“Narcissism falls along the axis of what psychologists call personality disorders, one of a group that includes antisocial, dependent, histrionic, avoidant and borderline personalities. But by most measures, narcissism is one of the worst, if only because the narcissists themselves are so clueless”
Welcome to my new series where I talk about some of the most intricate mental disorders that effect the world around us.
Narcissism is a special kind of mental illness. It’s suggested that 1% of the population have this personality disorder, but would you be aware if you were a narcissist or if you knew one? It’s often characterised as being a hugely inflated sense of self worth, self esteem and an intense need for attention and being liked. These people seek power, superiority, dominance and the fear of others. This leads to their behaviour: abnormal and antisocial actions and thought processes. The scariest aspect? They can hide it, but not very well. Narcissism is often a comorbid condition in which the person will have other mental health conditions such as anxiety and/or depression; that doesn’t mean people with depression and anxiety are a narcissist, just keep that in mind.
What known causes actually create a narcissist
- Excessive pampering and praise during childhood
- Often being treated as the favourite child or family favourite
- Rarely being told no, and getting away with negative behaviours
- Never in their early life were they made to be accountable for their behaviour
- Abuse during childhood
- Excessive criticism
- Emotional/psychological abuse
You could have experienced one of these things, all of these things or just a couple. But nonetheless, these are the childhood and social aspects that influence the mentality of a narcissist. You aren’t born a narcissist but rather develop the condition, there’s a lot of conflicting reports between the development being out of choice to not changing or beyond the persons control due to their nurture. (The whole nature vs. nurture argument).
Now…..for the symptoms
- Inflated sense of self worth
- Appearing to be unemotional
- Showing no understanding of the consequences of their behaviour
- Setting unrealistic goals or expectations
- Lack of empathy and understanding of others
- Often reacting to other people with shame, humiliation and anger
- Bullying and targeting of people
- Fear mongering others
- Become jealous easily
- Crave attention and usually do anything to obtain it
- Difficulty in maintaining relationships and friendships
- Using others to their advantage
- Usually codependent on other people they can do all the things they don’t have to
- Fantasise stories and events, attempting to make others believe their fantasies
- Needing constant positive reinforcement
- Often hating others, but not liking others hating them
- Reckless spending of money
- Having a fragile self esteem
- Able to disguise their behaviour around certain people
- Making excuses for their own behaviour
- Often blaming other people for how they treat them
- Demeaning others
Same as the above, these people can have some, all or a couple of these symptoms.
Unfortunately, the only real treatment is therapy and even then it can not make a single ounce of change. It’s important to be aware of the behaviour in yourself and others, it’s recommended to gently attempt to correct the behaviours as often as you can to ‘fix’ the issue. It’s best to look into any underlying issues that may have or continue to cause the condition.
Stay tuned for more in this series!