What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Although PCH Treatment Center avoids stigmatizing labels like “narcissist” or “Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)” , we do provide treatment for persons who have experienced trauma or neglect in childhood and who manifest certain behavior and personality features consistent with the concept of narcissism. These features include an exaggerated sense of self-importance or uniqueness, a preoccupation with receiving attention, overvaluing of their own achievements and talents, and focus upon the “special” nature of their problems. In this construct, a fragile self-esteem is revealed by a preoccupation with how others regard them. Features of narcissism include a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. There is also a need for constant attention and admiration, and either a cool indifference or feelings of rage, inferiority, shame, humiliation, or emptiness in response to criticism, indifference of others, or defeat. Examples of behaviors consistent with narcissism include:
- Entitlement, or the expectation of special favors without assuming reciprocal responsibilities (surprise and anger at people when they do not do what they want).
- Interpersonal exploitativeness, or taking advantage of others to indulge their own desires or for self-aggrandizement (a disregard for the personal integrity of others).
- Relationships that characteristically alternate between the extremes of over-idealization and devaluation.
- Lack of empathy, or the inability to recognize how others feel (unable to appreciate the distress of someone who is seriously ill).
It is important to note that these traits exist on a continuum, with some manifesting milder forms and others a more extreme position.