Is My Spouse Really Narcissistic? How People Are Commonly Overpathologized

Uniting Couples to Strengthen Families

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“How much do you know about Narcissism?” asked yet another female client, on the same day that a male client asked, “How much do you know about Borderline Personality Disorder?” It seems like therapists I supervise or I am asked a version of these questions at least weekly.  I can confidently state that I likely know more about both of them than most of my clients do.  I believe that these labels are used prematurely and inaccurately in short, because they simplify complex problems for people who are desperately trying to make sense out of the seemingly nonsensical.  Here are some reasons why they are incorrectly overused:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are labels that describe sets of behaviors and internal states identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  This is a tome published by the American Psychiatric Association for the purpose…

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