Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder, commonly known as a “God Complex,” is a personality disorder in which an individual has an inflated sense of their own ability and thought process. People who suffer from NPD will often believe that they are able to complete tasks that are inhumanly possible and consider their opinions to be better than those of people who disagree with them. While there have yet to be found any direct causes to this disorder, an overly sensitive personality as well as parental influences may contribute to the development of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Symptoms of this condition may include:

• Inappropriate reactions to criticism, such as shame, rage, or humiliation.
• Taking advantage of others to fulfill one’s own desires.
• Excessive notions of self-importance
• The exaggeration of one’s own abilities
• Obsession with idealistic fantasies such as intelligence, power,
success, beauty, or perfect love
• Unreasonable expectations of one’s own actions
• Expectations of favorable treatment
• The constant need of admiration or attention
• Disregarding the feelings or wishes of others, or the inability to feel
• Striving for selfish goals
• Fanatical self-interest

One common defense mechanism often utilized by individuals suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the use of “Splitting,” or “Black and White Thinking.” Individuals will use this method to preserve their self-esteem by categorizing their own thoughts as good and others’ as bad. This allows these individuals to absolve themselves of any need for empathy of others, allowing their own self-image to be exaggerated. In addition, Splitting may also inherently suggest that the individual suffering from NPD also utilizes other defense mechanisms such as idealization, devaluation, and denial. Similar to many other personality disorders, the signs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are primarily based on evaluation and diagnosed based on the severity of the symptoms. Treatment of this disorder primarily includes psychotherapy (such as talk therapy, or Freudian analysis of personality. These types of treatments might help the individual to relate to others on a more compassionate level and express a more positive
attitude toward others.

Several attributes that could further one’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder may include a dependency on alcohol or other drugs, which could further one’s disillusion and disconnection from reality, social problems surrounding relationships or family, as well as personal complications that may be due to stress in the home or at work.

Information provided by:
Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA. Personality and
personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J,
Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed.
Philadellphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 39.

About Noah Mahrer