Narcissism definition is a condition when a person feels he is better than others so he needs to be admired and get more attention. This condition can cause sufferers to become selfish and have little empathy for others, causing problems in social interactions.
Narcissism is a type of personality disorder. Narcissists generally appear very confident. However, this is actually to cover his very fragile self-esteem, for example, only because he is criticized by others.
Narcissistic personality disorder can make sufferers unhappy or disappointed if they are not treated or praised the way they expect. This can cause problems in various aspects of life, including in work or social circles.
It is not known exactly what causes narcissistic personality disorder. However, narcissism is thought to be linked to the following factors:
- Genetic factors, namely a family history of narcissism
- Environmental factors, namely parenting patterns that are too indulgent, demanding, or don’t care about their children; or childhood experiences, such as torture or trauma
- Neurobiological factors, namely the relationship between the brain with thought and behavior patterns
Although it can be experienced by anyone, a narcissistic personality disorder is more common in men than women. This condition also tends to occur in adolescence or early adulthood.
Narcissistic symptoms can vary depending on the severity. These symptoms can include:
- Feeling entitled and need to be admired excessively and continuously
- Sense better than others (superior) even though they don’t have any achievements
- Feeling special and only wants to hang out with people who are considered his equal
- Overly proud of one’s own accomplishments or talents
- Often fantasizes about success, power, intelligence, beauty, or the perfect partner
- Master the conversation and belittle or look down on other people who are considered unequal
- Expects special behavior and obedience from others
- Use other people to get what they want
- Doesn’t care about other people’s feelings or needs
- Feeling envious of others or think others are jealous of him
- Have an arrogant or haughty attitude
- Want the best in everything, for example the best car or job
On the other hand, a narcissistic personality disorder can cause sufferers to be unable to accept criticism from others. As a result, narcissists may experience a number of the following symptoms:
- Impatient or angry when not getting the expected treatment
- Have problems with yourself to become easily irritated
- Easily angry or insulting and demeaning others in order to appear superior
- Finds it difficult to regulate feelings and behavior, as well as controlling stress and adapting to change
- Feeling depressed and gloomy when not achieving the expected perfection
- Have feelings of low self-esteem, shame, weakness, and humiliation that are hidden
Generally, testing for narcissism disorder is only done if other conditions arise, such as symptoms of depression, alcohol or drug addiction, or other mental disorders. Therefore, the diagnosis of this condition is quite difficult to do.
The diagnosis will begin with questions and answers related to the symptoms experienced. A physical examination will then also be carried out to ensure there are no physical injuries that may have caused this condition.
Next, the doctor will perform a thorough psychological examination. In this examination, the patient will be asked to fill out several questionnaires related to conditions that can trigger the onset of narcissistic personality disorder.
To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will refer to the narcissistic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). According to these guidelines, a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder can be made if the patient has 5 of the following 9 criteria:
- Feeling better than others
- Needs a lot of praise from others
- Busy fantasizing about success, power, intelligence, beauty, or the perfect partner
- Feels special and only wants to hang out with people he considers his equal
- Feeling entitled to special treatment from others
- Using others for your own benefit
- Lack of empathy and concern for others
- Often feels jealous of others, or thinks others are jealous of him
- Have an arrogant or arrogant attitude
The main method of dealing with narcissism is psychological therapy. The goal is for patients to understand themselves better and be able to control their behaviour.
Treatments that can be done include:
- Talk therapy (psychotherapy), to help patients establish better relationships with others, and understand the causes of narcissistic symptoms
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, to help patients change destructive behaviors and thoughts, in order to get a realistic self-image
In addition to therapy, medications can also be given to help relieve co-existing symptoms, such as anxiety disorders or depression. Some of the drugs that can be given are:
- Antidepressants to treat depression, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine,
- Antimania or mood control drugs, such as lithium, to relieve mood disorders
- Antipsychotics, such as aripiprazole and risperidone, to treat symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders
If left untreated, narcissistic behaviour disorder can lead to complications such as:
- Difficulty establishing social relationships
- Problems at work or school
- Depression or anxiety disorders
- Addiction to alcohol or drugs
- Suicidal behavior or thoughts
There is no definite way that can prevent the onset of narcissism behaviour disorder. However, there are some efforts that can be done to help reduce the risk of developing narcissism, namely:
- Immediately see a doctor if you experience mental health problems, especially if they appear in childhood
- Undergo family therapy to find out healthy ways of communicating, or to deal with conflicts or emotional stress experienced
- Take parenting classes or consult with a therapist about the right parenting style