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Contrary to popular belief, some amount of narcissism is necessary for a healthy ego. Without it, we’d lack the confidence to follow through on our actions and always be second-guessing our decisions. But swing too far in the other direction, and we start to develop an overinflated sense of self-worth that makes us think we’re superior to others.
So how do you tell what too much narcissism looks like? Typically, it’s characterized by narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
Personality disorders can be complicated and make life difficult for those experiencing them and their loved ones, but treatment is possible. At Avalon Malibu, we provide an extensive array of holistic therapeutic options for individuals with NPD and other personality disorders to help manage symptoms and restore a healthy balance.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition that involves patterns of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior. People with NPD believe the whole world revolves around them and have an unreasonably elevated sense of their own importance. They also demonstrate a severe lack of ability to empathize with others and wish to keep the focus on themselves at all times.
As a result, NPD can make it difficult to maintain normal, healthy relationships. People with the disorder display arrogant behavior and a need for admiration that must be constant from those around them, which can drive others away. They are usually described as cocky, self-centered, manipulative and demanding. Narcissists also tend to concentrate on fame and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment.
People with NPD have an inflated ego, which differs vastly from healthy self-esteem. Normally, individuals with high self-esteem remain humble, whereas narcissists rarely are. Instead, they have an exaggerated sense of self-worth and are unable to handle any criticism or rejection. In fact, many people with NPD are actually insecure and anxious, using their grandiose behavior to mask these feelings.
A healthy amount of narcissism is normal and necessary for normal functioning. For example, being able to take pride in your accomplishments can help you better tolerate frustration or failure. High self-esteem can also enhance your mood, thinking and resilience.
Because of this, narcissists display a number of traits that we all exhibit from time to time — we all have moments of vanity, thoughtlessness or selfishness. The difference is most people feel bad about this type of behavior, while narcissists do not.
Other differences between a healthy ego and narcissism include:
NPD is estimated to affect 1% of the adult population in America and is typically more common in men. People with the condition are outwardly nice, charming and attractive, but long-term relationships with narcissists often have dismal outcomes.
Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include:
Recently, studies have found that some narcissistic behaviors change over time and start to decrease after age 30. However, other traits associated with NPD may increase, such as having high aspirations. The cause for this is unknown, but genetics are thought to play a significant role. The person’s environment and peer interactions are also important.
NPD is diagnosed when there’s a long-standing pattern of self-centered thoughts and behavior. Unfortunately, diagnosis and treatment is rare because most narcissists think they don’t have an issue and tend to avoid therapy. Still, with treatment, those with the condition can learn to be more caring and improve their relationships with others.
At Avalon Malibu’s Grand House, there are multiple treatments available for narcissistic personality disorder, including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, family therapy and group therapy. The goal is to explore the underlying causes of narcissistic behaviors and develop healthier ways of thinking about yourself and others.
Although NPD is a lifelong condition, evidence-based therapies have been shown to improve symptoms. Avalon’s professionals can help individuals address feelings of superiority, manage criticisms, address their shortcomings and balance emotional responses.
If other mental health conditions are present, such as depression or anxiety, additional treatments and medications can also be used. When left untreated, NPD and co-occurring disorders can increase the risk of substance abuse, lead to long-term relationship problems and cause major feelings of deep sadness or emptiness to develop.
Located on oceanfront property, the Grand House of Avalon Malibu sits among some of the most beautiful real estate in the country. Individuals who suffer from any personality disorder are welcome to enter into our professional programs, where we offer them the help and the attention they deserve to heal and live a healthy, balanced life.
The calming time spent at the Grand House allows for uninterrupted introspection and a reduction of stress in an atmosphere of hope, positivity and healing. This supportive setting will add to your experience and put you at ease, promoting lasting recovery whether you’re suffering from NPD or any other type of personality disorder.
Avalon Malibu therapists use individual psychotherapy to effectively treat clients with narcissistic personality disorder. Individuals often seek treatment at the suggestion of family members to treat symptoms that disrupt their lives. However, change can be difficult at first, because many individuals are unwilling or unable to recognize their condition. Our professional staff has developed effective ways to help clients develop healthier thinking. Our goal at Avalon Malibu is to help each client create a more realistic self-image.
If you or a loved one has narcissistic personality disorder, we can help. Contact or call us today at 888-958-7511 to learn more about our treatment center in Malibu, California, and how our expert staff can develop a personalized approach to inspire hope and healing.