I’ve been researching narcissism lately and even shared some amazing facts about the narcissists weapon of choice on my Paradigm Life blog, since the act of giving someone the silent treatment is emotional abuse—and I was taking part in bringing awareness to abuse and domestic violence (for Domestic Violence Awareness month).
According to PsychCentral, “In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms”:
• Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
• Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
• Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
• Requires excessive admiration
• Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
• Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
• Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
• Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
• Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
“Narcissistic personality disorder is more prevalent in males than females, and is thought to occur in up to 6.2 percent of the general population.”
How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Diagnosed?
Personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder are typically diagnosed by a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Family physicians and general practitioners are generally not trained or well-equipped to make this type of psychological diagnosis. So while you can initially consult a family physician about this problem, they should refer you to a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. There are no laboratory, blood or genetic tests that are used to diagnose personality disorder.
Many people with narcissistic personality disorder don’t seek out treatment. People with personality disorders, in general, do not often seek out treatment until the disorder starts to significantly interfere or otherwise impact a person’s life. This most often happens when a person’s coping resources are stretched too thin to deal with stress or other life events.
Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Treatment of narcissistic personality disorder typically involves long-term psychotherapy with a therapist that has experience in treating this kind of personality disorder. Medications may also be prescribed to help with specific troubling and debilitating symptoms. For more information about treatment, please see narcissistic personality disorder treatment.</em