A profound understanding of what is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?
In a world where mental health problems are on a continuous rise, the ideal suggestion for one can be self-love. But how do you know that self-love is turning out to be an obsession, and is creating problems for others, especially the ones who are close to you? Well, it is a human tendency to be happy when we achieve something big. The sense of pride in our accomplishments comes naturally in our path. But it crosses us deeply when it becomes a compulsion, and we miss out on the compassion and tenderness in the front of it. Our self-love should not discomfort others, but rather it should be a matter of ease and learning for others. This type of undivided self-love in modern times is known as Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Although in older times, it was regarded as a common factor in the human psyche and not as something abnormal. Sigmund Freud (neurologist) first cited that that narcissism comes from a libidinal element of the ego that is self-love or a sort of self-preservation. The history of ancient mythology referred to that, which existed back then. There was a famous story related to it and which says, "Narcissus was a good-looking boy, and was proud of his looks and fell in love with himself by looking at the reflection of his image in the water. He couldn't withdraw himself from looking into the pool and was enthralled by his face until he died and while dying he understood the fact that he can't have his reflection as a lover anytime."
Often narcissistic personalities are believed to be excessively selfish, as they lack empathy, possess an inflated sense of importance, are highly egoistic, and always have a belief that they are superior to any other person and cannot handle criticism. So, let’s quickly dive into what NPD is all about :
#Causes of Narcissism or NPD:
Well, when it comes to narcissism, the cause of it remains scientifically unknown. Nevertheless, some components can contribute to its development in the long term. These factors may help in forecasting the possibility of a case of narcissism if they occur shortly. So the causes are as follows:
#1. Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD can be a genetic or heritable disorder if there is any detection in the past for any family member. There has been a mention of a higher chance of males getting affected as compared to females, as it generally occurs in teenagers or during early adulthood.
Another cause lies in parents already having the issue of NPD, and clinically diagnosed with it. In that case, their children can inherit it, and the chances of it are 10-12% higher. Hence, those children who get less appreciation from their parents tend to be the same when they become parents in due course of time.
#2. There is also a parenting factor, as to how a child has grown up during his/her childhood. Also, a pertinent point to note is that whether the child has grown up under pressure or in an atmosphere of excessive pampering.
#3. Another cause can be that of the style of living or lifestyle. Precisely meaning, with no parental controls/checks, there is no one to keep a track of the life of the concerned child. Too much alcohol, drugs, or involvement in irresponsible sexual escapades may lead to signs of NPD.
#4. Some developments might be formed to hide the weakness of one’s own self to look cool when one gets rejected. They devise a way to escape from their reality and enjoy the mask that they have put on in order to hide their actual self, which gives birth to NPD in them.
# Signs and symptoms of Narcissism or NPD.
Often people may confuse NPD with those who in general have a tendency to boast about themselves. However, there are ways to definitely identify narcissism or NPD in people who act in an over excessively sweet and pampering nature because they come with a lot of behavioral patterns as they don’t want themselves to be exposed in front of the public. Some of the red flags of NPD are :
#1. They are highly insecure with all the things around them and this includes their relationship with themselves and as well as others. They fear being abandoned by others. So they always have a nature to impress or attract others by their intelligence, looks, talent, profession, or anything where they can just brag about themselves or their achievements so that they can hold on to others.
#2. They are imperious, proud, boastful, manipulative, envious, less empathetic or compassionate, attention seeker, their mind is always preoccupied with wealth, power, success, love, and beauty, and most importantly also in search of excessive praise and admiration wherever and whenever possible.
#3. They fake it till they make it. In general, they are never to the point for an answer. They usually over exaggerate things. Even the slightest of matters are made big and fancy by them.
#4. These types of people are obviously controlling in nature too. By hook or by crook, they want things to go in their favor and that is where their manipulative nature plays a huge role and they have no effect on whether the other person has kept what thought towards them. They just want their work to be done keeping things under their control.
#Treatment for Narcissism or NPD :
Claims have been often heard to be floating around that narcissism or NPD cannot be treated. To clear the misconception, it can be done through psychotherapy and behavioral therapies as usually, narcissism comes along with different other issues like depression and anxiety. Yes, so when these symptoms are assembled with the actual disorders it can be treated. There is a rare medication related to NPD but as there are other mental disorders associated with it so medications for those are available to control the various other symptoms that take place along with NPD. It takes time as it is a long process, and is costly too. So, it might seem hard but not impossible. The real problem lies when narcissistic people are not very comfortable in psychotherapy and we may also see that they have a tendency to push the blame to others as they feel discomfort in opening up to their therapists. In any form of the disorder, one must have a profound knowledge in identifying that they have an underlying issue and it is no harm in disclosing the shortcomings to other people because until and unless you do it, therapists may not be able to help or guide you out by keeping a genuine intention.
"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm—but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." ~ T. S. Eliot.
The line in the above quote is a hint to the narcissist that says that how less empathetic they are and how less understanding they have towards others. They are highly self-centered, and all they care about is to be noticed at all times and feel their importance as it gives them a sense of pleasure. Sometimes, they do not do it consciously as it is their in-built nature. But it does cause damage to the people they are around, and it might be surprising to those who are not accustomed to it. Do you know where the problem lies? Most people think this personality disorder to be a normal one and so they treat it in that way. On the contrary, they fail to recognize that it is a serious thing and it's affecting their lives too and that urgent medical help is required. The saddest part is not only are they harming themselves but also the people around whom they call family, friends, and colleagues. People having NPD are manipulative, and they will try numerous ways to make you fall into their trap, as they like to cover themselves up in the pretentious act and misguide you, and often they don't accept they are at fault. Indeed, they are a tough nut to crack or deal with. They always need to be in the limelight. They are very good at hiding their disorder from the world by projecting their image to be kind, selfless, and understanding but such is not the case. They do it because they don't want to feel deserted.
So if you feel that your situation is such and you have a person like that then it is always ideal to stand for your self-worth or dignity that can possibly be marred by them. Look for all possible support from a similar community that provides aid to those suffering from NPD and also from the therapist who can guide you in a way and be the support that you are seeking for them. You can call it a challenge when it comes to handling NPD. Here, your patience and commitment can work like medicine to them rather than parting ways with them, and yes even people indeed do that with time.