Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a type of personality disorder. It affects nearly 1% of the population in the U.S. It’s more prevalent in men than in women; however, it can occur in people of all genders, ages, races and economic statuses. It is common to have mild traits associated with personality disorders, such as NPD. However, a diagnosis of a personality disorder requires that symptoms significantly interfere with relationships, functioning and quality of life. Do you or someone you know possibly have this type of personality disorder? To receive a formal diagnosis, you must visit a licensed clinical therapist. However, you can identify some of the top symptoms below.
What are some of the top signs of narcissistic personality disorder?
Many symptoms can indicate to a licensed clinical therapist that a person has NPD. A diagnosis is typically made when a person exhibits five or more of the following:
- Feeling superior to others or extra special — They possess a sense of superiority. They believe they’re better than those around them and should be treated as such.
- Feeling like others should give them what they want — They have a unique sense of entitlement and often expect others to give them what they want. They may become angry when they don’t receive what they need. They may also use manipulation to obtain what they’re looking for.
- Trouble staying in control of their emotions — People who have developed NPD often have trouble regulating their emotions. They may be prone to avoiding their own feelings. Some people with this personality disorder also react suddenly to uncomfortable emotions.
- Difficulty dealing with pressure or change — Someone with this condition may also have trouble handling excessive stress or changes to their everyday life.
- Aligning themselves with people they feel are important — A person with this type of personality disorder is likely to position themselves closely to people who they believe are also important, as well as those who boost their self-esteem or improve their social standing.
- Difficulty empathizing with others — They also experience trouble empathizing with others. They don’t exhibit the same capability to share or relate to other people’s feelings.
- Wanting to be constantly admired — Someone with this personality disorder needs constant reassurance. They’ll expect the people around them to provide admiration and validation. They may have low self-esteem internally and use external validation to boost their self-image.
What factors may contribute to the development of narcissistic personality disorder?
Experts believe that several potential factors can contribute to the development of this personality disorder. Some of these factors include:
- Family history — Family history is believed to play a role. Having family members with a history of NPD can increase a relative’s odds of NPD.
- Traumatic events during early childhood — Another factor that can cause a person to develop this disorder is traumatic events that occur during childhood. Traumatic or even negative experiences, like frequent criticism or rejection, can cause this type of personality disorder to progress.
- Cultures and societal norms — Cultures that emphasize individualism over collectivism were shown to have higher rates of narcissistic personality disorder. It’s more likely in societies that encourage individualism and narcissistic behaviors.
- Behavior of parents — Certain behaviors and characteristics of parents can lead their children to develop personality disorders like NPD. Parenting behaviors have been linked to NPD in children. Some include overprotectiveness, failure to establish boundaries, too much praise, and abuse.
Lightfully can provide psychotherapy and treatment to those with personality disorders
Our mission at Lightfully is to provide high-quality mental health care to various types of clients. We believe in using a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care. We have experience working with various mental health disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder. That’s why we’re confident that we can help you manage the symptoms of your personality disorder.
Lightfully offers various levels of care to both adults and teens: Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also referred to as our Day Treatment Program. We also offer a Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP) for adults. We meet each client where they are and can help them determine the most likely cause of their personality disorder. From there, we create a personalized, long-term treatment plan, with each client’s plan fully customized for their needs. These are designed to address problems relating to personality disorders.
Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.