Diseases & Conditions

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality DisorderCausesMedicationsPreventionRisk FactorsSymptomsTreatmentTypes

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD is essentially in the nature of a personality disorder. NPD is characterized by an excessive and undue preoccupation with issues concerning power, prestige, vanity and personal inadequacy. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is linked closely to self-centeredness.

Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The specific cause of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is unknown. Many professionals engaged in the field of mental health consider that it is consequent on extremes in the bringing up of children. Excessive pampering of children as well as neglect, trauma and abuse inflicted upon them by their parents or some other persons of authority during childhood can bring about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. NPD becomes apparent in early childhood itself.

A recent theory known as psychodynamic theory states that a tendency to develop Narcissistic Personality Disorder occurs when the basic needs of a child are not met. Another theory put forward explains that most narcissists tend to have a self-perception that is ambivalent in nature whereby they maintain idealized views of their selves, at the same time have feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem. When this type of individuals does not get encouragement, support and praise from parents in childhood, they look for the same within themselves.

Medications for Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Medication for Narcissistic Personality Disorder is meant to treat such distressing symptoms like behavioral problems such as affect or mood disorders as well as compulsion-obsession that can accompany the disorder. Such treatment often meet with success.

Prevention of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

There is no way at all to prevent Narcissistic Personality Disorder as the condition is determined solely by hereditary and genetic factors.

Risk factors of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

People affected by narcissistic personality disorder have a tendency to abuse alcohol and or drugs as an expedient to cope with their own symptoms. The condition can impede and interfere with the positive development of cordial and healthy relationships with other people. The onset of the process of aging and the accompanying mental, physical, occupational as well as other restrictions imposed by the same can exacerbate Narcissistic Personality Disorder. A recent research study revealed that episodes of incest, particularly mother-son incest can be evident among some males affected by Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Those affected by Narcissistic Personality Disorder suffer criticism, it can haunt them, leaving them humiliated, hollow, degraded as well as empty. This might force them to react with rage, disdain or rebellious counterattack. The Social life of such persons might be impaired owing to problems resulting from the longing for admiration, entitlement and a total disregard for the feelings of others. Since they are intolerant to defeat and criticism, their performance can be disrupted. Such people suffer from low vocational functioning, resulting in unwillingness to any risk in situations that are competitive or in which there is a possibility of failure. Narcissistic Personality Disorder can bring about special difficulties in adjusting to getting old, thereby losing their past superiority.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The symptoms pertaining to narcissistic personality disorder can include:

  • Haughtiness and arrogance
  • Expectations of favored treatment
  • Pompous feeling of self-importance
  • Extreme self-centeredness
  • Exaggeration of one’s talents and achievements
  • The urge to manipulate others
  • Obsession with dreams of success
  • Perpetual longing for attention
  • Lacking in empathy
  • Tendency to offend people
  • Taking unfair advantage of people
  • Furious aversion to criticism
  • Conviction that they deserve special treatment
  • Easily hurt but not reveal it
  • Targeting unrealistic goals
  • Conviction of being unique and special and can be understood only by other such people

Treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is treated by means of cognitive-behavioral or psychodynamic therapy. For adult NPD sufferers the prognosis is at the best poor, although their adaptation to others and to life might improve with the appropriate treatment.

No cure is available for narcissistic personality disorder except psychotherapy in the form of a kind of psychological counseling. Such counseling can aid a sufferer in learning to relate themselves to others in ways that are rewarding and positive. Psychotherapy makes an attempt to provide one with enhanced insight into one’s attitudes and problems in the expectation that it will contribute to the transformation of one’s behavior pattern. This therapy is aimed at helping one to develop increased self-esteem as well as more rational expectations from others.

NPD is not a debilitating disorder. Although, treatment for the condition might be successful, most narcissists refrain from seeking help unless faced with a serious crisis in their lives.

Types of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is basically of two kinds:

  • Cerebral Narcissists: People affected by Narcissistic Personality Disorder of this kind obtain their narcissist tendencies from their academic achievements or intelligence
  • Somatic Narcissists: These types of people receive their narcissist tendencies from their exercise, physique, physical and sexual prowess as well as ‘conquests.’