Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, an extreme need for admiration, and a lack of empathy towards other people. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder often have a history of difficult interpersonal relationships, and often attempt to use or manipulate those around them.
Those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder frequently have grandiose thoughts and feelings, and usually believe they are unique or special in some way.
As a result, they often display negative or antisocial behaviors when they feel as if they are not getting the attention they believe they deserve. These behavioral patterns often create extraordinary difficulties in the personal lives of those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as well as in the lives of those around them.
As a personality disorder, NPD is considered fairly rigid and difficult to treat. Many people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder refuse to believe that they suffer from a mental health condition, which further prevents them from seeking treatment and addressing their maladaptive behavior.
Those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder frequently report feelings of unhappiness or discontent when they don't receive the special treatment they feel they deserve, and many likewise report chronic feelings of emptiness and may lack an interior sense of identity. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is typically more common in men than in women, and is typically found in younger people as opposed to older.
Signs and Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is primarily characterized by a grandiose sense of self and a valuation of the self over others. While some people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder may display overt symptoms that make diagnosis fairly easy, many are able to "hide" their symptoms, making diagnosis difficult. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder typically display some of the following symptoms:
While Narcissistic Personality Disorder is typically associated with "overt" symptoms and may be popularly associated with extroverted personalities, it is important to remember that not everyone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder displays symptoms in this way. "Covert" Narcissistic Personality Disorder is now being increasingly recognized as a similar manifestation of NPD that, while distinct from the classic image of narcissism, is different in a few key ways.
Those with "covert" narcissism may display similar symptoms to those with "overt" narcissism, but may do so less obviously. This form of narcissism typically manifests itself in the form of passive-aggression, smugness, excessive sensitivity, and a feeling of being "misunderstood".
Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as one of the "cluster B" personality disorders, is considered very difficult to treat. This is due in large part to the fact that many who struggle with this disorder refuse to acknowledge that they have a mental health condition. As with all mental health conditions, acknowledgement of the problem is the first step to getting better, and while personality disorders may be notorious for their difficulty in treatment, there is always hope for recovery.
While researchers are working to gain a better understanding of the root causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, the exact causes are currently unknown. Medication may help to ease some symptoms, although talk therapy is usually considered the first-line treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Again, acknowledgement of the problem is crucial to recovery.
Those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder must believe there is a problem in the first place before they can work to resolve it. This is, in large part, what makes recovery so difficult.
Despite the unique obstacles to recovery that Narcissistic Personality Disorder presents, there is hope. Many with this condition are able to recover and lead happier, healthier lives, provided they are willing to admit they have a problem and work to change for the better. If you or a loved one believe you may suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, reach out to us.
Our qualified team here at Overcomers Counseling are prepared to help you address these issues and become the best version of you there is. If you're ready to take the first step on this journey with us, give us a phone call or send us an e-mail. We look forward to meeting you. Call 719-345-2424.