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Everything You Need to Know About
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissist meaning a self-absorbed person who considers themselves entitled and lacks
compassion or empathy towards others.
Narcissism is a spectrum, and we all may have experienced certain narcissistic traits at
times, but Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) have an inflated sense
of self-significance; they may seem self-centred, egocentric and attention-seeking.
Narcissistic abuse includes gaslighting you to doubt your feelings and hampering your selfesteem.
But in contrast to their confidence, people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder find it
difficult to handle the subtlest criticism from others due to their low self-esteem and feeling
insecure and hollow. It makes it hard for them to handle relationships and affects their work
and overall quality of life.
Signs of a Narcissist
1. Finding it hard to stomach even the slightest criticism.
Getting upset when people criticise you even as a joke or expect special treatment
from others falls under narcissistic behaviour.
2. Having an exaggerated and superior sense of selfimportance.
Feeling like you are better than others and should be treated with special importance
is a sign of narcissism.
3. Coming across as boastful all the time.
People find you exaggerating yourself in every conversation and talking while
keeping yourself as the subject all the time.
4. Having a sense of entitlement and seeking admiration
from others constantly.
You feel like you deserve special attention and benefits and always seek
appreciation and admiration.
5. Hijacking conversations and looking down on others.
You turn every conversation to yourself and the things you did, and people don’t like
talking to you due to this trait.
Although the exact causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are unknown, these factors
may combine to cause it.
1. Family history of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Suppose one of your parents has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or you have a
genetic history of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In that case, you may be at a
greater risk of developing Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
2. Relationship issues with parents or close ones.
If you were not given the appropriate amount of attention and care as a child or were
3. Suffering from trauma or abuse as a child.
If you had a traumatic experience or were abused physically, verbally or sexually as
a child.
4. Neurobiological problems.
Faulty neurological connections in the brain.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Fear of criticism from others may make you avoid seeking help. So seeking treatment is
already half the battle won.
Mental health professionals generally use the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders, 5th edition” developed by the American Psychological Association, to
diagnose mental disorders like Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They also use
questionaries like Personality diagnostic questionnaire-4 (PDQ-4), International
personality disorder examination (IPDE), etc.
Long-term therapy is the primary treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It gives you
insights into your life, which help you change your thought patterns, which will then change
your behaviours and teach you how to live a quality life. However, If you have symptoms of
Anxiety or Depression, the psychotherapist can recommend medication to better manage
your symptoms like antidepressants, mood stabilisers or antipsychotic drugs.
Sub-Types of Narcissistic
1. Covert Narcissism
They have symptoms of NPD but lack evident symptoms like a heightened sense of
self-perception. Although they may be difficult to recognise, the amount of damage
NPD does to their lives is nowhere less than those with other forms of narcissism.
2. Malignant Narcissism
These types of narcissists tend to lean more in the spectrum of psychopathy than
other types.
3. Grandiose Narcissism
They generally have the more common narcissism symptoms, like inflated admiration
for themselves.
4. Communal Narcissism
These narcissists seek validation through the communal aspects of society, like
participating in charity and boasting about themselves.
Narcissistic Personality disorder is one of the ten known personality disorders. The
symptoms generally seem to appear in late teens or early adulthood. It is estimated that up
to 5% of people have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Although there is no cure, therapy
can help manage the symptoms. Though narcissist definition and Narcissistic Personality
Disorder may overlap, we should keep in mind that there is a fine line between them.
Willingness to get better is the first step; over time, you can live a happy life in the long run
with the proper treatment and care.