Friday, December 12, 2008

Casey Anthony: Narcissist

Casey Anthony appears to be a textbook narcissist.

According to the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), at least five of the following criteria must be met to find a diagnosis of narcissism.

1) A grandiose sense of self-importance

2) Pre-occupied with fantasies of success, power, brilliance, beauty and the notion of "ideal" love

3) A sense of being special and unique

4) A requirement for excessive admiration

5) A sense of entitlement; rules don't apply

6) Exploitative of situations and relationships: What's in it for me?

7) No empathy

8) Envious of others or believes others are envious of them

9) Arrogant, haughty, above it all

Many people who meet the five examples may certainly be narcissists, but may never commit a crime. They may have horrible personal relationships and go through a lot of jobs, but they don't commit crimes.

There is no definitive cause for narcissism but some hypothetical causes are outlined as follows:

1) An oversensitive temperament at birth; must be held all the time or never wants cuddling as an infant; reacts badly to new stimuli and situations

2) Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents

3) Valued by parents to regulate their own self-esteem; "My child is wonderful, therefore, so am I"

4) The excessive admiration of parents is not balanced by realistic feedback; that bad grade on the spelling test is not the child's fault

5) Unpredictable or uneven care giving from parents

6) Emotional abuse by parents

7) Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or achievements by parents

8) Excessive praise for good behavior

9) Excessive criticism or punishment for poor behavior

Hat tip to the DSM V, so glad I grabbed that at Half-Price Books, and my friend Loretta, who first brought narcissism to my radar.