The Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
The essential feature of the narcissistic personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy (DSM-IV?, 1994, p. 658). Gunderson, et.al, (Livesly, ed., 1995, p. 208) notes that the grandiosity may not be overt or may involve arrogant and haughty behavior.
Sometimes I do get the feeling that I suffer from NPD. But then again a true narcissist will not feel that he suffers from anything. But I do have to accept that I have what psychologists call "Healthy Narcissism".
Pathological Narcissism is a disease whereas healthy narcissism is a gift. Narcissists are obsessed by delusions of fantastic grandeur and superiority. As a result they are very competitive. They are strongly compelled - where others are merely motivated. They are driven, relentless, tireless, and ruthless. They often make it to the top. But even when they do not - they strive and fight and learn and climb and create and think and devise and design and conspire. Faced with a challenge - they are likely to do better than non-narcissists.
Pathological narcissism involves an impaired, dysfunctional, immature (true) self coupled with a compensatory fiction (the False Self). The sick narcissists sense of self-worth and self-esteem derive entirely from audience feedback. The narcissist has no self-esteem or self-worth of his own (no such ego functions). In the absence of observers, the narcissist shrivels to non-existence and feels dead. Hence the narcissists preying habits in his constant pursuit of narcissistic supply. Pathological narcissism is an addictive behaviour.
Almost everyone has some narcissistic traits, but being conceited, argumentative, or selfish sometimes (or even all the time) doesn't amount to a personality disorder. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a long-term pattern of abnormal thinking, feeling, and behavior in many different situations.