Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a type of personality disorder in which people are arrogant, demanding and have an inflated sense of self. For individuals with NPD, they yearn for excessive admiration from those around them to match up to their perceived achievements. They may struggle to be empathetic towards others and are only concerned about their own well-being. Their friends and family may feel that they come off as snobbish or obnoxious. However underneath this ego, they are very fragile and cannot handle criticism well. 


Signs and Symptoms

  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Desire to be superior regardless of level of achievements
  • Overvaluing their talents and accomplishments 
  • Preoccupation with fantasies of success (Might be extreme like expensive cars or landed properties) 
  • Believe they are special and entitled to special treatment 
  • Expects favours and compliance under all circumstances
  • Inability to recognize the needs of others 


Risk Factors

  • Genetics 

  • Environmental Factors 

    • Excessive praise and reinforcement even for misconduct 
    • Emotional abuse as a child
    • Neglect or unpredictable parental care



Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) seem to be content and confident about themselves, but tend to be easily triggered by criticism. Overtime, feelings of dissatisfaction may lead to Depression or Anxiety when they fail to achieve perfection. A handful may become addicted to substances when attempting to cope with such emotions.

Individuals with NPD tend to only seek out treatment after they face distress or dysfunctionality in their life. However, NPD can be a challenging disorder to treat as narcissistic characteristics make it difficult for individuals to accept criticism or behaviours they need to change. 

Treatment for NPD usually involves some form of psychotherapy. In particular, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often employed. CBT aims to help individuals with NPD on several fronts, including:

  • Behaviour: Practicing changing of behaviour (e.g. Holding back critical comments on others) 
  • Affect: Managing depressed and anxious moods & mood improving upon better interactions with others 
  • Cognition: Changing mindset to reduce superiority complex or need to criticise others to feel better about oneself
  • Improve tolerance to criticism with adequate amount of self-worth 
  • Learn coping methods and tips to maintain relationships  


Find out more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder by watching the video attached!