Narcissistic Pathology as Core Personality Dysfunction: Comparing the DSM-IV and the DSM-5 Proposal for Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Authors


Please address correspondence to: Leslie C. Morey, Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845. E-mail: leslie-c-morey@tamu.edu

Abstract

Narcissistic personality disorder and related concepts have a complex history and have been subject to extensive theoretical discourse but relatively little empirical research. An initial proposal for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5) that suggested eliminating this disorder as a discrete personality disorder type met with considerable controversy that ultimately led to its reinstatement in subsequent proposals. Nonetheless, the DSM-5 proposal for personality disorders as a whole would involve a significantly different formulation of narcissistic personality from that described in DSM-IV—one that places a greater emphasis on shared deficits among all personality disorders that tap elements thought to fall on the narcissistic spectrum, such as deficits in empathic capacity. This article describes this revised formulation, and presents a case study that illustrates the similarities and differences in the DSM-IV and proposed DSM-5 portrayal of narcissistic issues and related clinical problems over the course of a particular treatment.

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