Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health disorder characterised by a life-long pattern of exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration from others, difficulties empathising with other people’s feelings and a tendency to exploit others for self-gain.
Narcissistic personality disorder tends to surface in early adulthood and may persist for very long periods or even throughout the lifespan.
Whilst there are no standardised treatments for NPD, psychotherapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Psychoanalysis are frequently used.
It is unusual for NPD sufferers to seek out therapy because they generally perceive that their behaviours are consistent with what they believe about themselves.
In most cases, it is the pressure from those who live or associate with a narcissist that drives them to consult for help.
This is often problematic because the desire to make changes (to be motivated to change) is a key outcome predictor in psychotherapy.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms
The main symptoms associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are:
- An inflated sense of self-importance.
- A preoccupation with fantasies of power, unlimited success, personal brilliance or beauty.
- Beliefs that they are so special that they can only be understood by people with equal specialness or status.
- A need to be excessively admired by others.
- A sense of entitlement or that they should receive special consideration or treatment.
- Exploitative behaviours for their own gain.
- A lack of empathy and a failure to take other people’s feeling into consideration.
- A beliefs that other people evny them.
- A highly arrogant attitude.
A diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder requires that at least five of these nine sysmptoms occur concurrently.
Whilst many of these traits or behaviours can be seen within any population, it is the degree and severity of the symptoms that indicates the presence of NPD.
Diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Technically, only a psychiatrist can diagnose a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but in the UK general practitioners have tended to diagnose mental health problems by using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
The DSM lists specific symptoms against a range of disorders and whenever a person meets this criteria, they are said to be suffering from that disorder.
Diagnostic procedures do NOT make use of medical testing (for example blood tests) in order to produce a diagnosis, but rather is an opinion based on the observation of certain behaviours in the person who is suffering.
Because of this lack of verifiable medical testing, diagnosis remains a controversial subject, particularly within the psychological (non-medical) community.
However, in the UK access to support services is often contingent on receiving a diagnosis, so in this sense, a formal diagnosis may be useful.
Getting a Mental Health Diagnosis
Please be aware that Lee Psychology do not diagnose mental health disorders.
Our psychological counselling services do not require you to have been formally diagnosed but should you wish to obtain a formal mental health diagnosis, then please contact your GP who can arrange it for you.
Counselling for Narcissistic Personality Disorder
We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for Narcissistic Personality Disorder and related problems.
Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:
- How long you have had the problem.
- Your personal preferences.
- How your problem is affecting you today.
You can read more about the different types of therapy for anxiety on the following links:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- The CORE programme for Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Counselling for Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.
Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.
Psychiatry Through the Looking Glass
Read what the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) and the United Nations (U.N.) said recently about the biomedical models of mental illness on Psychology Today.
Common Mental Disorders
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
- Avoidant Personality Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dependent Personality Disorder
- Depersonalisation Disorder
- Dissociative Identity Disorder
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
- Prolonged Grief Disorder
- Separation Anxiety Disorder