The Difference Between Narcissistic Personality Disorder and General Narcissism

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The Difference Between Narcissistic Personality Disorder and General Narcissism

The Difference Between Narcissistic Personality Disorder and General Narcissism

A common attack thrown at an individual in today’s society typically involves “you’re so narcissistic”. This unfortunate and misguided stereotype fails to address narcissism for what it really is – U.S. News states that 1 in 16 Americans experience narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) at some point in their lives, but in fact we all have narcissism. How is this? Despite common beliefs, narcissism is a spectrum – and only if a person is on the severe side do they meet the criteria for NPD.

NPD is characterized by an excessive need for admiration, a disregard for others’ feelings, an inability to handle criticism, and an overall sense of self-entitlement. The symptoms experienced with this disorder are more intense than typical narcissism, however. At healthy levels, narcissism helps us maintain a good appearance, perform well a job interviews, land a date with a potential love interest and more – we all need to have some form of self-interest and self-confidence to be able to portray the best version of ourselves in front of others, especially when the outcome could involve something that we desire for ourselves. Unhealthy levels of narcissism, however, are what lean more towards the NPD side – which can greatly affect aspects of daily life, such as school, work, family, and social relationships.

A 2015 study published in the Psychological Bulletin sought to explore gender differences regarding NPD; researchers analyzed 355 studies, with 470,846 participants in sum. The researchers identified gender differences of NPD in three principal areas:

Exploitative/Entitlement – manipulation; has no problems “stepping” on others in order to get what they want

Leadership/Authority – motivation, desire, and belief that one holds a position of power; individuals with this type of NPD enjoy having authority over others.

Grandiose/Exhibitionism – vanity, self-absorption, and the desire to be the center of attention

If you have been diagnosed with NPD, treatment is an option and often includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of treatment that helps individuals understand their disorder and their thinking patterns and how this influences their actions. If you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, it’s important that you seek help from a reputable treatment center.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

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