Being proud of ourselves and having confidence in our abilities is part of having a healthy self-esteem. However, when our confidence becomes greatly exaggerated and we are quick to become preoccupied with our own accomplishments, there may be a deep, underlying issue. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is often characterized by an overinflated sense of self-importance that generally interferes with a sufferers personal life as well as side tracking their behaviors to focus on shallow or unimportant endeavors. NPD is more common in males and is said to affect nearly one percent of the United States population.
If you feel like you are unable to focus on the reality of your life and instead find yourself exaggerating your personal successes and fantasizing about success or wealth, it may be time to seek out professional treatment. NPD can severely impact your chances of maintaining meaningful relationships as well as manifest itself into alcohol or drug dependence later on in life.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder should be properly diagnosed by a psychologist or psychiatrist who is trained specifically in the field of mental health disorders. Many of those with personality disorders find it difficult to seek out treatment on their own and are usually disillusioned by NPD, unable to see the negative impacts or the severity of the issue. Treatment usually involves long-term mental health analysis provided by a trained psychologist as well as group therapy sessions in combination with minor medicinal prescriptions. If NPD is ignored or left untreated, sufferers are usually driven towards substance abuse solutions as well as more serious mental disorders such as depression or suicidal behavior. It is best to bring the problem into the open and educate yourself on the risks and treatment methods to find out which would be most beneficial to you in overcoming your NPD.
Oddly enough, severe cases of Narcissistic Personality Disorder can often be traced back to deeply rooted insecurities and a complete lack of real personal confidence. Instead, most sufferers tend to veil their personal problems by over exaggerating confidence in their abilities so they do not appear “weak” in the eyes of those around them. While there is no single cause of the disorder, many believe that the problem may stem from parents or parental figures with similar self-centered outlooks or manipulative behaviors. Neglect or emotional abuse may also be a contributing factor, as many with NPD fear being inadequate or the pain of rejection from those around them. These outstanding issues may create a person to form a confident persona or “mask” to make them seem emotionally stable and unwavering. However, this confidence is usually unfounded, causing sufferers to become incredibly upset and uncomfortable with any amount of criticism.
NPD is a serious condition that requires sufferers to view their lives from an outside perspective, acknowledging the problem and grounding themselves in reality of the situation. Help from a close family member or loved one is strongly encouraged, as those with NPD will have trouble recognizing the condition without first experiencing a catastrophic side effect.
- Need help recognizing this personality disorder? – Read through this helpful guide.
- Mayo Clinic – For a list of symptoms as well as advice on where and when to seek treatment, read about NPD at the Mayo Health Clinic.
- PsychCentral – Find out how to properly diagnose and treat this disorder here. Take the free online quiz as a preliminary check for the disorder.
- MedicineNet.com – Read about some of the perceived causes of Narcissism as well as an in-depth look at the various symptoms.