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Grandiosity is chiefly associated with narcissistic personality disorder, but also commonly features in manic or hypomanic episodes of bipolar disorder.[1]

It refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority, a sustained view of oneself as better than others that causes the narcissist to view other with disdain or as inferior. It also refers to a sense of uniqueness, the belief that few others have in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special people.[2]

Grandiosity is distinct from grandiose delusions, in that the sufferer has insight into his loss of touch with reality.

Narcissistic criteria for grandiosity

The grandiosity section of the Diagnostic Interview for Narcissism (DIN) (Second edition) is as follows:[3]

  1. The person exaggerates talents, capacity and achievements in an unrealistic way.
  2. The person believes in her/his invulnerability or does not recognise his/her limitations.
  3. The person has grandiose fantasies.
  4. The person believes that he/she does not need other people.
  5. The person regards himself/herself as unique or special when compared to other people.
  6. The person regards himself/herself as generally superior to other people.
  7. The person behaves self-centeredly and/or self-referentially.
  8. The person appears or behaves in a boastful or pretentious way.

See also


  1. ^ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth edition Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) American Psychiatric Association (2000)
  2. ^ Ronningstam, Elsa F. Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality (2005)
  3. ^ Gunderson J, Ronningstam E, Bodkin A The diagnostic interview for narcissistic patients Archives of General Psychiatry, 47, 676-680 (1990)


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