Many people blame the word "narcissist" for describing a former partner or an outstanding politician . However, there is much misinformation about what narcissism is, and what it means by what it means to have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NDS). Let us clarify some facts.
. 1 Narcissism is a personality trait that focuses on ownership and exists in a spectrum.
Just as people are different in their spontaneous, independent, thoughtful, or protective ways, people can also vary in the nature of narcissism ̵
"Healthy self esteem and pride in one's accomplishments [are] a good thing" (Psychologist ) Angela Grace Ph.D., says SELF. "As narcissism continues, however, there may be a sense of exaggerated self-esteem, generosity, exploitation, and lack of empathy for other people."
Although not necessarily indicative of a potential mental health problem. "People who do not have a" disorder "may still have narcissistic tendencies," says Alice Frye a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor at UMass Lowell, to SELF. These tendencies may increase when someone is under stress or in other emotionally difficult times, says Frye. Narcissism, however, becomes a disruption when someone experiences it so persistently that it influences his life on a regular basis.
. 2 Narcissistic personality disorder is about a long, bloated sense of self, lack of empathy for other and related symptoms.
The NPD is listed as Personality Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical of the American Psychiatric Association Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). According to the Merck Manual people suffering from NPD permanently show at least five of the following symptoms in early adulthood:
- An overwhelming sense of self-worth
- An obsession with fantasies of unbelievably successful success. powerful, intelligent, attractive or loved
- Conviction that they are more special and unique than others
- Desire for excessive admiration
- A strong sense of entitlement
- A habit of constantly using other people
- Lack of empathy with others
- envy against others
- A haughty attitude
3. Experts believe that the characteristic oversized self-esteem of NPD is due to a person's low self-esteem.
As the Mayo Clinic of 19459040 explains, this exaggerated self-esteem seems to be a way of overcompensating for low self-esteem. "A bloated sense of self … is actually a protection that people use with the NPD to hide extreme injuries that they feel embarrassed or feel guilty of," explains the psychiatrist Dr. Laura Dabney opposite SELF.
Therefore, as the Mayo Clinic states, it becomes very difficult for people with NPD to handle criticism – they are self-critical.
. 4 It is not clear how common a NPD is.
As there is a considerable need for research on this topic, there are no firm figures on how widespread NPD is. According to DSM-5, the estimates are between 0 and 6.2 percent of the population with NPD, which is somehow confusing. Here is the deal.
For 2010, the DSM-5 cites an overview of studies from Comprehensive Psychiatry . In this review, seven different studies published between January 1980 and August 2008 with a total of 49,812 adults were studied and a mean NPD prevalence of 1.06 percent was established.
The range of 0 to 6.2 percent comes from two of these studies, both of which had large studies. nationally representative samples and found significantly different results. In a 2007 study published in Biological Psychiatry the researchers conducted personal interviews with 9,282 adults and concluded that 0 percent of them met the criteria for an NPD. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and involving researchers who conducted individual interviews with 34,653 adults found that 6.2 percent of participants met the diagnostic criteria for NPD.
The take away? More research is needed before experts can determine how widespread NPD actually is.
. 5 It appears that narcissistic features and NPD are more common in men than in women.
An extensive report from 2014 in Psychological Bulletin examined the gender-specific differences in narcissism for interesting results. After studying 31 years of narcissism research with 470 846 participants, the authors of the study came to the conclusion that on average men have rather narcissistic characteristics such as aspiration and power.
To clarify this question, it clarified aspects of narcissism as a personality trait, not a narcissistic personality disorder. For example, men and women showed about the same level of self-absorption, another personality trait that is a cornerstone of NPD. It seems that this gender-specific trend with narcissism as a personality trait corresponds to the actual personality disorder since the Mayo Clinic that NPD is more prevalent among men.
The authors of the study explain that many of these personality differences are culturally rooted. For example, the outdated social expectation is that men are more natural leaders, so they tend to seek power. Further research is needed to comprehensively explore potential social and biological factors for gender differences in narcissism and NPD.
. 6 Experts do not know exactly what causes the NPD.
"Little is known about causative factors of narcissistic personality disorder" Anthony DeMaria Ph.D., clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells SELF.
Some people may be genetically predisposed to developing NPD, says the Mayo Clinic . The condition is probably also related to brain chemistry. A small study from 2010 in the Journal of Psychiatric Research examined brain images of 34 individuals, half of them with NPD and half without. The researchers found that individuals with NPD in parts of the brain associated with empathy had less gray matter, such as the left anterior insula, but there is no definitive evidence for this connection.
Children who may be biologically predisposed to the NPD They are also at increased risk when growing up with overprotective or negligent parents, according to the Mayo Clinic . DeMaria presents the examples of a parent who calls his child "a big disappointment" because he has received a B in a test, or a parent who apologizes for his child's behavior by saying that it is the same as it is. "None of the scenarios would promote healthy and adaptive behavior or a stable sense of self," explains DeMaria.
. 7 Diagnosing NPD can be difficult as there are no simple tests and it shares symptoms with other diseases. 19659046] Although NPD symptoms can occur during puberty, experts usually wait until adulthood to make a diagnosis, DeMaria said. This helps to ensure that these "symptoms" are not just due to the fact that a person involves himself while growing up is more suitable as an adult.
There is no laboratory test that can provide an NPD diagnosis, instead a psychiatrist can use interviews or questionnaires to see if anyone shows the NPD symptoms listed in the DSM-5. The Cleveland Clinic explains.
To complicate matters, the NPD has symptoms that are common to other mental illnesses. The Clinical Psychologist John Mayer Ph.D., reports SELF. antisocial personali The disorder can also evoke a feeling of superiority and lack of empathy. That's one reason why a thorough survey is so important.
Therapy can help someone with the NPD, but only if they are willing to participate in the work.
DeMaria says the NPD is "one of the hardest-to-treat mental illnesses."
According to Mayo Clinic there are no FDA approved drugs for the treatment of personality disorders like NPD, probably because scientists do not quite understand which parts of the brain or chemical imbalances can contribute. (People with NPD, however, may take medicines to deal with common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression .)
Instead, treatment at the NPD revolves around Therapy ]. The problem is that people who have a NPD avoid admitting that something is going on, let alone seeing a therapist. "If you think you deserve special treatment and stand above all others," says Grace. "Why on earth would you seek treatment for what you consider another's problem?"
Still, you do not have to assume that all hope is lost if you believe that a loved one has an NPD. According to Dabney's experience, people with NPD are seeking treatment because their difficulties with humans can manifest themselves, such as: For example, you may be repeatedly fired, lose contact with your adult children, or fight for intimate relationships.
"If a loved one can emphasize" For someone with NPD, mental health care can help with their relationships, that could work, "says Dabney. If the person in question is someone close to you, like a partner, Dabney suggests agreeing on a joint therapy appointment and saying, "Our relationship is in trouble and I have an appointment with one Consultant agrees date and time. I hope you come because, among other things, we will talk about you. "After Dabney's experience, this has worked every time.
The treatment of NPD is considered a success if a person realizes that they have strengths and weaknesses like other people, says DeMaria. Dabney explains that one of the main goals is to interact with others in a healthier way. This does not necessarily mean that a person with a NPD will completely leave these personality traits behind, but with a tendency to re-shape their self-image and others, they can potentially live a more balanced life.
. 9 The NPD is widely misunderstood, so it is important to inform yourself and others about what narcissism really means.
Mayer says that people often associate the NPD with someone who is "spoiled" or poorly socialized, but it is much more than that. Unfortunately, the "narcissistic" label is still "overrated, overused and misused "(19659058). "Narcissistic personality disorder is a serious diagnostic label," says Frye. "It should be used very carefully and only by a specialist."