A news item in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/health/views/30mind.html?_r=1) reported that “Narcissistic personality disorder” is going to be deleted from the upcoming revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due out in 2013.
NPD isn’t the first entity to get bumped from the DSM. In 1973, homosexuality was deleted after years of debate. It finally happened when enough gay psychiatrists came out, causing their straight colleagues to observe, “Gee, I know those people and they seem fine. So maybe they’re normal.”
Psychiatric diagnoses rise and fall from a show of hands: it's no more scientific than that.
If you wonder why NPD, of all behaviors, no longer looks abnormal, take a look at Facebook, where hundreds of your “friends” can’t wait to tell you they bought a jar of Skippy this morning. Take a look at television, where people ache so much for their fifteen minutes of attention that they wait in line to make fools or felons of themselves. Notice that we gaze into one another's eyes less than at our cell phone screen’s display of messages, messages to US.
Yup, narcissism’s getting relieved of its “disorder” burden because a significant number of psychiatrists have had the courage to admit that they, too, have become navel-gazers. Narcissism is now officially normal. What gets rehabilitated next, greed?