Paul Krugman is looking for a word:
There has to be some word for the kind of person who considers his mild discomfort the equivalent of torture, crippling injury, or death for other people. But I can’t think of it.Although it's not quite the word he's looking for, the phenomenon he's describing is narcissism. It's not that their pain is so much greater than everybody else's - it's that only their own pain has significance. You're seeing a combination of narcissistic character traits - a lack of empathy crossed with grandiosity, self-importance, and envy of others who are getting the sympathy and attention they deserve.