What Is Teen Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Those with Teen Narcissistic Personality Disorder are consumed with focusing on themselves and supporting their own well-being, which makes it difficult for them to recognize or consider the thoughts, needs, or desires of others. Because of this, their actions are based quite simply upon their own wants and needs, while believing that their wants and needs are superior to those of others. This sense of superiority and self-obsession obviously causes extreme difficulty in relationships, as well as other aspects of the teen’s lives.
What It Looks Like
There are a number of different specific contexts and expressions of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Some of the most common symptoms exhibited in those with the disorder include, but are not limited to people:
- Excessively bragging about themselves
- Thinking of themselves as more important than others
- Striving for success that will “prove” their superiority over others
- Believing they deserve great praise
- Exaggerating their own abilities or strengths
- Having jealousy over other people’s successes
- Monopolizing conversations to their own agendas
- Needing regular praise and affirmation from others
- Having an inability to sympathize and empathize with others
- Having unrealistic hopes or expectations
- Having underlying beliefs that others are jealous of them
- Showing stubbornness
- Having a short temper when challenged by others
- Having difficulty creating and maintaining long-term relationships
There are five different subtypes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, including:
Characterized by traits of being unsocial, and often acting unscrupulously (lying, cheating, stealing) without fear of consequences or remorse
Characterized by people being extremely emotional and erotic
Characterized by passive-aggressive tendencies and underlying feelings of inadequacy in dealing with others
Characterized by people having extremely high opinion of themselves, seeking success in order to gain superiority over others, and often bragging
Characterized by people suffering a traumatic event earlier in life, leading to them fantasizing about lofty plots and goals that will “right them” in others’ eyes
Treatment for Teen Narcissistic Personality Disorder begins with therapists helping the teens to address any underlying insecurities, shame, depression, or other negative belief systems.
Then, therapists help teens to address the behaviors that stem from these individual belief systems and habits, and begin to implement new behaviors and actions that help teens to interact with others appropriately and behave more considerately. This will build the foundation for teens to begin forming lasting healthy relationships.
Therapists will also help teens eventually develop a sense of awareness and empathy for others, as they learn to extend their thoughts toward others’ desires, needs, and ambitions.
At times, medication may be used to help provide relief from symptoms of Anxiety or Depression, especially in instances where the disorders are co-occurring. In these cases, medication is not provided as a cure for the Narcissism, but rather, as a way to help keep feelings of low self-worth, guilt, and/or shame at bay, while undergoing treatment.
How does talk therapy, which requires people to talk about themselves, help people who are already obsessed with themselves?
One of the somewhat surprising, ironic truths about people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the lofty perception they have of themselves often stems from underlying insecurities and lack of self confidence. Therefore, talking with a therapist about their beliefs and thought patterns helps to illuminate the falsity of their thinking, which is the first step toward change.