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What the Yuck: Am I narcissistic?
July 29th, 2011
09:56 AM ET

What the Yuck: Am I narcissistic?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I keep hearing how everyone these days is narcissistic. How do I know if I am?

The fact that you are asking probably means you don't have narcissistic personality disorder, because people who do have it generally don't have enough self-awareness to question their own behavior.

While many people occasionally exhibit "narcissistic traits" like self-absorption or arrogance, true narcissistic personality disorder takes it to another level.

People with this disorder have a very inflated image of themselves (exaggerating their talents), and expect everyone around them to admire them. They are very sensitive to criticism, believe others are jealous of them, and often have dramatic mood swings and outbursts. They also have a sense of entitlement.

Behind the arrogant front, though, they usually have a self-esteem problem.

Not surprisingly, celebrities in general and reality TV stars in particular rate super-high in narcissistic traits, according to a study by Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of "Celebrity Rehab and The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America."

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Copyright Health Magazine 2011


soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. Warex

    Narcissism is a mental condition that is to in-depth to explain in a blog. However for those who do not like to read medical literature please allow me to draw you a literary picture...... Casey Anthony = Narcissism!

    August 1, 2011 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Bonita

    Hitler was narcissistic. He ordered the German people to chant "Hail Hitler." That's what secularists and pagans are doing by saying, "Hail self." Everyone should admit being a hopeless sinner just as the Bible tells us to – the only way out of this mental disease.

    August 1, 2011 at 06:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kevin

      You can be a hopeless sinner if you want, but I make my own decisions and don't live in guilt and shame, instead of relying on some religious leader to tell me what an imaginary god whispered in their ear. Moral behaviour does not originate with the adherence to religion. It's part of our nature, to enable us to live socially. Just like dogs, who adhere to the rules of the pack, lest they be cast out or killed.

      August 1, 2011 at 09:11 | Report abuse |
  3. Charles

    WHY IS THIS NEWS?????

    August 1, 2011 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thoth-Amon

      It's NOT, it's a special-interest story meant to entertain and inform (failing on both counts, IMO).

      August 1, 2011 at 08:33 | Report abuse |
  4. Jorge

    The key lies in the difference between pride and vanity. Pride comes from having tested yourself or having been tested before a challenge or goal, and having met it; it is a sense of accomplishment and new found confidence, expressed inwardly. Vanity on the other hand, is a sense of smugness and superiority over a windfall or natural asset that you have been born into or has fallen on your lap, so to speak. (i.e.-natural beauty, inherited wealth, ill-gotten power...). Narcissism is the compulsive, outward expression of that vanity.

    August 1, 2011 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Renelda Moorehead

      Thank you , JORGE, for that intelligent, informed and clear description; oh! and accurate.

      August 1, 2011 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • Saurav

      First video needs reupload Also' very calm would be such rtoerepir редактировалось: Sep 07 2011 10:46 AM UTC (101 д. назад)

      April 8, 2012 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
  5. Kimberly

    This article only skimmed the surface on what being narcissism really is. Narcissistic people believe that they are perfect and can't do anything wrong and they are egotistical. Try being the only child coming from a super small nuclear family and limited extended family? Because the child grew up receiving countless and exponential attention, the world revolved around them and they grew up thinking that this is the position I am supposed to have. I should always be the center of attention. That child really never understood how to share. I believe that if you have to get defensive and say you are not prideful, egotistical and narcissistic then you are lying to yourself and trying to cover up your own personality and character flaws. Mature people can pin point their own flaws and are not ashamed to discuss them whereas on the other hand the others are ashamed to admit that maybe, they are not as perfect as they perceive themselves to be.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joy

      Purnima Language is a skin: I rub my language ngsiaat the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire. The emotion derives from a double contact: on the one hand, a whole activity of discourse discreetly, indirectly focuses upon a single signified, which is I desire you, and releases, nourishes, ramifies it to the point of explosion (language experiences orgasm upon touching itself); on the other hand, I enwrap the other in my words, I caress, brush ngsiaat, talk up this contact, I extend myself to make the commentary to which I submit the relation endure. — Roland Barthes (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments)That is all, your honour!

      April 8, 2012 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
  6. Jen

    Wow, anything can be a "disorder" these days. What ever happened to people being accounted for the way they act?

    August 1, 2011 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Gordon

    Yes, Dr. Drew Pinsky seems like a great example of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    August 1, 2011 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Margarita

    Without a shadow of a doubt, the best post on Inneresting! God that is a tough spot to be in. It must feel like you are being tugegd in a number of directions and at the same time not being tugegd enough in ways you're used to. A new home, a new job, a new set of people, and a whole new routine. Damn!Getting exercise is a wicked idea! Miss our yoga classes If it helps at all I can say you're not alone in feeling like that at times! Sometimes when I'm at home on my own and all out of sorts I just strap on my running shoes and lose myself in the music and that good kind of pain from pushing yourself to your limits. Perhaps in some ways it seems like you're just pouring pain from one thing into the other, or rather, attempting to push it away by making your body feel something for a while so your brain can rest. However, a positive way to look at it is just boosting that connection between body and mind by keeping both active. Yoga happens to do both! When in doubt Music plus running shoes, bike, or yoga mat. Take your pick Life can seriously be confusing as hell sometimes but you know, allow yourself these introspective and strange moments. You've got yourself some friends out here in the wide world that have got your back every step of the way, and no matter how many weird curveballs life can conjur up for you, this much at least will never change High five and will see YOU in just a few weeks! High five and keep chill.p.s. *Amazing* photos. No really, I'm saving them now. Your hair is awesoooome too!

    September 13, 2012 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
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    October 1, 2018 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.