Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
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Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Narcissistic personality disorder is one of the major personality disorders to be taken with much consideration.

Narcissistic personality disorder is commonly characterized by a proclivity to self-aggrandize as an attempt to mask an extreme inferiority complex the afflict individuals normally share. The term ‘narcissistic personality disorder’ is derived from the ancient Greek legend of Narcissus, a handsome youth who fell madly in love with the reflection of himself in a pool of water. Narcissistic individuals usually make it a habit to exaggerate about their talents and achievements, be under the impression that they are far more superior in all respects than others and would set near-impossible goals for themselves, such as a Nobel Prize at one point in the future, and a Pulitzer at the next.

Narcissistic personalities would normally expect a degree of reverence befitting a deity from others which they believe they so richly deserve for being the gifted ones, and in an attempt to enhance their self-image of godlike perfection, they are thus prone to patronize others whom they deem unworthy of their attention. Nevertheless, due to a sense of inferiority which often comes hand in hand with some cases of narcissistic personality disorder, most of them are more predisposed to pester others about what they think of him or her, and should the answer be perceived as criticism, or rather, in their terms, a threat to their very existence in life, they would react to it with violent tantrums and outbursts; though to sustain their bloated sense of self-importance, some of them would try to remain composed and indifferent to any ‘criticism’ they may encounter.

A majority of these individuals are incapable of maintaining healthy relationships with others. Typically, they would take advantage of others for their own selfish needs. Narcissistic individuals are also more likely to choose friends based on what they could exploit from them, though considering the fact that most of these individuals are an emotionally conflicted bunch, due to contradictions arising between excessive haughtiness and intolerance toward defeat and rejection, others would find themselves in unease over interacting with these individuals. Thus, to develop a wide circle of friends would almost seem like an impossible task for most narcissistic personalities to undertake. In terms of romantic relationships, it was discovered that narcissists show a distinct affinity for those who highly admire them rather than those who care more about their well-being.

In particular respects, narcissistic personality disorder are similar to another personality disorder known as histrionic personality disorder. What sets both disorders aside is the fact that narcissistic personality disorder is more commonly diagnosed in men whereas histrionic personality disorder is more frequently found in women, and that whereas admiration is what narcissists craves most, histrionic personalities normally desire commiseration from others by putting on an exaggerated show of emotions and occasionally overreacting to situations with little or no direct consequences at all (thus, the term ‘drama queen’).

It is stated that the afflicted individuals were deprived at some point in their childhoods of the attention and affection all parents should give to their children, whereas there are claims that over-pampering by exaggerating a child’s abilities to others and thus setting ridiculously high expectations for him or her may also give rise to the aforesaid disorder in the child.

Therapy is suggested as treatment to narcissistic personality disorder, since there is no known pharmacological treatment for it yet, though antidepressants should be of help to those suffering from symptoms such as depression or anxiety. Types of therapy deemed appropriate to them include cognitive behavioral therapy, where one could identify and replace negative impressions of oneself and others with healthy ones, family therapy, where one is given the opportunity to discuss any problems and conflicts faced with family members, and group therapy, where the afflicted individual could relate their emotions and problems faced with people of the same conditions as well.

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Comments (3)

another very interesting piece! voted, tweeted and dug!


great to find you, ... please keep up the good works.