Can Narcissism Be Acquired?
According to Dr Robert B Millman, it can. To describe this acquisition, Dr Millman coined the term Acquired Situational Narcissism. Dr Robert B Millman is a Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University.
According to Dr Millman, Acquired Situational Narcissism (or ASN), is triggered and exacerbated by our celebrity-obsessed society which encourages such behaviour and can be brought on during either adolescence or adulthood. Initially, the excessive narcissism is brought on by wealth, fame and the celebrity lifestyle.
Millman claims that celebrities become so accustomed to the celebrity lifestyle, with the media treating them as though they are much more important than they really are, that whilst they are the focus of attention and everybody is looking at them, this causes them to stop looking back at other people.
Millman proposes that being treated in such a way can cause what might have started as narcissistic tendencies to develop into a full-blown personality disorder.
The only difference between Acquired Situational Narcissism and standard Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is that ASN develops later in life and the fact that it is encouraged by others (fans, admirers, press, media, etc).
Millman also proposes that people with ASN are more likely to suffer with unstable relationships, substance misuse and erratic behaviour due to "the lack of social norms, controls, and of people telling them how life really is."
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