Narcissism

narcissism (närsĬs´Ĭzəm), Freudian term, drawn from the Greek myth of Narcissus, indicating an exclusive self-absorption. In psychoanalysis, narcissism is considered a normal stage in the development of children. It is known as secondary narcissism when it occurs after puberty, and is said to indicate a libidinal energy directed exclusively toward oneself. A degree of narcissism is considered normal, where an individual has a healthy self-regard and realistic aspirations. The condition becomes pathological, and diagnosable as a personality disorder, when it significantly impairs social functioning. An individual with narcissistic personality disorder tends to harbor an exaggerated sense of his own self-importance and uniqueness. He is often excessively occupied with fantasies about his own attributes and potential for success, and usually depends upon others for reinforcement of his self-image. A narcissist tends to have difficulties maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships, stemming largely from a lack of empathy and a propensity for taking advantage of others in the interest of self-aggrandizement. It is often found in combination with antisocial personality disorder.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Narcissus and Oedipus: The Children of Psychoanalysis
Victoria Hamilton.
Karnac Books, 1993
In the Gaze of Narcissus: Memory, Affects, and Creativity
Mauro Mancia; Sania Sharawi Lanfranchi.
Karnac Books, 1993
From Obstacle to Ally: The Evolution of Psychoanalytic Practice
Judith M. Hughes.
Brunner-Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Narcissism: Megalomania"
The XYZ of Psychoanalysis: Epilogue to a Great Beginning
Harold Feldman.
Praeger Publishers, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "Narcissism, Where Health and Madness Lie" and Chap. VII "Some Miscarriages of Narcissism in Analysis"
Relatedness, Self-Definition, and Mental Representation: Essays in Honor of Sidney J. Blatt
John S. Auerbach; Kenneth N. Levy; Carrie E. Schaffer.
Brunner-Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 16 "Narcissism as a Clinical and Social Phenomenon"
The Rorschach Assessment of Aggressive and Psychopathic Personalities
Carl B. Gacono; J. Reid Meloy.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Reflection Response"
On Building, Defending, and Regulating the Self: A Psychological Perspective
Abraham Tesser; Joanne V. Wood; Diederick A. Stapel.
Psychology Press, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Reflections in Troubled Waters: Narcissism and the Vicissitudes of and Interpersonally Contextualized Self"
The Narcissistic / Borderline Couple: New Approaches to Marital Therapy
Joan Lachkar.
Brunner-Routledge, 2004 (2nd edition)
Egotopia: Narcissism and the New American Landscape
John Miller.
University of Alabama Press, 1997
Narcissism and Entitlement: Sexual Aggression and the College Male
David R. Champion.
LFB Scholarly, 2003
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