Alternative Treatment For Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Individuals affected with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have an exaggerated feeling of their own significance. They are full of self-love and have a profound need for excessive attention and admiration1. They usually suffer from disturbed relationships because of their behavior and little to no compassion for others2. They often show their high confidence but have fragile self-esteem susceptible to the merest criticism. NPD patients tend to switch frequently from feeling omnipotent to being devalued. About 6% of the global adult populations suffer from NPD with men more susceptible to the disorder compared to women3.

Alternative Treatment For Narcissistic Personality Disorder

There is no proven alternative treatment for curing narcissistic personality disorder. Prevention of this disorder is difficult as the exact cause of the illness is still not clear. However, the early onset of treatment is important for better management of narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is focused primarily on psychotherapy as it does not respond to medication6. However, symptomatic medications are often indicated to control depression and anxiety. A program offering family, group, and individual therapy provides the best recovery option. A long-term intensive and ongoing treatment plan is ideal for patients with narcissistic personality disorder7.

Alternative narcissistic personality disorder treatment involves changes in lifestyle, such as taking nutrition dense food, take adequate rest, avoid stress, and have regular psychotherapy sessions. Treatment options for a narcissistic personality disorder are limited and it requires comprehensive efforts from the patient, family members, and peers to manage the disorder.

The Issues With Individuals Having A Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Individuals with narcissistic disorders suffer various problems in life. They find it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship in the family, with friends, at the workplace, and during school or college life. They also find issues in keeping things smooth in the financial fronts 2. They easily become dissatisfied and annoyed when they are denied special recognition or benefits. They always think they deserve superior treatment compared to others. Often other found it difficult or annoying to be around these individuals and they may consider their relationships unsatisfactory. narcissistic personality disorder patients demonstrate an elevated level of comorbidities such as substance use, anxiety, mood and other disorders of personality 2.

Common Symptoms Of The Disease

The common symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder differ from disease severity. Individuals with the disorder usually experience:

  • An extreme feeling of self-importance, with no apparent or real reason to do so
  • An unnecessary sense of being unique or special
  • Only trying to engage with individuals of high-status
  • Having fantasies of infinite success, love, beauty, brilliance, and power – all related to self
  • Constantly seeking high admiration from others
  • Empathy or compassion for other’s emotions and requirements
  • Displays arrogant, disdainful, and snobbish attitudes and behaviors

According to mental health professionals, the presence of some of the above symptoms is not enough to declare any individual having narcissistic personality disorder2. The symptoms should be serious enough to impair the ability of the individual to establish meaningful relationships with others. In general, narcissistic personality disorder patients also lack the psychological ability to function normally in the school, workplace, and other social situations2. The development of narcissistic personality disorder usually takes place during the teen years or early adulthood4. True narcissistic personality disorder symptoms remain constant over time and are rigid, ubiquitous in nature and are evident in different circumstances4.

The Common Causes Of NPD

Like most psychological disorders, there is no single conclusive trigger for NPD. Instead, individuals with NPD tend to have environmental, psychological, and biological risk factors contributing to the prognosis of the disease1.

  • Environmental. Inconsistencies in the relationship between parents and child with excessive praise or criticism resulting in a poor experience to the child
  • Psychological. Brain-to-behavior relationship and thinking
  • Biological. Genetically inherited characteristics

Psychologically, people with narcissistic personality disorder usually have difficulty with countering self-images of too much devaluation and admiration in their mind, relationships, and interactions. narcissistic personality disorder patients are typically emotionally vulnerable and sensitive5. As NPD characteristics have been discovered to be more prevalent in contemporary societies compared to traditional ones, cultural components are also thought to have a significant effect on the NPD prevalence 5.

Conclusion

Recent studies have contributed to assessing the complexity of narcissistic personality disorder. The main significance of the diagnosis and treatment of the narcissistic personality disorder patient is to recognize the protective elements responsible for the sense of self-esteem and internal control of an individual. Early intervention and proactive steps from the close associates and family members of the sufferer can minimize the effect of the disorder and help manage it better.

References:  

  1. Caligor E, Levy KN, Yeomans FE. Narcissistic personality disorder: diagnostic and clinical challenges. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2015;172(5):415-422.
  2. Campbell WK, Miller JD. The handbook of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder. Wiley Online Library; 2011.
  3. Dhawan N, Kunik ME, Oldham J, Coverdale J. Prevalence and treatment of narcissistic personality disorder in the community: a systematic review. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 2010;51(4):333-339.
  4. Association AP. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Washington, Am Psychiatr Assoc. 1994:143-146.
  5. Paris J. Modernity and narcissistic personality disorder. Personality disorders: Theory, research, and treatment. 2014;5(2):220.
  6. Ronningstam E. New insights into a narcissistic personality disorder. Psychiatric Times. 2016;33(2):11-13.
  7. Pincus AL, Roche MJ. Narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability. Handbook of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder. 2011:31-40.

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