Narcissistic personality disorder: Manifestations and treatments

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is one of the most common personality disorders. The prevalence of the disease is about 1% of the population but is increasing due to inappropriate education and the glitz of social networks.

What is narcissistic personality disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is classified as a Group B personality disorder along with antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and dramatic personality disorder. The term refers to a personality type characterized by a need for flattery, flattery, exaggeration of self-importance, vanity, and a passion for power. Patients are overly sensitive to criticism and criticism and do not accept their own failures.

Narcissistic personality disorder is also known by many other names such as narcissism, narcissism, megalomania, and narcissism. According to statistics, about 1% of the population suffers from this disease and the rate is higher in men.

narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is named after the hunter Narcissus in Greek mythology.

The name “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” is named after the hunter Narcissus in Greek mythology. According to legend, Narcissus had a good-looking appearance and a handsome face. Once accidentally seeing his own reflection in the lake, this hunter fell in love with himself. Therefore, psychiatrists have used the name Narcissus to name the narcissistic syndrome.

Manifestations of narcissism

Personality disorders are similar in appearance to psychiatric disorders but do not meet the criteria for a formal diagnosis. As a result, this disorder is often difficult to detect and easily confused with common personality traits.

Narcissistic personality disorder has a wide range of manifestations, and is characterized by a desire (need) to be admired, flattered, self-delusional, sensitive to criticism, and lack of empathy for others. others. People with this disease face many obstacles in life and the quality of life declines markedly before the age of 30.

What is narcissistic personality disorder?

People with narcissistic personality disorder are self-obsessed and think they have a special role compared to everyone else.

Signs of narcissistic personality disorder:

  • Illusion, exaggeration of one’s self-worth, thinking that one has more abilities and looks than others
  • Exaggerate your self-importance, think of yourself as special and unlike the people around you
  • Always in need of attention, admiration, flattery and flattery
  • Sensitive to criticism. Often reacts harshly, feeling embarrassed, angry, and even aggressive when others make suggestions.
  • Narcissists only build and maintain relationships that they consider beneficial to themselves. They also tend to take advantage of relationships to achieve their own goals.
  • Refuse relationships where the other party does not have special looks and abilities. Because the patient thinks these people are not worthy to be friends with him.
  • Ignore feelings and have no empathy for others
  • Spend a lot of time imagining yourself achieving and receiving admiration and flattery from everyone. This thought causes the patient to be immersed in feelings of happiness and has a strong desire for power, success, etc.
  • A frivolous personality, passionate about power and attracted to success
  • Excessive sensitivity to one’s failure (distress, panic, disapproval, and possibly even depression)
  • Emotionally dull due to lack of empathy and disinterest in those around
  • An egotistical personality, flaunting herself, and making unreasonable demands because she believes herself to be a very special person.
  • Emotional instability, excitability and aggression
  • Not knowing how to repent, repent and react harshly when others criticize mistakes
  • Some people seek emotional pleasure and satisfaction through behaviors such as reckless spending, sexual promiscuity, etc.

People with narcissism often attach importance to appearance, so they always have a bright and good-looking appearance. People who meet for the first time can be drawn to the patient by his confident demeanor and outstanding personality. However, narcissistic patients find it difficult to maintain long-term relationships due to their selfish, frivolous personalities and lack of empathy and sharing skills.

Causes of narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder is more common in men than in women. Currently, experts have not found the exact cause of this pathology. However, the studies that have been done suggest that narcissism is related to the way it was raised and events that occurred in childhood.

narcissistic personality

The narcissistic personality type often develops in people who lack family affection or have been abandoned or abused in the past.

Factors that can cause narcissistic personality disorder:

  • Lack of family affection from an early age (especially mother’s affection) makes children grow up always needing attention and flattery. In addition, because of the lack of family affection, the narcissist has almost no empathy for others.
  • Genetic factors
  • Socio-cultural factors such as living environment with many conflicts, violence, war, etc.
  • Psychological trauma such as neglect, abuse, etc.
  • Parents who are too indulgent, excessively praise or criticize severely when their children fail, etc. also put their children at risk of developing narcissistic personality disorder as they grow up.

These factors cause some people to develop the narcissistic personality type characterized by a constant need for flattery and an excessive sensitivity to their own failures. Currently, experts also say that the glitz of social networks also makes many people delusional about themselves, pursuing selfish goals and lacking empathy for those around them.

Is narcissistic personality disorder dangerous?

Narcissistic personality disorder has many effects on life and physical and mental health. This disease has a chronic progression and is difficult to control even with aggressive treatment. Without timely examination and treatment, people with narcissism will develop psychological and psychiatric problems such as substance abuse, psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.

Some also develop other personality disorders such as paranoid personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and dramatic personality disorder.

Untreated narcissistic personality disorder leads to emotional blunting and difficulty maintaining long-term relationships due to a lack of empathy. The narcissist can be attractive to others from the first meeting. However, the opponent will quickly withdraw when seeing the vanity and selfishness in the patient’s lifestyle.

Because they always exaggerate their own abilities, people with narcissistic personality disorder have many difficulties in their work. The patient turned down many career opportunities because he thought the job was not commensurate with his or her ability. There are also many people who achieve success but find it difficult to maintain their status, because success is achieved through exploiting and manipulating others.

Excessive sensitivity to criticism and criticism also exposes patients to conflict in relationships. Negative emotions when criticized or faced with failure can linger, then develop into depression or an anxiety disorder. In the face of self-failure, patients tend to abuse substances and use alcohol to relieve emotions.

In addition to the effects mentioned above, people with narcissistic personality disorder also face consequences from thoughtless behavior such as reckless spending, promiscuous sex, excessive self-promotion, … The patient’s decline occurs rapidly after several years of disease onset (usually before the age of 30).

Diagnosing narcissism

Narcissistic personality disorder is not covered by the ICD-10 but is only classified in the DSM-5. Therefore, the physician will use the criteria of the DSM-5 to make a diagnosis of this pathology.

Diagnosis of narcissism is mainly based on clinical symptoms. The person with this condition may not be aware of their own abnormality, so the diagnosis process requires the support of family and friends. After collecting the patient’s symptoms, the doctor will make a diagnosis based on the DSM-5 criteria.

In addition, the doctor will also differentiate narcissistic personality disorder from psychological and psychiatric problems with similar manifestations such as paranoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and psychotic disorder. dramatic personality.

Treatments for narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder is a chronic, progressive, and most often lifelong mental disorder. Treatment can reduce personality abnormalities somewhat and help patients improve their long-term quality of life.

Here are some approaches to consider when treating narcissistic personality disorder:

1. Psychotherapy

Like other personality disorders, narcissistic personality disorder is treated with psychotherapy. This therapy helps a lot in changing the abnormality in thinking (cognitive), adjusting behavior and emotions in a more positive direction. Psychotherapy takes a long time, so patients need to be encouraged to be patient and cooperative during therapy.

narcissistic personality

Narcissistic personality disorder will be treated with psychotherapy

Psychotherapy used for people with narcissism:

  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

Narcissistic patients often receive individual therapy, rarely group therapy because patients always believe that they are special than others. After the patient has changed his mind, group and family therapy may be considered.

Through therapy, the therapist will help the patient have a correct self-image, reduce the need for flattery and flattery, and learn to accept criticism, criticism, and failure. Psychotherapy also evokes compassion, love, and empathy for those around them.

2. Drug use

The drug is not recommended for use in the treatment of personality disorders in general and narcissism in particular. However, taking medication can reduce some of the emotional instability, shame, humiliation, and anxiety over one’s failure.

In some cases, drugs are also used to support the spirit during treatment. If depression and anxiety disorders are co-existing, drug use will be the main method implemented in parallel with psychotherapy.

Medications to consider for a narcissist include:

  • Sedative
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics (used in cases of delusions of grandeur)

3. Care plan

Narcissistic personality disorder is a chronic disease, so the possibility of definitive treatment is not high. In addition, due to their impulsive and frivolous personality, many patients voluntarily stop treatment and find unhealthy habits to relieve their emotions.

Treating narcissism requires patient persistence and family support. The family should encourage the patient to treat and follow up closely to detect in time the patient’s discontinuation of treatment, the use of alcohol, stimulants, etc.

What is narcissism?

Relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, etc. help narcissistic patients learn to control their emotions and relieve stress.

A narcissist care plan includes:

  • First, it is necessary to raise the patient’s awareness of narcissistic personality disorder. Also showing patients the benefits of treatment is being able to reduce sensitivity in the face of failure, and to accept criticism and criticism with a calm mind.
  • The family should build a scientific lifestyle for the patient. Make sure to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and stay away from unhealthy habits such as using tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc.
  • Reducing the frivolity in the patient’s thoughts by encouraging participation in volunteering activities, protecting the environment, etc. Meaningful actions will help the patient learn to empathize, understand and recognize the problems. greater value in life.
  • Encourage the patient to develop a gift or enjoy a hobby in his spare time. This can reduce the obsession with achievement and power, gradually helping the patient to have a more correct perception of their own abilities and values.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, aromatherapy, yoga, etc. to manage stress and reduce aggression and agitation.
  • Choose a low-competitive job so that the patient doesn’t worry too much about power and achievement. Jobs that are close to nature, pets, etc. will be suitable for people with narcissism because nature and animals can evoke compassion, eliminate selfishness and contribute to improving dull emotions. .

If a relative or friend is suspected of having narcissistic personality disorder, the patient should be encouraged to seek medical attention early. Although it is difficult to cure completely, active treatment will help patients stabilize their long-term lives, while preventing complications on health and quality of life. On the other hand, families need to have appropriate educational methods so that their children can develop normal personality.

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