Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by an exaggerated sense of self importance: in other words, a narcissist firmly believes that it is all about them and your feelings don’t count. Living with a narcissist can be challenging and dysfunctional relationships are very common when one of the partners is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder.
So if this is an accurate description of your current relationship, or you suspect someone you know might have strong narcissistic traits in their personality, what is the treatment for narcissistic personality disorder?
While a narcissist might come across as arrogant and supremely self important, they are usually afflicted by a low self esteem that leaves them overly sensitive to criticism and ridicule, and this can cause problems with interpersonal relationships.
There is currently no known cure for narcissism, but a typical treatment for narcissistic personality disorder will involve different forms of psychotherapy.
What Therapies are Available for Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Psychotherapy is designed to help the patient improve their self esteem and develop more realistic expectations of the people around them as well as relate to other people in a more positive way. It can also help to alleviate any associated symptoms of depression and anxiety.
There are three types of psychotherapy commonly used to treat patients suffering from narcissistic personality disorder: cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and group therapy.
- Helps the patient to replace negative self beliefs with more positive ones.
- Explores conflict and problems within the family relationships.
- Useful for teaching narcissists how to relate better to other people.
Medication is not normally prescribed for narcissistic personality disorder unless the patient is suffering from other related mental health problems such as depression or anxiety attacks.
Psychotherapy is designed to be a long term solution that will improve relationship patterns and help the patient to understand why they behave in such a fashion, but in the short term, psychotherapy for the treatment of narcissistic personality disorder will hopefully address problems of low self esteem and any self destructive tendencies.
There are also various self-help remedies that can help with the treatment of narcissistic personality disorder. Education can help the patient to better understand their condition and the risk factors involved. Learning relaxation skills can also help the patient to better manage stress.
Unfortunately, many patients diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder also suffer from a variety of other mental health conditions, including substance abuse, as a way of coping with their symptoms. In severe cases of narcissistic personality disorder, patients might end up being hospitalized if they show signs of extremely self destructive behavior or are not responding well to out-patient treatment.
However, many narcissists are reluctant to seek treatment for their problems as an underlying and deep seated fear of inadequacy usually means they do not trust the therapeutic processes involved in such a course of action.
Is Recovery From Narcissism Possible?
Recovery from narcissistic disorder is possible, but it will take time and commitment, therefore it is important to stick to your treatment plan and always attend scheduled psychotherapy sessions.
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