Tuesday, April 16, 2019

N - Narcissistic Personality Disorder #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness

Narcissistic personality disorder is found more commonly in men. The cause is unknown but likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

The term comes from a character in Greek mythology; called Narcissus. He saw his reflection in a pool of water and fell in love with it. It is characterized by an extreme sense of self-worth. Other features include being quick to anger and prone to irritation. For a diagnosis, the symptoms must be persistent and chronic.

The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is best described as a paradox. People with NPD may act superior and confident, but are often fragile and lack self-esteem. They crave attention and praise yet are unable to form close relationships. NPD causes great distress to both the person with the disorder and those around them.

People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also have grandiose fantasies and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. These characteristics typically begin in early adulthood and must be consistently evident in multiple contexts, such as at work and in relationships.

It's not known what causes narcissistic personality disorder. As with personality development and with other mental health disorders, the cause of narcissistic personality disorder is likely complex. 

Narcissistic personality disorder may be linked to:
  • ·         Environment ― mismatches in parent-child relationships with either excessive adoration or excessive criticism that is poorly attuned to the child's experience
  • ·         Genetics ― inherited characteristics
  • ·         Neurobiology — the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking

People with NPD often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way, which can enhance their own self-esteem. They tend to seek excessive admiration and attention and have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat.

They exhibit five or more of the following traits, which are present by early adulthood and across contexts:
  • ·         A grandiose sense of self-importance
  • ·         Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • ·         Belief that one is special and can only be understood by or associate with special people or institutions
  • ·         A need for excessive admiration
  • ·         A sense of entitlement (to special treatment)
  • ·         Exploitation of others
  • ·         A lack of empathy
  • ·         Envy of others or the belief that one is the object of envy
  • ·         Arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes

Researchers have reported associations between NPD and high rates of substance abuse, mood, and anxiety disorders.

Psychotherapy is the key approach in the treatment of narcissistic personality disorder. 

People with NPD tend to be self-obsessed, believing others are the problem, so many see no reason to attend counselling. They can interpret encouragement to seek help as criticism, and respond very defensively, deflecting fault onto others. A useful technique to encourage therapy is suggesting that a shared problem or issue exists, focussing on things you both can work through.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.


  1. Great post.
    (And what a perfect illustrative example!)
    You are really doing all your readers a service with the information in your A-Z posts.

    1. Thanks Lisa, I am learning a lot in the process too.

  2. Just like physical handicaps, there are mental handicaps either for individuals themselves or for others because of some body's mental disorders. The narcistic people can make life hell for others in the family as well as in work places. Good to know from your article.

    My recent post Management Principles - Application in Operations Management

    1. I would not use the word handicap but yes mental disorders can be tough.

  3. I have heard about Narcissus but I had never heard about the syndrome. Thanks for the information.

    1. Yes Reema, Narcissus of course is quite popular.

  4. This has been a hot topic in mymy life recently with a few friends stuck in relationships with people having these exact traits.

    They in turn tend to gaslight the people they are in a relationship with, making them dependant.

    I know it sounds bad but I don't really even see therapy working with such people. The idea of using a 'shared problem exists' is new to me though.

    1. Yes Roshan sadly this is one of the most difficult disorders to treat because the sufferer won1 even admit having an issue.

  5. You have given an extremely detailed explanation of a narcissist personality. I realise I do have a couple of such people around me.

  6. Very nice topic discussed.Loved reading it.

  7. You explained it well ! An informative post

  8. All think Narcissism is self love but it stems from insecurity. Thanks for the insights.

  9. Harjeet while self-love is a positive thing here we are talking about a disorder.


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