Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Symptoms And Treatments Explained

Published 11/04/2020

When it comes to NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, there is probably a lot that you have heard, but you don’t know what is true and what isn’t. When a person experiences NPD, they have a high self-regard and they may think that other people are beneath them. This can be problematic in a number of different ways. Keep reading for more information on this condition, as well as a list of symptoms and treatment options.

What is a narcissistic personality disorder?

NPD is characterized by narcissistic behavior, which means that someone feels they are the best at something, or they are the most important person they know. On the other hand, this means that they usually feel like others are not as important. They also feel like they need to be praised and recognized for their accomplishments, even when they haven’t done anything. This may cause problems when it comes to their social life, at their job, and when they are trying to connect with others in general.

What are the 9 traits of a narcissist?

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Here is a look at common narcissistic personality disorder symptoms.

  1. Feeling that they are entitled to constant praise or appreciation.
  2. Talking badly to people that they perceive as less important.
  3. Overstating their accomplishments.
  4. Feeling like they need the most expensive and the best of everything.
  5. Being jealous of many people for many reasons.
  6. Stepping on people to get the things they desire.
  7. Having no regard for how people are feeling or what they need.
  8. Having issues with change and regulating their emotions.
  9. Secretly feeling sad and unconfident regularly.

As you look at these symptoms, you can tell that there are two distinct types of feelings that are felt by a narcissist. One is that they are superior to others, deserve the best, and need to be treated in a special way. However, on the other hand, someone that experiences NPD will also feel vulnerable and upset when they are by themselves. In some instances, they are experiencing depression. This is why it is important to seek treatment if you notice these symptoms in yourself. There is help available to you.

These traits are also not the same in everyone. Some people will express each of these traits, and in some, the symptoms will be mild, but in others, they may be more severe. For this reason, it is important to learn about all of these traits, so you are able to notice them in yourself or others.

At the same time, many people with narcissistic tendencies are unable to note these traits in themselves, so they often don’t get the help that they could benefit from. If someone you love has these traits, you may not be able to get the treatment for them, but you can get treatment for yourself. Treatment can help you learn how to better deal with their behavior. You may want to seek therapy for yourself or investigate a support group in order to learn techniques to help yourself and the person you care about who experiences NPD.

Can a narcissist change?

Since a narcissist often thinks that they don’t need to change their behavior, this makes it unlikely that they will change. It is true until they notice they have a reason to change their behavior. In short, a narcissist can change, but that does not mean that they will. If you are waiting for a narcissist to change how they are behaving, there isn’t anything that you can do to alter how they are acting. However, you are able to change how you act, where you can be respectful of them but not let them treat you with disrespect. This is a concept that you can talk about if you elect to reach out for therapy for yourself.

Treatment

If you or someone you know is affected by narcissistic personality disorder, you may want to take this narcissism test, to determine what can be done in your situation.

Treating narcissistic personality disorder can be something that is challenging but is quite possible through the use of psychotherapy. Since someone that is experiencing NPD is often self-assured outwardly but may be self-conscious on the inside, a therapist will need to address both of these things, in order to help someone learn how to think or act differently. For instance, through the use of psychotherapy and letting a person talk about themselves, which is a concept discussed in an article published in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, a therapist may be able to help someone with NPD feel at ease and open up. There are many other things that a therapist can help a narcissist learn as well, such as being able to treat others with respect and change how they feel about themselves, in a positive way.

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In some instances, someone with NPD will also need to go to group therapy. This can be beneficial if they have issues with their family or loved ones that need to be remedied. It may also be appropriate if someone experiences NPD because of how they were raised or because of something that happened to them in their life. When there is a chance to talk about these things, it can be something that is worth exploring.

In certain cases, it may be necessary for a person to take medicines as well. This is usually the case if someone is also experiencing another mental health condition. For example, some people that have NPD also experience depression. Therefore, when they start treatment, they will likely need to be treated for both of these issues, in order to see results. Keep in mind that there is no medicine that is designed to treat NPD.

An aspect of therapy for NPD that is important to consider is that it can take a long time to see results. Someone that has narcissistic tendencies may be resistant to change, which will cause them to be hesitant, which can lead to therapy taking more time to produce results. However, when someone continues with therapy, it can lessen some of these traits or teach a person how to think differently, as well as helpful ways to interact with others. Taking advantage of therapy can lead to a reduction in symptoms for NPD. It is possible.

Psychology and Aging published a study that suggests that people become less narcissistic as they age. This may be due to the fact that they have to keep adapting as more things happen in their lives.

There are also a few things that you can do along with treatment for narcissistic personality disorder.

Don’t Be Lax About Treatment

You will need to be serious about your treatment if you want to see your symptoms lessen or want to be able to interact with others in a different way. This means you should do your best not to give up, even when it feels like your treatment isn’t working well. When you stick with it and are doing your best, you will likely see a change, and others will see it too.

If you are someone that cares about a person with NPD and choose to get treatment, it is a good idea for you to keep up with it as well. You should also do what you can to keep others around you that can support you. You will need a support system as much as your loved one does.

Stay off Drugs and Alcohol

You should also stay away from drugs and alcohol as much as possible. These things may alter how you behave and cause you to act in a manner that you wouldn’t normally act. When you are working with a psychiatrist, they can let you know if having a drink every now and then is okay.

Take Care of Your Health

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Overall, it is necessary to take care of your health. This means you should also get checked out by your doctor, to ensure that you don’t have any physical ailments. You can also take steps to start exercising and get the right amount of sleep. These things may help keep your moods stable and are beneficial for your body.

Outlook

If you are someone that is experiencing NPD and wants help to change your behavior, you should seek therapy. A therapist will be able to help you learn how to have expectations of yourself and others, which are possible and are attainable. This can lead to you being able to have relationships with others and be honest and open with yourself.

Seeing differences when it comes to treatment may take a long time, but this doesn’t mean that treatment isn’t working. When you are following your treatment plan and changing your lifestyle in the ways mentioned above, you will have the best chance of being able to see fewer symptoms related to your NPD. The main thing to remember is that you should reach out whenever you feel that you need to. There is help available to you.