Individuals boasting about their looks, magnifying their social status and yearning the need of perfection might be considered as some examples of narcissism at a glance. However, in order to diagnose someone with narcissistic personality disorder, the individual must meet certain symptoms which are prevalent for a substantial amount of time.
In this regard, a personality disorder as stated by the DSM IV TR (2000) is a prolonged lasting prototype of behavior as well as an inner experience which is considered to be abnormal merely because of the fact that it deviates from the cultural norm and expectations. Moreover, a personality disorder is present for a long duration which arises at the emergence of adolescence or during young adulthood. It is pervasive and quite stable over a time period and hence results in distress along with impairment. Furthermore, while talking about a personality disorder it is important to briefly overview the details about personality traits which would help in better understanding the personality disorder. For this reason, traits are patterns related to thought and perception associated with the surrounding and oneself. These are demonstrated during several different contexts. As a matter of fact, when these specific traits are seen to become maladaptive resulting in severe impairment and worry, it results in a personality disorder. In this way, Narcissism which is a personality trait refers to pride, selfishness, vanity or simply self-love. When this trait magnifies and becomes maladaptive causing severe distress and impairment, it becomes a disorder namely the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Personality Disorders are grouped into 3 clusters where Narcissistic personality disorder lies in cluster B which contains disorders that often appear odd or eccentric. Moreover, in order to diagnose a personality disorder, it is important to evaluate an individual's functioning, and the onset of the key personality characteristics. In essence, personality disorders are coded on Axis II (Soyer, 20001).
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) could be better understood by looking at its earliest roots which are found in ancient Greek mythology. According to the myth, Narcissus was a very handsome and a proud man who upon viewing his own reflection in the water for the first time became so mesmerized that he could not stop gazing at it. Consequently, he stayed there by the edge of the water until he passed away. He was the source from where the idea of self-love bloomed and gradually became the core subject of several studies (Klien, 1999). The subject gained more popularity when Sigmund Freud; the father of Psychoanalysis published his paper titled as; Narcissism: an Introduction. In his paper, Freud refers to narcissism as the normal part of the human psyche, a form of energy which governs the survival instincts of an individual.
Freud is credited for the first detailed coherent theory of narcissism. In his explanation, Freud has focused upon the transition from subject-directed libido to object-directed libido. In addition, he incorporates the fact that this transition is mediated through the agency of parents. However, in order to function in a healthy manner, the shift must be smooth otherwise neuroses would result. Hence, in this way, if a child fails to attract the love and attention of the desired objects (e.g., of his parents), the child would regress back to the narcissistic phase.
For a person to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, he must have five out of the nine criterions which are mentioned below:
Individuals would have a grandiose and a magnified sense of self-importance as well as self-love
These people are often preoccupied with fantasies of endless success, power, beauty, love and/or brilliance. Quite often they would have high hopes and dream about unlimited control over power, beauty and other such desired features.
For a person to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, he must have a staunch belief that they are special, unique and superior to others and in this way; they would also want others to recognize them in such a manner. Moreover, such individuals would also prefer to interact with people who share similar unique status.
They require excessive praise and admiration. As a matter of fact, their self-esteem is very fragile which would lower and fluctuate with negative comments and behaviors.
A sense of entitlement is present. In other words, these individuals continue to hold unreasonable expectations of receiving favors. For instance, a narcissist would hate to wait in a long queue and would rather expect to be preferred more over others.
Narcissists tend to exploit others
These individuals lack empathy. For this reason, they have difficulty in recognizing and accepting the desires and feelings of other people.
People who are to be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder envy others or believe that others envy them.
They often demonstrate a stubborn and a snobbish attitude (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
Narcissistic traits may be present in adolescents that might not necessarily indicate that it will grow and develop into the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. People suffering with Narcissistic Personality Disorder may face difficulties in adjusting to the symptoms of the disorder. However, as put forward by DSM IV TR, as compared to the females, majority of the males suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are unclear. However, according to the findings presented by a number of studies, it has been put forward that situations such being excessively praised for abilities and looks by others, overvaluation by parents at an early age, suffering from emotional abuse during childhood and other such excessive unpredictable treatment by caregivers during childhood could be a determinant of developing the disorder (Brooks, 1989).
Although research suggests that males suffer more from the Narcissistic Personality Disorder as compared to females, it is important to look at the effect of this disorder on the adult female. Narcissists suffer at different situations because of the way they feel and consider themselves and because of the opinions they hold about the surrounding. For this reason, an adult female suffering from the Narcissistic Disorder may face a lot of difficulty in an organizational environment regardless of the position she has. In other words, a narcissist boss would lack empathy and show little concern towards the employ and wouldn't approve or appreciate the work quality provided by the employees. In this way, the employee satisfaction would lower down ultimately giving rise to a high turnover rate. Similarly, if the narcissistic female is an employee, she would have to struggle with a barrier with regard to other coworkers and supervisors (Abraham, 2001). She would come across a troublesome situation especially when working in a highly organized and regulated workplace. Moreover, the narcissistic female has the only objective of being successful and achieving the best. To meet this goal, she would consider everything coming in the way as a barrier to her success. For this reason, the ideas of other colleagues would be regarded as worthless and useless by the narcissist who would see other as envious of her own work and progress. Such individuals would be defensive of criticism which would directly hit their self-esteem and lower their self-confidence (Kubarych, 2004). In addition, they would look down upon the rules and regulations as well as the work being provided by others in the organization. Narcissistic Personality Disorder would affect adult females in such a way that they would be more interested in finding flaws in every environment in order to see themselves as more superior and perfect as compared to the others (Pullen & Rhodes, 2008).
While looking at the way a Narcissist behaves in different situations, it would appear as a difficult situation to deal with. In other words, since a person suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder lacks empathy, feels superior, envies and disregards other, they would appear as difficult people to deal with. Regardless of how they treat others, it is important to analyze what feelings they undergo and how do they cope with it. This Personality disorder affects adult females in such a way that they suffer from extreme variety of emotions which affect them to behave in a varying manner in different situations. Such individuals can't actually deal with the reality of their personality and hence the way in which they behave. They might realize what pain they cause but this realization is in itself too painful because of which they tend to spin the reality of others in order to lesser the burden of their own pain (Ronningstam, 2001). Females suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder effectively hide their problems mainly because of the fact that they are in an emotional turmoil and are maladjusted in their life. For this reason, only those individuals who are in a close relationship with Narcissists get to know them and yet become a victim of their abusive behavior.
The Narcissistic Personality disorder affects adult females in a way that is demonstrated by the way they behave in various different contexts. For instance, a Narcissist adult female would emotionally abuse her partner in a relationship (Rosowsky, 1999). In…