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Effective Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment Options

Explore effective narcissistic personality disorder treatment at Mind Body Optimization, where you can find sustainable healing.
Table of Contents

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a condition that affects a person’s self-esteem and how they treat themselves and others.

Most people experiencing NPD have a high sense of their own importance. In some cases, they also struggle with feelings of failure or rejection. This can quickly lead to issues with other disorders, such as depression or substance use disorder (SUD).

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

The Etymology of NPD

NPD is a term originally derived from Narcissus, a hunter in Greek mythology. According to the myth, Narcissus was self-obsessed, particularly about his beauty, and he couldn’t stop looking at his reflection in water.
Many may associate the term “narcissism” with physical appearance, but NPD doesn’t only apply to looks. It may also involve other abilities and traits like charisma, skill, athleticism, wealth, power, or success.

Potential Challenges Associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

People with NPD often experience disappointment when they don’t receive praise or favors they believe they deserve.
NPD can cause challenges in many areas of one’s life, including:
  • School
  • Work
  • Relationships
According to a report of case studies on narcissistic personality disorder, up to 6.2% of the population is prone to NPD. The report also shows it’s more common in men than women.1

Importance of Understanding and Addressing Narcissistic Personality Disorder

NPD can occur due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors. During childhood, some may develop NPD due to:2
  • Trauma
  • Rejection
  • Fragile ego 
  • Excessive praise or criticism
  • Unpredictable care or neglect

At Mind Body Optimization (MBO), we understand that NPD can occur due to a range of reasons, which is why we prioritize addressing the root of the condition to promote lasting and sustainable healing.

Beyond the Stereotypes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

At MBO, we understand the drawbacks of social stigma and discrimination. This is why we are committed to fostering an environment of understanding, acceptance, and open dialogue.

Common Myths and Misconceptions about NPD

Below are some of the common misconceptions about NPD:

All People with NPD are Abusive or Manipulative

A person diagnosed with NPD doesn’t mean they are abusive, but abusive people may have narcissistic traits. For this reason, we may address abusive behavior separately.
There are some cases where narcissism may lead to manipulative and hurtful behaviors. In that case, we refer to it as covert narcissism.
Someone with covert narcissism may express signs of grandiosity and have low empathy levels.

NPD is an Untreatable Condition

NPD is not untreatable, as there are various proven narcissistic personality disorder treatment methods to help.
Some research also shows that some narcissistic traits decline with age, which means the narcissistic personality is not a fixed state of being.3

Insecurities and Vulnerabilities in Narcissistic Personality Disorder

We understand that many experiencing narcissistic personality disorder are not grandiose but instead experience many insecurities. This is why many with NPD may seem self-centered, demand attention, and exaggerate achievements.
People with NPD typically have a fragile sense of self-esteem, and that insecurity contributes to their display of outward superiority.
The insecurity can be displayed as difficulty accepting criticism or anything that seems like it, which could trigger feelings of vulnerability. For instance, someone with NPD may see constructive criticism as a personal attack and may react angrily.

MBO’s Approach to Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

We understand that people struggling with NPD may find it difficult to know someone who understands them.
This is one of the reasons why our approach to narcissistic personality disorder treatment stems from a place of compassion. We know an individual is greater than the sum of their mental health challenges, and far more than their diagnosis.

Our team creates a safe and non-judgmental space where people with NPD can explore their emotions and interpersonal dynamics. At MBO, we understand that the journey towards healing may seem complex, but our team of professionals provides the support you need.

Signs and Symptoms of NPD

Some of the major signs and symptoms of NPD are:
  • Grandiose sense of self-importance
  • Frequent fantasies about having deserving
  • Need for admiration
  • Frequent envy
  • Entitlement
  • Willingness to exploit others
  • Lack of empathy
  • Faking humility to hide feelings of their sense of self-importance
  • Arrogance
  • Belief in superiority
  • Perfectionism (with or without a fear of failure)
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism, failure, or rejection

Healthy Self-Esteem vs. Narcissistic Traits

Some may think narcissistic individuals only have high self-esteem, but that’s not the case. There are clear differences between people with high self-esteem and those with narcissistic traits.
Here are some to know:

Source of Self-Worth

People with normal self-esteem get their self-worth from a balanced view of their abilities and accomplishments. On the other hand, a person with NPD derives their self-worth from external validation and seeking constant admiration.

Empathy and Interpersonal Relationships

A person with healthy self-esteem typically has empathy and also values mutual relationships. Narcissistic people may find it difficult to prioritize the needs of others, making it hard for them to sustain relationships.

Sense of Entitlement

Individuals with healthy self-esteem have a realistic sense of entitlement. They recognize the importance of earning respect and success through effort. People with NPD may expect special treatment without putting in effort or demonstrating qualifications.

Response to Failure

When a person with healthy self-esteem experiences failure, they may see it as an opportunity to grow or learn. A person experiencing NPD may have intense feelings of shame or get defensive when a failure occurs.

How Self-Reflection Is Beneficial to Treatment

With self-reflection, you can closely examine your values, behaviors, motives, and relationships and understand how they connect. Self-reflection can be challenging for those with NPD because of their bias towards a good opinion of themselves.
Willingness to self-reflect can be a sign of change. Here are some possible effects of self-reflection:
  • Acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses
  • Taking responsibility for actions
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Developing empathy
  • Seeking feedback and not being defensive once you get it
  • Making an effort to develop healthy relationships

Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Substance Use Disorder

NPD and substance use typically co-occur. This may be due to the use of substances to cope with negative feelings or self-esteem issues.
A 2019 journal in Frontiers in Psychiatry reviewed the relationship between substance intake and narcissism, discovering that self-esteem played a major role.4
Some of the risk factors of these disorders being co-occurring include:
  • Impulsivity: Since individuals with NPD often experience a dispositional lack of self-control, they may also engage in substance use. 
  • Trauma: People experiencing NPD may turn to substances as a defense mechanism against the emotional effects of trauma.
  • Relationship issues: NPD typically involves difficulty in forming or maintaining a healthy relationship. People may turn to substances to forget all of those issues.

Importance of Getting Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Due to the nature of NPD, there’s a high chance of patients experiencing a co-occurring disorder. Treatment of co-occurring disorders can help the individual work through symptoms of both disorders concurrently.

Other benefits of treatment include:

  • Ability to manage and effectively cope with challenges of co-occurring disorders
  • Reduces the risks of self-harm by engaging in risky behaviors
  • Improves interpersonal relationships with friends, family, and colleagues
  • Increased insight into thought patterns, emotions, and behavior
  • Ensures long-term health and stability

Seeking Help: Understanding the Next Steps in Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

Seeking help is the first step to healing. However, we understand that you may be concerned about the common barriers to wellness.
Here’s a breakdown of what you should know:

Potential Barriers to Seeking Help

Below are the potential obstacles to seeking help:

Stigma

People may be concerned about discrimination from cultural, social, and professional circles, which makes them avoid narcissistic personality disorder treatment. MBO is committed to educating and informing people about NPD and why stigma is wrong.

Shame

Individuals are often worried about how we may perceive them at MBO or how their family and friends will see them. But remember, your loved ones want you to get the help and support you need to establish and maintain a healthy mental state.

Denial

Many times, denial is the first stage in the process of recognizing NPD or a co-occurring disorder. It’s a complete state of lack of self-awareness, but many always overcome this stage in a supportive environment like MBO.

Why Have Professional Intervention for NPD?

Narcissistic personality disorder treatment can be complex to treat without medical help. Mental health experts and medical professionals can help in these ways:

Addressing the Root Cause

Professional help will ensure people with NPD can understand the root cause of their condition. This makes it much easier to reach long-term goals.

Gaining Lifetime Tools

During narcissistic personality disorder treatment, professionals at MBO will equip you with all of the necessary tools for successful healing. You will learn the best way to address your emotions and thoughts, which remains useful after your treatment program.

Reduction of Isolation

Narcissistic personality disorder can cause interpersonal difficulties, like creating a sense of isolation. With professional therapy, you can get the supportive and non-judgmental space you need to express your feelings.

Treatment Approaches for NPD and Dual Diagnosis

Our narcissistic personality disorder dual diagnosis treatment approach acknowledges the possibility of a co-occurring disorder like SUD or conditions.

Below are some of the treatments we offer:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This approach to narcissistic personality disorder treatment helps the person challenge maladaptive thoughts. It helps them develop better coping mechanisms that help healing.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT): DBT is an invaluable tool for dual diagnosis treatment since it focuses on mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI): MI is a collaborative and client-centered approach to treatment that helps people resolve ambivalence about their behavior.

Compassionate Treatment at Mind Body Optimization

Our team at MBO approaches every individual with empathy and a deep understanding of the root cause of NPD and other co-occurring disorders.
Here’s how we do it:

Our Philosophy and Approach to Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

We believe taking a step toward narcissistic personality disorder treatment is a win you should celebrate. Due to the nature of NPD, acknowledging you have a challenge is vital for healing.
To make you experience the best level of comfort, we prioritize creating a warm and welcoming environment that promotes a sense of safety and security.
Here’s what sets us apart in our narcissistic personality disorder treatment approach:

Personalized Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment at MBO

Our narcissistic personality disorder treatment approaches are tailored to your needs. These individualized treatment plans address your unique needs to foster healing. Before beginning treatment, we assess every individual separately to know what to recommend.

Holistic Techniques for Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

We understand that individuals are not just physical entities, but there’s a relationship between a person’s mind and body. At MBO, we see each person as a whole with a connection between emotions and physical and mental health.

Below are some of our integrative techniques for narcissistic personality disorder treatment:

  • Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness promotes self-control and mental clarity. People with NPD can also experience reduced levels of aggressiveness.  
  • Self-compassion practices: With self-compassion practices, you can learn to embrace imperfections and foster interconnectedness.

Family and Relationship Therapy (When Needed)

Narcissistic personality disorder often affects the person’s loved ones, including family and romantic relationships. At MBO, we offer a practical approach to improving harmony in relationships and the family system.

Collaboration with Professional Therapists and Medical Experts

Our team of professional therapists and medical experts ensures patient-centered care. They also come up with integrated treatment plans necessary for well-being.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Treatment

Hope for Change

Our dual diagnosis treatment doesn’t only treat symptoms; we carefully look out for the root causes of the conditions. We believe every person has a tendency for positive change, and with hope, you can seize the opportunity for healing.

Reach Out to Us to Begin Your Journey to Wellness

Ready for change? We adopt a sustainable approach that guides you through all of the complexities and myths of narcissistic personality disorder treatment. Reach out to us today for help with sustainable and lasting wellness.