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The American Psychiatric Association, based in Washington D.C., USA, publishes Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)  where it provides diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The DSM defines NPD as "an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts."
The DSM specifies nine diagnostic criteria. For NPD to be diagnosed, five (or more) of these criteria must be met.
[In text below, I have proposed modifications to language of these criteria to incorporate current knowledge about this disorder. My modifications appear in bold italics.]
[My amendments do not constitute a part of text of DSM-IV-TR, nor is American Psychiatric Association (APA) associated with them in any way.]
[Click here to download a bibliography of studies and research regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) on which I based my proposed revisions.]
Proposed Amended Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to point of lying, demands to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements);
Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;
Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);
Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (Narcissistic Supply);
Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment;
Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;
Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;
Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy objects of his or her frustration. Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions as he or she believes that they feel same about him or her and are likely to act similarly;
Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "above law", and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people he or she considers inferior to him or her and unworthy.
Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .
Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com