When the person engages in long-term treatment, a therapist may be able to help them, among other things, to: regulate and understand their emotions, identify behaviours and attitudes that can lead to conflicts with other people, and develop the ability to prevent and modify these behaviours and much more.
Not all personality disorders show the same symptoms or pathological personality traits. This is why they are classified into three different groups or clusters.
This classification is based on their most representative personality traits: Cluster A: unusual and eccentric; Cluster B: dramatic and irregular; Cluster C: fearful and anxious. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is part of the B cluster of personality disorders.
Symptoms of the disorder
More specifically, doctors diagnose narcissism when a person exhibits five or more specific symptoms. These symptoms were established by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Grandiosity and presumption
Exaggeration is often the basis of grandiosity. This means that people with this disorder tend to have an inflated sense of self-importance. They may feel more powerful, intelligent, capable and charming than they actually are and more than other people in general.
To reaffirm this sense of superiority, someone with a narcissistic personality may exaggerate or lie about their accomplishments, skills and talents.
Fantasies of perfection and superiority
People with narcissistic personalities may constantly fantasize about having unlimited power, intelligence, beauty, acceptance, or love.
Sense of particularity and uniqueness
People may need to highlight how special and unique they are compared to everyone else.
This also leads them to believe that they can only be understood or associated with other special and unique people and groups. If someone does not “take” them, it is because they are not that smart, special or unique.
Need for praise and attention
People with narcissistic personalities may have a constant need to be admired and praised. They may seek constant attention and may not accept any form of criticism well.
They may also resent others who don’t think what they are doing and saying is great.
Strong sense of right
Someone with DPN may be convinced that they deserve special treatment and are entitled to all available privileges.
Likewise, people with DPN may feel that everyone should meet their expectations and demands.
A tendency to exploit others
Manipulation and exploitation tactics are very common in many people with narcissistic personalities. This means that they can take advantage of others to achieve their goals because there is a need for personal gain above all else.
They might also use strategies like spreading lies about others to move forward.
Lack of empathy
Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder may not be able to connect with the needs of others or put themselves in someone else’s shoes. This is one of the main reasons why they may behave in a cruel or exploitative way.
This lack of empathy could also manifest itself as selfishness, contempt, and a lack of compassion for what others are experiencing or feeling.
Jealousy, envy and distrust
People with this personality disorder usually believe that others are competing with them or are envious of who they are. Likewise, they can often compete with others or envy their achievements.
Arrogance and contempt
Some people with narcissistic personalities may ignore others because they are deemed useless, ridiculous, or despicable. This belief can lead them to show an attitude of arrogance and contempt.
Overt narcissism vs hidden narcissism
It is now accepted that there are different levels and types of narcissism. Primarily, experts focus on two different subtypes.
This subtype of narcissism, also called grandiose narcissism, is the most recognized. It is characterized mainly by attitudes and behaviours that are characterized by a style: arrogant, pretentious, dominant, exhibitionist, aggressive, and self-confident.
This other subtype of narcissism refers to people whose attitudes and behaviours are more typically characterized by style: anxious, overly sensitive, insecure, withdrawn.
While this type of narcissism is less obvious, someone with hidden narcissism will still exhibit self-centredbehaviours, secretly believe they are superior to everyone else and have a reduced ability to put themselves in others’ shoes.