More narcissists out there than studies show

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#1 March 3, 2009 - 11:28am
Lisa E. Scott
Lisa E. Scott's picture

More narcissists out there than studies show

Carolyn pointed something out to me that I’d like to get everyone’s thoughts on.

National statistics on the prevalence of pathological narcissism are low – reports indicate less than 4 percent of the population. I have a hard time believing only 4% of people are narcissists when every person I know has met or dated one!

Now, this may be a direct result of the fact that I’m writing and talking about this subject all the time or it may be a result of the fact that narcissism falls on a spectrum. We all have narcissistic tendencies, but to the far right end of the spectrum you will find the pathological narcissist who is a rare breed, in and of himself.

However, I believe the main reason reports show such a low prevalence of pathological narcissism is because narcissists do not seek out therapy. Narcissists do not want to get help. Their behavior works for them. It hurts everyone around them, but it works quite well for them, doesn’t it?

Narcissists do not want to be “found out” and prefer to remain in hiding, if you will. As a result, they do not seek professional help and remain un-accounted for in our national statistics.

Would love to get your thoughts.

Best,
Lisa

March 3, 2009 - 12:23pm
cassiemay
cassiemay's picture

more narcissists than reported

Lisa, I agree completely that most of them do not go to therapy. Why would they? They are Perfect! In addition, even if they do go to therapy under extreme stress they are very likely to be able to fool the therapist by being so charming, intelligent, "justified" for all that they do. Coming from a mental health background, I know that it can take a very long time for a therapist to "catch on" that this may be the correct diagnosis. I am sure as a result that it is also "underdiagnosed". CM