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Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Authored by Granite Recovery Centers    Reviewed by James Gamache    Last Updated: August 27th, 2021


James Gamache Medical Reviewer
Jim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Licensed Masters Level Addictions Counselor (MLADC). He has been working in the field of mental health/addiction treatment since 1995. Jim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Springfield College in 2000, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 2002. In 2002 Jim was hired by the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester holding the position of Clinical Case Manager. From 2004-2019, Jim was employed at WestBridge Inc. During his time at WestBridge, Jim held the following positions; Clinician, Team Leader, Director, & Chief Operations Officer. In 2019 Jim transitioned employment to GateHouse Treatment Center as the Clinical Director for 10 months. In October of 2020 Jim transitioned to Granite Recovery Centers and is currently serving as the Senior VP of Clinical Services and Quality Assurance.

Narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD, is a personality disorder in which individuals have an exaggerated sense of self-worth. They also possess a strong need for other people’s respect and affection. When they aren’t offered the praise or special favors they feel entitled to receive, people with NPD can be generally depressed and frustrated. Others may regard people with NPD as snobbish and arrogant and dislike being around them.

NPD can trigger issues in a variety of ways, including:

  • Work
  • School
  • Partnerships

However, talk therapy and certain behavioral modifications may help treat the condition.

 

Identifying Narcissistic Personality Disorder Traits

The following are typical characteristics of those with NPD:

  • Conceited
  • Self-absorbed
  • Demanding

They generally have high self-esteem and feel they are superior or unique in comparison to others. However, they seem to require an overwhelming amount of attention and appreciation, and they respond negatively to perceived scrutiny.

Narcissists often have a tendency to exaggerate their own abilities and achievements while downplaying others. Strength, popularity and attractiveness are generally on their minds. They can also partake in impulsive habits like risky sex or gambling.

NPD has several characteristics that resemble confidence. Positive morale and NPD, on the other hand, are not the same thing.

People with NPD are seldom modest while people with high self-esteem are. They tend to position themselves on a pedestal and think of themselves as superior to others.

 

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The onset of NPD is generally in early adulthood. Since the disorder goes against their self-image, people with it do not realize they have a problem. If you have all of the following symptoms, you might have NPD:

  • Others shun you because you come across as arrogant and boastful.
  • Your partnerships are unsatisfactory.
  • When things don’t go your way, you get sad, furious and frustrated.
  • You’re having problems with work, school, partnerships, money, liquor or drugs.

Book an appointment with Granite Recovery Centers if you think you have NPD. A specialist can test you for this personality disorder and provide options to handle your symptoms.

Doctors and mental health providers use the American Psychiatric Association’s updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, to diagnose mental disorders like NPD. The following characteristics are used in the DSM-5 diagnosis criterion for NPD:

  • Feeling a sense of self-importance and entitlement
  • Requiring consistent appreciation and respect
  • Expecting preferential care as a result of a sense of dominance
  • Exaggerating one’s abilities and accomplishments
  • Retaliating against criticism
  • Being consumed by delusions of strength, wealth and beauty
  • Unfairly utilizing the resources of others
  • Having difficulty considering other people’s wishes and emotions
  • Having a rude demeanor

Your psychiatrist or mental health specialist may ask you to fill out a questionnaire to see whether you satisfy these criteria. Other psychiatric illnesses and physical problems such as substance addiction can be evaluated in the process.

 

Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

NPD’s triggers aren’t fully known. However, many cases of NPD are believed to be caused by hereditary genetic abnormalities. Environmental factors that can play a role include:

  • Childhood maltreatment or negligence
  • Unreasonable parental pampering
  • Parents’ unrealistic expectations
  • Adultery
  • Cultural consequences

 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is the most common form of treatment for NPD. If NPD signs converge with depression or another mental health disease, the other condition may be treated with appropriate medications. NPD, on the other hand, is not treatable by drugs.

Talk therapy should help you improve your interpersonal relationships and make them more fun, intimate and satisfying. Good relationships with others can significantly enhance a variety of aspects of your life. In addition, talk therapy will teach you how to:

  • Collaborate more effectively among coworkers and colleagues
  • Keep your intimate relationships intact
  • Recognize your potential and capabilities so that you can acknowledge scrutiny and frustration
  • Acknowledge and control your emotions
  • Resolve any self-esteem issues
  • Set attainable objectives for yourself

Since personality patterns are challenging to alter, treatment can take several years before you see results. You might see rehabilitation as a waste of time during this period and be tempted to halt. It’s essential, though, to stick with the recovery plan.

Attend all of your counseling appointments and take any drugs prescribed by your doctor. You’ll see a marked difference in yourself and your relationships with others as time goes by.

The behavioral changes mentioned below can be beneficial as you go through rehabilitation:

  • Alcohol, medications and other substances that cause harmful habits should be avoided.
  • To improve overall mood, exercise at least three days a week.
  • Reduce tension and anxiety by using calming exercises such as yoga and meditation.

It takes years to recover from a narcissistic personality disorder. Keep yourself optimistic by remembering your recovery goals and telling yourself that you should continue to fix broken relationships in order to be happier in your life.

 

The Prognosis for a Person Suffering From Narcissistic Personality Disorder

NPD signs typically develop over time, and treating the disorder likewise takes time. You will more likely be able to restore broken relationships and become more comfortable with your daily life if you remain motivated and consistently push for improvement.

Treatment benefits can vary based on the seriousness of your symptoms and your ability to stick to them.

 

Living With Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Although treating narcissistic personality disorder can be difficult, it is treatable. Counseling with a psychiatrist or counselor can be very beneficial as it can improve the way you think and deal with people on a daily basis.

Remember that you have control of your actions and that you can alter it at any moment.

If you live with someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder, you may wonder how to help them during treatment. When they do something right, feel free to compliment them. When it’s necessary, express empathy and understand when they’re sad. In turn, you should feel free to remind the individual when they are arrogant or rude.

Prepare for objections predicated on “calling them out,” but keep in mind that if the person with NPD is unaware that their actions are creating complications, they will be less likely to seek treatment.

 

Preparing for Your Appointment

You may begin by consulting with your doctor, or your doctor can refer you to a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Create a list of the following items before your appointment:

  • Any signs you’re having and how long you’ve been experiencing them, such as what types of incidents are likely to make you mad or frustrated
  • Vital personal records, such as stressful experiences in the past and any recent significant stressors
  • Your records and all other physical or mental health problems you’ve been diagnosed with
  • Drugs, vitamins, herbs or other probiotics you take as well as the dosages

You should also prepare some questions to ask the mental health specialist in order to get the best out of your consultation. If necessary, bring along a trustworthy family member or friend to help you recall the specifics. Furthermore, anyone who has known you for a long time may be willing to ask pertinent questions or share relevant details.

The following are few basic questions to ask your mental health provider:

  • What kind of condition do you believe I have?
  • Is it possible that I have other mental health issues?
  • What is the treatment’s goal?
  • What therapies are most likely to work for me?
  • How much do you think my quality of life will change as a result of treatment?
  • How much and for how long will I need therapy sessions?
  • Will family or group counseling be beneficial in my situation?
  • Are there any drugs that will alleviate my symptoms?
  • I still have these other health issues. How do I better treat them all at the same time?
  • Is it possible for me to get brochures or other written materials?
  • What websites do you suggest?

 

What to Anticipate From the Mental Health Professional

Your mental health provider can ask you the following questions to help fully comprehend your symptoms and how they are impacting your life:

  • What are the signs and symptoms?
  • When do these signs appear, and how long will they last?
  • What impact do your symptoms have on your life, including education, jobs and personal relationships?
  • How do you react and how do you feel when others seem to condemn or dismiss you?
  • Do you have any close friends or family members? If not, why do you believe that is the case?
  • What are your most notable accomplishments?
  • What are your long-term objectives?
  • How do you respond when someone asks for your assistance?
  • How do you respond when someone communicates uncomfortable emotions to you, such as anxiety or sadness?
  • What words would you use to explain your upbringing, including your relationship with your parents?
  • Have any of your immediate family members been diagnosed with a mental health condition, such as a personality disorder?
  • Have you received treatment for any other mental health issues? If so, which therapies were the most effective?
  • Do you use alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs? How frequently?
  • Do you have any other medical problems that you are being treated for?

 

Granite Recovery Centers

At Granite Recovery Centers, certified physicians offer evidence-based restorative psychotherapies closely integrated into a 12-step program guided by trained 12-step facilitators.

Evidence-based therapy is a compendium of clinically validated psychotherapeutic methods that help individuals identify, dissect and rewire unhealthy feelings and habits. Cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, trauma therapy, and grief and loss therapy are only a few of the clinical treatments utilized at Granite Recovery Centers.

 

Extended Care

Our four extended care centers provide more formal support and therapy to clients who prefer or need it while also instilling sober ideals and promoting early recovery for a rewarding life. Extended care is a “step down” stage of the protocol for those who have previously completed a residential primary therapy program. It helps individuals to brace for their future independence by using their main treatment concepts and skills.

 

Holistic Therapies

Holistic therapies are used to heal and unite the mind, body and spirit. Mind-calming, body-improvement and behavioral pivoting strategies provide body-centric approaches such as yoga, meditation and exercise. Our innovative interventions supplement our 12-step treatment model by assisting people in resolving physical and emotional imbalances and healing through mindfulness and self-acceptance.

 

Clinical Therapies

It’s possible that your NPD co-occurs with substance abuse, which we can also treat. Individual and community counseling sessions that focus on identifying the root factors and mechanisms of substance misuse and reconciling with the harmful consequences are commonly used in clinical-based services at our drug and alcohol treatment facility. Patients learn how to process various factors differently and react soberly to stimuli through behavioral counseling interventions with medical therapists as well as group therapy. The following are the most often used during psychotherapies in opioid and alcohol rehab centers:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Loss and grief counseling
  • PTSD and trauma therapy

 

Alumni Program

Granite Recovery Centers is privileged to have an extensive alumni network that has matured into a burgeoning recovery community. By empowering our alumni to remain involved, we keep group involvement at the center of their healing, allowing them to build bonds with their colleagues and find help when they need it.

We have alumni activities and outings during the year, such as golf, movies, laser tag and paintball, and we invite graduates who live locally to participate. Our alumni boost their healing and maintain their fellowship by staying in contact with one another. They are a family in every meaningful sense, with shared memories, mutual love and a unified voice.

No matter what you are seeking help with, Granite Recovery Centers can offer resources to help. Reach out today.

At Granite Recovery Centers, we want to provide accurate information about health and addiction so that our readers can make informed decisions.

We have credentialed medical doctors & clinicians who specialize in addiction treatment review the information on our website before it is published. We use credible sources such as government websites and journal articles when citing statistics or other medically related topics.