Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them. People with this disorder may lack the ability to understand or care about the feelings of others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence, they are not sure of their self-worth and are easily upset by the slightest criticism. A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial matters. People with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally unhappy and disappointed when they're not given the special favors or admiration that they believe they deserve. They may find their relationships troubled and unfulfilling, and other people may not enjoy being around them. Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder centers around talk therapy, also called psychotherapy. Narcissistic personality disorder affects more males than females, and it often begins in the teens or early adulthood. Some children may show traits of narcissism, but this is often typical for their age and doesn't mean they'll go on to develop narcissistic personality disorder.
Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and how severe they are can vary. People with the disorder can:
At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they view as criticism. They can:
People with narcissistic personality disorder may not want to think that anything could be wrong, so they usually don't seek treatment. If they do seek treatment, it's more likely to be for symptoms of depression, drug or alcohol misuse, or another mental health problem. What they view as insults to self-esteem may make it difficult to accept and follow through with treatment. If you recognize aspects of your personality that are common to narcissistic personality disorder or you're feeling overwhelmed by sadness, consider reaching out to a trusted health care provider or mental health provider. Getting the right treatment can help make your life more rewarding and enjoyable.