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Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Definition, Symptoms & Causes

Personality consists of thoughts, feelings and behaviour. A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder thinks, feels and behaves in ways which cause problematic personal relationships. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterised by grandiosity, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Narcissistic Personality Disorder occurs in young adults more than older adults. Aggression and deceit occur in both Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD).

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder include an exaggerated sense of self importance and achievement, and fantasies of beauty, brilliance, ideal love, power, and success. A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder requires excessive admiration, exploits others to get it, and gets angry when it is does not materialise. Narcissistic Personality Disorder, like other Personality Disorders (PD), is considered either a definable mental health problem or a label for socially unacceptable behaviour.

Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder can be related to fragile and low self esteem, childhood abuse, cold, dismissive, rejecting parents who did not praise, parents who fostered unrealistic grandiose self perceptions, parental over attention when a first born or only child, neglect, or a sense of worthlessness. Risk factors for developing Narcissistic Personality Disorder (PD) include being a young adult, a low socioeconomic status, and being divorced, never married, separated, or widowed.
 

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Updated 04 July 2011