What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition in which the person has an insatiable need for admiration and an increased sense of self-importance, aka narcissism.
Narcissists consider themselves superior and entitled to preferential treatment. A narcissist may have little regard for other people’s feelings and often use others to achieve their goals.
It is important to be aware of the language used to discuss narcissistic personality disorder or a narcissist. The symptoms and signs discussed in this test on narcissism are true signs of a mental disorder, so it is crucial to avoid using the word narcissist as a derogatory term. This will help end the stigma around narcissistic personality disorder.
Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder are constantly overestimating their abilities and exaggerating their achievements. Someone with the disorder may often be perceived as demanding and boastful. Furthermore, people with this disorder are convinced that others appreciate them and are often surprised when people don’t acknowledge their efforts and achievements.
But behind this mask of great confidence or narcissism lies a fragile self-image, vulnerable to the slightest form of criticism.
Narcissistic personality disorder occurs more often in men and affects nearly 1% of the population. Just like in the case of any other personality disorder, the symptoms of narcissism tend to diminish over time.
Since narcissism is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, most experts include it in the same category with antisocial, histrionic, and borderline personality disorder.
To manage narcissism, mental health professionals recommend individual and group therapy. For first steps in identifying symptoms of a narcissist, an online narcissism test may be beneficial.
Signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a series of emotional and behavioral symptoms such as:
- Increased sense of self-importance and self-esteem may be exhibiting narcissism
- Tendency to exaggerate talents and achievements
- Constant need for attention and admiration is often characterized as narcissistic
- Selfish goals and narcissistic ideals
- Inability to tolerate criticism and constructive feedback
- Constant preoccupation for beauty, power, success, and fame
- Envy towards other people’s achievements
- Failure to forgive and forget other people’s wrongdoings
- Feelings of inner emptiness and emotional numbness may be narcissistic
- Tendency to forge superficial friendships
- Preoccupation for sexual performance
Since people with narcissistic personality disorder display a pervasive pattern of arrogance, entitlement, and grandiosity, there’s a chance that some of them might develop manic episodes. Narcissism can take a toll on a variety of aspects of someone's life, and if not treated may proceed to worsen the symptoms mentioned above. This narcissism test aims to identify some of those symptoms.
Furthermore, people with narcissistic personality disorder or those who display symptoms of narcissism may have a fragile self-image and inability to tolerate criticism which makes them vulnerable to disorders like depression, social anxiety, and addiction. The effects of these disorders coupled with narcissism can be curved with the help of a mental health professional who has experience working with narcissistic personality disorder.
How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder treated?
As with any other pathological personality disorders, narcissistic personality disorder requires long-term therapeutic intervention in order to overcome the symptoms someone with the disorder may exhibit.
Although experts recommend psychotherapy for people with narcissistic personality disorder, there are situations when medication might also be needed.
There is no specific drug treatment for narcissism, but if the person exhibits symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other conditions, medication may be helpful.
Because personality traits, including narcissism, are relatively difficult to change, therapy can take several years for narcissistic personality disorder. It might sound like a long time, but getting rid of dysfunctional thinking patterns and problematic behaviors involved with narcissism, doesn’t happen overnight.
What are the Goals of Therapy for Narcissism?
The short-term goals of psychotherapy - often centered around Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - for narcissistic personality disorder usually focus on co-occurring conditions such as alcohol/drug addiction, low self-confidence, depression, and shame, which are the symptoms identified in the narcissism test above.
The long-term goals gravitate around reshaping the client’s personality so that their image of themselves will turn into something more reasonable.
Psychotherapy can help narcissists interact better with others and cultivate meaningful relationships. It can also be a source of valuable insights as those with narcissistic personality disorder learn to identify painful emotions, avoid unhealthy coping strategies, and confront their vulnerabilities. If you or a loved one are developing these symptoms, take a narcissism to find out more about getting treatment.