Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves. It is characterized by a two-leveled personality organization. The grandiose self exists on the superficial and manifest level, and the real self which is frustrated, emotionally deprived, and full of impotent rage exists on the deeper level.
Someone suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be expected to so many, if not all, of the 10 following symptoms:
- Reacts to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
- Takes advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
- Has excessive feelings of self-importance
- Exaggerates achievements and talents while belittling those of others
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love
- Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
- Needs constant attention and admiration
- Disregards the feelings of others, and has little ability to feel empathy
- Has obsessive self-interest
- Pursues mainly selfish goals
In the of sufferers of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, their grandiose self dominates their inner world and is the primary shaper of the clinical picture. From the clinical point of view, narcissistic way of life is characterized by stereotyped cycles: periods of successful narcissistic activity, or narcissistic well-compensation, alternating with periods in which the narcissistic person fails to maintain their experience of grandiosity, i.e., narcissistic failure or decompensation.
Narcissistic Decompensation is the removal of the ego defenses propping up and sustaining the sufferer’s inflated self-esteem that was unable to “compensate” for a real or percieved injury of some kind. More simply put, decompensation occurs when the narcissist’s grandiosity is not validated by reality; their self image is impossible to sustain causing their real self to supplant their grandiose self. This normally results in the sufferer spirally downward into pessimism, frustration, and bitterness expressed as either withdrawal and passivity or some form of aggression, either at others or their selves.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Narcissistic Failure Anyone?
If you’re tuned into the American political landscape and have a reasonably unclouded mind, I’m guessing that it does…