Diagnosing A Narcissist: Signs And Requirements For Personality Disorders

Are you struggling with a relationship of any kind that makes you feel emotionally battered or perplexed? Are you trying to figure out if the person involved is a narcissist, and if so, how can you get help? 

Narcissism, often called narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), is a psychiatric condition in which an individual exhibits an overinflated sense of self-importance and grandiosity. People with narcissistic traits tend to be abusive and controlling in relationships, constantly seek validation from others, display selfishness, and lack empathy. Not everyone who displays these traits has NPD; however, diagnosing someone with this disorder requires careful evaluation.  

In this article we will look at the signs of narcissism, what it takes to diagnose such behavior as a personality disorder, and how to get help for either yourself or your loved one who may be struggling with this mental health condition.

Grandiose Sense of Self

One of the most prominent signs of narcissism is an exaggerated sense of self. This grandiosity can manifest in many different ways such as boasting, entitlement, and exaggerating accomplishments. 

Lack of Empathy

As a personality disorder, narcissists tend to lack empathy for others and think only about their own needs or rights. They may be emotionally detached or manipulative in order to gain what they desire from the people around them. 

Unhealthy Relationship Dynamics

Narcissists will often use other people to serve their own needs or support their own whims without regard for the feelings or comfort of the person being used. This leads to an overall power struggle where the narcissistic individual seeks control over the relationship and disregards any type of mutual respect that would otherwise exist within a healthy relationship dynamic. 

Fantasy-Driven Behavior

Since narcissists do not deal with reality well, they have a tendency to live in a world driven by fantasy and excessive optimism which often leads to unrealistic expectations and demands from others around them. 

Overly Sensitive Reactions

The slightest criticism can send a narcissistic individual into an emotional tailspin, escalating quickly into rage or depression out of proportion with the level at which it was received  

Boundary Issues

Narcissists do not understand personal boundaries nor accept them when they are set by others making them difficult to be around because they are always pushing beyond any reasonable limits set by rational individuals. 

Diagnostic Requirements

In order to receive an official diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), individuals must meet at least five criteria established by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-5) including having a grandiose sense of self-importance, preoccupation with success and power, expecting special treatment or admiration from others, engaging in fantasies about achieving greatness and exhibiting arrogant behaviors among other symptoms identified within the DSM-5 guidelines for NPD diagnosis requirements.

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