What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

What is narcissistic personality disorder?


Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is characterized by grandiose speech and thinking (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and a lack of empathy toward others.

Arrogant, self-centered, manipulative and demanding are words frequently used to described people with this condition.

The narcissistic seeks excessive admiration and attention as they regard themselves as superior or special, and often associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way to enhance their self-esteem. They may have difficulty in tolerating criticism or defeat and may be left feeling humiliated or empty when they experience an “injury” in the form of criticism or rejection.


Narcissistic personality disorder is indicated by the following symptoms:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
  • Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

  • Believes he or she is “special” and can only be understood by, or associate with, special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a strong sense of entitlement like having unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her wishes
  • Is exploitative, like taking advantage of others to achieve his/her ends
  • Lacks empathy like disregarding the feelings and needs of others
  • Is envious or believes that others are envious of him or her
  • Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes


Causes of NPD are not yet well-understood.
Below are factors all thought to play a role in the development of this condition:

  • Genetic and biological factors
  • Environment
  • Early life experiences


It is challenging to treat NPD because people with this condition present with a great deal of grandiosity and defensive, making it difficult for them to acknowledge problems and vulnerabilities.

Below are effective ways suggested for treating narcissistic personality disorder:

  • Individual and group psychotherapy
  • Mentalization-based therapy
  • Transference-focused psychotherapy
  • Schema-focused psychotherapy

Keywords: borderline personality disorder narcissism; narcissism borderline personality disorder; narcissistic borderline personality disorder

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.