Are You As Self-Centered As Snooki? That’s Probably OK!
The “I’m fascinating” syndrome might not be a mental disorder.
Narcissists, this story is all about YOU.
The American Psychiatric Association recently decided to consider eliminating the condition “narcissistic personality disorder” from the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This telephone directory-sized book is the go-to reference for shrinks, covering everything from depression to bipolar disorder, plus some other conditions we’d really rather not think about.
This has a direct effect on Snooki, Spencer Pratt and other celebrities who think that the world revolves around them and their every utterance.”I think I’m fascinating,” Snooki recently told Barbara Walters in a television interview. And there you have it.
According to NPR, psychologist Keith Campbell says there’s a real difference between clinical narcissists and all the Snooki-like people who are on reality TV these days. In essence, clinical narcissism is a distorted view of reality that can drastically affect their entire life, from their job to their relationships. That’s staying in the manual. But narcissistic personality disorder is a lesser condition, a preoccupation with oneself and a belief that others find you extremely interesting.
So why is the APA considering dropping it altogether? Basically, Campbell told NPR, because it’s a sign that you’re normal. “When I went and looked on twitter just to see what people are saying about [the proposed change],” Campbell, a psychologist at the University of Georgia, “the most common response was ‘It must be so normal now, it’s no longer a disorder.’”
Campbell emphasized, however, that there’s a continuum of narcissistic conditions. In other words, it’s simplistic to think that people are either clinical narcissists or have narcissistic personality disorder; there’s a range of conditions in between the two extremes.
As Campbell found out, narcissism is a continuing hot topic on twitter. Maybe that’s because twitter itself is a hotbed of narcissism, what with hundreds of people tweeting daily about what a wonderful breakfast they just had.
Many tweeters, however, have a sense of humor about the condition, coming up with extreme examples of narcissism. “If I could clone myself,” said one, “I would do it and be gay for myself.” (npr)
Top that, Snooki!
Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.