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Before Freud[ edit ] Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. As punishment, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus 'lay gazing enraptured into the pool, hour after hour',  and finally pined away, changing into a flower that bears his name, the narcissus.
The story was retold in Latin by Ovid in his Metamorphosesin which form it would have great influence on medieval and Renaissance culture. Here the term used was ' self-love Feed'st Primary narcissism essay light's flame with self-substantial fuel'. Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud, by Max Halberstadt, Ernest Jones tells us that 'at a meeting of the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Primary narcissism essay on 10 November Freud had declared that narcissism was a necessary intermediate stage between auto-erotism and object-love'.
He referred to this as primary narcissism. The ego develops during infancy and the early part of childhood, only when the outside world, usually in the form of parental controls and expectations, intrudes upon primary narcissism, teaching the individual about the nature and standards of his social environment from which he can form the ideal egoan image of the perfect self towards which the ego should aspire.
An aspect frequently associated with primary narcissism appears in an earlier essay, ' Totem and Taboo ,'  in which Freud describes his observations of children and primitive people.
What he observed was called magical thinkingsuch as the belief that a person can impact reality by wishing or willpower. It demonstrates a belief in the self as powerful and able to change external realities, which Freud believed was part of normal human development.
Secondary narcissism[ edit ] According to Freud, secondary narcissism occurs when the libido withdraws from objects outside the self, above all the mother, producing a relationship to social reality that includes the potential for megalomania.
This leads us to look upon the narcissism which arises through the drawing on of object-cathexes as a secondary one, superimposed upon a primary narcissism'. When that affection is returned so is the libido, thus restoring primary narcissism and self-worth.
Any failure to achieve, or disruption of, this balance causes psychological disturbances. In such a case, primary narcissism can be restored only by withdrawing object-libido also called object-love to replenish ego-libido. According to Freud, as a child grows, and his ego develops, he is constantly giving of his self-love to people and objects, the first of which is usually his mother.
This diminished self-love should be replenished by the affection and caring returned to him. Karen Horney Karen Horney Karen Horney saw narcissism quite differently from Freud, Kohut and other mainstream psychoanalytic theorists in that she did not posit a primary narcissism but saw the narcissistic personality as the product of a certain kind of early environment acting on a certain kind of temperament.
For her, narcissistic needs and tendencies are not inherent in human nature. Narcissism is different from Horney's other major defensive strategies or solutions in that it is not compensatory. Self-idealization is compensatory in her theory, but it differs from narcissism.
All the defensive strategies involve self-idealization, but in the narcissistic solution it tends to be the product of indulgence rather than of deprivation.
The narcissist's self-esteem is not strong, however, because it is not based on genuine accomplishments. Heinz Kohut Heinz Kohut explored further the implications of Freud's perception of narcissism. He maintained that a child will tend to fantasize about having a grandiose self and ideal parents.
He claimed that deep down, all people retain a belief in their own perfection and the perfection of anything they are part of.
As a person matures, grandiosity gives way to self-esteemand the idealization of the parent becomes the framework for core values. It is when psychological trauma disrupts this process that the most primitive and narcissistic version of the self remains unchanged.
Kohut called such conditions narcissistic personality disorder'in which the merging with and detaching from an archaic self-object play the central role If the caregivers fail to provide adequately for their child, the child grows up with a brittle and flawed sense of self.
The age of "normal narcissism" had arrived'  Kohut also saw beyond the negative and pathological aspects of narcissism, believing it is a component in the development of resilience, ideals and ambition once it has been transformed by life experiences or analysis  —though critics objected that his theory of how 'we become attached to ideals and values, instead of to our own archaic selves Otto Kernberg Otto F.
Otto Kernberg uses the term narcissism to refer to the role of self in the regulation of self-esteem. He believed normal, infantile narcissism depends on the affirmation of others and the acquisition of desirable and appealing objects, which should later develop into healthy, mature self-esteem.
This healthy narcissism depends upon an integrated sense of self that incorporates images of the internalized affirmation of those close to the person and is regulated by the super ego and ego idealinternal mental structures that assure the person of his worth and that he deserves his own respect.
The failure of infantile narcissism to develop in this healthy adult form becomes a pathology. Object relations theory ' Melanie Klein 's Inwriting on the psychopathology of narcissism, Herbert Rosenfeld was especially concerned to arrive at a better definition of object-relationships and their attendant defense mechanisms in narcissism'.
Winnicott 's 'brilliant observations of the mother-child couple [also] throw considerable light on primary narcissism, which in the young child can be viewed as the extension of the mother's narcissism.
The active presence of narcissism throughout life led Grunberger to suggest treating it as an autonomous factor '.
For Green, it was because narcissism affords the ego a certain degree of independence Some in fact exploited it as a handy term of abuse for modern culture or as a loose synonym for bloated self-esteem.Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is defined by the Fourth Edition Text Revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, a handbook that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental disorders) as one of ten personality feelthefish.com a group, these disorders are described by DSM-IV-TR as "enduring pattern[s] of inner experience and behavior" that.
Karen Horney saw narcissism quite differently from Freud, Kohut and other mainstream psychoanalytic theorists in that she did not posit a primary narcissism but saw the narcissistic personality as the product of a certain kind of early environment acting on a certain kind of temperament.
For her, narcissistic needs and tendencies are not inherent in human nature. This section of our web site contains an eclectic mix of essays written and donated by our visitors.
the narcissism which arises through the drawing in of object-cathexes as a secondary one, superimposed upon a primary narcissism that is obscured by a number of different influences. History of narcissism Jump to He referred to this as primary narcissism. An aspect frequently associated with primary narcissism appears in an earlier essay, 'Totem and Taboo,' in which Freud describes his observations of children and primitive people.
Rebecca Solnit, a TomDispatch regular, is the author of 17 books, including an expanded hardcover version of her paperback indie bestseller Men Explain Things to Me and a newly released anthology of her essays about places from Detroit to Kyoto to the Arctic, .