As with most literature on the topics of narcissism, the Diagnostic and Statisti-
cal Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric
Association, shows the diagnostic criteria for 301.81 Narcissistic Personality
Disorder (NPD). This bible for the mental health profession clearly shows us
that narcissists expect to be “catered to” and are “puzzled or furious” when
this does not happen.
In the fourth edition of the DSM-IV-TR, NPD has been recognized as a
separate mental health disorder and not just a symptom of the personality
problems of a handsome Greek boy named Narcissus who rejected the ro-
mantic advances of the nymph Echo. According to the manual, up to 75% of
narcissists are male and an estimated 0.7–1 percent of the general population
has this disorder. NPD is one of a “family” of personality disorders (formerly
known as the Cluster B group) (DSM-IV-TR, APA2000, pp. 658–661). “Mem-
bers of this group include: Borderline PD, Antisocial PD, and Histrionic PD.
Individuals who have NPD are often diagnosed with other mental health
disorders such as co-morbidity and frequently have a history of substance
abuse, or impulsive and reckless behaviors—dual diagnosis” (Vaknin, 2003a,
Unadulterated Arrogance 419
NPD is also associated with Anorexia Nervosa and Substance-Related
Disorders (such as cocaine and opiate use). Just as Anorexics will hide their
disorder, so too will NPAs conceal from a mental health professional past illicit
drug use, associated medical records, criminal background, their histories of
sexual infidelity, perverted pornography, or minimize any verbal and physical
abuse they have perpetrated in the past toward the target parent or others
during a divorce or post-divorce litigation evaluation involving children.
There is a surefire disparity between having a narcissistic personality and
style and being diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The DSM-
IV meticulously explains NPD and adheres to strict criteria and differential
Narcissism is regarded by many scholars to be an adaptive strategy
(‘healthy narcissism’). It is considered pathological in the clinical sense
only when it becomes a rigid personality structure replete with a series
of primitive defense mechanisms (such as splitting, projection, Projective
Identification, or intellectualization)—and when it leads to dysfunctions
in one or more areas of life. (Vaknin, 2003a, pp. 369–373)
For example, narcissists and parental alienators recurrently mislead the
inexperienced professional with erroneous false statements that the target
parent or their new spouse has threatened to do some harm to the child(ren).
As severely alienated child(ren) often willfully confirm alleged “abuse,” after
experiencing both subtle and overt long-term repetitive negative indoctrina-
tion by a NPA. These children and the alienator’s brainwashed family may
allege abuse or threats that did not occur with little or no remorse and at
the expense of the innocent victims, thereby adding to the perverted glory
of the alienating parent, so often viewed as a “savior.” An alienator set on
destruction eventually forgoes the protections of their position. It is widely
regarded that “falsely accusing parents were much more likely than were the
other two groups to have a personality disorder such as histrionic, borderline,
passive-aggressive, or paranoid” (Underwager & Wakefield, 1990).
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