“They are so narcissistic!”
“It’s like they think the world revolves around them!”
“Do they not care about anyone else?”
Have you ever met a person who these statements could apply to? Narcissism, the excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance, is something everyone is capable of. And when left unchecked, it can damage relationships, wellbeing and quality of life.
While many of us show signs of narcissism when we are in unhealth, there are only a handful who actually have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) – a mental illness listed in the DSM-5, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used by psychological professionals to identify mental illness. NPD is believed to affect up to six percent of people, with between 50 – 75 per cent of these male.
Research suggests NPD develops from experiences in childhood, and can appear overt, covert or malignant. It shows up at various levels of intensity and can be connected to domestic violence and abusive behaviour in relationships. People with NPD also often show addictive behaviours and may experience an eating disorder.
So, what does NPD look like? Well, the DSM-5 says that if someone shows five or more of the following symptoms, they may have NPD. Take a look and see if you recognise any of these characteristics in yourself or your partner.
If you have NPD, it’s important to note that just like every other mental illness, this isn’t necessarily a choice. There are genetic and environmental factors that predispose us towards different mental health conditions, and like you wouldn’t blame someone for experiencing depression, someone doesn’t choose to have narcissistic tendencies. However, every person does have a responsibility to choose to be the best version of themselves for the betterment of their lives, their relationships and their heath. This is why it’s important to seek help and support from medical and psychological professionals.
A diagnosis with any mental health condition is not a free pass to hurt other people intentionally due to your health. Having enough self-awareness to realise you show signs of Narcissism is the first step towards healing. Or, if you are in a relationship with someone who has NPD, this may be a wakeup call that if they aren’t willing to change and receive help, you need to set boundaries or leave the relationship for your emotional and physical safety.
Do you show signs of Narcissism? Do you have a partner or family member who is manipulative and egotistical? Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online now.