As a teenager, Leigh Anne had moved from one group of close friends to the next in rapid succession. She found herself in repeated conflicts with others, and each time, she believed she\u2019d been the victim of the other person\u2019s ignorance or lack of insight. Occasionally she grew friendly with someone who possessed some quality or object that Leigh Anne desired, and always these were the relationships she was interested in maintaining. When a slightly older friend received her driver\u2019s license, Leigh Anne expected to be driven to and from school, and anywhere else she wanted to go\u2014even though this friend lived miles away. When another friend was nominated prom queen, Leigh Anne tried to stay close, hoping to receive some notoriety for having such a popular \u201cbest friend,\u201d but her attempts were eventually thwarted by her jealousy. For these reasons and others, high school had not gone as well as Leigh Anne might have hoped. Still, when she got to college, she invented stories about how amazing her high school years had been. She claimed to have been exceedingly popular and happy, and to have a group of \u201cfollowers\u201d still vying for contact with her. She invented a story about having been prom queen to prove her tale as much as to receive extra validation. She invented loads of boyfriends and never told the truth about the terrible fights she\u2019d had with numbers of \u201cex-friends.\u201d There was a period when Leigh Anne stopped showing up to classes, yet she expected her professors to forgive her missing test scores on the basis of her beauty and charm. Not receiving her wish, she grew indignant and threatened at least one professor with a formal grievance for being \u201cunfair and prejudicial\u201d in her case. Her old \u201cmean girl\u201d tactics still in place, she began a rumor about the professor that she hoped would cost him his job. After graduation, Leigh Anne landed a job at a great law practice, but unhappy with her entry level status and pay, she demanded to be given higher level paralegal duties. At first she was charming and persuasive, but when the firm did not comply\u2014Leigh Anne had neither the training nor experience\u2014she quit in a storm and even wrote bogus negative reviews online about the firm\u2019s partners. Leigh Anne met a wealthy man (she\u2019d always said she would \u201cmarry rich\u201d) and in the weeks before their marriage, her wedding planner quit. He claims to have done so because Leigh Anne was \u201cthe worst bridezilla\u201d he\u2019d ever had to work with. Her husband, a somewhat docile man, eventually despaired of his wife\u2019s frequent rages and her lack of gratitude, and he filed for divorce. By the age of 35, Leigh Anne had embarked on another disastrous marriage, had fired four therapists, and had become embroiled in a lawsuit with her neighborhood\u2019s HOA before symptoms she believed were depression finally compelled her to take her issues seriously and commit to therapy. Narcissism Defined Do you tend to have strong personality clashes with others? Are you convinced others are completely in the wrong when such clashes occur? Do you believe strongly in your own talents, your own specialness? Do you just know that you are more intelligent than most people, more attractive, more charming, more superior? Do you expect favorable treatment\u2014even special treatment\u2014from everyone from the grocery clerk to your company\u2019s executive staff? Is it hard for you to understand (or consider) what others might be feeling and why? Do you seek the attention and admiration of others, even expect it? If you answered \u2018yes\u2019 to most of these, you might be a narcissist. In Greek mythology, Narcissus, the son of a god and a nymph, was a hunter who was lauded for his beauty. According to the legend, Narcissus believed absolutely in his beauty and uniqueness, and was terribly proud. Seeing Narcissus\u2019 pride and the way he scorned all who admired him, the goddess Nemesis lured Narcissus to a pool of water. When he saw his own reflection, he fell madly in love. So in love, he was unable to leave, and eventually died. The term narcissism evolved as a term to describe someone who is egotistical, overly proud, entitled, vain and selfish. A Disorder of Narcissism Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) means more than possessing some of the traits of narcissism. The American Psychiatric Association\u2019s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth revision (DSM-5), lists the criteria for NPD this way: \u201cA pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following: 1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements). 2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. 3. Believes that he or she is \u201cspecial\u201d and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high status people (or institutions). 4. Requires excessive admiration. 5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations. 6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends. 7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.\u201d NPD is believed to occur in less than 1 percent of the population, and occurs more frequently in men than women. NPD symptoms tend to get better as a person gets older, especially by the 40s and 50s, but its symptoms can be extreme in younger years. Often, other psychiatric disorders co-occur with NPD (i.e., bipolar illness, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and substance related disorders). Most people who have NPD do not seek treatment; those who do so typically arrive in therapy after their disorder has created considerable life strain and dysfunction. This was the case for Leigh Anne. Through her treatment for NPD\u2014which includes long-term psychotherapy with an experienced therapist and may include certain medications to help with the worst symptoms\u2014she began to gain life skills to help her attempt to walk in others\u2019 shoes and to forecast how others are likely to feel about and respond to her behaviors. With the considerable desire for self-improvement, as well as the goal of having a happier life, Leigh Anne has made good strides in her progress.