Not Every Egomaniac Has Narcissistic Personality Disorder


[INTRO ♪] You probably know some people who are really
full of themselves. You know, when they’re not just proud of their
accomplishments, they also need to remind you of them regularly. That might indicate a high degree of narcissism:
grandiose ideas about oneself or an exaggerated sense of self-importance. But it also could just be a lot of confidence. An ego can indicate a healthy level of self-esteem,
or it can be part of a diagnosable disorder, like Narcissistic Personality
Disorder, also called NPD. It turns out it’s hard to make that judgment— for most of us, and even for psychologists. Psychologists define personality traits as
characteristic thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that seem to be stable
across time. Narcissism is one of many that psychologists
can test for, and we all fall somewhere on the spectrum. Some people are just a little more vain, and
have a little more of an inflated, grand view of themselves than others do. This makes them less likely to respond well
to negative feedback, and more likely to show less empathy and have
a harder time maintaining relationships. But being a bit narcissistic isn’t all bad. Some studies have shown that more narcissism
is associated with more happiness and less anxiety, and even
more creativity. And determining if someone scores high on
the narcissism spectrum is actually quite easy: just ask them. A 2014 study involving over 2000 people found
that a quote “single item narcissism scale”—aka just
asking how well the definition applied to them, on a scale of 1 to 11— turned out to be about as accurate as much
longer surveys that tried to, like dance around the issue a little more. Surprise! Narcissists aren’t really that ashamed. After all, they think they’re great—why
shouldn’t they be a little narcissistic about it? But scoring high on this trait
isn’t the same as having a disorder. Your personality traits are things that are
generally true about you whether you’re at home, at school, or at
work. But they don’t determine everything about
how you act. Even the most extroverted people tend to act
quiet and somber at a funeral, for example. It’s only when traits get really rigid
and people become inflexible in their behaviors that psychologists start to draw the line
between a trait and a disorder. Though how people develop personality disorders
is still somewhat of a mystery. There’s some evidence that how narcissistic
you are, like other personality traits, comes from
your genes. But just like having a familial history of
alcoholism doesn’t make you an alcoholic, not everyone with super narcissistic parents
develops NPD. So psychologists think that environmental
factors, particularly during adolescence, influence
whether a trait becomes a disorder. And still, what pushes people over that line
is unclear. Like, you might have heard that spoiling kids
will turn them into narcissists. And some case studies do suggest that narcissists
had overly-indulgent and praising parents, or ones that were too
permissive. The problem is, some studies show the opposite— that parents of diagnosed patients were cold,
authoritarian, or even lacked empathy. Trying to look at case studies to find risk
factors is also difficult because you can’t determine cause and effect. Even if most NPD patients were raised the
same way, that wouldn’t prove that the way their parents
raised them gave them the disorder. The only thing everyone seems to agree
on is that risk factors for NPD need to be studied more. But even that’s not so straightforward,
because NPD is especially tricky to diagnose. That’s because psychologists don’t diagnose
personality disorders based on trait scores. Technically, you could score 40 out of 40
on the narcissism scale and still not be diagnosed with NPD because
diagnoses for personality disorders hinge on the trait being a problem. You have to be distressed by your behavior,
it has to be causing some kind of impairment. And that makes diagnosing NPD tougher than
other personality disorders because it’s basically someone who thinks
they’re too great, which isn’t usually a distressing feeling. So when NPD diagnoses do occur, they’re
usually in conjunction with another issue the person sought help for,
like substance use, or bipolar disorder. To be diagnosed, you need to show at least
5 of a list of 9 more severe symptoms of narcissism in addition
to the inflated self-importance— things like demanding special treatment, manipulativeness,
and the belief that you can only be understood or appreciated
by particularly special people. These can take a toll on relationships and
otherwise reduce a person’s well-being, even if they don’t realize the disorder
is at the root of their troubles. And diagnosis is especially tricky if someone
has what psychologists call high functioning narcissism. Say, they’re holding down a job and meeting
most responsibilities… they’re just really, really narcissistic. In one published case, for example, a man
housed and supported several mistresses while still believing it had no
effect on his relationship with his wife. He only went to a psychologist because he
was wondering whether to stay in his marriage, but the therapist felt
that the effects of his narcissism on his personal life were enough to warrant
a diagnosis. Such patients don’t always come to the attention
of psychologists, and occasionally, the lack of broad impairment
means doctors may disagree that a diagnosis is appropriate. But even when clearly diagnosable, NPD is
notoriously hard to treat, since patients with inflated opinions of themselves are less likely to think they have a problem
that needs resolution. They’re also more likely to drop out of
treatment for whatever else they initially came in for. And because NPD is so rarely diagnosed alone,
almost no studies have tested treatments of patients with just NPD,
so it’s hard to say what works. But research to date suggests that plain ol’
therapy might be the best strategy. One study that looked at 142 NPD patients
getting treatment for depressive disorder found that they were more likely to respond
to a treatment of just talk therapy, instead of therapy plus meds, perhaps because
they felt more autonomy. So your friend who always interrupts your
story to tell you a better one might be a little narcissistic. But that doesn’t mean they have NPD. If you’re genuinely worried about them, you could try to convince them to talk to
someone. But it’s best to leave diagnosis to the
professionals. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow Psych! If you want to learn more about the science
of psychology or gain a better understanding of how these
big ol’ noggins of ours work, stick around by clicking that subscribe button. [OUTRO ♪]

100 thoughts on “Not Every Egomaniac Has Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  1. The most interesting thing about NPDs is not how they see themself, but how they emotionally manipulate their surroundings. Their lack of empathy can be a real advantage while doing so. They can build complex networks of cold manipulation.

    Search "Narcissistic abuse syndrome", and see the testimonies of victims and experts

  2. Thanks for covering this, but I think more emphasis should be put on how someone with NPD can negatively impact the lives around them. The major points of NPD are lack of empathy and exploitative behavior towards others not because they're so full of themselves, but because using people makes them forget the shame they feel towards themselves. When questioned or tested, a true narcissist becomes defensive and angry. A person with NPD hates feeling vulnerable and whether they realize it or not will prey on others to create a better picture of themselves in their mind. They don't see other people as people, they're tools to meet an end goal.

  3. I wish I was a bit more narcissistic, it’s hard to get a job when you hate yourself. I wouldn’t hire me, why would you hire me?

  4. The channel doesn’t seem to be for psychoanalytic knowledge but it would of been cool to heard a break down of the history of narcissism. It’s interesting because it began with Freud and was observed throughout the evolution of psychoanalysis. Kohut even developed a new theory around the disorder. Mitchell’s paper on it gives a unique synthesis of what kohut and Kernberg believed. Kernberg is important because the DSM’s whole personality disorder section was highly influenced by his work.

  5. Would thinking that the entire universe was made with you in mind and that you were made in the image of this creator meet the bill?

  6. My mom has NPD. She's a covert narcissist, and very emotionally abusive. She's not the typical egotysical narcissist either, she fools everyone.

  7. Oh Hank.
    It's ok we all know you're a little narcissistic. You kind of have to be a little narcissistic to make YouTube videos…

  8. This skirts around the more damaging aspects of narcissism such as the vicious spite that is unleashed when NPDs don't receive enough worship from people around them. They take that sort of thing very seriously and make it very personal indeed. For them, hurting you is justice.

  9. Hey guys!! I love the channel and how you talk about disorders and psychological quirks in a way that nothing gets too serious nor too silly. It's a good balance. I'd like to suggest, for one of the "serious" episodes, talking about ASD, especially in women. Even people in the spectrum – like me, you might have guessed for the icon – have difficulty on dealing with it, as it feels less of a disorder and more like "the world is really very weird". And women are particularly more vulnerable and tend to be diagnosed as adults – like me. Anyway, I love the show, and I love working listening to it. keep on the good job!!

  10. 3:50 a word for word detailed description of our president… Huh, guess I don't have to be a professional to diagnose someone after all

  11. Sounds like me, cool. I'm just so amazing, you made this just for meeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Just me. Not you. Me.

  12. I was diagnosed with Borderline about eight years ago and have a lot of interactions with others of the same diagnosis since. It isn't always the case, but with myself and many others, people BPD often have a parent with high levels of narcissism. It makes a bit of sense, if you think about it. BPD sprouts up when there is a lack of validation, and narcissists don't factor empathy into their responses.
    Of course, BPD is much more complicated than just that, but it was an interesting observation. I'd love to see a long term study done on personality disorders through family lines…

  13. Narcs don't cause themselves pain….it's everyone around them that suffers instead, including their children. They are completely delusional about their self importance and ad believe they are perfect. "I'm not the problem, it's the rest of the world that's the problem" is their mentality, so they never seek help it's people they are close too that do. I'm speaking from having a narc mother and ex, only way to deal with them is avoid at all costs, no contact or grey rock, don't even bother trying to get them help. It's deeply ingrained and gets worse with age, there is no cure so save yourself, they will suck you dry if you don't xx

  14. “Diagnose” is an improper back-formation from “diagnosis,” but long usage and lack of a better term make objections to it seem pedantic. However, there is another error here which, owing to etymology, ought to be avoided by careful writers and speakers: You diagnose the illness, not the sufferer. If you diagnose a person, you will find him to be a person. If you diagnose a disease, you will find the nature of a disease.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  15. Narcissism IS all bad. I realize some people can’t identify/control it, but nothing positive comes from it.

  16. If you asked me how narcissistic I think I am on a scale of 1 to 10, idk if I could answer you. Like there are times where I feel freaking awesome about myself, and other times I beat myself down and I'm a massive pushover that let's people in my life beat me down. Idk how someone can know that about themselves.

    I know my mother does probably have NPD. I spent a long time learning about it and dealing with it in talk therapy (and still do). The treatment I received was…indescribable. It was just terrible. I'm terrified of being like that some day, and terrified that I'm already like that without realizing it. I spend a lot of time questioning it. Probably more time than is healthy.

  17. I think both overspoiling/overpraising and neglect/abuse affect brain development and cause NPD, just different types.

  18. When I think of type two personality disorders I think of Janice and Livia Soprano, Patrick Bateman, and Gregg Opie Hughes from the Opie and Anthony show.

  19. The worst thing about narcissists is their severe lack of empathy and lack of self awareness which affects a lot of lives negatively. Many of them are manipulative, neglectful,corrupt, users, abusers and some even rapists and killers etc.. Btw not all narcissists are openly full of themselves and are braggers.. there are also vulnerable narcissists and covert narcissists.

  20. Narcissism is pretty rampant, because it has infiltrated every aspect of life, and It is likely the result of the state run school system. Try succeeding in any corporate or government environment, where the money is horded, without being a narcissist, and playing their games.

  21. I dunno – this seems kinda like a no-brainer to me. I don't necessarily equate an over-inflated ego with narcissism – although the two traits often go hand-in-hand. Basically, narcissists usually ARE ego-maniacs – however, ego-maniacs aren't necessarily narcissists.

  22. NPD is also diagnosed when other people suffer or are at danger because of the person with the disorder.

  23. I am surprised you managed to make that whole video without mentioning shame. Most narcissists have a deep rooted sense of shame that they cover up with all those grandiose thoughts about themselves. It is the hardest place to reach during talk therapy because it is so painful to admit and covered so well, but at the root of it all there is a problem with self-esteem and shame.

  24. They forgot to mention how narcissists wreak havoc on other people's lives – like their spouses, children or parents – and only when those people turn to professionals can then narcissists be diagnosed.

  25. Its easy, just ask their partner a few things & frequency of em, n its clear or not. Stay clear of those ppl: entitled, manipulative, frequent dramas, tantrums, vindictive, blameshifting, gaslighters, project , and very sensitve and explosive anger. U will see those often in npd

  26. And let's remember even narcissistic people or people with NPD can also still experience anxiety and self loathing, too many forget that or think that narcissism is an immediate sign of abuse. Narcissism can have an affect on empathy yes, but this doesn't mean all narcissists lack empathy in general. #breakthestigma

  27. In school they teach that usually is not narcissistic people, but those around them the ones who seek therapy more often.

  28. @SciShow psych a decent presentation, given the limits of time afforded to this video. You left out one thing I may have added, in context and not as a stereotype. That is that NPD is almost more prevalent in males than females, occurring in 12% of men and 6% of women. Though again, context is everything, plus research into this phenomenon are barely starting, as is research on most personality disorders. Also, you misspoke, and on a very important point! There is in fact a 9 point checklist for NPD in the DSM-V, but a person must hit 5 or more to be classified as NPD. I would have included, with certainty, that NPD patients commonly display major depression, seen in 45-50% of patients. Additionally, NPD patients have a higher tendency for Bipolar Disorder, 5-11% of NPD patients being so afflicted, substance abuse is far more common among NPD.patients, approximately 24-64.2% NPS patients.

  29. Do my eyes deceive me or did the Young Master look a little uncomfortable when he noted that you can't be an official narcissist unless it's harming you in some way.

    What about harming others? Surely that should be part of it? For instance Donald Trump, who is clearly NPD, thinks that he's perfect and the superior of all other humans, and he answers faithfully to the other five charges mentioned: grandiosity, entitlement and so forth.

    Despite this his capacity for harming others, by the tens of millions perhaps, is great and growing and his mental and emotional stability crumbles under the strain of a job for which he is wholly unsuited, the scorching consciousness of guilt, and fear of federal prison.

    And yet he cannot be diagnosed because of the egomania that is the chief symptom of his condition.

    Time to rewrite the book I think.

  30. I can't help but wonder if those scientists behind that study are fan of This Is Spinal Tap. "These go to eleven."

  31. NPD is often misdiagnosed as BPD and vice versa. Talk therapy is truly the most beneficial, especially when focused on DBT.

  32. I wonder if my always agree behavior attracted narcissistic people. They always come to me. But I don’t mind, whatever.

  33. Trump is a narcissistic baby but it’s hard to call it a disorder if you parlay it into the presidency.

  34. Im Greek mythology there was a man named narcissist and he stared and his reflection so long that he fell in love with himself and starved to death.

  35. "It's associated with more happiness and less anxiety."
    Well, considering we just said that their are less likely to respond well to negative feedback (pushing more caring people to be mindful of them when it must happen) and more likely to be less empathic (thus not worrying about other lives they might damage/ruin) I would guess it is totally understandable that they are more happy (for themselves, which is their main focus) and less anxious (since only worrying about one person is way easier than for a dozen, dozen being your most important connections).

    Talking about narcissism, not the disorder. But still, I'm absolutely not nuanced.^^ Gotta make the connection clear.

  36. Pretty sure I live with a narcissistic and emotionally manipulative mother. Checks all the boxes but refuses to find help even though it's breaking apart the family. All because she thinks that everyone else is the problem and that she's perfect and requires special treatment…

  37. I forget about my a in maths and I got screemed at home for not studying and I still didn't remember until my friend reminded me!!!

  38. I know you say to consult a professional and probs not your friend, but what do you if your friend is a professional ? 🧐😂

  39. U seem to b confusing healthy self-esteem (an accurate view of oneself) with narcissism spectrum. Some people just arent on the spectrum and never could b.

  40. Yes, I do enjoy my physical form, and seeing it in the mirror kind of gets me off. On the other hand, I'm not really fond of who I am, and I certainly don't think that I'm better than most people.

  41. What's defined as a disorder changes with what people collectively agree on "normal" is during the times.

  42. One of the major parts of Narcissism (NPD specifically) is that they have deep feeling of shame underneath and spend their lives putting up a facade, a false self. It's not a true sense of confidence, it's fragile and needs constant maintenance. An Egomaniac has a stronger certainty that they are awesome and while they might get irritated at a lack of recognition they don't have that inner terror of inadequacy a Narcissist does.

    Example: An Egomaniac and Narcissist both lose a competition. The Egomaniac will just think the judges must be really dumb and might think "how dare they" but it doesn't injure their basic sense of self. It's the Narcissist that feels humiliated and might never forget or stop talking about that day. They may have the same complaints about the judges, word for word, but only one truly believes they are amazing while other is trying to keep up an illusion that they know, deep down, is a lie.

    Also there is a difference between a more overt Narcissist and a covert one. A covert Narcissist would absolutely deny being a Narcissist because it doesn't fly with the illusion that they are a noble martyr. Mother Gothel in Tangled is a good example of how they operate.

  43. Narcissism does not (necessarily) mean a person has an over-inflated opinion of themselves (though this is usually the case as well). It's more that they have a (usually grandiose) persona they desperately need everyone around them to believe. Technically underneath that they can be quite insecure and even have low self esteem.
    On the other hand, maybe in the time since I learned that they've changed the definitions and what I've described has a different name now…

    edit – haha, just realised somebody else said pretty much the same thing!

  44. These narcissists are fools. So egotistical, yet none come close to comparing to DR DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!

  45. There’s a type of NPD which is harder to diagnose, where the patient believes that he or she is the victim in every situation, and that no one in the world can feel worse than them.

    My dad has NPD and I can only describe my childhood as an abusive one. My dad never hit me or my brother, but the way he spoke to us like we were only there so that he could have someone to complain at, the way he would make everything our fault, and how he used to yell and stay angry literally for weeks over small things (like us not thanking him for making us dinner) has impacted me and my brother into our adult lives.

    I’ve struggled with low self-esteem and I tend to feel guilty for things that I know I shouldn’t, like eating a piece of food that could have gone to someone else, or taking over 10 seconds to order food. I feel like someone is always upset with me, even if no one cares.

    My brother demonstrates all the traits of a domestic abuser, and he has adopted a lot of the characteristics that my brother has.

    My mom will tell us all to walk on eggshells to make my dad happy, because if he gets mad at one of us, she will get yelled at and blamed for it.

    The most scary part, is that my dad thinks he is a great father and we should feel lucky to have a dad that treats us as “well” as he has.

    I know he grew up in a poor family with an alcoholic father, but I don’t really use that as an excuse for his behavior.

    NPD is a horrible disorder and the only reason I haven’t left home and cut ties with my dad forever is because I want to be there for my mom.

  46. So my mother would get 9 out the 9 items on that list. Her person and her feelings were always first (she actually raised me thinking that my feelings, in comparison, were completely irrelevant, which it's something I'm still struggling with today). She had no qualms about manipulating us or sabotaging things to get what she wanted (she liked, in particular, making sure nobody got anything nice if she didn't get anything nice herself). If I ever asked for help with anything (even homework), she would let me know in detail what a horrible inconvenience I was bringing to her life, but if she had a problem, I was supposed to drop everything and fix it right away. She was supposed to be the most important person in my life (my self-proclaimed my best friend, not my mother) and if I ever mentioned anyone else, friends or even my father included, she would make sure to create a bad impression of them for me, they were not her after all. Should any of these points ever be brought up, no matter how non-confrontational or nicely, she would assume the role of the victim immediately, and everyone else would be a bully. She never did anything wrong. And don't let me get started on the guilt trips…
    I've dealt with the consequences of growing up with my mother for many years, and I've gotten better, not 100% yet, but slowly getting there. If anyone out there is going through something similar, take it from this random person on the internet that who and what you are, what you like, what you think and feel, all those things have value. And you might not feel it sometimes, but you do have the right to exist. Good luck out there.

  47. Narcissism does affect narcissist's lives. This is because others react negatively to narcissistic entitlement. A narcissist may have a hard time coming to the conclusion that stealing for example, is bad, because there is no good reason someone else should have something that they don't. Narcissists may try to find flaws in the competition's points of view or character more readily or become more aggressive after narcissistic insult, this anger may not necessarily result in a victory for them. And sometimes there was no intentional attack on the narcissist at all. For example, someone might score first place, and the narcissist came second place, but the narcissist in their mind can't fathom why they are not first place – leading to some infighting at the scorers.

  48. I'll say it, one of the key elements of actually learning something is repetition… meaning, a lot of these videos go in one ear and out the other for the vast majority of people.

  49. Someone has never met a narcissist. A real one is incapable of considering others feelings and how their actions harm others.

  50. Cool ! this vid makes it believe it is all ok to be an egomaniac vs. NPD. But you do not have to be NPD so that your ego has serious consequences on others and yourself. After a while, people will try to get away from egomaniacs and they will feel more alone, leaving no choice other than overdoing their ego even more to try to seduce and attract people. This is just acting to fill the void inside them. Resolve the void instead of playing theater, for the improvement of everyone

  51. I enjoy this series as a whole, but this short video is addressing this very damaging disorder way too casually. Plus the severe damage that a NPD parent does to a child is not even mentioned.

  52. Ive been diagnosed with npd, im trying to work on myself. But even when i see my own mistakes, i kind of think im great for working on them. When im seriously confronted with my negative traits/mistakes i get depressed and suicidal fast. Narcissism is in its own way a coping mechanism. Ask me anything if you want to

  53. Narcissistic personalities are insecure and need constant attention and validation. And lack empathy . Self absorbed people can still be self aware and change their behaviour if they want too. And still feel sorry for people. They still like to ego trip to feel important. And lack superior to boost their self esteem.

  54. as someone with more than one personality disorder, they are primarily developed in response to abuse. for example i developed NPD directly from an extremely abusive relationship. 🙂 and a lot of the points in this video are incorrect or mis-explained so take it with a grain of salt lmao

  55. In one documented case, a high functioning narcissist got elected president, and didn't see a problem with committing treason to secure re-election and to make his country great again…

  56. I’m pretty sure I have NPD, but I also have depression, and I think everyone is fantastic, so I’m not sure what’s going on…

  57. Do you mean, : 40, "stable" as in through time or in situations? Ha, ok, honestly, not sure what I'm asking. I might understand now.
    3:40, so, distressing to others near them, thus, causing issues? Is depressive-depression the same? Is an egomaniac and an egotistic-egotistical person all the same, along with the examples in the video? Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *