Thursday, 12 May 2011

There are many bridge related disorders where overlapping symptoms make it hard to distinguish one from another. However, when a disorder has two very specific symptoms then the labelling process becomes all too easy.
Narcissus Nastica is a behavioural disorder first seen in bridge clubs in southern England, yet today it is rife within bridge communities across the world. Primarily named after the mythical character who fell in love with his own image, it comes as no surprise to see affected bridge players behave in the very same way. Their inflated egos lead them to love and admire the image they perceive of themselves. This is usually one of being a superior player, revered and respected by others, blessed with great table presence, skill and technique.
Sufferers become obsessed with the fantasy of belonging to the club's elite of top flight players, experts, full of know-how, capable of brilliance and sheer magic in all aspects of the game. Such is the degree of self-love and self-worship, anyone who foolishly dares to challenge their beliefs will regretfully encounter the other symptom associated with this disorder.
Victims react badly to confrontation and any attempts by others to force them to undertake reality checks. Often they fly into a rage and get very nasty in the process. Some psycho-analysts have observed in players who have a fully-blown inflated ego problem, the retaliatory degree of nastiness displayed can often manifest itself into murderous intent.
Certainly, severely affected victims habitually expect praise and adoration from those around them, especially partners and team-mates. Criticising them ( God forbid ) is like sticking a pin into a rather large balloon that will, of course, explode instantaneously. Indeed, as their self-delusions take hold, any threat to dispel them causes victims to develop a pathological trait, which is both unnerving as it is frightening. Turning really nasty comes with the territory.
As for treatments, self-denial and narcissism go hand in hand, and so nothing can be done to persuade them to seek help. People's fear of triggering nasty outbursts seems to condition their behaviour to adopt passive and complimentary overtones, which inevitably exacerbates the victim's symptoms even more .

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