Narcissism – Test, Definition, Symptoms, Signs, Causes, Treatment, Types



What is Narcissism?

There are people who are selfish, self centered and egoistic in nature which are often misunderstood. They might have this kind of disorder called Narcissism. Narcissism is named after the Greek myth, Narcissus, who was the most handsome Greek youth who rejected nymph Echo. Narcissism is a mental condition that is being excessively in love with your own self.

It is a personality disorder of persons having deeper admiration for their own and has increase sense of their own self importance. They love to use the pronoun “I” and usually exaggerate things. They do anything to have constant admiration and praise. They have an adamant pursuit of self domination, one’s ambition, and profound gratification of themselves. They often disregard themselves as someone powerful and supreme; no one can be at par with them. It is a behavior that is highly obsessed and infatuated with one’s own self without minding other’s emotions.

Types of Narcissism

There are nine narcissistic types which are:

Craver

People who are cravers have phobias with abandonment. They are desperate and have limitless need. They are rarely satisfied. They have a lot of love to give. Hence are prone to jump from one relationship to another because they find it difficult to stick to one person only.

Fantasy Maker

A Fantasy maker person are caught up with their own make believe fantasy world. Normally, children do this but when an adult manifest this act of fantasy making, it is then a psychological condition that must be further addressed as soon as possible. These kinds of people do such defense mechanism in order to avoid the reality that is painful. Since, they are in their fantasy world; they have difficult having real relationships.

Special Lover

Special Lover people are full of love. They are a firm believer that love is the solution to all problems. They are so engross with romantic ideology of love. What makes this love narcissistic is that along with this love is the feeling of grandiosity. In the beginning idealization is observed, then denial eventually and then as it progresses it becomes are realization of unwelcoming reality. That despite the grandiose love that they have for their partner, they will face disappointments during the realization phase, where they realize that even their love or the ones they love is not perfect.

Trickster

Tricksters are people who appear as the goody two shoes on the outside but it has evil intentions in the inside. They trick people in to believing that they have the positive traits. When their victim realizes this, their intentional motives which are hidden include entitlement that is limitless, exploitation, and a cruel twist. These people are adamant in relationships. They are delighted when they are able to fool their trusting and loyal lover. They play such game in cruelty resulting to a shattering impact to their victims.

Power Broker

The power brokers have the desire in attaining powers. They are the so called arrogant, bullies, and cold heart persons. They want to have power and they use this power in relationships, in their work condition and the like.

Rager

Ragers are persons who are living on the edge. When you bruise or injure their narcissism, their rage will bash out. They are hypersensitive to any insult. They are the physically and/or verbally abusive kind of persons. They can be very manipulative.

Body Shaper

The people who are considered Body Shapers are the ones that are much focused on fashion, youth, glamour, image, youth and beauty. They are plunged in to the obsession of having a perfect body, having a perfectionism that is nagging, and have self esteem that is linked with their images of their body. Denial is a common defense mechanism for these people. When they age, they refuse to accept it. Hence, they try on different ways to combat the aging process in any means that they can. They are often shallow and live in an empty life.

Martyr

The martyr person indulges in their suffering. They are victims of such and love to get attention by telling their story. They want to support and care for others. To get such, they have the tendency to exploit other. They have relationships with the needy persons and they are known to exploit this kind of persons. They are able to control these kinds of persons.

Rescuer

Lastly, the rescuer appears as the generous kind. They are considerate, kind, and they try too hard maintaining that characters.

Types of Narcissistic Disorders:

Primary Narcissism

This kind of Narcissistic behavior occurs from six months to six years. It is a defense mechanism protecting the child from any damages that is psychic especially during the individual formation. According to Freud, it is here where an auto erotic mindset is developed. There is ego- libido, castration anxiety and repression.

Pathological Narcissism

Pathological Narcissism also called as NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The person diagnosed of having this disorder manifest self obsession and does everything for self gratifying purposes. Most people that have this disorder, according to statistics and research, are men. They have comprise traits such as having a grandiosity thinking, constant envy, delusional sense, and obsession.

Freud Narcissism

According to Sigmund Freud, is known as the father of psychoanalysis and renowned psychologist, narcissism is an important part that all of us have from birth. It basically deals with ego, libido, and cathexis.

Destructive Narcissism

Destructive Narcissism reflects that of a pathological kind of narcissism but the attitudes are fewer and or at a lesser intense. The pattern of attitudes and behavior that are involved in this kind of narcissistic behavior includes anger, frustrations and incompetency feelings. Aside from that they are known to be lacking of empathy, sense of entitlement, shallow in their emotions, and often belittle others. They are unable to maintain relationship due to having this kind of narcissistic behavior. It often goes unrecognized; identifying persons that have this kind of narcissistic behavior is difficult.

Covert Narcissism

The coverts or the so called stealth or attention narcissists are the most damaging form of from amongst the narcissistic personality disorder. They have a defensive nature and are hostile whilst they cover it up in their disguised sense of emotional vulnerability with insecurity. Regarding this kind of vulnerability, they will do anything to prevent exposure of themselves out in the open. They possess the same characteristics of that as an overt narcissist, the difference is that they are much more difficult to identify.


Malignant Narcissism

When one shows a combination of narcissistic personality disorder, paranoid traits and antisocial personality disorder, one will have the so called malignant narcissism. The malignant narcissism is most often diagnosed under narcissistic personality disorder due to the fact that this condition is not found in the DSM IV TR or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder catalogue. It is the worst kind of narcissism. This kind of disorder theoretical disorder, which is developed over time, acquires antisocial, paranoid, and schizoid type of personality.

Along with the types of narcissistic disorder that was explained above, there are also other types such as Overt, Secondary, and Inverted Narcissism.

Causes of narcissism

There is actually no single factor responsible enough to pinpoint the cause of having this disorder. Some says that one of the causes why this disorder is occurring is that there is an earlier failure transition in to reality, resulting to the person to remain in early primary narcissistic stage. Some experts would say that the onset of the disorder occurs in early childhood which may be due to biological, psychological, genetic, social factors. Meanwhile those who have pathological narcissism are proved to cause emotional abuse to their loved ones and those who are close to them. Overall, the disorder causes a lot of emotional distress.

Signs & Symptoms

The following are signs and symptoms that are usually manifested by narcissism:

  • Grandiose feeling
  • Obsession with numerous fantasies (such as power, beauty etcetera)
  • Feels entitled
  • Lacks empathy
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Inter-personally exploitative
  • Envies others
  • Arrogant behavior
  • Sets unrealistic goals
  • Believes that he or she is special and one of a kind

Diagnosis (test)

There is no specific diagnostic test that will be able to diagnose this disorder. If the symptoms, mentioned above, are there, the physician will start with having a complete medical history and physical exam. Other diagnostic test that may be done, associated with this disorder, to be able to rule out any illness that may be causing this disorder.

Treatment

Treating this personality disorder involves psychotherapy in long term. It can include both medical and psychosocial treatment.

Medical Treatment

Hospitalization

This kind of treatment frequently occurs with these narcissistic persons, who are impulsive, have poor reality testing; self destructive in nature, have poor motivation in outpatient treatment, has relationships with fragile objects, and has a lifestyle which is chaotic.

Psychosocial Treatment

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It is here where the behaviors which are unhealthy and negative are replaced with positive and unhealthy ones. The health care professionals shows feelings of acknowledgement and respect for the patient’s self importance in order for them to reestablish a concord sense of self.

Family Therapy

In this therapy the main goal is to bring the entire family together in therapeutic sessions. The patient and his or her family will explore any conflicts, communication problems and other problems. Together, they do problem solving to aid in the coping of problems that deals with relationship.

Group Therapy

In here the group of similar conditions is formed. It is done such so that others are able to relate with others. Here they develop the act of listening to what each one has to say, learning about their experiences, and offering of support for each one. It is also here that socialization and openness is tested.


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