Normal narcissism as a buffer against the development of eating disorders and ptsd: Two prospective studies

Eytan Bachar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we will review two prospective longitudinal studies in which our research group showed that two extreme manifestations of narcissism predispose the individual to two mental disorders ? posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anorexia. Excessive grandiose and vulnerable narcissism [what Pincus and Lukowitsky (2010) defined as pathological narcissism] were found to predispose individuals to PTSD. Diminished deficient narcissism (close to André Green's definition of negative narcissism or death narcissism) was found to predispose the individual to develop anorexia; whereas normal narcissism immunized the individual against these two disorders even in risk situations. For the purpose of the present study, we defined normal narcissism as scoring like the mean of the normal population on a scale that measures excessive pathological grandiosity and vulnerability, and on a scale that measures deficient diminished narcissism. In this work, we used two separate scales tapping the two extreme manifestations of excessive narcissistic grandiosity and vulnerability (NVS Scale; Bachar, Hadar, and Shalev, 2005) and deficient narcissism (Selflessness Scale; Bachar et al., 2002) because being characterized with deficient narcissism, for example, does not necessarily automatically imply that an individual will have an extremely low score on the scale of excessive pathological narcissism. In fact, such an individual might have characteristics such as being active in denying one's own needs to the point of impoverishment of one's self ? death narcissism in Green's terms. In this paper, we show empirically that the two scales were not correlated within a sample of normal adult participants. We will also mention the issue of how to define normal narcissism.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Psychology of Narcissism
Subtitle of host publicationDiverse Perspectives
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781634630344
ISBN (Print)9781634630054
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Diminished narcissism
  • Eating disorders
  • Excessive narcissism
  • Normal narcissism
  • PTSD


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