The Narcissus flower has a role in how we define the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The flower’s name is actually born of a myth.
One version of the myth states that a wood nymph named Echo saw Narcissus walking in the forest. She fell very much in love with his beauty. He sensed that someone was following him and asked who it was. Echo just repeated his question and then tried to hug him. He shunned her. She became lonely and died.
Another god named Nemesis decided to get revenge by cursing Narcissus. She led him to a pool where he saw his own reflection. He was so enamored with his own good looks that he stared at it , shunning everything else in his life. When he realized nothing could love him more than his own beauty, he melted from his inner passions and turned into a gold and white flower.
.Other versions of the myth include Narcissus turning away other men who fell for him. One killed himself at Narcissus’ doorstep and asked the gods to curse him. When Narcissus saw himself in a pool of water, he realized he couldn’t have himself so he committed suicide.
Despite the myths and their origins, they all end with Narcissus killing himself and a flower appearing where he died.
Essentially, the self-obsession is the root of defining Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Diagnosed patients can become so self-obsessed at many levels (beyond appearances) that nearly each and every decision made and perspective forgoes thoughts or empathy of others.
In the next “Inconceivable!” series podcast, I’ll explore the disorder and the differences among self-centeredness, self-confidence, and the actual Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
In the meantime, enjoy looking at the beautiful flower!