What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic women have an exaggerated sense of self worth and believe they are better than others.
Women with narcissism display overly emotional and dramatic behavior while disregarding the feelings of others.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2014
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Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a type of mental condition. When a person suffers from it, he views himself as more important than he is, at least to others. He also tends to need and desire the admiration of others far more than most people consider normal. A person with this condition often disregards how other people feel and what they need, as he feels that others are inferior. However, this mental condition is complex, as the sufferer tends to have shaky self-esteem, even while he exaggerates his own importance.

This mental condition is categorized as a personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder, like similar disorders that affect the personality, is marked by personality traits and behaviors that cause distress in social situations and often strain personal relationships. These traits and behaviors may also cause problems with performance in school or at work. A person with this disorder may be seen as overly emotional and dramatic, which may eventually push family, friends, and associates away.

Typically, a person with NPD will believe he is better than others and may indulge in fantasies concerning amazing levels of success and far-reaching power. He may have an exaggerated view of his own attractiveness and achievements, and feel a need for continuous praise. He may set unreasonable goals and feel deeply wounded by any type of criticism.

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When a person has narcissistic personality disorder, his relationships may be strained because he takes advantage of others and refuses to recognize their feelings. He may expect total cooperation with his plans and give the appearance of lacking emotions. A person with this disorder may feel that others are jealous of him, even as he feels jealous of others.

For some, it may be hard to distinguish narcissistic personality disorder from a high level of self-esteem. However, the difference is that a person with this disorder goes beyond feeling simply good about himself to putting himself high on a pedestal from which he can look down, with disdain, on others. People often view those with this condition as conceited and pretentious. They may accuse suffers of monopolizing conversations and being boastful.

No one knows for sure what causes this personality disorder. Some people think it may be genetic while others point to childhood traumas, abuse, and neglect as possible causes. In some cases, excessive childhood pampering may play a role. No matter what the cause, psychotherapy usually plays a major role in treatment.

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Discuss this Article

anon356042
Post 11

People with NPD do not "suffer" from it. The unlucky people around them do the suffering.

anon333083
Post 10

@anon319105: I have NPD, and have been in therapy for years. That is not me being loud and proud, but when I used to show empathy it was simply good acting. Truth is we don't give a crap. I didn't even care about 9/11 if that puts it into perspective for you. Don't hate. I'm just helping answer the question.

anon319105
Post 9

I'm curious about something. I know someone who fits very much into this category, but I'm curious because even though I think the narcissism is driven by his insecurities, I wonder how he seems to somehow show empathy? Could it be fake empathy? And how does jealousy play into empathetic feelings?

anon189226
Post 6

How do you deal with someone like this? Ignore them?

anon116789
Post 4

Reading this article I suspect that i possess some of these treat but not all of them.I can be overly emotional and sometimes dramatic, fantasies about an amazing level of success but I do not generally put people down or have a "god-like" complex; i think. is there something that can be done about it?

sunshine31
Post 3

Subway11- I wonder that too. There are other types of narcissistic personality disorders. The narcissistic borderline personality disorder has the classic narcissistic personality disorders symptoms but in addition, they often hurt themselves and have the highest suicidal tendencies.

Narcissistic personality disorder treatments offer a combination of therapeutic settings. They often receive individual cognitive behavior therapy in which they discussed their negative behavior and try to substitute for something more positive.

They also participate in family therapy and group therapy. The narcissistic personality disorder is helped by group therapy. It is in group therapy that they tend to hear other people's concerns and feelings for the first time because they are forced to.

subway11
Post 2

Sneakers41- I agree with you. I wanted to add that the histrionic narcissistic personality disorder involves people that constantly need and seek attention.

I wonder if sex addiction is related to this disorder. There are people out there that that practice serial infidelity.

I wonder if that problem is related to a histrionic narcissistic personality disorder or something else.

sneakers41
Post 1

What a fascinating article. The narcissist personality disorder involves an extreme need for admiration while lacking empathy for others.

Usually the narcissistic personality disorder symptoms also include an exaggerated sense of importance and an obsession with power, love, and unlimited success.

They expect praise and respect all the time and feel that they deserve favorable treatment. They also use people to get what they want and have no empathy for other people’s feelings.

They are arrogant and rude to others as they feel superior to them. Thiis is basically the narcissistic personality disorder traits in a nutshell.

Many people believe that some Hollywood stars fall into this category.

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