IN my office one of the most widely overused words is Narcissist. It is quite true that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is appearing at an all-time high, but that does not mean everyone is a Narcissist. In order to truly be diagnosed a Narcissist, there are a few qualifications that must be met. The newly updated DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental Disorder Fifth Edition, American Psychological Association), had created criteria that Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and therapists follow to see if one truly meets the diagnosis of NPD.

The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder classifies NPD as a “pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and lack of empathy.” The signs of NPD normally being to show in early adulthood. The DSM-IV classifies an individual as Narcissistic if five or more of the following are shown:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self -importance
  • Believes he or she is special
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a sense of entitlement
  • Lacks empathy
  • Is often envious of others
  • Shows arrogant behaviors

* For a more complex description of these qualities, please refer to the DSM-5 Fifth edition American Psychological Association

It is true Narcissism is on the rise, but that does not mean everyone who expresses a few of the above traits, is a Narcissist. This is why I express that it is highly overused. The world is forever changing, in which traits in relation to narcissism are on the increase. Extrinsic values, unrealistic expectations, low empathy, self-view, self-esteem, and self-focus are the new way of society. We select unique names for children and have lost old fashion morals and values. We have created more of an “All about me society.” Social media is on the rise creating many to embark on the bigger…better or best of the best. We lose a sense of reality and forget the real meaning of life.

What can be done? We can revert back to fifty years ago where ethics, morals, and values always mattered. We can be the one to make the change and bring back some old fashion reality of “wishing and dreaming and not alway getting and having.” It takes some effort but in all my study, the individuals that take a step back to wish and dream and work hard…those tend to be the true winners in society.