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DSM-V to Ignore Narcissists – Part 2 April 21, 2011

Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
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“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
Mark Twain

Since writing DSM-V to Ignore Narcissists?, I came across an interesting article, The Mathematics of Narcissism , on Slate.  It offers a statistical rationale for eliminating Narcissistic Personality Disorder from the DSM-V due out in 2013.

I should mention that when I took a statistics class for my master’s degree two summers ago, I woke up every morning weeping. My poor husband hadn’t seen me like that since the first year we were married!  I don’t mind looking at bar graphs, line plots, and pie charts. I just didn’t want to fall into the abyss of Excel spreadsheets. I survived the course and even earned an A, but it was like pulling teeth- slowly and one at a time. Even so, I was able to follow this article, though it would have helped if there were pie charts in color.

The changes proposed for the DSM-V have been years in the making. They address the fact that many of the current ten personality disorders overlap, so instead of “clustering” personality disorders, the DSM-V is going with “dimension reduction.” Oh dear, I’m having statistical PTSD as I type this! If it’s any consolation to those who’ve had a close encounter with a narcissist, the proposed changes are extremely controversial and seem to please no one, least of all psychiatrists.

Personality disorders are being scrapped and replaced with six axes of personality traits, though no single one will be designated as the Axis of Evil. The axes are:
1) negative emotionality
2) introversion
3) antagonism
4) disinhibition
5) compulsivity
6) schizotypy

So, come 2013, there will still be narcissism, but no narcissists. Those formerly diagnosed with NPD will score high on four facets of antagonism;  callousness, manipulativeness, narcissism, and histrionism. So how will this help those who’ve had a close encounter with a narcissist?  It won’t. But read the article and see what you think.

If it’s any consolation, psychopathy, which was eliminated from the DSM-IV, is back. Dexter, take note!