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Aug 12, 2021
While reading the following blog, you will learn the following:
A narcissistic personality disorder is, first and foremost, a mental health condition. People with this diagnosis may appear arrogant. Others may see them as attention-seeking and having an unrealistic view of their own importance. Patients with narcissistic personality disorders may have a deep desire for admiration from others and lack empathy for anyone else. This all-consuming need for attention can make it challenging to maintain stability in relationships.
While a person with a narcissistic personality disorder may appear outwardly over-confident, they are internally plagued with fragile self-esteem. They cannot bear even minor criticism. These individuals may struggle in multiple areas of life, including work, finances, school, and personal relationships. Relationships that don’t feed the need for admiration are unsatisfactory. Others may avoid the person because the constant need for attention may be exhausting and challenging to be around.
The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder vary from mild to severe, and not every patient will display the same symptoms. Here are a few of the signs to watch for if you believe that you or someone you love may have a narcissistic personality disorder. The patient may:
Underlying the outward appearance of anger, arrogance, and superiority is a deep, secret feeling of inferiority and shame. Patients with a narcissistic personality disorder may experience crippling humiliation at minor embarrassments.
While there is no clear-cut profile of a person who will develop a narcissistic personality disorder, researchers do know a few things:
Complications of narcissistic personality disorder often involve co-occurring disorders such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. The patient may also have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships and performing successfully at work or school. Many patients experience physical health problems related to narcissistic personality disorder.
People with narcissistic personality disorder can be tough to get into treatment because they don’t believe they need therapy or have mental health disorders. Some eventually seek help for depression, addiction, or another mental health diagnosis without ever realizing their narcissistic tendencies. When the person does enter treatment, the resistance to change and criticism may present a barrier to meaningful improvement.
Psychotherapy is the basis for the most successful treatments of narcissistic personality disorder. The goals of this form of “talk therapy” include learning to interact with other people in new ways and a level of self-understanding to help the patient comprehend what drives the narcissistic behavior. The therapist seeks to help the patient:
Medications are not typically part of a treatment for narcissistic personality disorder, but they may be used to treat some of the related conditions. For example, depression and anxiety often respond well to pharmaceutical interventions.
The most important thing to remember when seeking treatment for narcissistic personality disorder is to stay consistent. Patients should find a therapist they are comfortable working with and stick with the agreed-upon treatment plan.
Unfortunately, we don’t yet understand how to prevent the development of a narcissistic personality disorder. If you or someone you love is experiencing these difficulties, reach out for help as soon as possible, even in young children. Family therapy is often necessary to help those around the patient understand how to interact more effectively and reduce conflict in the home. For children displaying narcissistic personality disorder, parenting classes can help create healthier family structures.
At MHS DBT & Mental Health Services, we offer various therapies for people displaying signs of narcissistic personality disorder. Our team of compassionate and highly trained professionals works with clients from early adolescence through senior adults. We provide individual and group therapy for various mental health concerns, including narcissistic personality disorders. Contact us online or by calling (651) 358-2163 today to schedule an assessment.
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