The Narcissist in Your Life: Recognizing the Patterns and Learning To Break Free

Da Capo Lifelong: Perseus. Dec. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9780738285771. pap. $16.99;. PSYCH
Educational writer Hall begins this deep dive examination of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) with a stunning revelation: 6.2 percent of Americans are impaired with NPD and an even greater number have pathological levels of narcissistic traits. Having grown up in a narcissistic family, Hall experienced the disorder firsthand, with the abuse rising to the forefront when she began work on a memoir. Here, the author assists in navigating encounters with the illness and provides an analysis of NPD diagnostic criteria, abusive relationship patterns, and guidance for coping with the aftermath of abuse. Hall’s surprising findings, grounded in professional research and interviews with survivors, largely focus on behaviors that perpetuate pathological narcissism across generations, making this a significant contribution to the NPD literature.
VERDICT Living with a narcissist, writes Hall, violates our fundamental rights of dignity, integrity, and personal freedoms, made worse because the narcissist is usually someone close to the abused. All libraries, in particular university collections supporting mental health and psychiatry curriculum, will find this a worthy addition.
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