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What Is Narcissism?

woman is outside and looking off into the distance asking herself what is narcissism

Have you heard someone describe a self-centered person as a narcissist? This term is becoming common in everyday language, but it is often treated less seriously than it should be. In fact, narcissism is a complex mental health condition that is more than just a caricature. But exactly what is narcissism? At Evoke Wellness at Waltham, we offer a personality disorder treatment program that can help. Call us at 866.276.1920.

What Is Narcissism? A Look at a Complex Condition 

Narcissism, or narcissistic personality disorder, is a mental health condition that affects how you see yourself and relate to others. It can lead you to want to impress those around you or to try to feel important in other ways. This need can be strong enough to propel you to engage in harmful behaviors.

Narcissism isn’t just about physical appearance. It could also involve other abilities or traits you have, like your intelligence, success, and wealth. Signs of narcissism are often divided into a variety of categories. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Thinking you’re unique or superior
  • Having a fragile self-esteem
  • Fishing for compliments
  • Worrying about what others think of you
  • Having an inflated sense of self-worth
  • Expecting favorable treatment
  • Experiencing frequent bouts of self-doubt
  • Using others
  • Deliberately taking advantage of others
  • Forming friendships with those who boost your status or self-esteem
  • Bragging or exaggerating your achievements
  • Holding yourself to unreasonably high standards
  • Saying things that hurt others
  • Seeing feelings in others as a sign of weakness
  • Feeling envy
  • Expecting others to feel envious of you
  • Not returning kindness or interest
  • Patronizing behavior
  • Acting condescendingly

As with other types of personality disorders, the causes of narcissism are often genetic and environmental. People who have parents with this disorder are more likely to develop it themselves. There’s also a link between negative childhood experiences like neglect and trauma and the development of narcissistic personality disorder. Overindulged children with overprotective parenting can lead a child to grow up expecting the same kind of treatment from everyone else. It also causes a child not to learn how to self-regulate their emotions.

Treating Narcissism and Other Types of Personality Disorders

Treating personality disorders requires some form of psychotherapy. At Evoke Wellness at Waltham, we offer programs that help you address the challenges that having a narcissistic personality disorder poses.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the best options. CBT is a goal-oriented and structured type of talk therapy that focuses on helping you recognize negative thought patterns. It enables you to learn how your thoughts impact your actions. CBT usually takes place over a limited number of sessions.

Dialectical-behavior therapy (DBT) is another treatment method. It’s particularly helpful for people who experience emotions powerfully and don’t know how to regulate them in a healthy manner. DBT assists you in understanding the reality of your behaviors and life while still showing you how to change. The goal of DBT is to strike a balance between acceptance of who you are and showing you the benefits of changing.

Group therapy is also vital for the treatment of narcissism. Many of the problems those with this type of personality disorder have involve other people. By being able to engage with others and put into practice the things you learn during individual therapy sessions, you can interact in healthier ways.

Contact Evoke Wellness at Waltham for Personality Disorder Treatment

If you have a personality disorder like narcissism, getting help from professionals can allow you to live a happier life. At Evoke Wellness at Waltham, you can choose from a number of different treatment programs to help you get the care you need while still participating in your work and family life.

Having a personality disorder requires getting some guidance. Contact Evoke Wellness in Waltham today at 866.276.1920 or contact us online to discover the answer to your question: “What is narcissism?” and explore our treatment options for personality disorders.