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Who Is At Risk For Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

There is no exact cause of narcissistic personality disorder however, one can develop the condition due to family history or influence from a person with the condition. In addition to that, the kind of environment one is brought up in may trigger the onset of narcissistic personality disorder in an individual. Narcissistic personality disorder has also been associated with biological, genetic, psychological, and social factors. No one is usually born with the condition, but depending on the factors influencing one’s life when growing up could essentially lead to narcissistic personality disorder.[1] The percentage of adults likely to develop NPD stands at 6%, with men more susceptible to the condition than women.[2]

Who Is At Risk For Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have patterns of thinking they are special, important people, feeling like they deserve whatever they want and behave in ways which interfere with the relationships they have with others. Despite their grandiose sense of self-worth, individuals with NPD also suffer from feelings of being devalued and self-esteem issues. Personality building takes years to be established, and the same applies to individuals with NPD. They have established a fixed narcissistic personality during their younger years, which becomes evident later on when they are teens or young adults. [2] NPD is also common among people who have never been married, have been widowed, separated or divorced.[4]

Narcissistic personality disorder can be attributed to biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors. Biologically, NPD could arise from problems within the brain related to a connection to behavior and thinking. Also, genetically, an individual can develop narcissism from inherited characteristics from a family member. Psychologically speaking, individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble having a disparate self-image of excessive admiration and devaluing in their minds and relationships.

In terms of environmental factors, parental relationships with their kids have a lot to do with the kind of personality they build up. For example, men who are excessively close to their mothers when they are young, doing whatever she wants, accompanied by a resulting paranoid fear of their fathers, are likely to develop a narcissistic personality disorder. Additionally, social factors including excessive admiration or neglect from parents, emotional abuse, and parent-child interactions such as a child learning manipulation from their caregiver could lead to a narcissistic personality disorder.[2]

Other than environmental, biological, genetic, and social factors, poor parenthood seems to be the major causative factor of narcissistic personality disorder. Despite parents exaggerating their child’s traits such as beauty and successor neglecting them, not helping their children manage setbacks can lead to a narcissistic personality disorder. Even though this condition often begins during teenage years or early adulthood, it may not necessarily indicate the same behavioral tendencies when they are older. Needless say, it may just be a phase at their age, in the stages of development.[3]

The Consequences Of A Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Having a narcissistic personality disorder can be challenging, particularly because of the way individuals associate with others. There is a high likelihood that a narcissistic person will experience anxiety, depression or become socially isolated. On top of that, they have problems with their relationships with friends, lovers and even family.

Substance abuse, which can lead to addiction is yet another possible complication with individuals suffering from NPD. At worse, an individual can have suicidal thoughts, which can haunt them long-term or develop another personality disorder.[2] For men with narcissistic personality disorder, they can experience elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, they can develop serious health complications including high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.[4]


A narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder that can be as a result of being brought up in unfavorable environmental conditions. Majorly, this is associated with how parents raise their kids. Parents who excessively praise or admire their kids, or neglect them completely can trigger the condition to develop. On top of that, emotional abuse during childhood years and unpredictable parenting can cause narcissistic personality disorder.[1] Otherwise, individuals can develop narcissistic personality disorder due to biological, social and psychological issues.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 17, 2019

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