Wednesday, August 10, 2011

(#5) The Epidemic of Entitlement: Part 1 – NPD

Over the past two years or so, I have heard the term “entitlement” used so much it makes me want to puke.   People generally understand what the term means and the context in which they are using it, but they have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Initially, I planned to write only one blog about the entitlement epidemic.   After some research, I decided to do a three-part series beginning with NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Why am I starting with NPD?   For two reasons, the first being in order to cure an epidemic, you must research how the disease continues to perpetuate itself.   NPD is one of the main sources of growth fuel for entitlement.

Secondly, it is simply too funny to me that our entire society can be diagnosed as having a scientifically verified personality disorder.   Rather than face the TRUTH that everyone is (according to science) literally certifiably dysfunctional, we embrace it as the new normal, create a more universally acceptable truth, and act as if nothing is wrong.

Rather than going to a local drugstore and doping up on coping mechanisms, let’s take a dose of TRUTH and begin the process of eradicating NPD.   If we can begin to eliminate the fuel the entitlement epidemic requires for growth, it stands to reason we could begin to eliminate the disease.

Narcissists are generally described as being “excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.”*   This is the essence of self-centeredness.   That’s great.   So how do we bridge the gap between simply being egotistical / self-centered and having a full-blown personality disorder?   How do you normally find out if someone has a disorder or disease?

Answer: You diagnose it.

“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition, DSM IV-TR, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines narcissistic personality disorder as: A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. Requires excessive admiration
  5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes”*
At some point in future blogs I am positive each of these points will be fleshed out ad nauseam.   Without my educated elaboration, if you can’t already see yourself and everyone around you as meeting (at minimum) five of these diagnostic points, I’m afraid your diagnosis is worse than I initially thought.   I would advise you to enjoy what is left of your life and get your affairs in order.

For the rest of you, I have good news; a regular dose of TRUTH has the capacity to completely cure your condition.

There is hope… and the potential for some change too.

The End.

*I generally avoid using Wikipedia as a resource simply because I don’t feel there are proper accountability measures in place to verify everything submitted about a particular subject.   In this case, I used it since the term and diagnostic points are not generally left to opinion.   If you’d like, you can read the entire article here.

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