The 14 Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms
What Are They?
Living with someone who has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) can be difficult and at times torturous.
They can create problems just to get a reaction and then have you questioning your sanity as they get sympathy for the very situation they willingly created.
Sometimes someone with NPD may even make you think you’re the one who is narcissistic.
By identifying the narcissistic personality disorder symptoms, you can make a better judgment as to whether the person you have to deal with is, in fact, someone with NPD.
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic personality disorder refers to a mental disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of his or her own importance, a deep need for admiration, as well as a lack of empathy for others.
However, behind this seemingly overconfident individual lies a fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable even to the slightest criticism.
People with NPD are known to make the lives of the people who love them hard because of their constant need for validation which can conceivably come at the expense of others. (1)
It can be so bad that there are actually support groups for people who live with narcissists.
What’s The Take Away From This?
Narcissists are tough to deal with, let alone live with and love. They can make life very difficult
How Does Narcissism Affect One’s Behavior?
NPD’s Deep Roots
Narcissistic personality disorder is known to cause several problems in many areas of a person’s life, including relationships, financial affairs, work, and school.
One usually becomes disappointed and unhappy when he or she is not given the special favor or admiration that he or she unreasonably expects.
Essentially, other people may not enjoy being around such a person, and he or she may never enter into a fulfilling relationship.
It’s also worthy of note that people with attention deficit disorder are prone to narcissism which can make for a crossover of symptoms that might be harder to attribute to either issue.
It’s not unusual for a narcissist to do something quite nasty resulting in someone reacting quite strongly. The reaction then upsets the narcissist allowing them to garner sympathy by telling others a dishonest reenactment of the story.
They can also be very adept at lying, making exposing them that much more difficult to do.
What Does This Really Mean?
The reality is that narcissists may be only what could be described as not nice people.
What Are The Causes Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
How Does It Develop?
The honest reality here is that the cause of this disorder remains unknown to date, however, there are several theories that people use to try and explain the cause of how someone develops narcissism.
Many of the experts think that the disorder results from a combination of several factors, including the following:
How a person handles stress in his or her life may reflect in their behavior. The need to alter their reality to suit what they want to perceive and the concomitant effect in their mind could see them warping reality.
This can mean that they could ostensibly see any reality that will validate a position they prefer.
How a person was brought up could play an instrumental role in how they develop into a functioning adult.
Children who were pampered or those who faced excessive criticism tend to show symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder.
It seems that either end of the spectrum could be a problem with normality being absent, therefore these children create a new set of rules for behavior.
The environment in which a person spent their formative years. For instance, children who were abused or ignored are known to become self-centered and use this trait as a survival instinct.
By not understanding behavioral norms, nor experiencing them, sometone from a toxic environment could develop narcissistic tendencies.
Genetics and psycho-biology. This refers to the connection between the brain, behavior, and thinking.
It’s beyond the scope of researchers to perform neural scans on every person with NPD but some people theorize there could be similarities in neural activity that may be genetic or possibly at the least biologically driven.
What’s The Take Home Message Here?
A lot of factors culminate in the creation of a narcissist, but the most obvious is an abnormal upbringing
What Are The Symptoms Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
What Are The Signs To Look For?
This disorder predisposes one to behave in socially distressing ways. This has the effect of limiting somebody’s ability to function in relationships as well as in other areas, such as work or school. The following are some of the symptoms that are associated with this disorder:
1. Lacking In Humility
Being seen as conceited, pretentious, or boastful. Narcissists like to believe in their own importance which can manifest in the way they brag about minor things. This lack of humility can sometimes be couched in charm and manipulation, which could be much harder to detect.
Generally, though this is one of the easier narcissistic traits to identify.
2. Supercilious Behavior
Having a tendency of looking down or belittling people that may be perceived as inferior. This superiority complex can make loved ones feel unappreciated and possibly distanced.
3. Acting Entitled
Often having a sense of entitlement, and when they fail to get special treatment, they become impatient or angry. This expectation of being treated better than they probably deserve can lead to many uncomfortable situations.
4. Hyper-Sensitive Reactions
Inability to handle even the slightest criticism. Someone with NPD may react inappropriately to small and valid critiques as if they were large scale personal attacks.
5. Over Competitive
Always wanting to have the best of everything, for instance, the best vacations, medical care or car. This can put pressure on partners to earn enough to meet certain lifestyle requirements, often resulting in arguments.
6. Harboring Inner Insecurities
Having secret feelings of insecurity humiliation, vulnerability, or shame. A narcissist might be hiding the fact that they are not secure with themselves. Sometimes they do it very well. (2)
7. Capricious – Prone To Mood Swings
Feeling moody and depressed because of their imperfections. This can lead to many conflicts between relatives of narcissists. It’s very hard to deal with someone who is inconsistent in their behavior as it can feel like walking on eggshells all the time. One minute someone with NPD could be in a happy mood, the nest they could be prone to an aggressive bout of anger.
Being envious of others or believing other people are envious of them. Narcissism can result in the constant jealousy of other people.
An example of common NPD behavior is a mother who can’t accept aging and becomes jealous of the attention her daughter may be getting.
9. Lacking In Empathy
For instance, they are not moved by another person’s plight or being totally insensitive to the needs of others around them. This can seem almost sociopathic at times as a person doesn’t seem to behave with what would be considered a normal reaction to a troubling situation.
10. Exploiting Others
Being exploitative, for instance, always wanting to take advantage of others in order to achieve their own goals.
Narcissists constantly use people. They can be masters of manipulating others to do their bidding and are usually not grateful unless such an action suits their needs.
11. Actively Attention Seeking
Always requiring excessive admiration from their colleagues and social circle, many people with narcissistic personality disorder constantly seek validation.
It’s harder to identify in “selfy” culture, but it’s probably obvious that actively engaging in compliment fishing is not normal behavior. (3)
12. Constant Social Climbing
Believing that they are special and unique. This makes them think that they can and should only associate themselves with high-status people and that people of such class would very much like the opportunity to be around them.
13. Having Unrealistic Expectations
They quite often are always preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, beauty, brilliance, power, or ideal love.
This isn’t to say dreamers are narcissistic, but people with NPD may have unrealistic expectations as opposed to a dreamer who simply knows their dreams are probably unobtainable but dares to dream regardless.
14. Possessing An Inflated Sense Of Self
Having a sense of exaggerated sense of self-importance. Someone with narcissistic personality disorder may be highly intelligent and aware of this. Any skills and exceptional traits will likely be emphasized and amplified. For instance, they tend to exaggerate their talents and achievements and expect to be recognized even when most of what they claim is built on dishonesty.
What Does This All Mean?
People with NPD clearly are difficult people to cope with. Their need for control of everything, constant adulation and their expectations can make knowing them challenging.
How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Diagnosed?
What Is Involved?
This particular disorder may be diagnosed based on:
A Physical Examination
This helps a doctor to ensure that someone doesn’t have any physical problems leading to their symptoms.
Signs & Symptoms
Looking at their behavior to ascertain whether they display the characteristics of NPD.
A Psychological Evaluation
This may also include filling out a type of questionnaire that can allow someone to evaluate the answers to see just how a person thinks and if they indeed have narcissistic tendencies.
It is important to note that someone may theoretically be diagnosed with more than one personality disorder concurrently.
In addition, some of the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder are similar to those of other types of known personal disorders.
Does This All Work?
In most cases, it should. The real question is if the narcissist will be honest with themselves and the evaluator.
How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treated?
NPD Treatment Options
There are a few treatment options for this disorder which may include:
This particular treatment option is based talk therapy. It helps the patient in the following ways:
Showing the patient how to relate better with other people, thus allowing him or her to have more enjoyable, intimate, and rewarding relationships,
Teaching About The Causes Of NPD
Making the patient understand the causes of his or her emotions, and what drives him or her to compete, distrust, and despise others or himself/herself.
This treatment option may take a long time to produce results because of the fact that personality traits are difficult to change.
An individual may be taught the value of positive thinking and self reflection as well as the benefit of working on happy, healthy relationships which reap long term rewards versus the short term validation someone with NPD might be used to.
There are no specific medications for treating this particular disorder. However, if someone may be suffering from depression, anxiety, or other conditions, they might be prescribed some anti- depressants or anti-anxiety drugs.
Some of the home treatments include learning how to relax and manage stress using some stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation.
Learning About The Disorder
Teaching oneself about this disorder will help an individual have a better understanding of its symptoms and risk factors. This will help them to better manage the disorder.
Will This Be Effective?
That will depend on the person involved. Without wanting to change, it’s hard to occur and after all, these are narcissists.
The 14 Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms
As we’ve discussed, someone who has NPD displays 14 symptoms that all can make for a very difficult individual to be around. Unfortunately for the family of such people, they need to find a way to deal with some who is a narcissist.
In some cases, families fracture and the wounds can’t be healed, but in some instances, the person with narcissistic personality disorder becomes self-aware of their condition and seeks help. Sadly, this does not happen in the majority of cases.
There is help available for both people with NPD and their families. Support groups and forums exist for those who have a loved one with this disorder and need to talk and share experiences.
You can visit a narcissist support group here.