Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment: What You Need To Know

Reviewed by Whitney White, MS CMHC, NCC., LPC

Published 12/10/2020

When it comes to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, this is a disorder that isn’t always understood. However, it has been widely studied and there are significant aspects of the disorder that you may want to learn more about. Keep reading for more information on NPD, including all the information you need to know about the disorder, including symptoms, causes, and how it can be treated.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Is there Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment?

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Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a type of personality disorder where someone feels that they are very important, and they need to be recognized for this. They also want people to dote on them for their accomplishments. In reality, they may not have accomplished anything out of the ordinary. At the same time, people with NPD are often depressed or feel bad about themselves when they are not around others.

When someone is narcissistic, they may be considered to be rude in general. This is because they will sometimes hurt other people to get the things that they want. There is help out there for those with this personality disorder, a variety of treatments are available.

Symptoms of NPD

Here is a look at some of the most common symptoms associated with NPD.

  • Feeling that they are more important than everyone else.
  • A need for attention and acceptance.
  • Overstating accomplishments.
  • Wanting the best of everything, including clothes, cars, and houses.
  • Jealous of everyone and feeling like everyone is jealous of them as well.
  • Irritability when someone questions them.
  • Unable to process emotions properly.
  • Unable to handle stress.
  • Depressed feelings.
  • Cannot understand other people’s feelings or point of view.
  • Harboring unrealistic goals about wealth and relationships.

In addition to these symptoms, people that live with NPD will also likely have issues when it comes to many aspects of their daily life. This can include when at school, at work, or with social relationships. Simply put, they may have difficulty interacting with others in a respectful way.

Possible Causes

There is no certain cause of NPD, but there may be a few possible causes associated with this disorder.

Family Ties

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Genetics may play a role when it comes to someone experiencing NPD. If someone in your family has it, there is a chance that you may experience it as well.

Upbringing

In some cases, the way someone was raised can contribute to the development of NPD. For example, if unrealistic expectations were placed on them when they were young or they were adored regardless of what they did, this may cause them to experience NPD as they grow up.

Moreover, if someone was subject to abuse at an early age, this can also lead to the development of NPD.

Peer Pressure

It is thought that some people have narcissistic tendencies because of the people that they associate with. If the people you hang around with act the same as you do, you may be responding to peer pressure and are acting a certain way to fit in.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

If you or someone you know may be experiencing NPD and you want to know how to get help, take this narcissism test to find out more information.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment : Psychotherapy

There are a few ways that NPD can be treated. One is through the use of psychotherapy. This can be challenging, however, since people that experience NPD sometimes do not think they have a problem. This leads to them not getting help, even when they require it. Of course, for those that do reach out for help, therapy can make a difference in their lives. A therapist will be able to teach them how to implement strategies where they will be able to set realistic goals, interact with others, and change the way they feel about themselves. A 2015 study explains that people who experience NPD may have a lack of empathy, which will need to be addressed during the treatment process.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment: Other Challenges

There are a couple of other things that make treatment for narcissism challenging as well. One is that NPD is sometimes present in people that are also depressed or have another type of mental health issue. This is discussed in a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice. In fact, a person may seek treatment for their depression before they seek treatment for their NPD traits. This is why it is necessary to get help when you need it, so you can make sure that you are making the best choices for your health.

Where to Get Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

A medical check by a doctor can help eliminate underlying medical issues and address potential use of medications for co-occurring problems. A therapist can work with the patient and their doctor to create a treatment plan to address specific concerns.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment: Medication

Medicines are sometimes used for treating those with NPD, but this normally occurs only when someone is experiencing depression or something else as well. There is no medication for treating narcissism. You can talk to your doctor about this in order to learn more about possible prescriptions that can alleviate certain symptoms you might be experiencing if this is applicable.

If someone experiences NPD and wants to repair relationships with family members or loved ones, group therapy may also be utilized in treatment for NPD. This strategy can allow everyone to talk openly about things that have happened and learn how to interact with each other.

Other Things to Do

There are a few other things to consider when you are seeking treatment for NPD. One is to stay away from drugs and alcohol, especially if either of these things has caused problems for you in the past. These substances can cause you to not be able to make responsible decisions and they may also alter your mood, besides being detrimental to your health.

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You should also do everything you can to stick to your treatment plan. While it may take a while for you to see any changes, this does not mean that you should give up. Many people are in therapy for years before they are able to think or act differently, but when you are open to what your therapist is telling you and trying to teach you, this will give you a better chance of making serious changes.

Another thing you should do is make sure that the goals you are setting for yourself are attainable and realistic. If they are not, try to change your goals so that they are attainable. Keep in mind that you can change how you act, treat people well, and you can still work towards whatever else you desire.

How to Cure Narcissism

The truth is that there is no “magic cure” for narcissism. However, there are effective treatment options for people that experience NPD. A good idea when you are wondering how to treat narcissism is to make sure that you get the help you need as soon as you determine that it is needed.

For instance, if you experienced abuse or neglect as a child, reach out for help as soon as you can. This may be able to help you treat not only NPD but also any other mental condition that you are experiencing. Consider getting help as soon as you reach adulthood, if this is possible.

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Another factor to consider if you are someone who has narcissistic traits but also experiences depression is to be honest with your therapist, regardless of what you are getting treatment for. This can give them a better understanding of how to set up your treatment plan, so you can hopefully see relief for all of the conditions that you are experiencing. In other words, if your therapist doesn’t know that you have narcissistic traits, they will be unable to help you move past them. Make sure that you are being open and honest with any professional that you are working with so that you can get the best treatment available to you.

If you are getting help because a loved one has NPD, you should make sure that you don’t get discouraged either. Even if a person you care about isn’t seeking treatment, you can. A therapist will be able to help you learn ways to interact with someone that is a narcissist, as well as other techniques that will be helpful to you. You can also take advantage of support groups, which can help you get additional perspectives on how to interact with a narcissist, and may also help you build up your support system.

Outlook

Overall, it is important to remember that NPD doesn’t go away, but it can change over time. People that have the traits associated with NPD can change their behaviors, where they are able to lessen symptoms and repair damage they have done to others in the past. If this is something that you want for yourself, reach out for help today. If you or someone you know may be experiencing NPD and you want to know how to get help, take this narcissism test to find out more information.