Guide To Diagnosing And Treating Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder is a personality disorder that occurs when an individual has an inflated sense of self-importance that covers a very fragile sense of self-esteem. A person with this disorder creates a sense of superiority and self-importance to avoid dealing with their fears and insecurities. They tend to require large amounts of external validation, admiration, and praise. Patients with narcissistic personality disorder also struggle to cope with criticism, because they can't acknowledge themselves as flawed individuals without also needing to acknowledge their insecurities. Though narcissistic behavior can occur in many different types of people, a hallmark of narcissistic personality disorder is that the affected individual experiences deep unhappiness, disappointment, and dissatisfaction in their life. They may also experience issues with their day-to-day functioning, interpersonal relationships, and career due to their behavior.

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Thorough Psychological Evaluation


The first step to diagnosing narcissistic personality disorder is through a thorough psychological evaluation. Personality disorders are defined by a distortion in thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors that affects an individual's whole sense of self, which can make diagnosing and treating them difficult. Patients with narcissistic personality disorder oftentimes don't realize that anything is wrong, or if they do, they blame others for the problems instead of themselves. A big issue with narcissistic personality disorder is an inability to understand that the self is flawed, which can make it difficult to get a patient with this condition to seek treatment. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder often receive a diagnosis only after they've been given an ultimatum by people or institutions in their lives. It's sometimes difficult for them to accept the diagnosis. However, proceeding with treatment is the only way to achieve equilibrium and happiness. The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder can sometimes be similar to those of personality disorders like avoidant personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or antisocial personality disorder. For this reason, a skilled mental health practitioner must consider all aspects of the patient's behavior and mental health history.

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Katherine MacAulay