Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Essay by jcassidyUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2004

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Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissus is defined as a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts (Frances, 714). Individuals with this disorder have an exaggerated sense of self-importance; they routinely overestimate their abilities and inflate their accomplishments, often appearing boastful and pretentious. Narcissists possess an exaggerated sense of importance concerning themselves and their work. Their work and self come first while other people, especially close, intimate relationships, become less important. Concerned with self-promotion, narcissists show disdain and a lack of consideration for other people, while upgrading themselves.

The following myth first told by one of the greatest Latin poets, Ovid (43 BC-AD 18) "The Story of Echo and Narcissus" retold by Edith Hamilton serves to demonstrate the destructive nature of Narcissism.

Long ago there lived a beautiful lad, whose name was Narcissus. His beauty was so great, all the girls who saw him longed to be his, but he would have none of them.

He would pass the loveliest carelessly by, no matter how much she tried to make him look at her. Heartbroken maidens were noting to him. Even the sad case of the fairest of the nymphs, Echo, did not move him. She was the favorite of Artemis, the goddess of woods and wild creatures, but she came under the displeasure of still mightier goddess, Hera herself, who was at her usual occupation of trying to discover what Zeus was about. She suspected that he was in love with one of the nymphs and she went to look them over to try to discover which. However she was immediately diverted from her investigation by Echo's gay chatter. As she listened amused, the others silently stole away and Hera could come to no...