Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Therapists for narcissistic personality disorder: NYC | Providence | Chicago |Boston

Everyone focuses on themselves sometimes, but if you sense that you tend do so in a way that frequently interferes with your life and causes conflict with other people, you may have narcissistic personality disorder.

What is narcissistic personality disorder?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a particular pattern of extreme personality traits. Unlike many other mental health conditions, personality disorders are usually present in some form throughout a person’s life.

Personality disorders can sometimes be confused with regular personality traits, but the difference is that a personality disorder deviates from cultural norms and causes a person significant trouble on a regular basis.

People with narcissistic personality disorder focus tend to focus on themselves at the expense of everyone else. They tend to have unrealistically high opinions of themselves and generally expect that others will admire and obey them. Though they may seem very confident, these individuals actually tend to have low self-esteem. It’s common for people with narcissistic personality disorder to be frequently and severely disappointed when life doesn’t match their grandiose expectations.  

Prevalence of narcissistic personality disorder

A large mental health survey in 2008 found that 6.2% of respondents had narcissistic personality disorder.

It also found this condition to be much more common for men than for women, affecting 7.7% of men as opposed to 4.8% of women.

However, people who have narcissistic personality disorder tend not to admit weakness, and so they may be less likely to seek treatment. For this reason, it’s difficult to say for sure how common narcissistic personality disorder really is.

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Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder

There is a wide range of symptoms associated with narcissistic personality disorder, and different people will experience different symptoms.

However, the most prominent symptoms of this condition include:

Types of narcissistic personality disorder

There is no clear consensus about whether or not different subtypes of narcissistic personality disorder exist. Some researchers and theorists have attempted to create these definitions, but for the most part they have not yet been clinically tested.

The important thing to note is that different people may experience narcissistic personality disorder in different ways. Some people may be more exhibitionistic, meaning that they tend to show off and brag. At the same time, others may not have as many outward symptoms, but they may still have the internal experience of believing that they are superior to others.

If you’re not sure whether your symptoms might be narcissistic personality disorder, it’s best to consult with a therapist or physician for further guidance.

Treatments for narcissistic personality disorder

There are a number of options you can explore if you think you might have narcissistic personality disorder:

How to look for a therapist for narcissistic personality disorder

Psychotherapy is generally considered the best treatment for individuals with narcissistic personality disorder. A therapist can help you minimize your symptoms in a number of ways, including gaining a clearer self-image, learning valuable interpersonal skills, and practicing coping with disappointment.

Determine which therapy approach(es) appeals to you

A few specific kinds of psychotherapy that you might consider for narcissistic personality disorder include:

Look for specialized training in narcissistic personality disorder

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that your therapist is qualified to treat narcissistic personality disorder. This will usually involve:

Prioritize personal fit

Finally, as with any therapy, it’s important to make sure that your therapist is a good fit for your unique needs. Be sure to evaluate the following in your initial calls with therapists:

Find therapists who specialize in narcissistic personality disorders