A narcissistic personality is self obsessed, grandiose, boastful, lacks empathy, and has an irrational need for admiration. It is a character associated disorder. In many cases, it has led to the creation of some successful personalities. However, it may be a cause of great concern if it results in stress, anxiety, and drug abuse. In the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions conducted in the year 2004-05, 6.2% people were found to be affected by a lifetime narcissistic personality disorder.
It is important to understand what exactly constitutes this type of mental disorder. Youth are also characterized with some extent of admiration and self-involvement traits in their behavior. However, it's a natural reaction of their age group and not a disorder, which fades away as they encounter more and more life experiences. The NPD, on the other hand is less of self obsession and more of a disturbed personal and social health. There is a clear difference between a mental disorder that is inherent or condition since childhood caused due to some emotional deprivation and a narcissistic personality acquired over the years. The former case cannot be treated whereas a behavioral pattern that has developed over a period of time can be modified only through proper care and attention. A person affected by NPD is an unwilling character rather than a person who is diseased and unable to recover.
Characteristics of the Affected Individuals
The narcissist individuals demand recognition as superior beings. They consider themselves way 'ahead' in thought, efficiency, or performance than their peers. They are extremely averse to criticism of any form and are very sensitive to failure or 'perceived' failure. On being subjected to the same, they may feel extremely dejected, let down, and empty. Socially, they have absolute disregard for others sense and sensibilities, and exhibit a severe lack of understanding about their commitments. On defeat, they can react with a prolonged withdrawal from social life or react violently. In extreme situations, this can lead to substance abuse, depression, or any mental disorder. A 'NPD' affected person can turn the unwillingness to face defeat as a propellant to a successful life. But more often than not, it results in poor relations, severe drop in skill levels, and lack of will to take up challenges and risky tasks.
Some people have an obsessive need or habit to bully others constantly almost to the point of absurdity. Then there are others who have a habit to boast of their achievements, qualifications, or relations to the extent of being childish. Such behavior on a regular basis leads to cheating, faking, or any anti-social activity in order to live up to their own illogical expectations. The affected people may get involved in romantic or sexual relationships just to prove their control over others feelings and emotions, and to achieve their own mean goals leading to vanity. They may even show utter disregard or a contemptuous attitude towards others and demand a lifestyle which suits their own nature.
Diagnoses and Cure
Although there are no obvious physical symptoms, certain tests like blood samples and X-rays can verify the relation between a physical abnormality and this mental disorder, if it exists. In all other cases, a psychiatrist or psychologist can examine a patient for signs of NPD. General life-healing procedures are the best way to treat this condition. A psychotherapeutic treatment, extensive counseling sessions by a person loved and respected by the patient, and psychotherapy may have a profound effect in healing. There is an immense need of patience for the healer to understand the fragile nature of the affected person.
A good and responsible social involvement accompanied by a supportive family or friends, and cultivating a deep sense of gratitude to the little joys of life is a sure way to overcome this disorder.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of a mental health expert.