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Narcissistic Personality Disorder

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is one of many personality disorders in which an individual has an extreme need for attention and admiration. Such individuals tend to have trouble in their relationships and a lack of empathy for others. However, behind such characteristics there lies an individual with a fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable to the slightest criticism. In addition, individuals who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder tend to be unhappy and quite disappointed when they don’t get the attention or the admiration that they think they deserve.

Also, it is important to note that although it affects both men and women, such disorder is more common in males and often begins in late teens or early adulthood.

What are the symptoms for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (may vary from one individual to another)?

  • Individuals tend to have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Individuals have a sense of entitlement and need a constant sense of admiration
  • Expect to be seen as superior, beliefs they are superior, and expect to only associate with people that they believe are at their level
  • Exaggerate their achievement and talents
  • Are constantly preoccupied with fantasies of success, brilliance, power, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Tend to look down upon those that they see as inferior
  • Expect special favors
  • Tend to take advantage of others in order to obtain what they want and/or desire
  • Have the inability to recognize the feelings and opinions of others
  • Tend to envy others as well as believe that others envy them
  • Tend to behave in an arrogant or haughty manner
  • Insist on having the best of everything
  • May become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
  • Tend to feel easily slighted and have trouble with interpersonal problems
  • Tend to have trouble regulating their emotions and behavior
  • Tend to experience major problems when they have to deal with stress or change
  • Individual have a secret feeling of shame, vulnerability, and humiliation

What causes Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Although the exact cause is not known, researchers believe that the following factors may be linked to the development of such disorder:

  • Environment
  • Genetics
  • Neurobiology

What are some complications that may arise from Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

  • Difficulties in relationships
  • Problems at work, school, or even financially
  • Depression and anxiety
  • It can lead to alcohol and drug misuse
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior
  • Problems with an individual’s physical health

How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder treated?

  • Psychotherapy
    • Allows for an individual to learn different ways to better their relationships so that they are more intimate and enjoyable
    • Allows for an individual to understand their disorder better and the causes of their actions and/or emotions
  • Medications
    • There are no specific medications to treat such disorder however, if an individual expresses symptoms of anxiety or depression for example, they may be given antidepressants to help reduce the symptoms.

What can I do for myself to better cope with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

  • Keep an open mind
    • Focus on the rewards of the treatment that you are seeking
  • Stick to your treatment plan
  • Get professional help for other mental health problems that you may be experiencing such as alcohol or drug misuse
  • Stay focused on your goal
  • Educate yourself and loved ones about your disorder