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As Sigmund Freud’s theories regarding personality and the subconscious mind took root and became a field unto itself, other scholars and scientists sought to build upon his work.  One of the areas on which there was much focus involved “narcissism,” or an extreme level of self-absorption and an exaggerated sense of self-importance, combined with an absence of empathy for the suffering of others.  From the study of narcissism as a form of personality disorder, Heinz Kohut, an Austrian-born (as was Freud, the father of psychoanalysis) American psychoanalyst developed the theory of narcissistic personality disorder that includes on its spectrum of reaction to real or perceived slights the concept of “narcissistic rage.”  Narcissistic rage is an extreme, sometimes violent reaction to such slights, in which the narcissistic personality responds to a perceived “injury” by verbally or physically lashing out at the “attacker.”  The “attack,” to reiterate, is not physical, and may not even be real, but is perceived by the narcissistic individual as a very real attack on his or her self-esteem. 

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