Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Personality disorders are mental health disorders that are defined by established and enduring patterns of behaviour and thinking that interfere with your ability to function and maintain healthy relationships, and in general, impact your life negatively.
There are 10 personality disorders that are divided into 3 clusters:
- Cluster A: Odd or abnormal behaviour
- Cluster B: Dramatic or emotional behaviour
- Cluster C: Anxious or fearful behaviour
Narcissistic personality disorder is categorized under Cluster B (dramatic or emotional behaviour) and is characterized by having a very inflated sense of self-esteem and feelings of entitlement. Someone with this mental health disorder tends to be vain and displays a lack empathy for others.
Symptoms & signs of narcissistic personality disorder include:
- Inability to have an intimate relationship
- Lack of empathy for others
- Inflated sense of self-importance
- Extreme attention-seeking behaviour
- Sense of entitlement
- Expecting recognition without effort to earn recognition
- Expects to have a high social or work status and prefers to only be around people from that same status
- Setting extremely high and unreachable personal standards
- Manipulative in an effort to get what they want
- Handles criticism badly
- Poor emotional regulation
When is it time to get help?
Unfortunately, people with narcissistic personality disorder rarely see fault in themselves so it can be difficult to convince them to seek help. For them to face the fact that they are imperfect is very challenging for their self esteem. As a result, sometimes people with this personality disorder may become depressed, anxious, or get involved in destructive behaviours such as out of control sexual behaviours or substance use. If you are experiencing the above symptoms, or have had people close to you express concern or encourage you to seek treatment, then it may be time to seek help.
Narcissistic personality disorder treatment methods
Treatment methods that may be effective in treating narcissistic personality disorder include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Behavioural therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment, looking at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes.
- Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a treatment method that is similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) but emphasizes building skills to manage stress, mental health issues, and the psycho-social aspects of relationship building.
- Mindfulness therapy is an approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves, others, and the world. The ability to be in the moment, to acknowledge and regulate your emotions helps you to break free from negative thought patterns.
- Psychoanalytical therapy’s key figure is Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud was one of the few individuals who developed a comprehensive model of understanding under one theory. This theory has been able to encompass personality development, the complete philosophy of human nature and even psychotherapy.
- Psychodynamic therapy’s core principle is that the unconscious mind harbours deep-rooted feelings and memories, which affects behaviour. Psychodynamic therapists work within this model by attempting to maintain more of an equal relationship with their client while also adopting the attitude of unconditional acceptance and trust
To choose the right combination of treatments, an assessment will first be done, and together with your therapist, you’ll find the treatment method that best suits your unique personality and circumstances.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
By meeting with a therapist, you can learn about why your behaviour is narcissistic. Learning the cause of your disorder is important in helping you to change how you behave towards others and how you perceive yourself. You can practice strategies to make your relationships healthier and more meaningful, and to find peace within yourself. We have knowledgeable and non-judgmental therapists who can support you. Please call us today!