What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic personality disorder describes a person with a pervasive pattern of grandiose behaviour or fantasies. They typically have an inflated sense of their own self-importance. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder often have a constant need for admiration, and lack empathy for others. This pattern of behaviour typically begins early in adulthood and make it difficult to maintain healthy relationships whether they be personal, work, or friendships.


The prevalence of this personality disorder ranges from 0 – 6.2%. 50%-75% of those diagnosed are male.

Signs and Symptoms

People with narcissistic personality disorder have a grandiose sense of self-importance, i.e., they exaggerate their achievements and talents and expect that others will recognize they are superior without the achievements to show for it. They believe they are “special” or unique and can only be understood by other special or high status people. They typically require excessive admiration and have a sense of entitlement. They are often exploitative of others and lack empathy, meaning that they are unwilling or unable to recognize the feelings of other people. They often envy other people or believe that other people are envious of them. Finally, they are typically arrogant towards others.


Treatment for people with this disorder is mainly psychotherapy.  Medications may be prescribed if there are other underlying disorders present. Psychotherapy may be able to help people who are narcissistic better relate to others so that they can have fulfilling and satisfying relationships. They may also be able to learn what drives their need to compete with others and the causes of their emotions. They may also be able to learn to tolerate the impact of issues related to their self-esteem.


The DSM-5 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5

The Mayo Clinic: Mayoclinic.org

Video Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxrSPlL5s7c