Objective: This review provides information about the current state of knowledge concerning narcissism.
Methods: Viewing narcissism as a psychological construct, a dimension of personality and as a psychiatric disease, presenting of models about development and treatment of narcissistic tendencies or of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Statements about phenomenology, diagnosis, and classification, comorbidity, epidemiology, pharmacological treatment and current psychotherapy, and prognosis of NPD are presented.
Results/discussion: There are three main aspects of narcissism: 1. narcissism as a psychological construct in the sense of personality variable, 2. as a personality accentuation as a factor of vulnerability for other psychological disorders and 3. narcissism as a personality disorder in the sense of a psychiatric disease (NPD). There are no clear boundaries between these forms of narcissism. The NPD is recognized as a personality disorder by DSM-IV but not by ICD-10. There is a clear lack of scientific studies on the neurobiology, psychology and psychotherapeutic as well as psychopharmacological treatment.