Narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder



Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a psychological disorder which is characterized by excessive self-love and admiration which becomes pathologically harmful by making the person socially and emotionally regressive in his thoughts and behavior.


Narcissistic Personality Disorder(NPD) is a disorder that is seen as a psychological disorder affecting approximately one per cent of the world population and six percent in clinical population. It is most commonly seen in men more than women.

A narcissist person associates high worth of personal achievements, appearance and attention with himself and thus seeks praise and admiration from others in order to satisfy his perception of self-worth. This kind of attention seeking behavior becomes pathological in nature when the person crosses the limits of self-appreciation to an extent that he becomes oblivious to other's feelings and emotions in order to achieve his own dreams and fantasies.

This leads to trouble maintaining deep and meaningful relationships with others and in extreme cases becoming socially aloof. People with this disorder seldom recognize this problem in them as they cannot bring themselves to believe that something might be wrong with their mind and behavior. Thus, diagnosis and treatment is not only difficult but also ineffective in most of the cases.


Causes of NPD have been deep rooted in the childhood formative years during five to thirteen year of age. During these years, a child might develop the innate reasons why he might end up being a narcissist individual. Children who get excessive attention from their parents because of myriad of reasons develop a sense of high self-worth because of unrealistic appreciation, love and attention being given from people around them. An opposite case of narcissist may also occur when a child does not receive any love or care form the parents.

These children start having their own world and perceptions about them. In both the cases, the ultimate results and symptoms are very similar and the two cases cannot be seen as distinct from each other. Apart from the social and personal causes, clinical causes of NPD can be biological differences that might result into narcissism as structural abnormalities in the brain have been recently documented. Specifically, researchers have noted that narcissists have less volume in gray matter in the left anterior insula, which is related to empathy.


A narcissist person can be recognized by one or more sigs which are evident in his thought process or behavior. These symptoms are: believing that the person himself is better than other individuals around him, imagining about control, accomplishment and appeal, overstatinghis own accomplishments or aptitudes, expecting continuousadmiration and appreciation, considering that the person himself is exceptional and performing in view of that, failing to be familiar with other people's feelings and outlooks, supposing others to go along with histhoughtsand strategies, captivatingbenefit of others, articulatingcontempt for people whom he feels as mediocre, being resentful of others, considering that others are envious of him, unable to maintain  strong relationships, creating impractical objectives, getting offended and disallowed at slightest reasons, having a fragile self-esteem, acting like a tough-minded or unemotional person to look like stoic and balanced.

These symptoms are commonly seen and observed in a person by close friends, spouses and colleagues because they are the ones who deal with them on everyday basis. A narcissist person may look and talk likes a normal person for a while because they have a modest and composed demeanor which they put forward in order to avoid any criticism. However, people who know them closely can make out the psychological problem they go through in order to maintain their high self-worth.

.Relationship to each of the two areas

NPD can be associated to two of following fieldsof psychology: Social psychology and Emotions.

Social Psychology deals with the study of the effect on behavior and attitude of a psychologically disturbed person in actual or perceived presence of other individuals around him. This field can be associated with NPD with respect to the kind of pattern shown by a narcissist person when he is makes a social appearance or interacts with the individuals of his society. A narcissist person carries a huge and false pretense around him by which he cannot see the actual worth of his appearance, accomplishments and attitude. This makes him insecure and self-possessed to a degree that he handles even a slightest criticism with anger and abuse. To avoid such situations, narcissist person can take recourse. The first is the one in which he confronts the society with excessive pretention of modesty humility and good behavior. This is to avoid any situation which might make him ashamed. Another way to handle this is to become socially aloof and become secluded from society in order to avoid criticism. This shows very low self-esteem along with high self-worth. These two conflicting ideas make a narcissist person a social conceit or a socially secluded individual.

Emotional aspect of psychology studies about how an individual deals with the sentimental aspect of his personality with others. Narcissist person is always engrossed with his own feelings and achievements which give him little mind space to actually think about other's perceptions and feelings. His entire though process is driven by his own dreams and aspirations and thus he only sees other individuals as a means to attain his own goals. This leaves him emotionally drained and incapable of identifying with the feelings of others. Most of NPD sufferers fail to understand that other individuals around them are real people with real feelings and that sharing of feelings and emotions need to be a two way process. Because of lack of any meaningful relationships in their life NPD patients create a cocoon around them which makes them escape them from the emotional aspects of any relationship.

Concluding Remark

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a border line case when a positive self-confidence and proud crosses over to become a case of negative feeling of high self-worth and perception that lead to false pretense in emotional, social and personal aspects of an individual's life. This feeling is characterized by abnormal behavior commonly called as megalomaniac or egocentrism. Most successful people in the world are characterized by one or more symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and thus it is easily to understand that people with confidence can either use be highly successful or they can have a false self-worth. The disorder that can easily become pathological in nature when the symptoms stem from the deep rooted causes during the childhood years.

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