Toxic or Narcissist; Does It Really Matter?

Have you started to suspect that you may be in a toxic relationship, perhaps with a narcissist? Or have you finally acknowledged and/or come to terms with the fact that you are are indeed in a toxic relationship? Maybe you are are fully aware you're being verbally, emotionally, financially, or physically abused, and you may be asking yourself if the person you are in the relationship with is actually a narcissist.

Let's take a look at the characteristics of someone who is narcissistic in the truest sense; having been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as someone who has a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), a need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and presents in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).

2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high status people (or institutions).

4. Requires excessive admiration.