Is there a Narcissistic Epidemic in America? Essay

Is there a Narcissistic Epidemic in America? Essay

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Is narcissism a growing epidemic in America? This question was featured in an article on the Psychology Today website (Baskin, S.). The article claims that narcissism in America is growing as fast as obesity and is quickly becoming an epidemic. Which begs the question, should we as a society be worried about narcissism? For those of us not familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder it is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV as a pervasive disorder characterized by self-centeredness, lack of empathy, and an exaggerated sense of self-importance. As with other personality disorders, it becomes a problem when these traits become a persistent pattern of behavior that negatively impacts different life areas including social, family, and work relationships that it and those affected should seek therapy. The DSM-IV identifies the following symptoms: An exaggerated sense of one's own abilities and achievements, a constant need for attention, affirmation and praise, a belief that he or she is unique or "special" and should only associate with other people of the same status, persistent fantasies about attaining success and power, exploiting other people for personal gain, a sense of entitlement and expectation of special treatment, a preoccupation with power or success, feeling envious of others or believing that others are envious of him or her and a lack of empathy for others.
Worryingly, these behaviors of narcissism may sound familiar to anyone who is raising or who has ever raised a teenager as they share the same traits to those of the common teenage attitude. Yet while most teenagers may display some characteristics of narcissism during their teen years most adolescents tend to outgrow these ...

... middle of paper ... lacking the capacity for engaging in healthy relationships and sadly, for those of us who have dealt with a narcissistic personality, we know all too well the emotional toll it takes in being involved with this type of person who is emotional uninvolved with anyone but themselves.


Baskin, S. (2011, December 31). The Gift of Failure. Retrieved May 15, 2014

Sadie F. Dingfelder. Monitor Staff, February 2011, Vol 42, No. 2. Print version: page 64

The Narcissistic Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, Twenge (with W. Keith
Campbell) Professor Jean M. Twenge

Western Illinois University. (2012, March 19). Facebook's dark side. Science Daily.
Retrieved May 10, 2014 from www.sciencedaily. com/releases/2012/03/12031 9194046.htm

W.K. Campbell & J. M Twenge. Narcissism unleashed. Association for Psychological
Science Observer, Vol. 26(10), pp.28-29.

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