Narcissist?  Narcissistic Personality Disorder Explained

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

What Is a narcissism?  In this article you will learn about narcissistic personality disorder. A narcissist is a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.  They are also described as an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance. 


You may have heard the term narcissistic personality a lot recently.  Narcissistic personality disorder is a real and serious mental health disorder that affects around 5% of the population (those that have been diagnosed).  Narcissism is one of 10 personality disorders. Someone with a narcissistic personality disorder may think, feel, and behave in ways that hurt themselves or others.


Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The exact causes of narcissistic personality disorder are unknown.  However, certain factors may contribute to the likelihood of someone developing a personality disorder such as narcissistic personality disorder.  These factors include:


  • Childhood trauma (such as physical, sexual, and verbal abuse).
  • Early relationships with parents, friends, and relatives.
  • Genetics (family history).
  • Hypersensitivity to textures, noise, or light in childhood.
  • Personality and temperament.
  • Signs of personality disorders usually appear in the late teen years and early adulthood. 
Narcissistic Characteristics

Mental health providers diagnose narcissistic personality disorder when you have at least five of the following characteristics:

  • Overinflated sense of self-importance.
  • Constant thoughts about being more successful, powerful, smart, loved, or attractive than others.
  • Feelings of superiority and desire to only associate with high-status people.
  • Need for excessive admiration.
  • Sense of entitlement.
  • Willingness to take advantage of others to achieve goals.
  • Lack of understanding and consideration for other people’s feelings and needs.
  • Arrogant or snobby behaviors and attitudes.
Who Diagnoses Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

A mental health professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist can determine if you have symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. Your psychotherapist will give you questionnaires and then talk with you.  Be open and honest with your healthcare provider so you can be properly diagnosed and receive needed mental health treatment.  Narcissistic traits and narcissistic behaviors can be treated.  Treatment for narcissistic personality is available with the help of a trained mental health counselor.


The focus will be on long-term patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving, and interacting with others. For more information about narcissistic personality disorder please contact to speak to a licensed professional counselor.

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