Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is one of many of personality disorders in which individuals possess traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially inappropriate or distressing ways. NPD has the ability to limit one’s ability to function in relationships and other areas of his/her life, such as work or school. Some of the key features of NPD include grandiosity, a lack of empathy for others, and a need for both attention and admiration. Persons with this disorder are described overly self-involved, arrogant, self-centered, boastful, pretentious, arrogant, calculating, and demanding. People with NPD may also possess an inflated view of self, abilities, and exhibit grandiosity. He or she may view themselves as smarter than others, more attractive, more successful, and more engaging than anyone else. It is not uncommon for persons with NPD to look down on others they perceive to be less attractive, intellectually inferior, not as talented or not as charming. People with NPD typically harbor feelings of superiority, or a uniqueness that is unmatched by others, hence, the reason they often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way.
Not surprisingly, persons with NPD have marked difficulty accepting criticism or someone else correcting them. Most of their difficulty accepting criticism stems from their personal feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, vulnerability, unattractiveness, etc. They often associate any perceived admiration with that of their own self-worth. Many of the behaviors exhibited by persons with NPD are used to mask negative feelings associated with their own personal view of self.
Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder Include:
- Inflated view of self
- Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Pronounced need for recognition and validation
- Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
- Condescending to others
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence or ideal romance
- Lacks genuine empathy for others
- Displays self-absorbed behaviors and attitudes
- Is unable or unwilling to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Exaggerates personal achievements and talents
- Maintains a sense of entitlement
- Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
- Has difficulty accepting criticism or rejection
Interestingly more than half the individuals diagnosed with NPD are male; however it is not uncommon to observe the characteristics listed above in teenagers. However, this does not mean nor will it determine that he or she will develop the disorder at a later date.
Treatment For NPD May Include:
- Individual psychotherapy
- Group psychotherapy
- Transference-focused psychotherapy