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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 others 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 their loss of touch with reality (they are aware that their behavior is considered unusual).[citation needed]

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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