Man Looking in Mirror

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

What is it?

People with narcissistic personality disorder have a significantly inflated sense of self-importance. They excessively seek attention and admiration and have a lack of empathy for others because they often don’t consider someone else’s perspective. Yet although they may seem extremely confident, they have fragile self-esteem and are not receptive to criticism. They also often unrealistically believe they deserve special treatment or favors and exaggerate their skills and abilities. This often leads to troubled relationships with partners, family members, friends, peers and colleagues. 

 

Symptoms

  • Inflated sense of self-importance (and thus often perceived as arrogant, boastful, conceited or pretentious)

  • Fantasize about success, power or perfection (often leading you to insist to have the best of the best)

  • Sense of entitlement (e.g. expects to receive constant praise, attention, admiration, favors or special treatment)

  • Belief that you’re superior compared to others

  • Exaggerating skills, talents and achievements 

  • Envious of others even though you believe that others envy you 

  • Failure to understand another person’s needs and feelings

  • Look down on those they perceive as inferior (e.g. mock, belittle)

  • Take advantage of others to get something you want

  • Difficulty regulating emotions when receiving criticism or not obtaining something you think you deserve (e.g. becoming depressed, enraged, impatient, try to belittle others to make yourself feel better or make excuses as to why you didn’t get what you want)

  • Secretly feel insecure, humiliated or vulnerable

 

Treatment

Like other personality disorders, treatment for narcissistic personality disorders focus around psychotherapy. Different types of these talk therapy can help address your thoughts, moods and behaviors to improve your ability to regulate your emotions and actions. You can also learn new strategies to regulate emotions or what to do when faced with a stressful or unexpected event. Seek out a professional if you’re experience symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder to start on your healing journey.