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Fun with personality disorders

Published Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 12:43 PM EDT
Jun 20 2018

Section 7 of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Principles of Medical Ethics states that it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures whom they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss their mental health in public statements.

Fortunately, neither me nor, presumably, you, is a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Therefore, our opinions are not professional; they;re just opinions. And, as of yet, having an opinion is still something you're entitled to do in the good ol' US of A.

Use of this handy little checklist is not limited to public figures. Just about every family or workplace has someone who meets the criteria outlined below, cribbed from the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

In the past 15 months or so, have you encountered anyone who acts as if they have oppositional defiant disorder? Someone so afflicted may:

  • Often loses temper
  • Often touchy or easily annoyed
  • Often angry and resentful
  • Often argues with authority figures
  • Often actively defies or refuses to comply with requests from authority figures or with rules
  • Often deliberately annoys others
  • Has been spiteful or vindictive at least twice within the past six months.


How about histrionic personality disorder? These folks:

  • Must be the center of attention
  • Craves novelty and excitement
  • Easily influenced by others, especially those who treat them approvingly
  • Socially skillful, but manipulative and exploitative
  • Overly dramatic and emotional, exaggerates problems
  • Blames personal failures or disappointments on others
  • Seeks reassurance or approval constantly
  • Excessively sensitive to criticism or disapproval
  • Exhibitionist behavior
  • Cannot tolerate frustration or delayed gratification
  • Makes rash decisions
  • Proud of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threat
  • Has emotional states that rapidly change and may appear superficial or exaggerated to others
  • Believes relationships are more intimate than they actually are


Perhaps a megalomaniac with narcissistic personality disorder?:

  • Exploits others to achieve personal gain
  • Fixates on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc.
  • Vainglorious, expects superior treatment and obedience from others
  • Intensely envious, believes others are equally envious of them
  • Needs the continual admiration of others
  • Arrogant and pompous
  • Believes they are unique, superior, and belong with high-status people and institutions
  • Refuses to empathize with the emotions, hopes, and needs of other people


Although not recognized in the DSM, you can do a mashup of the above to produce different flavors of narcissist:


Subtype Description Personality traits
Unprincipled narcissist Including antisocial features. Deficient conscience; unscrupulous, amoral, disloyal, fraudulent, deceptive, arrogant, exploitive; a con artist and charlatan; dominating, contemptuous, vindictive.
Amorous narcissist Including histrionic features. Sexually seductive, enticing, beguiling, tantalizing; glib and clever; disinclined to real intimacy; indulges hedonistic desires; bewitches and inveigles others; pathological lying and swindling. Tends to have many affairs, often with exotic partners.
Compensatory narcissist Including negativistic and avoidant features Seeks to counteract or cancel out deep feelings of inferiority and lack of self-esteem; offsets deficits by creating illusions of being superior, exceptional, admirable, noteworthy; self-worth results from self-enhancement.
Elitist narcissist Variant of pure pattern Feels privileged and empowered by virtue of special childhood status and pseudo-achievements; entitled façade bears little relation to reality; seeks favored and good life; is upwardly mobile; cultivates special status and advantages by association.
Normal narcissist Absent of the traits of the other four Least severe and most interpersonally concerned and empathetic, still entitled and deficient in reciprocity; bold in environments, self-confident, competitive, seeks high targets, feels unique; talent in leadership positions; expecting of recognition from others.
Fanatic narcissist Including paranoid features Grandiose delusions are irrational and flimsy; pretentious, expensive supercilious contempt and arrogance toward others; lost pride reestablished with extravagant claims and fantasies. Reclassified under paranoid personality disorder.
Hedonistic narcissist Mix of initial four subtypes Hedonistic and self-deceptive, avoidant of responsibility and blame, shifted onto others; idiosyncratic, often self-biographical, proud of minor quirks and achievements, conflict-averse and sensitive to rejection; procrastinative, self-undoing, avolitive, ruminantly introspective; the most prone to fantastic inner worlds which replace social life
Malignant narcissist Including antisocial, sadistic and paranoid features. Fearless, guiltless, remorseless, calculating, ruthless, inhumane, callous, brutal, rancorous, aggressive, biting, merciless, vicious, cruel, spiteful; hateful and jealous; anticipates betrayal and seeks punishment; desires revenge; has been isolated, and is potentially suicidal or homicidal.
Pure Narcissist Mainly just NPD characteristics. Someone who has narcissistic features described in the DSM and ICD and lacks features from other personality disorders.
Attention Narcissist Including histrionic (HPD) features. They display the traditional NPD characteristics described in the ICD & DSM along with histrionic features due to the fact that they think they are superior and therefore they should have everyone's attention, and when they do not have everyone's attention they go out of their way to capture the attention of as many people as possible.
Beyond The Rules Narcissist Including antisocial (ASPD) features. This type of narcissist thinks that because they are so superior to everyone they do not have to follow the rules like most people and therefore show behavior included in the ICD for dissocial personality disorder and behavior, included in the DSM for antisocial personality disorder.


Sources: Wikipedia

Anyone come to mind?

Categories: American Psychiatric Association, DSM, Histrionic personality disorder, Megalomaniac, Narcissistic personality disorder, Oppositional defiant disorder, Personality disorders, The Daily KGB Report


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