Narcissistic Personality & Traits
A narcissistic personality is one that is too preoccupied with his/her grandiosity. Self importance is at an abnormal high. The needs for appreciation, admiration & lack of understanding of others are typical traits of a narcissistic personality. Extreme self involvement and compulsion to be noticed as a superior can make a narcissistic personality socially unlikeable. However the condition can only be recognized as narcissism when the person shows these traits over a prolonged time period in a persistent manner.
The roots of narcissistic personality disorder are yet to be confirmed. There has been a lot of speculation and research but no definite results have been found. However leading psychiatric experts believe that the origins lie deeply ingrained in the person’s childhood. Parents resorting to extremes when bringing up their children are often rearing them to be budding narcissists. Too much pampering, too much pressure on the children to be good at everything, or neglect and abuse can all cause a person to develop a narcissistic personality as an adult.
Social and Personal Complications
The self obsessed nature of narcissists can cause them to become social outcast. People are naturally apprehensive of being around a narcissistic personality as they are likely to be preoccupied with their own selves and won’t spare much thought or attention to those around them. They are also highly sensitive to comments and criticism. A failure or a defeat can affect them too badly and can drive them to drug and substance abuse very easily in an attempt to cope with it. Several other psychological disorders like paranoia can develop due to narcissism. Their mood often swings between phases of grandiose pompousness and self pity and criticism. They feel driven for perfection, but they have a need to be recognized as someone with importance.
Treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Though often not severe or persistent enough to qualify as a disorder, narcissism needs to be treated thoughtfully and over time to help the person concerned and prevent them from going down the wrong paths. No fool proof cure for this disorder is known. Prolonged psychotherapy has been known to have profound benefits in such cases. Through such therapy, the person is helped along the path of realization of other’s emotions, feelings and merits. A psychotherapist can teach a narcissist to relate to other people and their feelings in a rewarding way. It helps the person come to terms with his self esteem and demands of respect from the people around him. They learn to hold more realistic opinions of themselves and see their own personalities like people around them do.
The outlook for a narcissistic personality can be very bleak. While there is no known method of prevention of this disorder, care taken by parents during the childhood can prove to be very helpful. A close group of friends and loved ones can keep a person from developing narcissistic tendencies by keeping them grounded and connected to the social scene around them. They can come to terms with the realistic nature of their talents and personalities and learn to respect the people for what they are.