Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition that leaves its sufferers with an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme need for admiration. Those suffering from this mental condition often feel that they are better and superior to others and have either no or very little regard for feelings of other people.
However, behind this masquerade of ultra-confidence, lies a delicate self-esteem, which is quite vulnerable to even the slightest of criticism. Narcissistic personality disorder creates traits in people that cause them to behave and feel socially distressed, thereby limiting their ability to develop good relationships and excel in other areas of life such as school or work.
Symptoms Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder can be characterized by emotional and dramatic behavior. The symptoms are quite similar to borderline personality disorder and antisocial elements.
Individuals suffering with narcissistic personality disorder may react to criticism with shame, rage or humiliation. They may even take advantage of other people for achieving their ambition and intensions. Those suffering with Narcissistic personality disorder have extreme feeling of superiority and haughtiness. These people generally exaggerate their talents and achievements and are generally preoccupied with fantasies of power, success, intelligence, beauty or ideal love.
Those suffering with Narcissistic personality disorder also have unreasonable expectations from people and they need constant admiration and attention. They generally disregard feelings of other people and have only a minute ability of feeling empathy towards others. These people are also quite obsessive and compulsive in nature and mainly pursue selfish goals. These people also carry a feeling of jealousy for others.
More About Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Although those suffering with Narcissistic personality disorder may look quite confident and appear to have strong self-esteem, but reality is not the same. Those suffering from this mental condition often cross the border of healthy self-esteem and confidence. They think very highly of themselves and do not value others at all.
Anyone suffering with narcissistic personality disorder may sound pretentious, boastful or conceited. They often monopolize conversations and look down on people. Moreover, if they do not receive special treatment, to which they often feel entitled, they may become very angry and impatient. They generally insist on possessing “the best”, be it a car, medical care, athletic club or social circles. However, underneath all this lies a very fragile self-esteem. They often have trouble handling criticism and carry a sense of humiliation or shame. However, they never disclose the same and in order to feel better they react with contempt, rage and efforts to belittle other people.
Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
The exact cause of narcissistic personality disorder is not known but this mental condition is likely to be caused due to dysfunctional childhood such as overly high expectations, excessive pampering, neglect or abuse. Some evidences also point that condition may be caused due to genetics or psychobiology, which is essentially the connection between behavior, thinking and the brain.
When To See a Doctor?
If you think that you’re suffering with narcissistic personality disorder, you may feel that nothing is wrong with your behavior and you would find yourself fitting perfectly in your self- image of perfection and power.
However, it is vital to understand that narcissistic personality disorder may cause problems in different areas of your life including work, relationships, financial affairs, or school. It may also cause you to feel extremely unhappy or confused. You may feel that others are not enjoying your company and the relationships are unfulfilled.
In case you find any of these problems in your life, it’s important to reach a healthcare provider or someone who treats mental problems. By getting the right treatment, you will be able to make your life enjoyable and rewarding.
Although Narcissistic personality disorder is not found existing very often, it affects men more than women. The condition generally begins during early adulthood. According to experts, excessive admiration, praise and ignorance may cause development of an inflated sense of self. According to psychiatrists, risks factors for narcissistic personality disorder include:
• lack of affection during childhood
• lack of praise during childhood
• emotional abuse during childhood
• neglect during childhood
• unreliable care giving during childhood
• learning manipulative behaviors during childhood
When children get to learn that vulnerability is not accepted at all, it may cause them to lose their capacity of empathizing with other’s needs. They fail to understand that others also have emotional needs and react to them with ego. They generally try to show that they are emotionally “bulletproof.”
If narcissistic personality disorder is left untreated, it can cause various problems such as substance abuse, alcohol abuse, suicidal tendencies or depression, relationship difficulties, problems at work and eating disorders such as Anorexia nervosa.
Signs And Tests
Similar to other personality disorders, narcissistic personality disorder is also diagnosed by making the sufferer undergo psychological evaluation along with complete study about his history and severity of symptoms.
Tests And Diagnosis
The mental condition is diagnosed by studying symptoms and signs and by making the person undergo psychological evaluation that generally includes filling out questionnaires. There are no laboratory tests that can help in diagnosing narcissistic personality disorder, but at times those showing its symptoms may have to go through physical examination in order to make sure that the psychological problem is not causing any physical symptoms.
Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies
At times, the nature of this particular mental condition may leave you feeling that the therapist or the therapy is not worth your attention or your time. You may often want to quit the treatment. However, try to keep your mind open and focus on the rewards that you will receive after the treatment is over. Also make sure that you listen to your therapist and his suggestions for your treatment, take medications as directed, attend therapy sessions and remember that complete recovery from narcissistic personality disorder is not impossible.
Other Things That Might Help Include:
• Learning about causes and symptoms of narcissistic personal disorder.
• Getting treatment for other health problems and substance abuse.
• Learning stress management and relaxation techniques. You may learn yoga, meditation or tai chi.
• Staying focused on your goals.