Narcissistic personality disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition in which a person has:
- An excessive sense of self-importance
- An extreme preoccupation with themselves
- A lack of empathy for others
Causes of Narcissistic personality disorder
Cause of this disorder is unknown. Early life experiences, such as particularly insensitive parenting, are thought to play a role in the development of this disorder.
Narcissistic personality disorder Symptoms
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
- Pursue mainly selfish goals
Narcissistic personality disorder is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation. The health care provider will consider how long and how severe the person's symptoms are.
Treatment of Narcissistic personality disorder
Talk therapy may help the person relate to other people in a more positive and compassionate way.
Outcome of treatment depends on the severity of the disorder.
Complications may include:
- Alcohol or other drug dependence
- Relationship, work, and family problems
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. 2013.
Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadellphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2008:chap 39.
|Review Date: 10/31/2014
Reviewed By: Fred K. Berger, MD, Addiction and Forensic Psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.