Learn something new every day More Info... by email
Individuals who pervasively engage in narcissistic behavior typically suffer from a mental condition called narcissistic personality disorder. Their behavior tends to be erratic, manipulative and centered around themselves. In some cases, a person suffering from this condition can become both physically and emotionally abusive. This type of behavior is also extremely difficult to treat. Although women can develop the disorder, it is typically more common among men.
There are many different aspects to narcissistic behavior, but the main aspect includes behavior that enables sufferers to pursue goals that only benefit themselves. Typically, those with this condition are unable to relate to the emotions of other people, and see any form criticism as a personal attack. They may react with extreme rage or violence in these situations, or turn the words of their perceived attacker around to make themselves look like victims.
Another aspect of narcissistic behavior is one of a large sense of self-importance. Those with the disorder often act as though they are better and more important than others around them are. At the same time, however, those with narcissistic personality disorder actually have very low self-esteem. They typically require consistent praise and affection, and become angry or sullen if they are not the center of attention.
Researchers are not certain why people develop narcissistic behavior. While some patients are known to have suffered extreme emotional abuse and neglect as children, others came from homes where they received nothing but praise. Environmental factors are usually not enough to create the disorder; typically, the patients have some genetic traits that make them predisposed to mental conditions. Narcissistic personality disorder generally does not present until early adulthood, as when children display traits of the disorder, it is considered age-appropriate behavior
Narcissistic behavior can lead to several complications in both the sufferers’ lives and the lives of those around them. Many patients with this disorder also suffer from an addictive personality and become dependent on drugs or alcohol. They also have a hard time maintaining personal relationships, as their behavior can be very difficult to cope with. Some narcissistic personalities become depressed or suicidal, especially if they feel as though they are not getting the attention they deserve.
This type of behavior is difficult to treat because there are no medications for the disorder. Treatment typically revolves around various types of psychotherapy, including group therapy and family-focused sessions. The primary goal of treatment is to address the underlying issue of low self-esteem while helping the patient learn to better relate to others. Those with severe narcissistic personality disorder can take years to reach a breakthrough, or may never be able to alter their behavior.
I am glad I have read the description of this type of person. It was like my ex husband could just slip into the slot.
It is very sad because these people cannot genuinely see past themselves. I believe it has nothing to do with selfishness or arrogance. It's just the way they are. I am probably the only person who has been consistently in his life now for 25 years. He just walks all over other people, can't hold down jobs, runs friends out of town when they don't come up to scratch, shows short lived empathy when needed.
So now I actually can relate to this. He has been diagnosed bipolar, but I don't believe that is quite right either. To me, this is more him than anything else I have read.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!