Narcissistic Personality Disorder

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is marked by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, the inability to understand the feelings of others, an inordinate need to be admired, spending a lot of time thinking about how to gain success or about how one looks, a lack humility, impulsive behavior, engaging in risky sex or pursuing bold financial endeavors, feeling very insecure, and always seeking to take advantage of those around them.

Those who present traits of narcissistic personality disorder are described as being self-centered, demanding, and manipulative. They often disregard rules and conventions and sometimes end up incidentally hurting people while pursuing their own interests.

What are the Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

An individual may be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder when he or she takes advantage of others in order to reach personal goals, easily becomes jealous, pursues selfish interests, lacks empathy for others, exhibits power-seeking behaviors, demonstrates feelings of superiority, feels entitled to obedience and special treatment from others, needs constant attention and admiration from others, exaggerates talents and achievements, reacts to criticism with shame, anger, or humiliation, and is obsessed with their own interests. These individuals are constantly dreaming out success, power, attractiveness, intelligence, etc.

Since many signs may also be present in people who suffer from antisocial personality disorder (colloquially defined as “sociopaths” or “psychopaths”), it is sometimes hard to confirm a diagnosis.

However, narcissists tend to generally be more cooperative when it comes to work on their impulses and they seldom use rage to manipulate other people. Additionally, it is easier for them to foster a healthy relationship with other people and do not experience any pleasure in voluntarily or involuntarily cause pain to others.

How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treated?

The goal of treatment is to improve the person’s self-esteem and help them develop more realistic expectations of others and includes transference-focused, schema-focused, and metacognitive therapies along with medication.

Therapy is also focused on helping individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder to understand how to use their unique talents and help others without ulterior motives. Many narcissists abuse drugs and alcohol so it’s important to treat these addictions also.

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Last Reviewed:
September 21, 2016
Last Updated:
August 09, 2017
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