Narcissistic personality is a type of personality disorder in which a person has some exceptional traits that cause nervousness and makes him/her socially distressful. Narcissistic personality disorder may limit a person’s abilities to maintain relationships in life. With narcissistic personality disorder, people are captivated by their own world, expressing their views and boosting themselves in front of others. People with this disorder create an aura of egoism and often try to push themselves over others. It is a kind of attitude that makes them feel special and always expect people to give them more attention and treat them better.
1 What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
People suffering from the narcissistic personality disorder always try to grab the attention of the people around them. They may get impatient or angry when people do not look at them or treat them less than they want to be. They always insist on having the best of everything, such as with a house, car, or hairstyle. Those with narcissistic personality disorder act superior and try to hide their true feelings. Even if they feel bad about something or feel shameful or insecure, when in the open, in front of other people, they act differently. Such people do not like to listen to others and hate criticism. They feel happy when people give them attention and treat them very specially. These people are moody and restless, are very hard to please, and get upset very easily.
Criteria for narcissistic personality disorder can have the following features:
- Having an overstated sense of self-importance
- Expecting special treatment from people and always acting superior
- Exaggerating one’s own achievements and talking about oneself excessively
- Becoming occupied with one’s own ideas, thoughts, and fantasies without caring about others’; men will talk more about success or talent, and women about looks and beauty
- Being in one’s own world and always expressing one’s opinions, even before people ask
- Being hungry for attention
- Acting superior to others and boosting oneself
- Never giving importance to others or considering them equals
- Having a sense of entitlement
- Requiring constant admiration
- Having higher expectations and always expecting good words, favors, or gifts from others
- Taking people for granted and using or manipulating them
- Not really caring for others or understanding them or their feelings
- Being envious of others, but believing other people are jealous of oneself
- Behaving in an arrogant and selfish manner
- Acting confidently, but not truly feeling it
Narcissistic personality disorder is close to a healthy confidence level, but crosses into arrogant behavior.
When to See a Doctor
People with narcissistic personality disorder have to visit the doctor to overcome their behavioral obstacles, such as thinking of themselves all the time and acting superior to everyone else. This level of self-confidence is not beneficial. People with narcissistic personality disorder tend to develop depression, which is mainly due to the criticism they face.
When people with narcissistic personality disorder recognize their true personality, it becomes difficult for them to accept and hurts their egos. They become sad and uninterested in life, even mentally disturbed. If people seek treatment and doctor’s care on time, it will help them heal and become better in life.
People with narcissistic personality disorder live in their own worlds and hardly believe in the reality around them. They always try to be superior to everyone around them until their true personalities come out and destroy the world they created.
The main causes of having narcissistic personality disorder is still unknown. But, comparable to any other mental problems, the cause is more likely complicated.
Experts believe that it may be caused by an imbalance in parent-child relationship. The patient may have experienced either excessive pampering as a child, or excessive criticism. It is also believed that psychobiology or genetics play a big part.
4 Making a Diagnosis
Treating people with narcissistic personality disorder is a very challenging task. They need to be treated with care and caution. A person may not immediately agree with the doctor about getting treatment. For the doctor, it is not an easy task to make the person believe in the treatments or to offer advice.
Treatment can be given individually or as a group. Psychotherapy is highly effective and will help a person with narcissistic personality disorder to think rationally. The therapy offers healthier, compassionate treatment, which is a part of mentalization-based therapy, transference-focused psychotherapy, and schema-focused psychotherapy, all of which will successfully treat a person with narcissistic personality disorder.
The cause of this disorder is still unknown, hence, no one can prevent it from happening.
7 Lifestyle and Coping
Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with narcissistic personality disorder.
By nature, a person with narcissistic personality disorder will feel the treatment is not necessary or is not worth the time and effort. Still, it is vital for a patient to:
- Have an open mind
- Keep the treatment going by focusing on the rewards
- Attend therapy sessions rigorously
- Take the prescribed medicines, if there are any
Like most patients with psychological disorders, you may feel like the treatment is all hard work without a reward, making you to have emotional setbacks every now and then. But, getting all the help you need will eventually lead you to a normal, happier life.
Surround yourself with the people you love and trust and don’t let “negative people” affect you.
8 Risks and Complications
There are several risks and complications associated with narcissistic personality disorder.
Most young children and teens display the qualities of narcissism, but during this age, it could be a normal “egocentric” stage and doesn’t mean they will develop the disorder later in life. A rare disorder, narcissism affects a greater number of males compared to females, and often starts in early adulthood.
If left untreated, narcissistic personality disorder can lead to:
- Problems at school
- Work issues
- Difficulty in maintaining a relationship of any kind
- Substance abuse
- Suicidal thoughts