  Like court cases that set legal precedent, perhaps the APA is denoting how common NPD has become with all the social media Internet activities and crazy politicians.  Like homosexuality which was removed from the APA's mental disorders index decades ago, the commonality of the alleged abnormal symptoms have made it "normal" in many doctors eyes.  I never believed homosexuality was a mental disorder to begin with but I may have had I grown up in a different time period of history.  God help us!  Victims of NPD's go through an enormous amount of personal damage that could now be delegated to being "just their imaginations".

When there's no such thing as NPD, our society will suffer for failing to recognize how destructive the disorder can be, especially when superficial politicians aspire to high positions in government.

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog Why Narcissism Defines Our Time supports my view NPD is so widespread it has become the norm.
Most troubling about not including NPD as a personality disorder is that there is evidence of narcissism in all of our social lives. It’s alarming that in an age when narcissism is so evident, and with new ways for narcissists to get attention so apparent, that it would not be considered a personality disorder. The new world of democratic celebrities—on Facebook, reality TV and Twitter—where there are fewer traditional constraints on runaway narcissism, demonstrates the need to take this personality disorder seriously. -WSJ Speakeasy blog

The APA decision has its critics and many are complaining:

One of the sharpest critics of the DSM committee on personality disorders is a Harvard psychiatrist, Dr. John Gunderson, an old lion in the field of personality disorders and the person who led the personality disorders committee for the current manual.
Asked what he thought about the elimination of narcissistic personality disorder, he said it showed how “unenlightened” the personality disorders committee is.
They have little appreciation for the damage they could be doing.” He said the diagnosis is important in terms of organizing and planning treatment.
It’s draconian,” he said of the decision, “and the first of its kind, I think, that half of a group of disorders are eliminated by committee.”  - Article Source       

I guess this means we're supposed to ignore people whom we believe have NPD who endlessly torment and humiliate us as a form of their own self gratification.   Oh . . .