There is a lot of confusion surrounding the terms “ Narcissism” and “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. Some people use Narcissism to describe anyone who is vain or self-centred, while others use it to refer to a mental illness called narcissistic personality disorder.
So, what’s the difference? In this article, I will explore the definition of Narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder, as well as the symptoms and treatment options for each.
What is Narcissism?
Narcissism is a personality trait that is characterized by a person’s excessive love of themselves and their need for admiration from others.
People who are narcissistic often have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for attention and validation.
They may be very boastful and have a sense of entitlement, and they can be very critical of others. You can read all the possible causes of narcissism here.
What is a Narcissistic personality disorder?
A narcissistic personality disorder is a Personality disorder that is characterized by a person’s excessive love of themselves and their need for admiration from others.
People who are diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder often have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for attention and validation, and a lack of empathy for others.
They may be very boastful and have a sense of entitlement, and they can be very critical of others.
Is Narcissistic personality disorder is mental illness?
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. People with NPD often have an inflated sense of their own importance and a strong need for attention and admiration.
“People with NPD have a strong need, in every area of their life, to be treated as if they’re special. To those with NPD, other people are simply mirrors, useful only insofar as they reflect back the special view of themselves they so desperately long to see. If that means making others look bad by comparison — say, by ruining their reputation at work — so be it. Because life is a constant competition, they’re also usually riddled with envy over what other people seem to have. And they’ll let you know.”— Bandy X Lee
They may take advantage of others to get what they want and may have difficulty empathizing with others. NPD can cause problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, and school.
If you think you might have NPD, it is important to talk to a mental health professional. There is no medication for NPD but professionals can control the effects like anxiety, depression and PSD by prescribing you different medicines.
Difference between Narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder
Narcissism is a personality trait but NPD is a personality disorder.
NPD is a mental illness while narcissism is an adjective to describe someone who exhibits egotistical and selfish behavior.
People with narcissistic personality disorder experience many more symptoms than those with narcissism. People with a narcissistic personality disorder may have problems regulating their emotions and may be impulsive and aggressive.
They may also have low self-esteem and feel insecure. In contrast, people with narcissism generally do not experience these symptoms to the same degree.
NPD is the more severe form of narcissism and is characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, lack of empathy, arrogant and haughty behaviour, and envy
Another difference between narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder is that people with a narcissistic personality disorder often require professional treatment, while people with narcissism generally do not.
However, if someone with narcissism begins to experience severe symptoms, they may also need professional treatment.
The symptoms of narcissism and NPD
The symptoms of narcissism and NPD are almost the same and can vary from person to person, but generally, people who are narcissistic will display some or all of the following behaviors:
- They will have an inflated sense of their own importance.
- They will be very boastful and have a sense of entitlement.
- They will be very critical of others.
- They will have a deep need for attention and validation.
- They may have problems regulating their emotions.
- They may be impulsive and aggressive.
- They may have low self-esteem and feel insecure.
Treatment options for narcissism
If someone is displaying symptoms of narcissism, there are a few things that can be done to help them. Some self-help techniques that may be beneficial include:
- Learning how to recognize and regulate your emotions.
- Practicing self-compassion.
- Identifying your personal values and striving to live by them.
- Practicing mindfulness meditation.
If the person’s narcissistic behavior is causing problems in their life or in their relationships, they may need professional treatment. Treatment options for narcissism include cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy.
Treatment options for NPD
There are a number of treatment options available for those suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. Some of the most common treatments include therapy, medication, and self-help groups.
Therapy is typically the first line of treatment for NPD. This may involve individual therapy or group therapy. The goal of therapy is to help the person with NPD learn to recognize and deal with their own thoughts and emotions, as well as the thoughts and emotions of others.
Medication may also be prescribed to help treat the effects of NPD. This may include antidepressants or antipsychotics. The goal of medication is to help control any symptoms that may be causing distress or impairment in daily life.
Finally, self-help groups can be a helpful addition to treatment for NPD. These groups provide a safe and supportive environment where people can share their experiences and learn from others.
Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by grandiosity, self-centeredness, and a lack of empathy. Narcissists often have an inflated sense of their own abilities and are very demanding of others.
They may be charming and charismatic at first, but their relationships are typically dysfunctional. -NPD is a mental illness that is classified within the cluster of narcissistic personality disorders.
People with NPD exhibit many of the same characteristics as narcissists, but to a greater degree. They also experience significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.