What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is one sort of personality disorder in which people have an inflated sense of excessive attention, confidence, flirtatiousness, lack of empathy, admiration and attractiveness.

Indeed, the “narcissistic perverts” as they are sometimes called (no sexual connotation) are in fact people who, most often without being aware of it, suffer from a terrible lack of self-esteem and who display a facade. completely different.

These narcissists therefore feel superior to the masses, they need to be admired and adored, and do not hesitate to minimize those around them.

Subtypes of Narcissism

There are many subtypes of narcissism – some have been identified and supported by scientific research, while others have been informally named and popularized by various mental health professionals. Because of this, the number of narcissistic subtypes is difficult to quantify accurately. Although the subtypes cannot be diagnosed clinically, experts still usually see patterns in client behavior, so they deduce eight subtypes of narcissism.

1. Healthy narcissism. 

It is more positive than negative. The American Psychiatric Association has concluded that at least 55% of the most common signs of narcissism must be present in order to be clinically diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. At the same time, many of these traits do not correspond to the classification of mental disorders. That is, if you have less than 55% of the signs of an NRL match, you are healthy. Psychiatrists believe that narcissistic qualities are inherent in any person to a certain extent. Recognizing your accomplishments, wanting to share them, and getting praise are normal things, especially if they make you feel better.

2. Grandiose narcissism. 

Such patients are characterized by an overestimation of their abilities, an overestimated self-esteem and, in fact, an unrealistic sense of their own superiority over other people. At the same time, grandiose narcissists can be charming, but they often lack compassion. They demand attention, they like to see others hurt and confused.

3. Latent / vulnerable narcissism. 

Unlike grandiose narcissists, these people tend to be shy and humble. Members of this subtype are inhibited, depressed, hypersensitive to judgments, and suffer from chronic jealousy. They need people’s recognition and protection from criticism. Often, hidden narcissists feel the most miserable in the world.

4. Malignant narcissism. 

In fact, they are called malignant so as not to be called evil, because it sounds a little rude. But they are: they are manipulators with evil intentions, showing signs of sadism and aggression. This is the most dangerous and harmful subtype for others. Throughout their lives, people suffering from this disorder improve their skills of manipulation, and therefore, during the first meeting, they may seem very nice and kind.

5. Sexual narcissism. 

These patients are overly addicted to their own sexual prowess. They may be obsessed with their sexual activity and the need for sexual delight in others. Sexual narcissists are serial scammers who use sex to manipulate people and may behave aggressively in bed.

6. Somatic narcissism. 

Somatic narcissists base their self-worth on the body. They feel more beautiful, stronger, or healthier than others. Somatic narcissists are often obsessed with their weight and appearance, and also criticize the appearance of others.

7. Cerebral / intellectual narcissism. 

Such people draw a sense of their own worth from their minds. It is about the belief that they are smarter than everyone else. To feed their ego, they will try to make others feel stupid.

8. Spiritual narcissism. 

Such people often use their spirituality to justify harmful behavior and use spiritual jargon to present themselves in a better light and to show superiority. They often use vulnerable people to make them believe in their own worthlessness and in the high spirituality of the narcissist himself.

Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The origins of narcissistic disorder are quite unclear, as is the case with all psychological disorders, but researchers say it begins in childhood. Certain circumstances can be triggers, for example:

  • Inability to understand and integrate the feeling of empathy.
  • Establishment of a defense system against abuse and trauma.
  • Too much expectation and attention from parents (even more so in the case of an only child).
  • Parents themselves are narcissists who do not give other examples to their child.
  • Neglect and rejection from peers (at school, at home).
  • Lack of affection and recognition.

Some specialists have speculated that a neurobiological or genetic disorder is also involved, but nothing is yet proven.

Who is affected by narcissistic disorder? What are the risk factors?

Men are more often affected than women by narcissistic disorder.

In addition, people who have very low self-esteem as well as those who are emotionally dependent have a higher risk of developing narcissistic personality disorder.

In the vast majority of cases, it is dysfunctions in childhood that are at the origin of this disorder.


Narcissistic personality disorder is not contagious.

The main symptoms experienced by narcissistic perverts

The signs that define narcissistic personality disorder are varied. You don’t have to have all of these symptoms. The narcissistic individual can therefore:

  • To feel very superior to everyone around him
  • Almost every minute change your opinion
  • Believe that everyone envies and admires her
  • Telling lies to serve your goals
  • Be jealous of the success of others.
  • Always be in search of recognition
  • Not knowing how to show empathy to those around you
  • Being manipulative
  • Be hyper competitive and ambitious
  • Don’t tolerate criticism
  • Be arrogant and conceited
  • Give no importance to anyone except those who are useful to him, who admire him
  • Showing control
  • Refuse any outside help or advice
  • Believe that others (spouse, friends) are lucky to know him

In addition, it is not uncommon for people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder to abuse drugs and / or alcohol, suffer from depression (including thoughts of suicide), and have profound relationship difficulties.


The diagnosis of this disorder is very difficult to make because the narcissistic person feels so above others that they do not agree to see a therapist. Most often, relatives realize the discomfort but cannot discuss the problem with the person since the latter does not listen and does not accept anything that could call into question his perfection.

Possible risks of complications

Complications linked to narcissistic personality disorder are those brought about by various abuses, isolation and depression (sometimes going as far as suicide).

Treatment of narcissistic disorder

It happens that after several failures (in love, at work), the narcissist realizes that something is wrong and wishes to start a real process of change, with the help of a professional. However, it is only when the decision is personal to him that real results can occur.

One can consider group therapy, individual therapy or family therapy to achieve cure of narcissistic disorder. Most often, a combination of these three types of therapy is most effective.

There are no medications suitable for this disorder, but the doctor may need to prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs.


As the sources of narcissistic disorder are poorly defined, no preventive measures are currently known.

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