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An Outline of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Just what is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)? It is described as behavioral pretentiousness, whether in actual behavior or fantasy. People who suffer from this disorder have a lack of empathy towards other people and they are constantly seeking admiration.

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder consider themselves the priority in other people’s lives. Their patronizing and arrogant attitudes are easy to notice when they, for example, complain about a waiter’s clumsiness by calling them stupid or primitive.

A person with narcissistic personality disorder, or narcissist, has a lasting pattern of behavior that differs from the normal patterns of the individual’s culture. This lasting pattern, which usually begins at an early adulthood, can be detected in their interpersonal functioning, cognition or motivation. It causes impairment in various areas such as work, social and personal. An individual suffering from NPD may show some or all of the following symptoms:

  • has an enormous sense of egoism (exaggeration concerning their achievements and abilities)
  • demands constant admiration
  • is obsessed with fantasies of endless power, success, good looks and intelligence
  • has an exaggerated self-opinion
  • is unscrupulous and exploits others to achieve his or her goals
  • has high expectations regarding favorable treatment and expects to be privileged
  • believes he or she is special and one of the kind
  • has no compassion and cannot identify with other people’s emotions and needs
  • is jealous of others (also thinks other people are jealous of them)

Personality disorders are not likely to be diagnosed in early childhood because this diagnosis is based on long-term behavior patterns that develop over time. They are generally diagnosed in adulthood when a person is no longer going through maturation and personality development. About 6% of the general population suffers from this disorder and it is more common in males than females.

Causes and Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Scientists have many theories about the potential causes of NPD but they do not know what exactly causes it. Most researchers link this disorder with genetic/biological, psychological and social factors. This means that the personality of an individual is formed by their environment and the way they interact with friends and family plays a crucial role. The bottom line is that no single factor can be held responsible for causing narcissistic personality disorder. Instead, the combination of all three of them is important.

Treatment of NPD is a long-term process which includes psychotherapy. The therapist needs to have years of experience in treating similar disorders. In order to address troubling symptoms, the therapist may prescribe medications. You can find more information about treatment from the following resources:

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An Outline of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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