Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders, a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a constant need for excessive attention and admiration, face troubled relationships, and have a lack of empathy for others. But in reality they have a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in different arenas of life, affecting personal and professional relationships. People with narcissistic personality disorder are generally unhappy and disappointed when they're not given whatever they believe that they deserve. They may find their relationships fragile and others may not enjoy being around them.
Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary for each individual.
People with the disorder can:
- Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Constantly want to be praised
- Exaggerate achievements and talents
- Have fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believe they are superior to others and can only associate with equally special people
- Look down on others they perceive as inferior
- Expect to receive unreasonable favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
- Take undue advantage of others
- Have an unwillingness to understand and recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Envy others and believe others envy them
- Behave in an arrogant manner, coming across as boastful and pretentious
- Insist on having the best of everything for self be it car, house or office
1. Healthy narcissism
Traits of narcissism may be present in many people without meeting the criteria for the disorder. Healthy narcissism has a category of its own and is actually positive.
A person with healthy narcissism feels proud of their accomplishments and shares those accomplishments with others because it makes them feel good. Healthy narcissism is the ability to feel proud, a sense of achievement knowing that you belong in certain spaces and deserve good things. These feelings are usually in line with reality."
2. Grandiose narcissism
Grandiose narcissism provides the broader understanding of what makes a narcissist. In psychology, grandiosity means having an unrealistic sense of superiority. Grandiose narcissism involves overestimating one's abilities, asserting one's dominance over others, and having a generally inflated sense of self-esteem.
Grandiose narcissists are charming but often lack empathy.
3. Vulnerable narcissism
Vulnerable narcissism is also called Covert narcissism. They are completely opposite to the grandiose narcissists, these people tend to be shy and self-effacing in the face of criticism.
4. Malignant narcissism
Malignant narcissists are manipulative and malicious. They exhibit signs of sadism and aggression.
5. Somatic narcissism
Somatic narcissists are obsessed over their weight and physical appearance and criticize others based on their appearance. They usually ignore the needs of others and instead prioritize their own. They derive their self-worth from their bodies.
6. Cerebral narcissist
Cerebral narcissists derive their self-importance from their minds. Cerebral narcissists get their supply from feeling intelligent, more clever than others. Cerebral narcissists believe they're smarter than others. To feed their ego, they belittle others and make them feel unintelligent.
It's not known what causes narcissistic personality disorder. As far as personality development and other mental health disorders are concerned, the cause of narcissistic personality disorder is likely complex. Narcissistic personality disorder is linked to:
- Environment - Lack of balance in parent-child relationships with either excessive adoration or excessive criticism that is poorly attuned to the child's experience
- Genetics - Inherited characteristics
- Neurobiology — It is the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking
- Being born with an oversensitive temperament
- Learning manipulative behavior from parents or peers
- Suffering from severe childhood abuse or neglect
- Inconsistent or unpredictable parental caregiving
- Growing up with unrealistic expectations from parents
- Being excessively admired with no realistic feedback to ground you with reality
- Receiving excessive praise from people focused on your looks or abilities
Seeking help from a therapist, you’ll learn how to become more functional and tackle interpersonal relationships in a much better way.
Your therapist will guide you on:
- Maintaining personal and professional relationships
- Tolerating criticisms and failures
- Understanding and regulating your feelings
- Minimizing your desire to achieve unrealistic goals overnight
- Treatment for NPD can be a long, slow-going, uphill battle—and just as with other personality disorders, patients may need to be motivated more often than a typical therapy client to make progress and resolve their issues.
- When seeking treatment, those with this personality trait tend to be mistrusting and reluctant, show negative reactions, and often drop out early. Since the work deals primarily with personality traits, which are pretty steady over time, it could take some time before a breakthrough happens.