Narcissism - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Narcissism - Symptoms, causes and treatment
Narcissism - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Narcissism is a condition when someone feels they are better than others so they need to be admired and get more attention. This condition can cause sufferers to become selfish and have little empathy for others, causing problems in social interactions

Narcissism is a type of personality disorder. Narcissists generally appear very confident. However, this is actually to cover up his very fragile self-esteem, for example only because of being criticized by others.

Narcissist - Alodokter

Narcissistic personality disorder can make sufferers unhappy or disappointed if they are not treated or praised the way they wish. This can cause problems in various aspects of life, including in work or social circles.

Narcissistic Cause

It is not known exactly what causes narcissistic personality disorder. However, narcissism is thought to be related to the following factors:

  • Genetic factors, namely family history of narcissism
  • Environmental factors, namely parenting patterns that are too indulgent, demanding, or don't care about their children; or childhood experiences, such as torture or trauma
  • Neurobiological factors, namely the relationship between the brain with thought patterns and behavior

Although it can happen to anyone, narcissistic personality disorder is more common in men than women. This condition also tends to occur in adolescence or early adulthood.

Narcissistic Symptoms

Narcissistic symptoms may vary depending on the severity. These symptoms can be:

  • Self-interest (selfish)
  • Feeling en titled and needing to be admired excessively and continuously
  • Feeling better than others (superior) despite not having any achievements
  • Feeling special and only wants to hang out with people who are considered equal to him
  • Exaggerated pride in one's own accomplishments or talents
  • Frequently fantasize about success, power, intelligence, beauty, or the perfect partner
  • Mastering the conversation and belittling or looking down on other people who are considered unequal
  • Expects special behavior and obedience from others
  • Using other people to get what they want
  • Not caring about other people's feelings or needs
  • Feeling jealous of other people or thinking that others are jealous of them
  • Having an arrogant or haughty attitude
  • Wishing the best in everything, for example the best car or job

On the other hand, narcissistic personality disorder can cause sufferers to be unable to accept criticism from others. As a result, narcissists may experience a number of the following symptoms:

  • Impatient or angry when not getting the expected treatment
  • Has a problem with oneself to the point of being irritable
  • Easily angry or insulting and demeaning others in order to appear superior
  • Feeling difficult to regulate feelings and behavior, as well as controlling stress and adapting to change
  • Feeling depressed and gloomy when not achieving the expected perfection
  • Has a hidden feeling of inferiority, shame, weakness, and humiliation

When to see a doctor

People with narcissistic personality disorder are usually not aware that they have this condition, so it is quite rare to see a doctor. Therefore, check with a doctor or psychologist if you feel you are experiencing narcissistic symptoms or are overwhelmed with sadness.

Proper handling can avoid more serious problems or complications, such as depression or anxiety disorders.

Narcissistic Diagnosis

Generally, narcissistic personality disorder testing is only done if other conditions arise, such as symptoms of depression, alcohol or drug addiction, or other mental disorders. Therefore, the diagnosis of this condition is quite difficult to do.

The diagnosis will begin with a question and answer session regarding the symptoms experienced. A final physical examination will also be carried out to ensure that there are no physical injuries that may have caused this condition.

Furthermore, the doctor will conduct a thorough psychological examination. In this examination, the patient will be asked to fill out several questionnaires related to conditions that can trigger the onset of narcissistic personality disorder.

To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will refer to the narcissistic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). According to these guidelines, the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder can be made if the patient has 5 of the following 9 criteria:

  • Feeling better than others
  • Needs a lot of praise from others
  • Busy daydreaming about success, power, intelligence, beauty, or the perfect partner
  • Feels special and only wants to hang out with people he considers his equal
  • Feeling en titled to special treatment from others
  • Using others for your own benefit
  • Doesn't have empathy and concern for others
  • Often feel jealous of others, or think that others are jealous of him
  • Having an arrogant or conceited attitude

Narcissistic Medicine

The main method of dealing with narcissism is psychological therapy. The goal is for patients to understand themselves better and be able to control their behavior.

Therapies that can be done include:

  • Talk therapy (psychotherapy), to help patients build better relationships with others, and understand the causes of narcissistic symptoms
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, to help patients change destructive behaviors and thoughts, in order to get a realistic self-image

In addition to therapy, drugs can also be given to help relieve comorbid symptoms, such as anxiety disorders or depression. Some of the medicines that can be given are:

  • Antidepressants to treat depression, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine,
  • Antimania or mood control drugs, such as lithium, to relieve mood disorders
  • Antipsychotics, such as aripiprazole and risperidone, to treat symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders

Narcissistic Complications

If left untreated, narcissistic behavior disorder can lead to complications such as:

  • Difficulty in social relations
  • Problems at work or school
  • Depression or anxiety disorder
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Suicidal behavior or thoughts

Narcissistic Prevention

There is no definite way to prevent narcissistic behavior disorder. However, there are several efforts that can be done to help reduce the risk of developing narcissism, namely:

  • Immediately go to the doctor if you experience mental he alth disorders, especially if they appear in childhood
  • Understanding family therapy to find out how to communicate in a he althy way, or to deal with conflicts or emotional stress experienced
  • Take parenting classes or consult a therapist about the correct parenting style

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