Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcisisstic personality disorder

Last Updated February 20th, 2019

Narcissistic Personality Disorder – Unmasking a narcissist

A superfluous sense of self, clinging need for admiration, and apathy for others – these three traits describe a true narcissist. A personality disorder in which the person exhibits these characteristic features of a narcissist over long periods of time is medically termed as narcissistic personality disorder. A personality disorder is defined as a mental condition wherein people develop traits which makes them behave in socially- distressing ways, which adversely affects their interpersonal relationships.

Narcisisstic personality disorderIn narcissistic personality disorder, people spend a substantial amount of time engrossed in thoughts of power or their own appearance and brilliance.

The usual time of onset of this condition is during the adulthood as the person starts becoming overly boastful, egotistical, and pompous.

Such people can be often observed monopolizing conversations and looking down upon people whom they consider inferior.

 

The evidence of these qualities in multiple contexts such as work, family, and interpersonal relationships reveals the presence of a narcissist. Even though, on the superficial level, these people seem to have an elevated sense of ego, underneath this fragile layer lays a person filled with insecurities and shame. This demeaning factor often makes them over-compensate for the gaps in personality by having an exaggerated sense of entitlement.

 

What makes a person a narcissist?

The exact cause of narcissistic personality disorder is still unknown, yet there is a list of causative factors (bio-psychosocial model) whose combined effect could trigger this condition.

  • Genetic factor – Individuals have a high probability of inheriting this condition if they have a family history of NPD. Studies about the exact genetic interactions which result in NPD remain largely inconclusive.
  • Environmental factors – The social surroundings and the environment play a predominant role in the onset of NPD.
    • Mismatch or abnormalities in parent-child relationships, which could range from excessive pampering to intense criticism, can lead to the development of narcissistic behavior.
    • While the former creates a sense of disconnect with others within the child, the latter could spell an inflated sense of self, leading to narcissism.
    • Over-evaluation and harsh criticism frequently carried out by the parents are also considered to be the dominant factors.
    • Drastic emotional abuse during childhood could also be a major cause.
    • Unstable and unpredictable parenting can also sow the seeds of narcissism in a child.
  • Neurobiological factors – Structural and anatomical abnormalities within the brain could also be a reason for the onset of NPD, specifically a lesser volume of gray matter in the left anterior insula or in the prefrontal cortex. This region of the brain is responsible for cognition and emotional empathy. Reduced matter in this region is indicative of the fact that the person would be inherently lacking empathy and compassion towards others.

 

How to spot a narcissist?

Narcisisstic personality disorder behaviorAn individual suffering from NPD exhibits the following signs and symptoms, which are innately associated with the condition:

  • The person is seen regularly resorting to thoughts and actions which speak of conceit and pretentiousness.
  • Excessive fixation on fantasies of personal power, beauty, brilliance, success etc.
  • Persistent need to be admired by others.
  • Arrogant and boastful behavior.
  • A heightened sense of entitlement.
  • The expectation of obedience and servility from others.
  • Manipulative and exploitive nature for personal gains.
  • Apathy towards others.
  • An overpowering sense of envy from others.
  • Has the tendency to monopolize discussions, projects or any team-effort for that matter.

Many would argue that the traits of a narcissist are almost the same as that of a confident person. Yet the striking difference both of them is that in NPD the person has diminished or null sense of empathy for others and considers oneself to be on a much higher pedestal.

 

Diagnosis of NPD

DSM- 5 or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders provides clear guidelines for understanding and identifying the traits of a person with NPD. Later, this list was widely criticized for providing an incomplete description of a true narcissist, and replaced with a much more comprehensive chart. Recent studies have shown a wide range of narcissisms and narcissists, each having distinctive traits. The subtypes of narcissists include – unprincipled, amorous, compensatory, elitist and normal.

The common problem faced during the diagnosis of NPD is that its traits overlap with a host of other mental disorders such as depression and other personality disorders including borderline, histrionic, and antisocial. It is also linked with bipolar disorder and substance-abuse tendencies. The diagnosis includes a thorough psychological evaluation and physical exams to eliminate the possibilities of other conditions manifesting the symptoms.

 

Is NPD treatable?

Yes, the treatment protocol administered to NPD patients is centered on a combination of psychotherapy and medication.

  • Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” will enable the patient to understand the underlying emotional distortions which led to the development of such narcissistic tendencies. Pattern change strategies are applied on a continuing basis which gradually increases the sense of empathy in the individual. It may also include temperament change method but the execution may differ from patient to patient.
  • Group therapy sessions have also proven to be effective since they enable individuals to move out of their self-constructed mental barriers and become more accepting of others. People suffering from NPD have shown to develop trust and increased self-awareness through such therapy.
  • There are no separate medications to cure or control narcissistic personality disorder. Nevertheless, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs can be prescribed to suppress other concurrent medical symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

 

How can you prevent the onset of this personality disorder?

Narcisisstic personality disorder demandingNPD is largely a product of varying adverse social and environmental factors that have some origins in the neurobiology of the individual too. Since there are no definitive set of causes directly linked to the onset of this condition, it is hence not possible to consciously prevent this disorder. Yet a few helpful guidelines can help in curbing the growth of narcissism in an individual:

  • If the person has suffered from emotional abuse or gone through a rough childhood, seeking immediate mental care could be effective in the long run.
  • Seeking guidance from counselors, therapists, and parenting classes to mitigate the after-effects of a traumatic childhood and adolescence in a child.
  • Providing a safe and balanced parent-child relationship to the child and setting realistic goals for the child.
  • Participating in family therapy sessions to learn how to cope up with sudden losses, conflicts, and other emotional distress.
  • Get immediate treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress. A combined manifestation of these three can lead to progression into narcissism.

 

Facts

  • Studies reveal that the number of patients diagnosed with this condition has doubled in the past decade.
  • 1 out of every 16 individuals has experienced NPD symptoms in the USA (6.2% of the total population).

Facts

  • Many experts believe that they are found widely in financial sectors since they can take decisions which can affect a large demography of people without thinking about the consequence.
  • It is co-morbid with depressive disorders.
  • There are two types of narcissists – Vulnerable and Grandiose.

Facts

  • Vulnerable narcissists mask an inner weak core. Grandiose narcissists don’t attempt to do so. They firmly believe in their inner greatness.
  • There are no known cures for such personality disorders.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Define personal boundaries and stick to that, since the relationship with a narcissist is completely dysfunctional.
  • Resist the notion of teaching them a lesson or putting them in their place. Don’t argue with them. Narcissists aren’t looking for equal partners in life; they are looking for docile admirers.
Don'ts
  • Take the warning signs shown by a narcissistic person lightly. If such an individual threatens to attack you or your closed ones, immediately take the matter to police.
  • Take relationship advice from people who are not experts in dealing with personality disorders, when dealing with a narcissist.
  • Feel elated if the person shows signs of improvement.There are going to drastic mood swings in such individuals.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing sexual act. Learn…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis pump. It is…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the female clitoris to…
apple cider vinegar weight loss
Apple cider vinegar: Weight loss, shinier hair, and more! Did you know that apple cider vinegar, produced by the simple fermentation of apple juice, could hold the…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a separate organ.  Can…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best way to please…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with essential nutrients that…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did you know how…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure countless ailments and…
Keto diet healthy
Keto Diet: Did you know you could eat fats to burn fats? Keto diet - A wonder diet that lets you eat fats and lose weight too! Read on to…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing tips to get…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an inexplicable emotional numbness…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
Is this is the real life? Is this just fantasy? – Decoding the myths of lucid dreaming Lucid dreaming or dreaming with a state of awareness has often intrigued the minds of experts worldwide. Do…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
back pain relief
Don’t choose pain: 10 truths about your back ache (and how to get relief) Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. Almost 80% of the entire global…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How is it linked…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes, environmental circumstances, etc.
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does our poop turn…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling of either digust…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However, how much fluoride…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How you can use…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the dream food that…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
Military diet
Military Diet : Why following a highly restrictive diet is a bad idea Is seiging your calorie intake the right way to attack fats? Read more about Military diet, a highly…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something as slimy as…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga over them? Are…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
Vitamin C: The instant health benefits of adding the citrusy goodness to your diet Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that cannot be synthesized in your body and has to be obtained…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep going in vain?…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigious superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken the world by…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
DASH Diet: What to eat in a “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension”? If you or your loved one is suffering from chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), dash towards a DASH…
Colloidal silver benefits
Colloidal silver: An essential dietary supplement or yet another pharmaceutical hoax? Colloidal silver is hailed as an effective home remedy for infections. Many believe it can treat HIV and…
What is the eustachian tube and how does it help you maintain body balance? Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the three important functions…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid when you experience…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used to produce that…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause chemical and structural…
healthy habits
10 healthy habits: Have a hearty kick-start to the New Year! Do you set goals that are too difficult for you to maintain? Are to struggling to follow healthy…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can help you reach…
collagen benefits skin
Collagen: Get age-defying skin and faster hair growth with this miracle protein Collagen – Wrinkle-free skin, stronger nails, and thicker locks – now you have more reasons to eat these…
Tea Tree Oil : The one stop cure for skin ailments and more… The popularity of tea tree oil, an essential oil, as the ultimate skin care pick is not unheard…
almonds healthy
9 reasons why almonds should be consumed daily Almonds are filled with nutrients and energy and are used since ancient times.  The bitter almonds are chosen…