7 Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD, is a mental condition that causes an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a need for attention. It’s one of the four dramatic personality disorders, which all cause unstable emotions and a distorted sense of self. The disorder gets its name from Narcissus, a character in Greek mythology who fell in love with his reflection when he saw it in a pool of water. While narcissistic personality disorder is more complicated than someone being in love with himself, it does cause an unusual sense of self-importance and obsession with one’s own talents and successes.

It is possible to treat NPD with therapy, which encourages the individual to recognize their unhealthy behaviors and relate to others more positively. However, in order for someone to be treated for NPD, they must first be diagnosed. People with personality disorders often go years or even decades without being diagnosed because they don’t realize that their way of thinking isn’t normal. Understanding the symptoms of NPD is important for helping you recognize the disorder in yourself or in a loved one. If you notice several of the symptoms, you can seek help from a professional to confirm the diagnosis and start treating the disorder. Here are seven signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder:

1. Grandiosity

Grandiosity is often the most obvious symptom of narcissistic personality disorder. It’s usually defined as excessive self-importance or an unrealistic perception of one’s abilities. People with NPD can show grandiosity in many ways. They may have an exaggerated idea of their own importance, which makes them feel superior to others. They also want to be recognized as superior by other people, even if they haven’t done anything to earn it. A sense of entitlement to praise or special treatment is common in people with NPD because they think so highly of themselves.

Grandiosity can also be expressed as an exaggeration of their talents or successes. NPD can cause people to become obsessed with their own achievements, and they may believe that even their small successes are huge. They take over conversations by talking about their achievements, so that they can get the praise they need. People with NPD may seem self-centered and boastful. They may believe that they’re unstoppable and that they’ve never made a mistake. Some people with the disorder become obsessed with fantasies of power, success, wealth, or beauty. If they spend too much time thinking about these fantasies, the line between their fantasies and reality may become blurred.