What is npd disorder?

Understanding NPD Disorder: What it is and What it isn’t

Many people have heard of narcissism or the term “narcissist,” but do not fully understand what Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is exactly. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, and an intense need for attention and admiration. People with NPD may be viewed as arrogant, entitled, and manipulative.

It is important to note that having a sense of self-confidence and self-love is not the same as having NPD. NPD is a diagnosable and severe mental health condition that greatly impacts the individual suffering it, as well as their family, friends, and colleagues. It can be challenging to understand and interact with individuals suffering from NPD, but approaching them with empathy and compassion can make a significant difference in their lives.

The Symptoms of NPD

The symptoms of NPD vary depending on the individual, but generally, people with NPD display the following characteristics:

  • Exaggerated sense of self-importance:
  • Lack of empathy and disregard for others’ feelings:
  • Intense need for admiration:
  • Highly controlling and manipulative behavior:
  • Difficulty accepting criticism:
  • Obsession with achieving power, status or wealth:

Exaggerated sense of self-importance

Individuals with NPD may have a grandiose view of themselves, viewing themselves as better than everyone else. They may exaggerate their achievements or talents to the point of being unrealistic and may believe that they are entitled to special treatment or recognition.

Lack of empathy and disregard for others’ feelings

People with NPD can be insensitive to the needs and feelings of others. They may disregard or ignore social norms, rules, and laws, and not take others into account when making decisions that affect others. They may also become easily angry when others do not recognize their supposed superiority.

Intense need for admiration

Individuals with NPD often crave attention and validation from others. They may become preoccupied with status, achievements, and image, and use others to boost their self-esteem. They may also put others down or criticize them if they feel that they are not receiving enough admiration, respect, or attention.

Highly controlling and manipulative behavior

People with NPD may use manipulation, lies, and controlling behaviors to maintain their position of power or admiration. They may also engage in, and justify, unethical behaviors to get what they want, including lying, cheating, stealing, or exploiting others.

Difficulty accepting criticism

Individuals with NPD may be highly defensive and reactive when they feel criticized or challenged. They may become angry or lash out, And can have a low tolerance for negative feedback. They may not accept any responsibility for their actions or mistakes and may blame others for their shortcomings. They may also claim victimhood and seek sympathy or validation from others.

Obsession with achieving power, status, or wealth

People with NPD often seek positions of power, wealth, or status, sometimes at any cost. They may become obsessed with achieving these aims, sometimes to the exclusion of other aspects of their lives such as relationships, family, and leisure-time activities.

How NPD Disorder Affects Relationships

People with NPD can have trouble with relationships because of their traits, and how they manifest in interpersonal interactions. Some of the ways that NPD can affect relationships include:

  • Lack of empathy: People with NPD can struggle to see other people’s perspective or understand their emotions. This makes it difficult to build emotional support and trust in relationships.
  • Manipulant behavior: People with NPD often manipulate others to maintain their position of power or admiration, which can cause conflict and resentment in relationships.
  • Difficulty accepting any criticism: People with NPD reject any feedback that is not solely positive, making it difficult to openly address issues or work on problems in a relationship.
  • Believe they are always right: Individuals with NPD are often unwilling to change or compromise, which can be particularly problematic in a partnership or family dynamic. This results in further distancing partners and may cause dissatisfaction.
  • Low tolerance for negative emotions: People with NPD can become easily frustrated by other people’s feelings, particularly when it comes to those who they deem as “weak”. They may say or do things that are harsh or unreasonable towards other people.

It is essential to highlight that NPD can range from mild to severe, and some people with NPD may desire to change or seek therapy to help them manage their symptoms. However, it can be challenging for others to work or co-exist with people with NPD.

Diagnosing NPD Disorder

Diagnosis of NPD is best left to licensed mental health professionals. Diagnosing NPD requires a clinical evaluation, including a comprehensive history of the individual’s symptoms and personal background. A mental health professional will typically perform a physical examination, evaluation of medical history, and assess any symptoms that may be indicative of the condition.

It is essential to note that NPD can be challenging to diagnose because individuals with this personality disorder do not often perceive themselves as having a problem. As a result, they may be unlikely to seek help from a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Treatment for NPD Disorder

There is no cure for NPD, and treatment can be difficult. Treatment of NPD primarily focuses on managing and reducing symptoms as well as and underlying mental and emotional issues. Patients may also consider support groups along with individual and group therapy.

It is important to remember that People with NPD may not recognize themselves in the diagnosis, and some may deny or attempt to avoid treatment. It would be best to approach individuals struggling with NPD with patience and empathy when offering help or encouraging them to seek professional care.

    Types of therapy or support groups that can be helpful for NPD:

  • Individual therapy: Individuals with NPD will typically require therapies such as Cognitive or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to help them recognize and change negative thought patterns and coping mechanisms, managing their emotions and better communication skills.
  • Group therapy: Group approaches such as therapeutic support discussion groups or personality support groups will help individuals with NPD gain insights and new perspectives from interacting with others and teaching relevant skills to address issues and build self-esteem.
  • Family therapy: Family therapy is beneficial for NPD when it focuses on developing better communication and conflict resolution techniques.

NPD and Substance Abuse Disorder

Individuals with NPD are statistically more likely to struggle with substance abuse disorders or addiction than those who do not have the condition. Substance abuse may develop to manage feelings of loneliness or negative self-image, or the subsequent consequences of drug or alcohol use. People with NPD may also find that dependence and addiction give them control or attention from others, potentially exacerbating their symptoms.

For individuals struggling with both NPD and substance abuse disorder (SAD), it is crucial to address both disorders simultaneously to attain full recovery. This approach requires a combination of medications, psychotherapy, and education on addiction and NPD management techniques. It may also involve the engagement of both individual and group therapies to manage both disorders and provide emotional and social support.

FAQs about NPD Disorder

  • How to trust someone with NPD diagnosis?
    It can be challenging to trust someone with NPD diagnosis, especially when they have acted out of character before. Trust comes through consistent action that matches the words. It is important to take things slow and pay attention to behaviors as conversations evolve.
  • What triggers NPD?
    NPD is a long-term pattern of behavior that develops over time; several factors contribute to its onset. These include genetics, environmental influences, and traumatic life experiences.
  • Can NPD be inherited?
    Research suggests that personality traits, such as impulsivity, aggressiveness, and unpredictability, are hereditary. Therefore, genes may play a role in developing NPD, but environmental factors also contribute significantly to its development.
  • Can NPD be cured?
    Unfortunately, there is no cure for NPD, but symptoms can be managed and reduced through therapy and counseling. Psychotherapy and medication can help people with NPD learn self-management and coping skills, improving overall well-being.
  • How to help someone with NPD?
    Encouragement, empathy, counseling and therapeutic methods can be effective treatments for NPD. The most effective healing for NPD is psychotherapy, which includes individual and group approaches. Treatment for NPD requires patience, kindness, and a whole person-centered approach.