Everything You Need to Know about Narcissistic Personality Disorder


A healthy or appreciated sense of self can be a good thing. According to recent researches, people who own somewhat bombastic views of themselves are mentally stable, emotionally strong less tensed, and less at risk for depression. On the other side, narcissism exists on a gamut: In the brighter view, it’s craving the infrequent compliment. While in its darkest view, it can sneak into a obsessive territory.

People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) deals with problems in several areas of their life, like work, relationships, school or financial affairs. Such type of people generally may not be happy. They are quite upset when not given the special appreciation, favors or admiration they think they deserve. All the time they have been struggling with their relationships which are unfulfilled. Other people around them cannot enjoy due to their intolerance.

Such people own grandiose fantasies about themselves, like they are more attractive, smarter, intelligent, and more successful than everyone around them. They know how to put other people down for their own please. They are expert in hijacking any discussion or situations to make themselves feel greater or superior. Feel of “no one is perfect” does not sound good to narcissist people; they are ready to shield themselves from the imperfections at all costs.

What Exactly Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental state in which people possess an inflated sense of their own value, a deep desire to get excessive admiration and attention, unhealthy relationships, and devoid of feelings for others. But behind this camouflage of ultimate confidence lies a shaky self-esteem that’s resistless to the minimal assessment. This is one of the top 10 personality disorders introduced in the fifth publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Psychologists say that a personality disorder like NPD is about unhealthy relationships. Such people can never enjoy intimate or interpersonal relationships with their family, friends, and colleagues.

Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder revolves around psychotherapy (a talk therapy). In order to be diagnosed, they first have to admit that they have personality issues but they often don’t. This is the drastic problem with a narcissistic personality disorder that the person deficits good insight into what is going on. They hardly admit their faults and think that the trouble is all about with everyone else, not with them.

NPD has a greater prevalence in men than women. According to a research carried by a psychological community, personality of a narcissistic female is more likely to be intolerant with other women. These women are insecure, jealous, and exhibit competitive attitude with other women. On the other hand, men are probably more into escapade others than women. Not they feel more empowered to certain entitlements but also more inclined to show superiority of power hunger and assertiveness. Although, we can’t say these kinds of personality deviations are limited to either sex. When it comes to narcissism, egoism, vanity and tolerance, both sexes are equal.

Signs and Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder

NPD usually pops up in early adulthood. Most of the times, people with mental disorders do not perceive that they have an issue as it goes against their self-image. Psychotherapists and mental health professionals ordinarily use the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to diagnose mental or behavior disorders.

The signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, according to the criteria set by DSM-5 diagnostic, include the following:

  • Coming across as pretentious, conceited, conceited, and arrogant.
  • Have an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement
  • Becoming a cause that the surrounding starts avoiding.
  • Dealing with unhealthy relationships.
  • Exaggerating achievements and talents.
  • Avoid positivity and react negatively to criticism.
  • Engrossing conversations and disparage or look down on people they consider as inferior.
  • In need of constant admiration and praises.
  • Insist on getting the best of everything, for example, the best house or car.
  • Preoccupied with the fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.
  • Looking for exceptional treatment because of perceived superiority
  • Having an unwillingness or inability to acknowledge the needs and feelings of other people.
  • Unhappiness, angriness, and confusion when certain things proceed in the opposite direction.
  • Always jealous of others and believe others envy them.
  • Ongoing issues with work, school, finances, relationships, drugs, and alcohol.

Those people who have narcissistic personality disorder trouble handling anything they hit on as criticism, and they can become impatient or angry (even on slight concerns) when they don’t receive special treatment. Constantly they have been struggling with interpersonal problems and face complications in regulating emotions and behavior. Such people also experience major problems coping up stress and adapting to change. One of the most common sign is that have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation.

If you think you have NPD, without wasting further time schedule your appointment with doctor or a mental health professional. They will detect whether you have this personality disorder or not and suggest proper treatments to help manage the symptoms.

Causes of narcissistic personality disorder

The exact causes of narcissistic personality disorder are not known yet. As with mental health disorders and personality development, the causes of NPD are likely complex. But there is a combination of factors concluded by a research on narcissistic people. They may be linked to:

  • Childhood trauma like physical, sexual and verbal abuse.
  • Genetics (family history).
  • Unfeasible expectations from parents.
  • Early relationships with the parents, friends and relatives.
  • Offensive childhood upbringing or childhood abandoned.
  • Excessive overindulging attitude of parents.
  • Personality and temperament.
  • Sexual dissipation (often accompanies narcissism).
  • Sensitivity to certain textures, sounds, and light in childhood.
  • Cultural influences

Can you take a test to check if you have narcissistic traits?

When you visit a psychotherapist, he may recommend you a few personality tests to check if you have narcissistic personality traits. These tests will contain simple questions you can answer honestly. They provide your psychotherapist a better check into how you feel and believe. Some of these tests are:

  • Millon clinical multiaxial inventory III (MCMI-III).
  • Personality diagnostic questionnaire-4 (PDQ-4).
  • International personality disorder examination (IPDE).

How can you avoid becoming a narcissist?

In case, one of your parents had NPD in the past, you may have a slightly greater chance of developing it. But expert medical professionals conclude that heredity is just one of a combination of factors that can result in developing narcissistic personality disorder. But if you’re quite bothered about you or any loved one that you may have NPD, it is better talk to a mental health consultant.

Is there any treatment for narcissistic personality disorder?

Treatment for NPD mainly consists of talk therapy, also called as psychotherapy. If depression or another mental health condition occurs alongside the symptoms of NPD, then appropriate medical assistance may be used to deal with the other disorders. Yet, there are no certain medications to treat NPD thoroughly.

Long-term counseling or talk therapy somehow can be a primary treatment for NPD. You learn how to bear on others in a better way so your relationships can avoid destruction and become more enjoyable, intimate, and rewarding. Having positive interactions with others can ultimately enhance multiple areas of your life. Talk therapy also helps you procure deep sight into your issues so you can learn and make changes accordingly. This can also show you how to:

  • Establish healthy self-esteem.
  • Improve your cooperation with co-workers and peers.
  • Sustain your personal relationships.
  • Cooperate with others in a positive and rewarding way.
  • Understand and manage your feelings.
  • Set practical goals for yourself.
  • Bear on with any sort of self-esteem issues.
  • Build your strengths and mindset so you can tolerate failures or criticisms.
  • Have more convincing expectations of others.

The psychotherapist may also suggest some medications to cure symptoms like depression and anxiety. Medications include:

  • Antidepressants: They help recovering unstable mental conditions. Psychotherapists often suggest Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). These kinds of drugs have not side effects at all as compared to other antidepressants. Such medications include sertraline, fluoxetine, and paroxetine.
  • Mood Stabilizers: To pick up the fluctuating mood swings, mood-stabilizing drugs like lithium are recommended.
  • Meditation: Meditating all alone (especially at morning) is an effective way to get rid of negativity. You will welcome morning freshness and get an amazing vibe of positivity. There are several meditation ways, but mental health professionals usually recommend yoga as it relaxes mind and reduces stress. This will alleviate your burdensome emotions by soothing the fresh mindset.
  • Antipsychotic Drugs: Aripiprazole and risperidone are best antipsychotic drugs to treat NPD. These two kinds of drugs can help with symptoms of depression, despondent, and anxiety.

Modifying your lifestyle to some extent will also prove effective when you are going through talk therapy.

  • Exercising at least four times per week to freshen soul and help boost mood.
  • Drugs, alcohols, and other substances that trigger negative behaviors must be avoided.
  • Take part in relaxation techniques to minimize depression and anxiety.

It is suggested not to miss any therapy sessions if you are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. And take medications as directed by psychotherapists. After being consistent in treatment, a relative difference can be seen in yourself and your relationships with others. The recovery process of NPD may exceed to 1 and 2 years. Do not lose hope and keep recovery goals in mind.

What’s the outlook if you have narcissistic personality disorder?

The convincing benefits of NPD treatment vary depending on the intensity of your symptoms and your inclination to execute the treatment.

If discussed generally, however, the harsh symptoms of NPD usually get better over time. You have to stay motived and diligently move towards betterment. One day, you will be able to restore your disruptive relationships and become more contented with your everyday life.

Prevention from narcissistic personality disorder

As the causes of narcissistic personality disorder are unspecified, there’s no perfect way to prevent the condition altogether. However, you may prevent yourself from NPD.

Learn some beneficial family therapeutic lessons to enjoy healthy ways of communication or handling with the conflicts or emotional distress. Always attend parenting sessions and consult therapists or social workers for proper guidance. If you were diagnosed with childhood mental health problems, get treatment as soon as possible.

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  1. Pingback: Personality Disorders- Types, Causes, and Treatment - Fajar Magazine

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