Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD),
is defined as a mental illness primarily characterized by extreme focus on
oneself, and is a maladaptive, rigid, and persistent condition that may
cause significant distress and functional impairment. The term was first
used by Heinz Kohut in 197 and is a form of pathological narcissism
acknowledged in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in
1980, in the edition known as DSM-III.
Narcissistic personality disorder may be a maladaptive defense of the abused
child's or adolescent's emotional splitting, resultant cognitive
distortions, and negative/hostile worldview. People with narcissistic
personality disorder also have difficulty recognizing the needs and feelings
of others, and are dismissive, contemptuous and impatient when others share
or discuss their concerns or problems. They are also oblivious to the
hurtfulness of their behaviour or remarks, show an emotional coldness and a
lack of reciprocal interest, exhibit envy (especially when others are
accorded recognition), have an arrogant, disdainful and patronizing
attitude, and are quick to blame and criticise others when their needs and
expectations are not met. People with narcissistic personality disorder tend
to seek out individuals whom they perceive as equal to their own self-image
or to whom they attribute the same special talents and qualities they see in
themselves. They may insist on havi!
ng "the best" of everything - car, athletic club or social circles.
Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
The cause of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is unknown at this time, but
several theories are being investigated. There is some evidence that genetic
predisposition and other biological or biochemical factors are involved for
some people. Psychological factors are also involved for most people.
Signs and Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Sign and Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and
needs of others.
It is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or
her Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes Requires excessive
admiration Haughty or arrogant behaviors Sense of belonging to an exclusive
group of people who truly understand each other
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition characterized by an
inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme
self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. Individuals with this
disorder are usually arrogantly self-assured and confident. They expect to
be noticed as superior. Many highly successful individuals might be
considered narcissistic. However, this disorder is only diagnosed when these
behaviors become persistent and very disabling or distressing.
Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
People with narcissistic personality disorder may be defensive about the
process because they were compelled or encouraged to seek therapy by an
employer or family member.
The goals are to help the patient develop a healthy individuality (rather
than a resilient narcissism) so that he or she can acknowledge others as
separate persons, and to decrease the need for self-defeating coping
mechanisms. The first step toward developing a working alliance is empathy
with the surprise and hurt that the patient experiences as a result of
confrontations within the group. The external structuring group therapy
provides can control destructive behavior in spite of ego weakness. In
groups, the therapist is less authoritative (and less threatening to the
patient's grandiosity); intensity of emotional experience is lessened; and
regression is more controlled, creating a better setting for confrontation