Narcissistic Personality Disorder


Narcissistic personality is a psychological disorder that is characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-centeredness and self-concern. In general, the individual shows a pattern of grandiosity, an immense need for admiration, and has difficulty connecting emotionally with others. They expect recognition and power, and demand to be admired at all times. This disorder usually begins in early adulthood.

It is rare to see a person with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) seek psychological help. Moreover, individuals with this disorder may even be well-known or successful in public life.  Usually, individuals with NPD believe they are more valuable or superior to others.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a person with narcissistic personality disorder may:

• React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation;

•Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals;

•Have excessive feelings of self-importance;

•Exaggerate achievements and talents;

•Be preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love;

•Have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment;

•Need constant attention and admiration;

•Disregard the feelings of others and have little ability to feel empathy;

•Have obsessive self-interest; and

•Pursue mainly selfish goals.

It is common for these individuals to do everything possible to excel in everything, be the center of attention, be above and be the best in all circumstances. It can be painful for those who decide to live a life of competition but are unable to reach that top.

It is OK to try to excel, and the desire to improve one’s standard of living is healthy. However, it is important to pay attention to how the individual tries to get to the top and reach his or her goals. Unethical and unscrupulous methods can be problematic and even harmful.

People who suffer from this disorder usually have a very vulnerable self-esteem, which makes them very sensitive to criticism, and they may get frustrated easily. The deterioration of social relationships is very common because of the pretentiousness and the constant need to be admired at all times.

Like other personality disorders, a narcissistic personality is diagnosed through a psychological evaluation. During the evaluation, it is important to analyze the background of the individual and the severity of symptoms. After an accurate diagnosis, a person can benefit from psychotherapy, enabling them to learn to relate to others in a more compassionate and positive manner.

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