Narcissistic is a condition when a person feels he is better than others so he needs to be admired and get more attention. This condition can cause sufferers to be selfish and have little empathy for others, causing problems in social interaction.
Narcissism is a type of personality disorder. Narcissists generally appear very confident. However, this is actually to cover up his very fragile self-esteem, for example, just because he is criticized by others.
Narcissistic personality disorder can make sufferers unhappy or disappointed if they are not treated or praised as they expect. This can cause problems in various aspects of life, including in work or social circles.
It's not known exactly what causes narcissistic personality disorder. However, narcissism is thought to be related to a number of the following factors:
- Genetic factors, namely narcissistic history in the family
- Environmental factors, namely parenting styles that are too indulgent , demanding, or do not care about children; or childhood experiences, such as abuse or trauma
- Neurobiological factors, namely the relationship between the brain and mindset and behavior
Although it can be experienced by anyone, narcissistic personality disorder is more common in men than women. This condition also tends to occur in the teens or early adulthood.
Narcissistic symptoms can vary, depending on the severity. These symptoms can include:
- selfish (selfish)
- Feeling entitled and needing to be admired excessively and constantly
- Feeling better than others (superior) even though you don't have any achievements
- Feels special and only wants to hang out with people who are considered equal to him
- Excessive pride in one's own accomplishments or talents
- Frequently fantasizing about success, power, intelligence, beauty, or the perfect partner
- Mastering the conversation and underestimating or looking down on others who are considered not equal to him
- Expects special behavior and obedience from others
- Using other people to get what he wants
- Shows no concern for the feelings or needs of others
- Feel jealous of others or think others are jealous of them
- Having an arrogant or haughty attitude
- Wanting the best in everything, for example the best car or job
On the other hand, narcissistic personality disorder can cause sufferers to be unable to accept criticism from others. As a result, narcissistic sufferers can experience a number of the following symptoms:
- Impatient or angry when not getting the expected treatment
- Having problems with yourself to the point of being easily offended
- Easily angry or humiliating and demeaning others in order to appear superior
- Find it difficult to regulate feelings and behavior, as well as controlling stress and adapting to change
- Feeling depressed and gloomy when not achieving the expected perfection
- Have hidden feelings of inferiority, shame, weakness, and humiliation
When to see a doctor
People with narcissistic personality disorder are usually not aware that they have this condition, so it is quite rare to see a doctor for an examination. Therefore, check with a doctor or psychologist if you feel you are experiencing narcissistic symptoms or are overwhelmed with sadness.
Proper treatment can avoid more serious problems or complications, such as depression or anxiety disorders.
Generally, a new narcissistic personality disorder examination is carried out if other conditions arise, such as symptoms of depression, alcohol or drug addiction, or other mental disorders. Therefore, the diagnosis of this condition is quite difficult to do.
The diagnosis will begin with a question and answer regarding the symptoms experienced. A physical examination will also be carried out to ensure there are no physical injuries that might cause this condition.
Next, the doctor will conduct a thorough psychological examination. In this examination, the patient will be asked to fill out several questionnaires regarding conditions that can trigger narcissistic personality disorder.
To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will refer to the narcissistic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). According to these guidelines, a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder can be made if the patient has 5 of the following 9 criteria:
- Feeling better than other people
- Needs a lot of compliments from others
- Busy fantasizing about success, power, intelligence, beauty, or the perfect partner
- Feels special and only wants to hang out with people he considers equal to him
- Feeling entitled to special treatment from others
- Take advantage of others for your own gain
- Lacks empathy and concern for others
- Often feels jealous of other people, or thinks others are jealous of him
- Having an arrogant or conceited attitude
The main method of dealing with narcissism is psychological therapy. The goal is for patients to understand themselves better and be able to control their behavior.
Treatments that can be done include:
- Talk therapy (psychotherapy), to help patients establish better relationships with others, and understand the causes of narcissistic symptoms
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, to help patients change destructive behaviors and thoughts, in order to get a realistic self-image
Apart from therapy, drugs can also be given to help relieve accompanying symptoms, such as anxiety disorders or depression. Some of the medicines that can be given are:
- Antidepressants to treat depression, for example types of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine,
- Antimania or mood control drugs , such as lithium, to relieve mood disorders
- Antipsychotics, for example aripiprazole and risperidone , to treat symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders
If left untreated, narcissistic behavior disorder can cause complications in the form of:
- Difficulty establishing social relationships
- Problems at work or school
- Depression or anxiety disorder
- Alcohol or drug addiction
- Suicidal behavior or thoughts
There is no sure way to prevent narcissistic behavior disorder. However, there are several efforts that can be made to help reduce the risk of developing narcissism, namely:
- See a doctor immediately if you have a mental health disorder, especially if it appears in childhood
- Undergoing family therapy to find out healthy ways of communication, or to deal with conflicts or emotional stress experienced
- Take parenting classes or consult with a therapist regarding proper parenting patterns