Narcissistic Personality Disorder : Treatment Can Help, but Can’t be Cured

Sonali Kapoor

, Treatments

(NPD) Narcissistic Personality Disorder is one of the various types of personality disorders. It is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a need for excessive attention and regard, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.



What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?


It causes problems in many areas of life, like – relationships, work, school or financial affairs. People who are suffering from a personality disorder are generally unhappy and disappointed when they’re not given the special favors or regards they believe they deserve. They find their relationships unfulfilling, and others may not enjoy being around them.


What are the Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?


There are a few symptoms of this personality disorder:


1. Self Importance:


Self-importance is the defining characteristic of narcissism. Arrogance or self – regard, it is an unrealistic sense of superiority. Personality disorder people believe they are unique or special and can only be understood by other special people. Moreover, they are too good for anything average or ordinary. They only want to connect with other high-status people, places, and things.


Narcissists believe that they’re better than everyone else and expect recognition as such even when they’ve done nothing to earn it. They will usually exaggerate or outright lie about their achievements and talents. When they start talking about work or relationships, all you’ll hear is how much they contribute, how great they are, and how lucky the people in their lives are to have them.


2. Lives in a Fantasy World:


Since reality doesn’t support their impressive view of themselves, narcissists live in a fantasy world propped up by distortion, self-deception, and magical thinking. They turn self-glorifying fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, attractiveness, and ideal love that make them feel special and in control.


These fantasies would protect them from feelings of inner emptiness and shame, so facts and opinions that contradict them are ignored or rationalized away. Anything that threatens to burst the fantasy bubble is met with extreme defensiveness and even rage, so those around the narcissist learn to tread carefully around their denial of reality.


3. Sense of Entitlement:


They consider themselves very special, narcissists expect favorable treatment as their due. And they believe that whatever they want, they should get. They also expect the people around them to automatically obey their every wish and whim. That is their only value. If you don’t expect and meet their every need, then you’re useless for them.


And if you have the nerve to ignore their will or “selfishly” ask for something in return, prepare yourself for aggression, outrage, or the cold shoulder.


4. Needs Constant Praise and Admiration:


A narcissist’s sense of advantage is like a balloon which constantly loses air without a steady stream of applause and recognition to keep it inflated. The occasional compliment is not enough. They need constant food for their ego, so they surround themselves with people who are willing to cater to their obsessive craving for affirmation. These relationships are very one-sided.


5. Use Others Without Guilt or Shame:


They never develop the ability to identify with the feelings of others to put themselves in other people’s shoes. In other words, they lack empathy. In a few ways, they view the people in their lives as objects which are there to serve their needs.


They don’t think twice about taking advantage of others to achieve their own goals. They don’t think about how their behavior affects others. The only thing they easily understand is their own needs that’s it.


6. Frequently Demeans, Intimidates, Bullies, or Belittles Others:


The narcissists feel threatened whenever they encounter someone who appears to have something they lack especially those who are confident and popular. The only way to negate the threat and prop up their own sagging ego is to put those people down.


They may do it in a humble or negative way as if to demonstrate how little the other person means to them. And they may go on the attack with insults, name-calling, bullying.


What are the Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?


It’s not known what causes narcissistic personality disorder, with personality development and with other mental health disorders, the cause of narcissistic personality disorder is likely complex. A narcissistic personality disorder may be linked to:


1. Atmosphere


Mismatches in parent-child relationships with either excessive adoration or excessive criticism which is poorly attuned to the child’s experience.


2. Genetics


Inherited characteristics.


3. Neurobiology:


This is the biological study of the connection between the brain, behavior, and thinking.



What are the Risk Factors of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?


There are some risk factors of this personality disorder :


This personality disorder affects more males than females, and it begins in the teens or early adulthood. Keep in mind that, although some children may show traits of narcissism, this may simply be typical of their age and doesn’t mean they’ll go on to develop a narcissistic personality disorder.


However, the cause of this personality disorder isn’t known, some researchers think that in biologically vulnerable children, parenting styles that are overprotective or neglectful may have an impact. Genetics and neurobiology also may play a role in the development of narcissistic personality disorder.


What are the Complications?


There are some complications of this disorder :


1. Relationship difficulties


2. Problems at work or school


3. Depression and anxiety


4. Physical health problems


5. Drug or alcohol misuse


6. Suicidal thoughts or behavior


What are the Preventions of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?


Get treatment as earlier as possible for childhood mental health problems. Participate in the family to learn healthy ways to communicate or to cope with conflicts or emotional distress. Manage parenting classes and seek guidance from therapists or social workers.


How to Treat Narcissistic Personality Disorder?


There are a few treatments of this personality disorder:


The treatment for narcissistic personality disorder is talk therapy (psychotherapy). Medications are included in your treatment if you have other mental health conditions.




This personality disorder treatment is centered around talk therapy, also called psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can help you:


1. Learn to connect better with others so your relationships get to more intimate, enjoyable and rewarding.


2. Understand the causes of your emotions and what drives you to compete, to distrust others, and perhaps to despise yourself and others.


3. Maintain real personal relationships and collaboration with co-workers.


4. Recognize and accept your actual competence and potential so you can tolerate criticisms or failures.


5. Increase the ability to understand and regulate your feelings.


6. Understand and tolerate the impact of issues related to your self-esteem.


7. Therapy can be short term to help you manage during times of stress or crisis or can be provided on an ongoing basis to help you achieve and maintain your goals.




There are no medications particularly used to treat narcissistic personality disorder. Although, if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other conditions, it is advised to consult with the doctor.




In the above article, we have talked about narcissistic personality disorder and it’s symptoms, causes, risk, prevention, and treatment. If you ever start feeling any of the above symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible. The best way to control this is therapies and medications and more importantly meditation.

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