Several of the celebrities from our study have graciously consented to allow us to publish their scores to give you some context in judging your own results. Understand that these results don't necessarily imply a need for treatment or change. However, if you're higher up the scale and wonder why your relationships never seem to work out, or you have difficulty with aggression, particularly if you have trauma in your childhood, check in with people in your life who genuinely care about you for an assessment of these results. Very narcissistic people are usually the last to be aware of the source of their troubles.

If you are having symptoms, regardless of whether you rate well above average on the NPI scale, there are plenty of mental health professionals out there who are well trained to help you. If your score is higher than thirty, I suggest you consider a professional assessment. Of course, even a score that high isn't a concrete sign that anything is direly wrong, and treatment is not mandated. Adam Carolla didn't run for help after hearing his result, and he has great success and satisfaction in his career, a stable relationship with a wonderful woman, and two beautiful kids (although, one day we'll have to talk to them about what it was like having Adam as their father).

Measuring yourself against the celebrities on our scale may be reassuring. You may find that your results are similar to those of someone you admire or for whom you have great affection. Remember, though, that your attraction to a celebrity may be an attraction to the pseudo-self that star puts forth, rather than to his or her true personality. Matching your favorite star's level of narcissism shouldn't necessarily be reassuring; nor should it be considered a healthy goal.

The celebrities we surveyed were a diverse group of people, but they all shared one thing: the specific dynamic of narcissism. If you are having significant distress in your own life, and believe it may be linked to narcissistic tendencies in your personality, you can take solace in the fact that people on our list are working them out in ways that at least seem to allow them to thrive. But registering the same score as one of our celebrities doesn't mean you're likely to be as successful as that individual, or even that you're fundamentally similar people. It does mean you're struggling with a similar dynamic, but one that can manifest differently from person to person. Having read this book, you should understand that narcissism can be a significant liability. If your answers show a trend toward narcissism, it's up to you to understand your behavior and work to change in a healthy direction.

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Excerpted from The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America by Dr. Drew Pinsky. Copyright © 2009 by Dr. Drew Pinsky. Excerpted by permission of Harper Collins Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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