The American Psychiatric Association recently announced that it is considering lifting "narcissistic personality disorder"; along with four other personality disorders; from its highly influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
The current theory seems to be that narcissism is caused by very early influential deprivation, yet the clinical material tends to describe narcissists as unwilling rather than unable to change, and so the treating of narcissistic behaviors is more a volitional condition; that is, narcissism is termed a personality disorder, but it tends to be considered by some therapists as a character disorder.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is considered to be a severe impairment when a person's self-centered or egotistical behavior results in:
- Staying in bed all day.
- Totally alienating or avoiding friends and family.
- Severe risk of harming oneself or others; such as, failing to maintain personal hygiene; persistent danger of suicide, abuse, or crime.