It looks like the psychiatry establishment has done a U-turn and put ‘narcissistic personality disorder’ back in the proposed DSM 5 – the latest edition of the bible of psychiatric illness, due to be published in 2013. I expect this is in part due to the outcry by many medics and members of the public when it was announced at the end of 2010 that the ‘disorder’ was going to be dropped from the books.
I am inclined to agree with this Telegraph article that the move is a shame and a poor reflection on contemporary society:
‘You don’t need to be a psychiatrist to see that narcissism has shifted from a pathological condition to a norm, if not a means of survival.
Narcissism appears as a necessity in a society of the spectacle, which runs from Andy Warhol’s “15 minutes of fame” prediction through reality television and self-promotion to YouTube hits.
While the media and social media had a role in normalising narcissism, photography has played along. We exist in and for society, only once we have been photographed. The photographic portrait is no longer linked to milestones like graduation ceremonies and weddings, or exceptional moments such as vacations, parties or even crimes. It has become part of a daily, if not minute-by-minute, staging of the self. Portraits appear to have been eclipsed by self-portraits: Tweeted, posted, shared.’
Longer version of the Telegraph article in Frieze magazine: http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/who-me/