Narcissistic Personality Disorder: What is it, its characteristics, how to understand it?
Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several personality disorders.
Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several personality disorders. Narcissistic personality disorder, which has an important place among psychiatric disorders, generally means that people feel feelings of arrogance much more than normal. This situation causes people to have exaggerated emotions and see themselves as superior to other people. The feeling of arrogance, which can occur in every person from time to time, is the type that is constantly present in narcissistic people, goes to extremes and seeks approval or appreciation from outside. Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition that negatively affects work, school and private life and needs to be controlled. Narcissistic personality disorder is a disorder that can be controlled with talking therapies and some lifestyle changes.
What is Narcissism?
Narcissistic personality disorder is a self-centered mindset and is a condition that can be seen in everyone from time to time. People who adopt the narcissistic mindset and reflect it in their behavior are called narcissists. People with narcissistic personality disorder, called narcissism, need a lot of attention and want other people to admire them. Many people with narcissistic personality disorder can continue their lives normally. However, these people generally see themselves as superior, important and special. They interpret the source of this feeling of superiority sometimes to their physical characteristics and sometimes to their intelligence. They may have difficulty understanding the feelings of the people they communicate with. They may overreact to criticism. Even though they portray a great image of self-confidence, the value and confidence they give to themselves may be low. This situation is known as narcissistic injury in psychiatry and can occasionally lead to outbursts of anger. They have difficulty maintaining their relationships because their moods can change rapidly during conflicts, they consider themselves to be right, and they cannot understand or do not take seriously the feelings of the people around them.
What Causes Narcissism?
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition that affects men more than women and occurs especially in adolescence or young adulthood. Although this situation is common in childhood, it does not necessarily mean that every child will continue their narcissistic behavior in the future. In general, it cannot be determined exactly what causes narcissism. It can often occur due to complex reasons. However, at the core of narcissism lies a deep sense of inadequacy and inadequacy. Those with narcissistic personality disorder exhibit narcissistic emotions and behaviors in order to cover it up and not show it to the outside world. This situation can be caused by factors ranging from genetic predisposition to errors in upbringing. Studies have shown that narcissistic personality disorder can also occur as a result of parents’ approaches that are overprotective of their children or raise them with complimentary words. On the contrary, narcissism can also occur in people who were neglected or abused in childhood. Narcissism can occur in such people with a strong instinct to exist in life. Some of the general causes of narcissism are:
- Genetic Predisposition: Genetic predisposition is the inheritance of certain personality traits. However, genetic predispositions do not emerge when they are not supported in the social environment. Genetic predisposition is one of the least effective causes of narcissism.
- Environment: The situation where a person’s successes and abilities are praised and exaggerated by those around him or criticized too much when he fails or makes mistakes can lead to narcissism.
- Neurobiology: In psychiatric science, neurobiology is the connection between the brain and behavior-thought. Narcissism may occur in the disorder of the connection between the brain and behavior-thought.
How to Diagnose Narcissism?
Narcissistic personality disorder may show similar characteristics to other personality disorders. When determining the diagnosis, some evaluations are made about how long the symptoms have persisted, how they affect life, or whether there are environmental triggers. There is no laboratory test that can definitively diagnose narcissistic personality disorder. However, most psychiatrists or psychologists use the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” as a guide. To help with diagnosis, people are asked to check whether they meet some of the criteria in the referenced book. Some of those criteria are as follows:
- An exaggerated sense of self
- Need for constant admiration and praise
- Expecting special attention in line with felt superiority
- Don’t overestimate your achievements and abilities.
- Not accepting criticism and reacting negatively
- Exaggerated thoughts about power, success, fame and physical attributes
- take advantage of others
- Ignoring and not paying attention to other people’s feelings, thoughts and behaviors
- displaying arrogant behavior
What are the symptoms that occur with narcissism?
Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people generally have excessive self-esteem and think that they are important, as well as despising the people around them. However, in addition to these situations, narcissism can also show different symptoms. Some of the symptoms that generally occur with narcissism are as follows:
- excessive self-importance and admiration
- Acting arrogantly and constantly praising yourself
- Looking down on others and seeing them as inferior to themselves
- Expecting privilege and special treatment in the environments they enter
- Expecting constant praise, even without any achievements
- Living in a fantasy world of success, power, recognition and finding the perfect partner
- Thinking that you are equal only to high-ranking people and wanting to communicate with them
- Criticizing and belittling people he thinks are not important
- Expecting unconditional favors from others and wanting their wishes to be fulfilled without questioning.
- Using people as stepping stones to get what they want
- Believing that others are jealous of him/her and being jealous of others
- Thinking that he deserves the best and most beautiful of everything
After the consulted health professional has an idea about whether the person meets the above-mentioned criteria, he or she may resort to different tests or methods when necessary. As a result of psychiatric evaluations, a definitive diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment method for the person can be determined.
There is no cure for narcissistic personality disorder, but supportive treatments can be given. The basis of the healing approach is based on talking therapies. However, if this condition is accompanied by other psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety, drug treatments may be used if necessary. Drug use may occasionally occur in people with narcissistic personality disorder. In such cases, in addition to therapies, alcoholism and substance addiction treatment can also be applied. Narcissism treatment is usually conducted as follows:
Talk therapy is the most effective method of treating narcissism. Therapies are carried out in a psychiatric clinic and by a psychologist or psychiatrist. The main purpose of talking therapies is to eliminate the underlying weak sense of self and inferiority complex and help one feel realistic emotions. Another aim of psychotherapy is to teach people to care about other people’s feelings and thoughts and to empathize. In general, some of the benefits of speech therapies to people are as follows:
- Recognizing strengths and weaknesses
- Maintaining personal relationships
- Being able to tolerate criticism and failures
- Being able to cope with any sense of self
- Being able to cooperate with work-school friends
- Setting possible goals instead of unrealistic goals
- Accepting that their behavior is problematic and giving themselves time to heal
Narcissistic personality disorder is a disorder that requires some lifestyle changes in addition to talking therapies. In addition to providing faster response to therapies, the changes may also provide long-term benefits to the personality restructuring process. Some of the lifestyle changes suggestions are:
- Avoiding substances that may trigger problem behaviors
- Identifying and maintaining healthy habits
- Engaging in activities such as sports, yoga and meditation that will help reduce stress and anxiety
- Being open to support from family members and close circle and staying away from other people who manipulate him/her
- Not neglecting self-care
If you or a relative of yours has symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, you can consult a health institution and get help from the health professional to improve this situation.