Narcissistic personality disorder is one of the many personality disorders characterized by a mental condition where the person suffering from the disorder has an unrealistic view of themselves. Characteristics like low self esteem and hypersensitivity, are examples of narcissistic personality disorder symptoms but it can also depend on the person and comorbidity of the disorder.
This view is distorted by an escalated sense of importance, lack of empathy, and a deep-seated need for attention. People with NPD may also show signs of delusional thoughts like believing that others are envious of them. In addition to this, they also show envy towards others.
The exaggerated self-centeredness of people with narcissistic personality disorder makes it difficult for them to build meaningful connections with other people.
Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms:
• An excessive need for attention
• A total lack of empathy
• High level of self-admiration
• Hypersensitive when it comes to criticisms about them
• Very low self-esteem
• Mannerisms shrouded in arrogance
• A grandiose sense of self-importance
• They tend to exaggerate their talents and achievements in life
• A superiority complex that makes them see everyone else as their inferiors
• They also tend to talk down on other people
What is the cause behind narcissistic personality disorder?
There are no known definite causes of narcissistic personality disorder but can be linked to:
• Family environment (parenting, childhood experiences)
• Social circle
• Cultural influence
Types of Narcissistic personality disorder:
The DSM5 differentiates between two types of narcissistic personality disorder:
Vulnerable and Covert NPD:
Typically characterized by a heightened emotional sensitivity. They tend to become very defensive when criticized and constantly seek validation from other people.
Grandiose and Overt NPD:
Typically characterized by arrogance and aggression. People with this type of NPD tend to have no regard for other people’s feelings; instead, they exploit others for their benefit. They also show the behaviour traits of an exhibitionist.
How to treat Narcissistic personality disorder?
NPD can be treated with many forms of therapy. The most common treatment is talk therapy or psychotherapy, where the patient and the therapist engage in a deep conversation about the patient. The therapist will try to uncover the cause behind the disorder and what might have caused it during the process. After which, the actual treatment process can start.
The goal of talk therapy in NDP patients is to help them:
• Have better interpersonal relationships
• Break the façade of the perfection
• Understand their feelings
• Learn to be empathetic
• Coping strategies for self-esteem issues
Sometimes people suffering from NDP have other mental disorders such as depression. If the level of depression in the patient is very severe, they might need additional medication prescribed by a psychiatrist.
Living with Narcissistic personality disorder:
Living everyday life can be stressful and challenging for someone suffering from NDP. The best solution is to seek a trained professional who will help the patient through every step of their journey to recovery. It will not be an immediate, overnight change but gradual.
Talk therapy is very effective in dealing with subconscious problems, which may hold many answers for the patient’s recovery journey. There’s a very high need for patience and following through with the therapy sessions to see improvements.