The narcissistic personality disorder is one identified by symptoms of self-obsession, and the need for praise and admiration. It has been termed as a disorder because the levels of self-obsession and the need for recognition are beyond what is assumed to be normal. When these individuals don't receive the praise they think they deserve, they tend to become excessively anxious and depressed. Narcissistic persons however, will not consider suicide, as they love themselves too much to do so. The causes of this disorder are not very clear, and may center around significant childhood experiences that have led to low self-esteem and a false sense of grandiosity. Before we take a look at the treatment methods, we will first identify the related symptoms.
Though it is difficult to trace the causes of this disorder, there are some very specific symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder by which it can be identified. These have been mentioned here.
- Those who suffer from this disorder have an exaggerated sense of their selves.
- Such individuals are constantly under the belief that someone or the other is always jealous of them. On the other hand, they too are jealous of others as they have a low self-esteem.
- Examples include negative reactions to any form of criticism, even if it is constructive. They feel rejected and hurt when such criticism is expressed by others around them.
- A heightened superiority complex that shows in the form of considering everyone else inferior is another trait by which they can be identified.
- They have a deep need for power, success, and great achievements, and expect everyone around them to go along with them in achieving these dreams. Usually, the goals they have are unrealistic.
- Though they project themselves as unemotional, insensitive beings, they have a deep problem with their self-esteem that makes them look like that. All these symptoms lead them to have disturbed or unhealthy personal and professional relationships.
When the aforementioned symptoms are observed and reported to a doctor or a psychiatrist, an attempt will be made to diagnose this condition by the means of some tests. This may require the individual to attend some sessions with a psychiatrist. A person suffering from this disorder will actually refuse to accept that she/he suffers from any problem in the first place. Gaining the trust and acceptance of the individual is essential in order to carry out suitable treatment.
- Medication: An individual suffering from narcissistic personality disorder will refuse to first accept, and then take medication for this condition they do not believe they are suffering from. However, the medication prescribed will only treat the condition superficially and not internally. For instance, medication will be prescribed to treat the anxiety associated with this condition, and not the condition itself.
- Therapy: The ideal treatment method is cognitive behavioral therapy. In these sessions, the psychiatrist will slowly first gain the trust of the patient, enough for her/him to let out her/his deep-rooted fears and anxieties. Over time, such individuals will be taught how to accept their true selves, and others as they are. It is definitely a time-consuming process, and it is the psychiatrist's job to ensure that the patient sees it through. While complete recovery is never guaranteed, CBT combined with psychotherapy is one of the best ways to tackle the condition.
- Meditation: Meditation is known to increase awareness in one's mind, which is when it becomes another effective way to treat this disorder. Simply by an increase in the individual's awareness, the process of therapy will become more effective.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.