28 Dec How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) Treated?
A narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance. People suffering from this condition go to great lengths to receive attention and validation. Often, this causes them to lack the ability to understand or care about other people’s feelings.
While people with a narcissistic personality disorder often come across as selfish or superior, it is because the individual is making up for their fragile sense of self-worth. If you or a loved one has a narcissistic personality disorder, you know how difficult this condition can make it to get along with others. Thankfully, various forms of therapy can help you learn how to manage this condition healthily.
Narcissistic personality disorder has a lifetime prevalence of up to 6.2% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, men are more likely to have the condition than women.
Being aware of how narcissistic personality disorder is treated can motivate you or your loved one to seek the help you need. Contact Florida Recovery Group today to receive compassionate treatment for narcissistic personality disorder.
How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) Treated?
While you can never be cured of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), you can develop coping skills, improve your relationships, and decrease your distress levels. Commonly, people develop personality disorders to cope with abuse or neglect, as the traits and behaviors associated with their disorder make them feel protected. If you are being treated for NPD, you will unlearn the harmful traits and behaviors you have developed and adopt healthy coping mechanisms to replace them.
It is important to note that most people with narcissistic personality disorder do not seek treatment for their NPD. More often than not, they do not even realize they suffer from narcissism. Typically, people with NPD seek therapy for different reasons, like relationship challenges, substance abuse, or depression. Seeking therapy for other reasons allows them to create a relationship with a therapist who can identify their NPD and help them learn how to manage it.
A narcissistic personality disorder is treated using a variety of therapies and sometimes medications, including:
Gestalt therapy focuses on your present and current experiences. While past childhood experiences may be explored, the therapy focuses on how your past emotions and experiences affect your current life. This is extremely helpful for individuals with narcissistic personality disorder, as the condition is often developed to cope with painful emotions and memories from one’s past.
During gestalt therapy, your therapist will use the following tactics:
- Guided re-experiencing of challenging situations
- Guided exploration of conflicting aspects of personality
- Repeated or exaggerated movements
- Guided imagery
The exercises used during gestalt therapy can help you uncover buried emotions and understand how they affect your emotional and physical reactions and behaviors. To put it simply, this type of therapy helps you identify the “how” and “why” of your condition, increasing your self-awareness.
Schema therapy is a type of treatment that combines several other therapeutic techniques. Examples of some of the therapeutic approaches included in schema therapy include:
- Emotion-focused therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Attachment theory
The premise of schema therapy is to allow you to understand your behavioral patterns and how they developed during childhood due to unfulfilled needs. These behavioral patterns are called schemas and they can persist throughout your life, contributing to unhealthy coping mechanisms. For example, these coping mechanisms can present themselves as the traits and behaviors associated with NPD, like arrogance, entitlement, and grandiosity.
Unpacking these schemas can allow you to lessen or manage the symptoms of your narcissistic personality disorder.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. While DBT was originally created to treat borderline personality disorder, it can be helpful in the treatment of narcissistic personality disorder as well.
DBT can help someone with NPD learn how to:
- Identify and regulate emotions
- Tolerate uncomfortable and distressing emotions
- Navigate interpersonal relationships effectively
- Boost mindfulness skills to manage unwanted emotions
Dialectical behavior therapy is conducted in the form of group counseling and individual therapy. The group sessions will provide you with the opportunity to practice communication and interpersonal skills. Additionally, hearing other people’s stories during group counseling can improve your empathy skills.
While there is no medication specifically intended to treat narcissistic personality disorder, some medications can provide relief for specific symptoms. Medications are most commonly used to treat symptoms that are getting in the way of therapy becoming successful. For example, if you have severe anxiety symptoms or depression, you may have a hard time completing therapy and remaining focused during treatment.
To ensure that you receive effective therapy, you may be given medications on a short-term basis. Most commonly, people with NPD are given antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. However, if you have a co-occurring mental health condition like bipolar disorder, you may be treated with other medications such as antipsychotics or mood stabilizers.
Find Mental Health Treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) Today
If you or a loved one suffer from narcissism, help is available. Living with this condition untreated can be extremely lonely, as interpersonal issues are extremely common. Receiving professional mental health treatment can help you develop the coping mechanisms you need to manage your condition effectively.
To learn more about narcissistic personality disorder treatment, contact Florida Recovery Group today.