What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?


Personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by inflexible and maladaptive patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. These patterns lead to significant difficulties in relationships, work, and overall well-being. One specific personality disorder that often sparks conversation is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

People with narcissistic personality disorder are often described as having an inflated sense of self-importance. They may hold exaggerated beliefs about their talents, achievements, or importance. This grandiosity can manifest in fantasies of success, a constant need for admiration, and a deep-seated belief that they are superior to others.

An example would be someone who constantly brags about their accomplishments, even minor ones, and expects everyone to acknowledge their brilliance without any real evidence to back it up.

Signs Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Here are some common signs, categorized for easier understanding, that might indicate someone has NPD:

Grandiosity: As mentioned earlier, this includes an inflated sense of self-importance, believing they deserve special treatment without earning it, and expecting others to recognize their supposed superiority.
Need for Admiration: People with NPD crave constant praise and validation. They might feel threatened by the success of others and constantly seek to be the center of attention. Imagine someone who gets upset or dismissive when a friend gets a promotion, even if they previously expressed happiness for them.
Lack of Empathy: Perhaps the most defining characteristic is that individuals with NPD struggle to understand or share the feelings of others. They often believe themselves to be unique and deserving of special treatment, making it difficult for them to connect with others on a genuine level.
Entitlement and Exploitativeness: People with NPD may have unreasonable expectations of special treatment and believe they deserve more than others. They might take advantage of others, manipulate situations, or use others for personal gain.
Arrogance and Envy: These individuals often display a haughty attitude, belittling or looking down on others. They may also envy others’ success or possessions.

Impact on Relationships

The combination of these traits often makes it difficult for individuals with NPD to maintain healthy relationships. Someone with NPD might struggle to maintain healthy connections with romantic partners, family members, friends, and even colleagues. Manipulation, emotional abuse, and difficulty maintaining boundaries are all common challenges within these relationships.

What Causes NPD?

The exact cause of NPD remains unknown, but experts believe it’s likely a combination of factors.


There may be a genetic predisposition to NPD, with certain inherited traits making an individual more susceptible to developing the disorder.

Childhood Experiences

Early experiences, such as excessive praise, neglect, or abuse, can play a significant role in the development of NPD. Children who receive an abundance of praise without earning it may develop an inflated sense of self, while those who experience neglect or abuse may develop NPD as a coping mechanism.

Environmental Factors

Overindulgence, lack of boundaries, and unrealistic expectations from parents or caregivers can also contribute to the development of NPD. Children treated as superior to others may grow up believing they are entitled to special treatment.

Living With Someone With Narcissistic Personality Disorder

If you find yourself living with or relating to someone with narcissistic personality disorder, it requires careful management:

Set Healthy Boundaries: This means clearly defining acceptable behavior and enforcing consequences when boundaries are crossed.
Prioritize Self-Care: Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is essential. This might involve activities you enjoy, spending time with supportive people, or seeking professional help.
Recognize and Avoid Manipulation: Manipulation is a common tactic used by people with NPD. Learn to identify these tactics and avoid getting caught in their web.
Seek Professional Support: A therapist can provide guidance on setting boundaries, managing difficult situations, and protecting your emotional well-being.

Can NPD Be Treated?

While treating narcissistic personality disorder can be challenging, there is hope for improvement.

Therapy, particularly psychotherapy approaches like psychodynamic therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy, can help individuals with NPD gain self-awareness, develop empathy, and improve their relationships. In some cases, family therapy may be beneficial. It allows family members to understand the disorder and develop strategies for supporting their loved ones while maintaining healthy boundaries.

However, it’s important to remember that therapy requires a willingness to participate and a desire to change.

When To Seek Help

If you suspect someone you know has narcissistic personality disorder and the symptoms are causing significant distress in their life or their relationships are suffering, it’s essential to encourage them to seek professional help. However, it’s important to remember that you can’t force someone to change. Ultimately, the decision to seek help rests with the individual.

Living With NPD

While narcissistic personality disorder can be a challenging condition, it’s important to remember that there are success stories. With therapy and a willingness to change, individuals with NPD can learn to manage their symptoms and build healthier, more fulfilling relationships. Here are some additional tips for those living with NPD:

Challenge Negative Thoughts: Our thoughts influence our emotions and behaviors. When you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk or ruminating on grandiose fantasies, challenge these thoughts and replace them with more realistic and positive ones.
Practice Gratitude: Taking time to appreciate the good things in your life can help shift your focus away from entitlement and self-importance.
Take Responsibility for Your Actions: When you’ve hurt someone, apologize sincerely and strive to do better in the future.

Remember, change is possible. If you’re struggling with NPD, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. A therapist can be a valuable guide on your journey toward self-discovery and improved relationships.

Heal With Bangkok Mental Health Hospital

Narcissistic personality disorder can be a complex and challenging condition. However, with increased awareness, support, and professional help, individuals with NPD can learn to manage their symptoms and build healthier relationships. Remember, even though it might not be easy, there is hope.

If you or someone you know is struggling with narcissistic personality disorder, Bangkok Mental Health Hospital is here to help. Our team of experienced and compassionate professionals understands the complexities of this disorder and can provide a range of treatment options tailored to individual needs.

We offer psychotherapy approaches, including psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy, to help individuals with NPD gain self-awareness, develop empathy, and improve their relationships. We also recognize the importance of supporting those living with someone who has NPD.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you on your journey towards healing and growth.