Narcissistic Personality Disorder

(Also Known As: Narcisistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic, Narcissist, Histrionic Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a condition characterized by self importance, extreme self involvement, self admiration, and a lack of empathy towards others. A Narcissist has arrogance and overconfidence and expects to be superior to others. Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder show a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (the hallmark characteristic of Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Narcissistic Personality Disorder however is only diagnosed when the condition becomes persistent, disabling, and distressing.1

Grandiosity is the hallmark feature of pathological Narcissism but Narcissistic Personality Disorder may also occur in two forms:

  • A grandiose state of mind in young adults that can be corrected by life experience.
  • A stable disorder described by DSM IV defined less by grandiosity than by severely disturbed interpersonal relations.2

Narcissists usually turn towards self gratification rather than depending on other people. They are excessively preoccupied with their own issues of power, prestige and personal adequacy. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is always associated with self centeredness.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder can also be classified as a cluster B personality disorder which includes personality disorders that have an excessive sense of self importance. Among this cluster of personality disorders are Histrionic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder.3

The sustained grandiosity in Narcissists may be associated with hypomanic mood, Anorexia Nervosa, substance related disorders, and personality disorders such as Paranoid Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and major depressive disorders.

Two Sub-Types of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:4

Age Group Sub-Type

This is a sub category of Narcissistic Personality Disorder based on age. Distinguishing between the age group suffering from the stable form of Narcissistic Personality Disorder as described by DSM-IVTR and the younger adult groups whose Narcissism can be corrected with life experiences.

Personality Sub-Types

  • Paranoid Narcissists have the intense feeling of contempt of themselves, but project it to others. They often drive people away from them through jealous comments and hypercritical behavior.
  • Craving Narcissists are those who feel emotionally needy and are undernourished. They appear clingy and demanding to the people around them.
  • Manipulative Narcissists are those who enjoy putting something over on others which allows them to obtain a feeling of superiority through lying and manipulation.
  • Phallic Narcissists are almost all comprised of males who tend to be more aggressive, exhibitionistic, and enjoy showing off their clothes, bodies and overall manliness.

Could You Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Antisocial Personality Disorder – Deceit, Manipulation, Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Dysphoria, Lying and Stealing, Poor Behavioral Control
Borderline Personality Disorder – Disturbed Personality, Unstable Personal Relationships, Mood Instability, Schizophrenia, Manic Depression, Mood Disorder
Histrionic Personality Disorder – Attention Seeking, Excessive Emotionality, Dramatic, Self Centeredness
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Obsession of Perfection, Compulsive Personality, Perfectionist, Obsession of Following Rules