By: Julia Keys
It is common in today’s world to call someone who is very clean “OCD”, or someone who is very active “ADHD”, or someone who is overly confident a “narcissist”. What many people do not know is that narcissism is not an adjective to describe someone’s personality, but a real psychiatric diagnosis. The DSM IV identifies narcissism as a personality disorder. Personality disorders are characterized by a set of rigid traits, thoughts, and behaviors that are unhealthy and inflexible. Narcissistic personality disorder or (NPD) is characterized by an overinflated sense of self, preoccupation with personal success, and apathy for other’s emotions.
Signs of narcissistic personality disorder:
- Grandiose sense of self-importance
- Preoccupation with fantasies of success, power, brilliance, beauty.
- Belief that one is unusually special or unique
- Need for excessive admiration
- Strong sense of entitlement
- Exploitative of others
- Lacks empathy
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of them
- Frequent display of arrogant or haughty behavior
Although people with NPD display an arrogant and larger-than-life picture to the outside world, they can also suffer from low self-esteem internally. The constant need for approval and obsession with success can be stressful because in reality, one will never gain approval from everyone and one will never achieve everything they want. Trouble with interpersonal relationships often results from the exploitative and apathetic behaviors that people with NPD believe will help them achieve their goals.
People with NPD can look like the perfect partner upon first meeting. They are often charismatic and appear to be very put together. However, being in a relationship with a person with NPD can be complicated and stressful. People with NPD lie frequently to get what they want, which can cause a breach of trust in a serious relationship. People with NPD rarely apologize because they lack the empathy to understand the point of view of their partners. Additionally, people with NPD think that they are perfect and will dismiss others who have opinions contrary to theirs. Although people with NPD can be extremely difficult to live with, they can still be a loved one that you care about.
If you or someone you love has narcissistic personality disorder and is struggling with the symptoms, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/
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