In 2015, the Court of Appeal in England and Wales considered the case of Re P (a child)  EWCA in which the father was diagnosed by a forensic physiatrist as suffering from an “Histrionic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. The report summarised the father’s behaviour as follows:-
- He reacts to criticism (real or perceived) with feelings of rage;
- He is interpersonally exploitive taking advantage of others to achieve his own ends;
- He has a grandiose sense of self importance, e.g. exaggerating his achievement or talents;
- He expects to be noticed as “special” even without appropriate achievements;
- The corollary of this is his denegation of others without relevant cause;
- He believes his problems are unique and can only be understood by other special people;
- He is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love;
- He has a sense of entitlement and unreasonable expectation of especially favourable treatment; and
- He has a lack of empathy, inability to recognise and experience how others feel.
The result was a finding by an earlier court that the child P is likely to “suffer significant emotional harm arising from the adverse impact of the father’s mental health difficulties”. In part directly but also because of the impact of those difficulties on the relationship between the parents.