Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a deeply embedded pattern of grandiosity. Those with this disorder tend to be consumed by focusing on themselves and their own grandiose self-image. They tend to have distorted thoughts, needs, and expectations of others. Their view of the world and their behaviors are often based upon their own wants and needs, and they tend to believe that their wants and needs are superior to those of others. This sense of superiority and self-obsession can cause difficulty in relationships. A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder might be grandiose in his or her thinking, crave the admiration and attention of others, be extremely self-centered, in some way feel privileged and special, expecting favors from others, and possessing erratic emotions.
A personality disorder is considered to be a mental illness in which there are long-lasting unhealthy behaviors, thought patterns, and inner experiences, which seem to hold true across many areas of a person’s life and are not usually well accepted in the culture. These patterns tend are typically unchanging or inflexible, bringing about significant distress in life.
Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Some of the most common symptoms exhibited in those with the disorder include:
- Being self-centered and boastful
- Seeking constant attention and admiration
- Considering themselves better than others
- Believing that they are entitled to special treatment
- Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
- Reacting to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
- Taking advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
- Thinking of themselves as more important than others
- Striving for success that will “prove” their superiority over others
- Believing they deserve great praise
- Exaggerating their own abilities or strengths
- Having jealousy over other people’s successes
- Monopolizing conversations to their own agendas
- Needing regular praise and affirmation from others
- Having an inability to sympathize and empathize with others
Narcissistic Personality Disorder tend to come with the patterns listed above, which can cause severe distress and lead to harm of self or others.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Types
There are five different subtypes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. These are:
- Unprincipled Narcissist – Those with this type tend to exhibit anti-social behavior, such lying, cheating, stealing without fear of consequences or remorse.
- Amorous Narcissist – Those with this type tend to be extremely emotional and erotic.
- Compensatory Narcissist – Those with this type tend to have passive-aggressive tendencies and underlying feelings of inadequacy which surface in their interpersonal relationships.
- Elitist Narcissist – Those with this type tend to have an extremely high opinion of themselves, seeking success in order to gain superiority over others, and often boasting about their successes.
- Fanatic Narcissist – Those with this type tend to be people who have suffered a traumatic event earlier in life, leading them to fantasize about the future and possess lofty plans and goals so that they can be seen in a positive regard by others.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment begins with addressing any underlying negative beliefs about the self. Treatment aims to change the cognitive and behavioral aspects of the illness. This is done through specific types of therapy, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. However, someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder can usually expect to participate in long-term psychotherapy. Therapists can facilitate a growing sense of empathy towards others in order to ease the challenges that might exist in one’s interpersonal relationships. Those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will benefit from Intensive Outpatient Treatment that includes psychotherapy in addition to coaching, mindfulness therapy, and group therapy sessions. Vantage Point Recovery offers all of these resources under one roof, providing a level of community support and structure.
Medication is sometimes used to help provide relief from symptoms of anxiety or depression, if there are any. Medication might certainly be used if there are any co-occurring disorders. This combination of talk therapy and medication can help individuals return to normal functioning. Clinicians can facilitate the identification of certain unrealistic thought patterns and behaviors so that a person can become more aware of their behavior in relationships.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, contact a mental health provider for assistance.
For more information on Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment at Vantage Point please contact us 7 days a week at (805) 777-7595.