How do I get help/support for narcissistic personality disorder?
Note: NAMI volunteers are not medical or mental health professionals, and we cannot offer medical or mental health advice. The material outlined below is informational and we hope that it helps provide guidance toward getting support.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health condition where individuals show a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. These symptoms generally begin by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by a need for excessive admiration; grandiose sense of self-importance, preoccupation by fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love; a belief that the individual is “special” and unique and can only be understood by individuals or institutions as special as themselves; sense of entitlement; pattern of interpersonally exploitative behavior; an unwillingness to identify with or recognize others’ needs and feelings; envy of others or the belief that others are envious of them; and arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
Narcissism is a naturally occurring human trait and a certain amount can be healthy, but it can become a disorder when it negatively impacts functioning in areas such as work, relationships, and self-worth.A licensed Mental Health Professional will use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to carefully evaluate whether a person meets criteria for diagnosis ofNarcissistic Personality Disorder.
Treatment of this disorder centers around psychotherapy. While there are no specific medications prescribed for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, medications may be prescribed for co-occurring disorders such as anxiety disorder or depression. The grandiose nature of Narcissistic Personality Disorder may make it difficult for individuals to reach out for help. Finding a therapist who has been trained to work with those experiencing Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be a vital part of recovery. Therapy generally involves helping those with the disorder develop a healthier sense of self by examining coping mechanisms and past experiences. The goal for these individuals is to learn how to empathize with themselves and others.
The following resources may be of help:
- Walking on Eggshells provides information about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, coping tips, and other resources.
- Out of the FOG provides information, resources and support for caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with narcissistic personality disorder.