If we were to ask what is narcissism we should define it as a trait displayed by someone who has an overly inflated sense of self-worth. Someone who lacks empathy is selfish and has a sense of entitlement. It affects approximately 1 percent of the population with a greater prevalence amongst men than women.
Narcissistic personality disorder should not be confused with having high self-esteem or confidence, it goes far beyond that and is a definite mental disorder.
The narcissism symptoms can vary, but most often they include:
- Requiring adoration and being made to feel special and having a sense of entitlement.
- A tendency to believe they are the best at everything and to exaggerate their accomplishments and ability.
- Being overly self-important.
- Expecting too much of others and expecting them to comply unquestioningly with their expectations.
- Believing they automatically deserve the best of everything – car, house, etc.
- Appearing to be conceited or boastful and behaving in an arrogant manner.
- Believing others are envious of them and displaying envy of others.
- Not wishing or able to recognize the needs of others. Displaying a lack of empathy.
- Getting what they want is everything, even if they need to take advantage of others.
- Looking down on others and always needing to be the center of attention.
- Believing they are superior and only want to deal with others who are similar.
- An inability to handle even the slightest criticism.
- Having problems controlling their emotions and displaying extreme behaviour.
- Although they try to display otherwise they actually feel very insecure.
People who develop a narcissistic personality disorder are likely to suffer issues when they do not receive the special treatment they think they deserve and may have problems with school, work, relationships or dealing with financial issues. It can be a challenge for them to function in society and they are likely to need help at some point. At the Energetics Institute, we are trained to talk through your problems and put together the best treatment program. If you or a loved one are dealing with an issue involving narcissistic personality disorder in the Perth or surrounding areas, give us a call on 0414 897024.
It is a thin line to decide when somebody just has an extreme personality and when they are actually mentally ill and in need of treatment from a doctor, so calling us will allow us to talk through your options and see what help may be appropriate. Talk therapy is the most effective option so booking an initial consultation with us is an ideal way to begin.
What Causes Narcissism
What exactly causes narcissism is still a bit of an unknown. As is often the case with types of mental disorder it is a complex issue and so far we have ideas rather than proven facts as to what makes narcissistic personality disorder develop.
One popular theory is that the environment during childhood plays a big role, with mismatched relationships between the parent and the child being problematic, either through too much criticism or too much praise. Similarly, genetics are thought to play a role, where you inherit characteristics from your parents.
Neurobiology which is the study of the connection between your brain and way of thinking and behaving is an interesting idea to study with people suffering from narcissistic personality disorder.
People with narcissistic personality disorder often have less grey matter on the part of the brain which regulates empathy, compassion, cognitive functioning, and emotions.
We may be born with these character traits, but many doctors believe they become apparent during development when we are faced with conflict.
Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder
Usually, psychotherapy also known as talk therapy is the treatment for narcissistic personality disorder. There may be certain medications prescribed if other mental health concerns are present.
Psychotherapy can be useful to teach you how to better understand and empathize with others and therefore develop better relationships. It can also help you to understand the reason you behave as you do and to get a better grip on your emotions.
It can be difficult to get a typical narcissistic person to seek treatment as they are unlikely to accept there is a problem, but the fact is many of these people are deeply unhappy and truly suffer so they would undoubtedly benefit from therapy.
Progress often takes considerable time, as the psychotherapy focuses on behavioural changes and involves accepting responsibility and accepting the need to change, so it is a gradual process. Over time it is possible to build better relationships and recognize the need to behave in a more acceptable manner.
Other things that can we worked on, include:
- Learning to accept failures and criticisms
- Learning to accept realistic goals and lifestyle and that regular life is quite a nice way to live
- Learning to get along better and maintain relationships with family members and co-workers
- Learning to better understand your feelings
Treatment for narcissism is not a straightforward process, so consulting with Energetics Institute is a good way to begin to confront your issue with narcissistic personality disorder. Call us today for an appointment!