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Narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder: symptoms, causes, and treatment methods

Narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder: symptoms, causes, and treatment methods
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Thursday, February 16, 2023

You may have heard that a narcissistic person acts selfishly towards others, may be manipulative and arrogant, and cannot empathize with others or understand their needs and feelings. In this article, learn about narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder, its causes, most important symptoms, and treatment methods.

Narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder

What is narcissism (narcissistic personality disorder)?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health condition that represents many of the characteristics that distinguish a person in his dealings with others, and is known as narcissistic traits that affect a person’s daily dealings, whether with colleagues, friends, or family members, that drive him to a high sense of self-importance to gain Praise and thanks from people, traits that often mask the low self-esteem of the narcissist.

Narcissistic personality disorder is one of the personality disorders recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and it can affect approximately 6.2% It is more common in men than in women.

Narcissistic personality disorder affects the way a person deals with others, and its traits can differ from person to person, given the extent to which a person has generalized narcissism or a narcissistic personality disorder that does not change over time.

Also read: Is Avoidant Personality Disorder a Mental Disease? Can it be treated?

Symptoms of narcissism

This disorder can be diagnosed when some of these symptoms appear:

1. Great sense of self-importance

A sense of greatness and great blindness to oneself is one of the distinguishing features of this personality, and this feeling can be associated with a sense of arrogance, arrogance, and transcendence over others, since the narcissistic person sees that he is always superior to others, and the nature of his personality can only be understood by distinguished people like him.

A narcissistic person may lie and exaggerate his plans, goals, and achievements, in order to prove his importance, intelligence, greatness, and superiority over others.

2. Fantasies of power, success, and attractiveness

The narcissistic person believes that he possesses intelligence, strength, and endless acceptance, which makes him feel superior to others and that he deserves many things in exchange for other people. These are feelings that the narcissist possesses to cover the emptiness he suffers from, the illusion he lives in, and the real life he denies.

3. Lack of empathy and concern for others

The narcissistic person lacks the methods of communicating with others, and is considered ignorant and lacks empathy for them, which makes him treat others selfishly and exploitatively, feelings that do not make him feel guilty or ashamed, but rather considers that others were created to serve his needs only.

4. The need for admiration and attention

One of the characteristics of narcissism is also the need for constant attention, admiration and praise towards words and actions, and then intolerance of criticism, which is a necessary need for the narcissist to satisfy the feelings of vanity and arrogance that he feels.

5. Arrogance and contempt for others

Narcissists treat others with arrogance, arrogance, and contempt, and consider them to be without value, which leads them to bully, ridicule, and underestimate them, in an attempt to satisfy their ego and self-admiration and not allow others to disrespect or underestimate them.

6. Exploitative and abusive behavior towards others

A narcissistic person can resort to manipulating and exploiting people in order to achieve their goals, needs, and gains from these people, whether by spreading lies about them or dealing with them harshly, especially when they do not receive the treatment they feel they deserve.

7. Jealousy, envy and mistrust

Narcissistic people usually feel that the people around them envy them or compete with them to outperform them, which stimulates projects of anger, jealousy and mistrust towards people, which leads them to deal with them harshly.

Also read: A person with a very sensitive personality.. Is it a behavioral disorder or a unique personality?

How is narcissistic personality disorder diagnosed?

This disorder should only be diagnosed by a mental health professional, because no tests are required to confirm the diagnosis. The psychologist can diagnose the injury by asking many questions to the person, to reveal the extent to which he has some or all of the following features:

  • An exaggerated sense of self-importance.
  • Feeling special and not wanting to be with special people.
  • The desire for constant admiration and attention.
  • Frequent desire to take advantage of others.
  • Envy or the feeling that those around him envy him.
  • Arrogance and lack of empathy.
  • Draw fantasies about success and power.

Causes of narcissism

The causes of narcissistic personality disorder are not clear, but there are many factors that can be considered a trigger for the development of this disorder, including:

  • Childhood experiences

Childhood experiences can influence injury, such as having been exposed to too much praise or too much criticism, being neglected as a child, suffering from abuse or neglect, or developing a fragile and troubled personality.

  • Genetic factors

Genetic and genetic factors can play a role in the development of this disorder, and a lack of gray matter has been detected in the left frontal part of the brain, which is the part that stimulates emotions.

  • Psychosocial factors

Psychological and social factors can interfere with the development of narcissistic traits, such as suffering from a highly sensitive mood, acquiring manipulative behavior, or excessive pampering and praise during the parenting period.

Types of narcissism

Narcissism can be divided into: two kinds According to the distinctive features of each type separately, these types include:

First: outright narcissism

The overt narcissistic personality is characterized by showy traits and behaviors, such as a sense of vanity, a lack of empathy, and a constant need to exploit others. The person is arrogant, controlling, and sometimes violent.

Second: hidden narcissism

People with covert narcissism are characterized by low self-esteem, constant pursuit of admiration and attention, and social withdrawal when not getting it, as they are impulsive and hypersensitive.

Complications of narcissism

person may suffer from Complications of narcissism When linked to other health conditions, such as mood disorders or drug abuse, they become more aggressive and difficult to accept treatment. They may also be vulnerable to suicide as a result of an excessive sense of self-love and greatness that may make them in constant and constant need for attention and admiration.

Narcissism treatment

The focus in treatment is on psychotherapy, or what is known as speech therapy, then cognitive behavioral therapy. Medications may be prescribed in treatment only if narcissistic personality disorder overlaps with other disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Psychotherapy works to help create a more protective image of oneself, while understanding the nature of his personality and behaviors, in addition to learning how to control their feelings and the extent of their behaviors affecting others, and then take responsibility for their actions so that they can respect themselves and build and maintain a personal relationship.

Behavioral and cognitive therapy works on learning how to identify and identify harmful behaviors towards oneself and people as well, and then replace them with realistic behaviors, to promote healthy and effective communication with others.

Tips for coping with narcissism

To live with narcissism, it is recommended to follow up with a psychologist to help you control your emotions and feelings, focusing on:

  • Paying attention to mental and physical health.
  • Avoid exposure to mood disorders that may lead to impulsive behaviors.
  • Follow healthy habits and lifestyle.
  • Learn relaxation and meditation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety.

Frequently asked questions that may interest you

Can narcissism be cured?

Changing narcissistic personality traits is difficult and may take several months or years to notice positive changes in the nature of narcissistic people. Therefore, to obtain positive results, it is recommended to follow the recommended treatment plan, with a commitment to attending treatment sessions and taking medications if recommended as well.


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